Faith in New York Staff

 

Rev. Brian Ellis-Gibbs
Interim Executive Director
Brian Ellis-Gibbs believes that faith-rooted communities are being called to reclaim their prophetic role as proponents for social justice, freedom and equality. In preparation to respond to the call of activism and advocacy, he received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Morehouse College and his Masters of Divinity degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He trained in community organizing with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), in faith-rooted organizing by PICO National Network, and prophetic justice as a former Faith and Justice Fellow with the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA).

As a clergy leader with Faith in New York (FiNY) since it’s early years in 2010 as Queens Congregations United for Action, Brian has participated in campaigns for economic equity, such as, affordable housing, living wages, and just economic recovery plan in the rebuilding of NYC following Hurricane Sandy. He has been involved in campaigns working towards ending gun violence, confronting climate/environmental injustice, and protecting the rights of immigrants. He has served as a board member for FiNY and Clergy United for Community Empowerment.

In his commitment to faith, education and social justice, Brian Ellis-Gibbs previously worked as a Faith-Based Community Engagement Coordinator for FPWA and currently serves as Pastor of Queens Baptist Church in Queens Village, New York, which he has been serving for more than 13 years. He served in the role of adjunct faculty professor with the University of Phoenix and presently facilitates classes as adjunct faculty for the Certificate in Ministry program with the New York Theological Seminary.

Analisa Freitas
Climate Justice & Bronx Organizer
Analisa earned her Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies at Sarah Lawrence College and Lehman College. She studied sociology and anthropology at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú where after she returned to the United States committed to developing grassroots leadership in Latino communities. Analisa has worked as a Community Organizer for the Tuolumne River Trust, an East Coast Coordinator of Latino Outdoors, and a Project Coordinator of Voces Verdes.
You can follow her on Twitter @FINYAnalisa.

Gregory HalzenGregory Halzen
Immigrant Justice Organizer
Greg organizes with the campaign for immigrant justice efforts as well as offering white faith leader anti-racism organizing support. He is from New Mexico and Maryland. Greg taught in NYCDOE middle school bilingual programs for 7 years. His focus shifted to organizing after a school program serving low-income, immigrant families was closed without considering parent feedback. Greg has grown in faith as a member of Nazarene Congregational UCC, collaborating with neighbors in organizing an ecumenical intentional Christian community in Brooklyn, and then first worked with Faith in New York on anti-gentrification efforts.
You can follow him Twitter @FINYGregory.

M. Leslie Marguerite Leslie
Fundraising Consultant
Marguerite was born in San Francisco and raised in New York with a short stint in Mississippi. Marguerite graduated from Adelphi University with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and has used her writing skills as a freelance writer in various capacities for artists, educators, and other professionals over the past ten years. She's proud to count women of color as her primary clientele including doctoral students and graduates and an Academy award winning filmmaker. Marguerite comes to Faith in New York after working on grants for artists and as a grant writer for the Learning Disabilities Association of NYC (LDA-NYC). As a fundraising consultant with Faith in New York, Marguerite writes grants and assists with development in support of FINY's larger goal of engaging faith communities in transformative change for our neighborhoods.

C. WalthallCrystal Walthall
Program Associate & Internship Coordinator
Crystal is a native of East New York, Brooklyn and former NYCDOE U.S. History teacher of 5 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Binghamton University and a Master of Arts in Social Studies Education from Hunter College. She has been involved in the work of education and advocacy for over 10 years. Crystal is committed to work around youth empowerment, college and career initiatives, socio-economic inequality in Black and Latinx communities, and immigration reform with the National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC). In addition, Crystal uses her love for music and poetry to create opportunities to intersect social justice advocacy with the creative arts.

S. MorseStanley Morse
Long Island City & Astoria Organizer

Growing up in the Lafayette Gardens housing complex in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, Stan was immediately exposed to the challenges of poverty, racial inequality and gang violence. However, from an early age, basketball provided Stan a refuge from his environment. After winning a city championship at Murray Bergtraum High School, Stan won a scholarship to Lafayette College, in Easton PA, where he immediately got involved in the anti-Apartheid movement and other activist activities. Returning to Bedford Stuyvesant after college continued his activism, working with organizations fighting against the crack epidemic. In 1992, he launched an unsuccessful race for the 28th district City Council seat in Bedford Stuyvesant, running with the New Alliance Party. In recent years Stan was worked as a Community Organizer with Students First where he focused on the historically failing schools in minority neighborhoods. After watching the gentrification of Bedford Stuyvesant, and so many other neighborhoods throughout the city, Stan is excited to join the fight for affordable housing with the staff of Faith In New York.

