Prior to coming aboard, he most recently served as the African American Outreach Director for Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential race. Prior to his year with Sanders, Marcus was a well known general consultant working races in the Southeast, the Southwest and Chicago. Self-identifying as a community mobilizer, Marcus has successfully worked a long string of social and economic justice issues including movements against Florida’s Stand Your Ground laws, the ‘Free Marissa Alexander’ movement and multiple actions protesting fatal police shooting of unarmed black men around the country.
His main professional focus is on political empowerment, which directly led him to being invited as a facilitator of the 2014 Congressional Black Caucus Institute bootcamp. Ten different graduates from that class would go on to win their elections in the next cycle.
Marcus’ main goal as a political consultant is to get more women and people of color elected to public office. Marcus was born and raised in Tallahassee, where he attended the Florida A&M University and is a U.S. Navy veteran where he was a corpsman. He is currently living with his beautiful wife, Dr. Karmella Haynes-Ferrell who specializes in synthetic biology, in Phoenix, AZ. The couple has two dogs, Starbuck who is a mutt and Barkley who is a blue-nosed pit bull.
For over twelve years, Ben has worked as an activist, organizer, advocate and operative. With experience working directly with local governments, candidates and elected officials, Ben has a wealth of knowledge in the mechanics as well as the organics of how public policy is influenced, changed or enacted. Politically, Ben has served in elected and appointed roles within the Democratic Party, is currently a member of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida and Progressive Democrats of America. As a Grant Administrator, Ben has managed over $34,000,000 in federal and state funds.
With a focus on Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Ben helped launch and manage the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP1 and NSP3) in several entitlement counties and cities in Florida. He provided technical support to eight non-entitlement local governments as a consultant for the State of Florida.
His experience includes a breadth of technical writing experience. Having authored dozens of proposals to local, state and federal governments, Ben has a depth of knowledge of the procurement process. As a Grant Writer, Ben contributed to various grants for local and state governments as well as institutional, foundation and corporate funding sources. Ben drafted the state fair housing plan as part of Florida’s 2010 and 2015 Consolidated Plan.
Ben’s political experience spans over a decade. From Volunteer to Campaign Manager, Ben has worked on local, state and federal campaigns. His organizer training came from institutional sources, but was exercised in efforts like Jacksonville for Obama, Occupy Wall Street, and Jacksonville for Bernie. He served as a founding member of various 501(c)4 organizations as an advocate for specific issues.
As a social media presence, Ben is known as benAmerica and is popular for his use of memes and talent in creating targeted interactions.
Anoa Changa is an attorney in the Greater Atlanta Metropolitan area. She is the proud mother of two. Anoa holds a Master in City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University as well as a Juris Doctorate from West Virginia University College of Law where she was a W.E.B Dubois fellowship recipient. Aside from her life as an attorney, Anoa is a growing presence in the world of independent progressive media. She is a contributor to The Benjamin Dixon Show and editor at large for the Progressive Army Blog. She also hosts The Way with Anoa, a weekly talk show that focuses on politics, news, and community engagement.
Taylor-Ryan Nedd grew up in Detroit, Michigan, where she began to take an interest in politics at an early age. In high school, she was appointed the Michigan High School Caucus Chair for the Young Democrats of Michigan. Along with interning on local, state, and presidential campaigns, Taylor-Ryan earned her degree in Political Science at the University of Michigan in 2015.
After graduating, Taylor-Ryan worked as a contracted researcher for the Detroit Income Tax Department. This position revealed to her how ordinary residents were being held responsible for paying their fair share of taxes, while corporations were not. This inspired her to begin working on the Bernie Sanders Presidential campaign. She traveled across the country, working in six states doing organizing and African American Outreach. A highlight of this experience was Senator Sanders winning her home state of Michigan in an upset victory.
