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.
ISAAC LEV SZMONKO grew up in Waltham, Massachusetts in Wampanoag territory and has lived in Oakland in Chochenyo Ohlone territory since 2008. His early politicization was around feminism, and he owes a lot of his joy and pleasure to queer and trans liberation movements. 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, as is Palestinian liberation struggle. Much of Isaac’s organizing and grassroots graduate school happened in movements to abolish imprisonment and policing, including as a former member of Critical Resistance. He’s also worked in and alongside Resource Generation for many years to redistribute wealth from rich communities into grassroots movements and social programs.He participated in the Anne Braden Program in 2009, and as a Braden Leadership Team member in 2013, and has been a member of Catalyst since 2014. He is a white, Jewish, queer, middle class, trans guy, a writer, an introvert Leo, a poetry lover, an outdoor adventurer, a dog person, 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.
LEE GARGAGLIANO joins Catalyst Project after serving on the Anne Braden ProgramLeadership Team in spring of 2018. Much of Lee’s political work has been focused in the struggle for justice for Palestinians. As an organizer with the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Networkbased in Chicago and the Bay Area, Lee contributed to campaigns working to expose the settler-colonial nature of Zionism and its ties with US imperialism, as well as its cooptation of Jewish histories of oppression and resistance. He came to the struggle against Zionism after growing up in a radical, secular, Ashkenazi, Yiddishkite community that taught him to draw on those Jewish legacies that stand against oppression and with collective liberation.
Additionally, Lee is an adult educator working with high school equivalency and English language students, helping them to realize their educational goals and recognize their own capabilities. He loves to learn from, be inspired by, and support growth for people who have been pushed to the margins and want to improve their lives through education and self-knowledge.
Lee is a pizzabagel from Brooklyn who has strong opinions about both pizza and bagels. His politics were shaped by his parents who were politically active with People Against White Supremacy (PAWS) in the 1980s, and his mom was a part of Womansong, a feminist chorus. Lee is an avid soccer player and member/player of Left Wing FC.