Center for Participatory Change
Igniting Collective Power. Transforming Systems of Oppression.
Healing in Community.


Andrea Golden - Language Justice Circle

andrea at

Andrea Golden is a popular educator, interpreter and cooperativista. Andrea is a white, queer, cis woman born in Worcester, MA, who grew up all over the United States and moved to Asheville 18 years ago. She is co-founder of Dulce Lomita Mobile Home Cooperative where she lives with her husband, their three children, 16 chickens, and a community that she loves deeply. She co-coordinates the Language Justice Circle.

Tamiko Ambrose Murray - Racial Equity Circle

tamiko at

Tamiko Ambrose Murray, a Black cis woman and mother of two, is a writer, cultural organizer and a community-based researcher. A resident of Asheville, NC for the past 22 years, Tamiko's work for racial equity and social justice is rooted in her belief in the transformative power of arts and culture. Tamiko is co-founder of Asheville Writers in the Schools & Community and "Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jóvenes," a bilingual online arts and culture magazine that is for, and by, youth of color. She serves on the executive committee of Alternate ROOTS, a Southeast regional coalition of artists, activists and cultural workers. She is also Co-Vice President of Asheville City Schools Foundation. At CPC, Tamiko co-coordinates the Racial Equity Circle.

Ada Volkmer - Language Justice Circle

ada at

Ada Volkmer is a native of Mexico who is proud to call the US South her home. Her multicultural, bridge-crossing, code-switching experiences growing up on the US-Mexico border inspire and inform her language justice work. Ada has more than 10 years’ experience interpreting and coordinating interpretation in community-based settings, including interpreting at the Highlander Research and Education Center, the World Social Forum on Migration, and Lánzate. Ada loves fried chicken, cumbia and summer. At CPC, Ada trains interpreters as part of her work co-coordinating the Language Justice Circle.

Becky Brown - Sustainability Circle

becky at

Becky was born and raised in a small rural town in eastern Kentucky. Though she's lived in various places since leaving her hometown, the mountains and people of Appalachia will always be home. Becky moved to Asheville in 2004. She likes to help things grow and this includes plants as well as social movements. She is establishing a small farm and orchard in Madison County, NC and works with other grassroots groups sharing her financial management skills, because she's nerdy like that. At CPC, Becky co-coordinates the Sustainability Circle, keeping up with numbers and being so grateful for CPC's amazing community of supporters.

Erica Johnson - Popular Education Circle

erica at

Erica is a non-binary queer from the tundra of Wisconsin. They have been enjoying Southern organizing (and warmth) since they moved to Asheville in 2014. Erica's introduction to movement work came through environmental justice initiatives in the Great Lakes region as well as organizing for queer justice and prison abolition during their time in college. During the same period, they were knee deep in community-based youth programming. When they were first introduced to popular education through a program called "Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity," Erica knew they had a framework for integrating these two passions. For nearly ten years now, they have been building skills and an identity as a popular educator focused on youth-centered spaces. At CPC, they co-coordinate the Popular Education Circle.

Magaly Urdiales - Sustainability Circle

magaly at

Magaly was born in Peru, South America and has lived in North Carolina since 2006. She began her career as a teacher in 1995 and worked in that profession with much passion for 11 years. Magaly started organizing communities in 1998, while continuing her teaching career. She organized campesino communities in the northern part of Peru to promote economic development through agriculture and literacy with a project called Reflect-Action. Additionally, Magaly works with the WNC Workers’ Center. Along with Magaly’s participation in the Workers’ Center, she co-coordinates CPC’s Sustainability Circle.

Phyllis Utley - Popular Education Circle

phyllis at

Phyllis Utley is an Amerindian Morenita cis woman who spent her childhood growing up in Brooklyn, NY, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and North Carolina. She has been an educator for over 20 years including serving as a Trainer for the National Institute for Literacy, Resource Generation - Make Money Make Change, and the NC Minority Male Mentoring Initiative. Phyllis has been a speaker for SURGE (Students United for a Responsible Global Environment) and has been committed to building a coalition among educational and community groups working for social and economic justice. She has a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Dartmouth College. Phyllis is the delightful daughter of Queen Mother Maggie Belle and is committed to being a Light in the darkness. That’s why it is not surprising that her nickname is Sunshine.

Tami Forte Logan - Racial Equity Circle

tami at

Tami Forte Logan was born in Germany, raised in Virginia, and has resided in Western NC for 30 years. She is a mother and grandmother who now lives in the foothills of Western NC where she enjoys being an empty nester with her husband, John. Her commitment to social justice is rooted in her faith and praxis of racial equity. Tami fosters the healing of both oppression and white supremacy, and believes “If I am unwilling to support the liberation of all humanity, then I will never be free myself.” Tami lives out her passion for both racial justice and reconciliation through facilitating internal and external processes using structural frameworks with grassroots communities, leaders, schools, churches and organizations across North Carolina. At CPC, Tami co-coordinates the Racial Equity Circle and Seeds of Hope.


Elizabet Hinojosa
Libertie Valence
Josue Ortiz
Daniel Suber
Jackie Fitzgerald
Amy Cantrell
Patty Urrutia
Sheneika Smith