CLARE BAYARD has organized in grassroots movements, led trainings and political education for over 20 years and co-founded Catalyst Project and several other organizations. Clare has worked in many coalitions, organizations and campaigns in movements including migrant rights, global justice, housing rights and anti-displacement, anti-war and Palestine solidarity, conscientious objection and G.I. resistance from within the military, climate justice, and post-Katrina Gulf Coast Reconstruction. Clare believes in the power of mentorship and necessity of supporting each other’s continued growth as community leaders for change, and helps run our intern and volunteer program. Clare leads Catalyst’s anti-war and demilitarization work, and has served on the National Committee of the War Resisters League since 2005, building connections between racial and economic justice struggles in the U.S. and international anti-war work. Clare is from a family with several generations of military veterans, and works on issues of US and international demilitarization as a member of the War Resisters International network and War Times/Tiempo de Guerras, as well as working closely with Iraq Veterans Against the War and Civilian-Soldier Alliance. Clare’s writing has been published widely including Left Turn, the Guardian UK, Z Magazine, Alternet, Common Dreams, The Hill, and the recent anthology We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st century America. Clare loves peoples’ resilient spirits, gardening, horses, and building many different forms of family.
DONNA WILLMOTT’s political roots are in the militant, anti-imperialist organizations of the 1960s, working to end the war in Vietnam, supporting Third World liberation movements at home and abroad, and challenging patriarchy in its many forms. The movements for Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination for Black people have been foundational to her understanding of what it takes to build a truly transformative movement for social justice. Donna was incarcerated in the mid-90’s for activities in support of the Puerto Rican Independence movement. Since her release from prison she has worked to end the prison system and its devastating impact on families and communities, particularly communities of color. Most recently she was part of collective efforts to amplify the voices of California prisoners leading a movement to abolish solitary confinement. She continues to work for the freedom of political prisoners, many of whom have been in prison for 30 or 40 years. Building an intergenerational movement for collective liberation is a high priority for her. She was a mentor in the Anne Braden program for several years and was on the Braden Leadership Team in 2015 before being invited to join Catalyst’s collective.
DYLAN COOKE After participating in the 2011 Anne Braden Program, Dylan joined the Braden Leadership Team in the spring of 2013, and came on as Catalyst staff in the fall of 2013. While growing up in the Bay area, Dylan became politicized as a teen through being friends with queer teens who were homeless and seeing how many barriers they had to accessing the basic things they needed. Dylan has organized around homelessness and housing, prisons and imprisonment, anti-violence, queer and trans community building, and decolonization/indigenous solidarity. After living in Vancouver, Dylan moved back to the Bay Area to be closer to family. Dylan was involved in the Occupy/Decolonize movement, using some of Catalyst’s Occupy Movement Toolkit.
HILARY MOORE grew up working class and lived many places throughout the Sierra Nevada foothills and Sacramento Valley. She holds a deep commitment to liberation and firmly believes that transformation is a political necessity and totally possible. In 2007, Hilary moved to Oakland where she co-founded the Bay Area chapter of Rising Tide, a decentralized network of activists and organizers confronting the root causes of the climate crisis. Rising Tide Bay Area helped to build direct action momentum leading up to the 2009 UN climate talks in Copenhagen, a process that ultimately founded the Mobilization for Climate Justice West, an alliance of organizations that prioritized the leadership of community-based campaigns at the frontline of challenging corporate power and proposing solutions of resilience and self-determination. This multi-racial, grassroots project sparked deep inquiries about what long-term, directly democratic, movement and leadership building can look like and what it means for white people engaged in struggle. Hilary co-authored Organizing Cools the Planet: Tools and Reflections to Navigate the Climate Crisis, a booklet that grapples with these lessons learned and strategies for moving forward. Around this time, Hilary also found Catalyst Project through the recommendation of mentors, first as a participant in the 2011 Anne Braden Program, and later as a member of the Braden Leadership Team in 2013. Hilary sits on the board and teaches with the Institute for Social Ecology. She spends her time studying somatics, running long distances, writing about big things, and swooning over every dog she meets.