C. ReyesCarla Reyes
Immigrant Justice NYIC Fellow

Carla Reyes has worked in the healthcare industry since she began college. She thought dentistry was her number one career, but after studying criminal justice at QCC, then transferring to John Jay college to study Political Science, she finally knew what she really wanted to do. Carla has worked as a social media coordinator for the Federal Institute of Mexico promoting and circulating information regarding the right to vote for Mexican citizens living abroad. As a political Science student, Carla learned that real change never occurs top-down, but always from the bottom-up. This is why she decided to commit to a year of service as an Americorps and start her career as an organizer and change lives in the nonprofit world. She hopes this new chapter will make a difference in the communities she will be serving at FINY, as well as her career. She is grateful to be part of the growing and powerful family at Faith in New York.

Sonya Joseph
Brooklyn and South East Queens Organizer
Sonya Joseph was born in Toronto and raised in East New York by parents of Caribbean decent. At an early age, Sonya has developed a deep devotion to developing solutions to address racial inequality through politics, law and civil rights advocacy. It is her life's mission to empower disenfranchised communities of color and to combat systems of racial inequality. She is an Alumna of Brooklyn College, where she received her Bachelors in Political Science and Africana Studies in 2016. Sonya was first to exposed to organizing through a deep commitment to civic engagement and local politics. In 2011 she interned at the district office with NYC Council Member Jumaane Williams in 2011 & in 2012 took on the Senior Intern position and managed 6 interns at the City Hall Office. Upon graduation, Sonya completed over 1700 hours of service with National Americorps Organization, Public Allies; in supplement to an apprenticeship with the Center for Neighborhood Leadership, where she worked as a Tenants Rights Organizer in effort to combat gentrification in Brooklyn. Sonya most recently has served as Deputy Campaign Manager on a NYC Council Candidate's campaign in 2017.

Frangelin Pozo

Frangelin Pozo is a proud Afro-Latinx who was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is a proud daughter of immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic, The Reverend Canon Dr. Francisco Pozo, and community organizer and activist Angelin Pozo. Frangelin was born and raised in a family whose values focused around social justice through faith ministries. Frangelin volunteered at Christ Community Center in Trenton, NJ for over 10 years, serving the community around many various resources including a food bank, youth ministries, and pro-bono legal services. Frangelin was called to this work of immigrant justice ministry and has dedicated her life to protect and fight for her community in particular, youth and womyn of color. Two of her biggest passions are immigrant justice and youth. Frangelin has served as the Youth Group Director at Cristo Rey since she was 18 years old as well as an Adult Youth Council Advisor for the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey Youth Council. She has organized with New Jersey United Students to help pass New Jersey Tuition Equity Bill for Dreamers in 2014, to ensure that undocumented students were eligible to apply for instate tuition rates. Frangelin has organized with various organizations in the Bay Area of California, New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia, PA, around mass incarceration with Oakland Community Organizations, youth justice with Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, police brutality with Black Lives Matter, student rights with United States Students Association, labor justice with Working Families, and faith organizing around police brutality with Anti-Racism Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey.

Board of Directors

Executive Team

Co-Chairs

Bishop James I. Clark Jr., Christ Temple Church of the Apostolic Faith
Father Darrell DaCosta, Our Lady of Fatima RCC
Darnel Lyles, Christ Church International
Alma Reyes, St. Leo Catholic Church

Secretary

Sharon Hayes, Christ Temple Church of the Apostolic Faith

Treasurer

Mavis Hall, First Baptist Church of East Elmhurst

Board of Directors

Rev. Dr. Arthur Davenport, First Church of God Far Rockaway
Kercena Dozier, First Corinthian Baptist Church & NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS)
Susan Kane, Reform Temple of Forest Hills
Sister Joan Klimski, St. Christopher's Catholic Church
Min. Yvonne Rankine, World Harvest Deliverance Center
Elaine Short, Mount Carmel Baptist Church
Rev. Marie Tatro, Episcopal Diocese of Long Island & The Messengers of Justice Project
Manuel Umana, St. Mary Star of the Sea & St. Gertrude