Board of Directors
Sara has called Cambridge, MA her home since 2013. She was born in a rural area of Japan, but grew up in two massive cities in South East Asia (Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City). She adores house music, enjoys watching football (soccer) with the people close to her, and is saving up to welcome a dog. She recently received her Ph.D. and now works at a research center studying ways to support young people in their efforts to make the world more beautiful and just. She is a volunteer development coordinator for HEART and uses her skills as a grant writer, data analyst, researcher, and problem solver to support the formation of HEART. Sara is committed to imagining and building alternatives wherever she goes: what could it look like if…?
For 20 years, Cathy (she, her, hers) directed the Cambridge Peace Commission, a department of the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, connecting local concerns of social justice with global peace-making efforts, working with youth, creating justice alternatives to local violence and supporting neighborhoods and communities through circle keeping and promoting restorative justice practices.
She has been a trainer of nonviolence and nonviolent direct action (NVDA) for youth, unions, anti-intervention solidarity workers, community and faith groups and occupy people. For the last 5 years, she has been an on-going NVDA trainer, trainer of trainers for movements ranging from the fight to stop the West Roxbury pipeline and the Poor People's Campaign to the XR campaign to draw attention to the climate emergency.
A Cambridgeport resident for 40 years and Cambridge resident for 62, she has been part of local struggles against neighborhood gentrification, is active with the Cambridge Residents Alliance, was an elected member of Ward 5 Democratic Committee for 20 years, and a board member for the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association.
Cathy has a BA from Brown University in history, a master’s in Counseling/education from Lesley University and an honorary doctorate degree from the Episcopal Divinity School.
Susan J. Ringler
Susan J. Ringler is a climate activist with particular knowledge and interest in plastic. She was raised in Chicago, holds a BA from Harvard, a PhD in Modern European Fiction from Stanford University and worked in the computer industry in California for over 30 years. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts where she is a board member of The Haiti Initiative SUD. Formerly, she was a board member of GreenCambridge, where she used art and street performance to
advocate for re-use of common materials such as cardboard, ceramics, and plastic. Her work in Haiti involves community education and empowerment around plastic pollution: teaching how the trash can be repurposed into usable and useful items. She is also a mosaic artist, turning broken dishes into colorful useful objects, with an eye for color and detail.
Susan draws inspiration from the energy and idealism of young activists, local initiatives that improve the quality of life and foster community and the wisdom of older voices.
Stephanie is a Haiti-born member of the Haitian-American community. She identifies as a cis-woman. Stephanie holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut, master's degree from University of London, SOAS, and is currently a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths, University of London in the Sociology Department. Stephanie Guirand is a gender specialist who identifies as a Black feminist. Her thesis focuses on housing policy, housing transience, and census undercounting among African-descended men who ‘live’ between multiple households. Stephanie is the treasurer of Goldsmiths Racialised Postgraduate Network (GRPN), the secretary of the Board of Directors at AMINGA: Youth Sports Development Program, and a founding member of The Black Response Cambridge that has convened the process for developing the Cambridge HEART.
Aida Manduley, LICSW (they/them & elle/le) is an award-winning Latinx organizer, bilingual clinician, and international presenter known for big earrings and building bridges. Trained as a health educator, social worker, and nonprofit executive, they’re working to make the world a more equitable place and get us all more comfortable with hard conversations. Their 15+ years of training and facilitation experience has yielded a range of successful collaborations with clients ranging from Departments of Health and Ivy League institutions to small grassroots organizations and neighborhood associations. Mx. Manduley is also known for launching Rhode Island's first Sexual Health Education and Advocacy Program housed at a domestic violence agency in 2011, which included groundbreaking data-collection on LGBTQ domestic violence and building the infrastructure to provide on-site HIV testing. Past projects include crisis-response with victims of sexual assault, consulting with state departments on LGBTQ health, and extensive leadership on a number of national and regional coalitions on HIV & STI prevention, BIPOC development, sexuality education, and anti-violence. As a Boston-based therapist, their practice focuses on trauma and communities marginalized due to gender, sexuality, and race. However, they are also devoted to merging clinical acumen with macro efforts through involvement in various projects exploring community-grounded and alternative responses to violence since 2011—including the more recent development of Cambridge HEART and its Mental Health Working Group—as well as the development of clinical treatment guidelines for stigmatized communities.
Betsey Chace (she/her) is a Cambridge community member and parent of two young adults educated in the Cambridge schools. She was raised in the suburbs outside of Boston, has a BA from Wesleyan University in East Asian Studies and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School. Her career has focused on social service and social justice, both locally and internationally, working primarily in grants, finance, budgeting, and program management roles. Most recently, she directs her efforts to ending the harms of prison and policing. She is the treasurer of Cambridge HEART.
My name is Sharay Howard. I am a healthcare professional striving to see beneficial changes made in the field. I have personal experiences with mental health challenges. I have used my own story, struggle and survival over the past few years in order to produce effective counseling, mentoring and maintainable rehabilitating change in the lives of many.
I am a mother of four, with one on the way
I am passionate and hardworking
I am Self-Motivated and a dream Chaser
4+ years ago started the groundwork and research for my Non-Profit Organization “ It’s Okay NOT to be Okay” where I plan to provide the resources to individuals struggling with mental health, substance abuse, sexual abuse, and domestic violence.
Ms. Mejia, long-time Cambridge resident and an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, worked as a Social Worker for the Commonwealth, and as a bilingual and mono-lingual teacher in the Boston Public Schools for many years. She was a co-founder of the Community Academy, a school for non-traditional students, and served as a middle school girls soccer coach. She has Masters in Remedial Education from Cambridge College and a Masters in Bilingual Education from Boston University. Ms. Mejia was in the Haymarket People’s Fund board (Jamaica Plain) and with the Cambridge Women’s Commission, the Affirmative Action Committee and for the CEOC, being the interim director for several months. Ms. Mejia hopes to expand awareness of CIRC among Spanish-speaking communities about the work of CIRC and Cambridge resources for Immigrants.