ISAAC LEV SZMONKO was born and raised in Waltham, Massachusetts and after 6 years in Oakland is still adjusting to Bay Area “seasons.” He was first politicized around feminism as one of the only girls in little league baseball. The War on Terror, militarism in post-Katrina New Orleans, and studying abroad in India, Nepal, and Tibet were all very influential in Isaac’s understanding of white supremacy and imperialism. Isaac first met Catalyst Project members in New Orleans in an anti-racist training where he participated in his first ever caucus of white people talking about racism. There, he also met Critical Resistance (CR), where he has been a member for the last 6 years. As a part of CR, Isaac has worked to stop gang injunctions and other racist policing measures in Oakland; to fight against prison and jail expansion across California; to abolish solitary confinement and support prisoner hunger strikes; and to work for a world where all communities have basic needs such as housing, food, healthcare, dignity, love, and the power to make decisions that influence their lives. He recently worked at Resource Generation to move large amounts of resources out of rich communities and into grassroots movements and social programs. Isaac participated in the Anne Braden Program in 2009, and as a Braden Leadership Team member in 2013. He is a queer, trans, anti-zionist Jew, a beginning rock-climber, an introvert Leo, and a giant nerd.
MOLLY MCCLURE first became politicized through queer, feminist, and global justice organizing in the 90s in the Pacific Northwest, and spent most of the early 2000s teaching sex education in Philadelphia public schools. After organizing with Catalyst Project in post-Katrina New Orleans, Molly was recruited to join the Catalyst staff in 2006 to help develop and run the Anne Braden Program. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Molly works with Causa Justa :: Just Cause, an organization mobilizing working class communities of color against displacement, and was a key editor of the book Toward Collective Liberation. Molly has two young kids and likes to nerd out about anti-imperialist parenting, transformative organizing, and where to go on full moon hikes.
Rahula Janowski was born on a commune and grew up poor in rural, economically depressed Northern Vermont. She moved to California in the early 90’s and became involved in direct action organizing and activism, primarily with Food Not Bombs and Earth First! For most of the 90’s Rahula was involved in direct action, anarchist based organizing on the west coast. Following the global justice movement’s shut down of the World Trade Organization in Seattle, November 1999, during which she coordinated the legal support office, like many of her anarchist comrades Rahula sought to increase her knowledge and skills around anti-racist organizing. She participated in the Challenging White Supremacy workshops, and then, following the attacks of September 11, joined the Heads Up Collective, an organization of white anti-racists focused on solidarity with organizations of people of color and on supporting anti-racist development among white activists and organizers. As a member of Heads Up, Rahula focused on Palestine Solidarity work and developing Heads Up’s vision and strategy with an emphasis on developing and supporting white working class leadership. Rahula has worked closely with the Catalyst Project for years, in sister organizations such as the Heads Up Collective and through supporting the Anne Braden program as a mentor to participants and as a member of the Braden Leadership Team. Rahula enjoys talking about race, power, and anti-racism in unexpected places, like her child’s school’s PTA, the grocery check out line, or in her spiritual community. She is a trained mediator and facilitator and enjoys group process and working collectively to engage and resolve conflict. She enjoys doing crafts with her excellent 12 year old, reading liberatory speculative fiction, smashing the patriarchy, growing plants, and long walks on the beach.
WILL DOMINIE has spent the last decade working for environmental, racial, economic and gender liberation. Will was a participant in Catalyst Project’s first Anne Braden Anti-Racist Training Program in 2008 and helped to lead the program in 2013 before joining staff. In recent years, Will has been a nerd for justice, researching, writing, facilitating, and educating for the Los Angeles Bus Riders Union, Causa Justa :: Just Cause, Urban Habitat, and of course, the Catalyst Project. He also works to lovingly smash hetero-patriarchy and build community accountability in practice.