Shortly after the primary elections came to an end, Taylor-Ryan returned to the community that she organized for previously in California to work on one of the most competitive Congressional races in the country. The Nanette Barragán Congressional Campaign struggled with an underdeveloped field program and a lack of resources. Additionally, her opponent had far outspent her with money from corrupt oil companies looking to buy the election. After starting from virtually nothing, Taylor-Ryan build a well-oiled field operation by incorporating new technology that was unknown prior to the Bernie Sanders campaign. Taylor-Ryan was able to facilitate Nanette Barragán’s endorsement by the progressive organization started by Bernie Sanders, Our Revolution. The additional funds gave Barragán the competitive edge she needed over her well known, establishment opponent. The results were staggering. In another upset victory, Nanette Barragán won the seat by a razor-thin margin. Taylor-Ryan was one of the youngest Field Directors to run a successful Congressional campaign, especially given the majority Republican results from election night.
Taylor-Ryan currently lives in Maryland and is continuing to work with activists across the country to bring about social justice and sustainable progress. Although she has had a very active start to her political career, she knows that her work is far from over and is looking forward to changing the political process to give more disadvantaged progressive candidates elected to office.
Briana’s desire to represent workers and unions began in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan. She graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California in 2012 with Bachelor of Arts degree in both Diplomacy & World Affairs and Urban & Environmental Policy. She received her Juris Doctorate from Cornell Law School in Ithaca, NY, where she was a member of the school’s Mock Trial Team and Senior Articles Editor of the Journal of Law and Public Policy.
While at Cornell, Briana served as a full-time Extern for Nancy J. Schiffer, National Labor Relations Board Member in Washington, D.C. and as a law clerk for the labor law firm of Cohen, Weiss & Simon, LLP in New York, NY. Also, she took classes at Cornell’s School of Industrial Labor Relations and graduated with a concentration in Advocacy. In addition, she traveled to Haiti to assist the international labor organization’s effort to enforce international wage and working-condition policies.
She moved to Florida to become an associate for the labor law firm of Mierzwa and Floyd, in order to represent public sector unions. As the current Labor Caucus Chair of the Young Democrats of America, she developed personal relationships with unions and enjoyed the opportunity to interact with workers directly and in which at that time she realized she was missing that direct interaction aspect as an attorney. She wanted to be pro-active rather than reactive and be boots on the ground verse helping from her ivory tower. So she shifted from being legal to political. She led protests with United Auto Workers in solidarity with the disenfranchised workers at Nissan USA plant in Canton Mississippi. Traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to assist American Federation of Teachers to get out the vote. Drafted and passed a resolution in Florida supporting the Fight for 15 efforts which urged all Democrats to stand alongside workers by supporting legislation that ensures every Floridian has the right to earn a livable wage. Then she took one step further by joining the Hillary Clinton’s presidential race in August 2016 to try to get the woman in office to sign the $15 minimum wage law that would come across the desk.
During Hillary Clinton’s campaign she recruited and trained volunteers to register voters. She cultivated relationships with the county Democratic party, community leaders, and local unions to maximize constituency turnout. She executed Get-Out-The-Vote efforts including canvassing and phonebanking to effectively increase voter turnout by 5% in Broward County. She also worked extensively with VAN to support a data driven and metrics-based campaign, ensured data quality, cut turf, and crated virtual phone banks.
Prior to joining the team Michael has spent his life pursuing a variety of interests. He is originally from the Michigan after completing his B.S in Biochemistry spent time teaching English in China. In China he began to understand the concept of a global citizen and what being an active member of a comment means. After returning from China he spent several years in Ohio.
While in Ohio he developed an interest in environmental issues around the country. This lead him to travel to Arizona State University to pursue a graduate degree. While in Arizona he was introduced to organizing through the death of Michael Brown Jr. Worried about the safety of his family he decided to get involved. He split his time between pursuing his Master’s degree and learning the hard skills of organizing. He is passionate about representation in the halls of decision making and he thinks it’s imperative that we take an active role in engaging in the communities in which we live.
Sabur joins MPACT after more than a decade of service in New Jersey’s government, political, and nonprofit sectors. He brings a wealth of legal knowledge and operations experience in advising political and advocacy organizations. Sabur is known for his ability to operationalize statewide advocacy models. In addition to his advocacy work, Sabur is a passionate educator. He teaches Business Law in the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and Rutgers Law School.