2017 Camp Workshop Facilitator Bio's

Below are some of the amazing friends, collaborators and mentors that Backbone is thrilled to have joining us at this year's Localize This! Action Camp. Be sure to check out the awesome team from Center for Sustainable Economy below. Many more friends not listed here you'll have to meet in person!

You can find a schedule for many of the workshops offered at camp HERE

Coming for a day, a couple days, or the full week? - Click HERE to Apply Today!

Are you a member of the Lumbar Club or do you Volunteer at our art builds? - Click here to come for some select workshops


Don't forget to apply for camp at LocalizeThis.org!


JENNA PETERS-GOLDEN is offering workshops on Anti-Oppression practices, Resisting Divide & Conquer Tactics and Training for Trainers.

Jenna Peters-GoldenJenna Peters-Golden is an organizer, trainer, anti-Zionist Jewish rabble-rouser and artist with an inexhaustible amount of energy for exploring, taking things apart, and putting them back together. Firmly planted in West Philadelphia, Jenna was raised in southeastern Michigan. Politicized around the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2001, she came out of her shell by way of youth-led anti-war organizing. As national intern for the Young Democratic Socialists of America, Jenna became committed to radical participatory democracy in all of its forms.

She has organized regionally and nationally for the new Students for a Democratic Society, the Rainforest Action Network and Student Environmental Action Coalition around PowerShift. She has been inspired by working with organizations like Casino Free Philadelphia and the Ruckus Society, and is a member of the political study group Marginal Notes. Jenna is also a core member of Philly Stands Up, a transformative justice collective. In 2010, Jenna was a recipient of the the Leeway Foundation’s Art and Change grant.

Jenna also served as a track coordinator for the Growing Safer Communities Track at the 2011 Allied Media Conference. Jenna has presented at events such as the U.S. Social Forum 2010, NASCO Institute, Communities United Against Violence’s Safety Fest 2011, and the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy 2011.

Gedden is the Lead Climb and Blockades Trainer. He's offering workshops on Aerial Blockades, Constructing and Mobilizing Technical Blockades, Tactical Communications, Tripod Blockades and more.

gedden.jpgGedden has been climbing absurd things for well over a decade and has engaged in forest defense on multiple continents. He formed the Earth First Climbers Guild to help standardize climb safety protocols for direct action climbers and has published several texts related to direct action climbing. He has done trainings for numerous groups including Earth First, Greenpeace, and Ruckus. When not teaching others to ascend to the heavens, he spends his time composing ecocentric cascadian black metal. Gedden helped train and mobilize the Tar Sands Blockade.


Mary Lou Finley is a Backbone Board Member and is offering a workshop on the Movement Action Planning model for Social Movement Organizing

mlfinley_headshot.jpgMary Lou Finley has recently retired as professor emeritus from Antioch University Seattle, having taught Sociology and public health. She has a range of interests, including social movements and nonviolence studies, social change, poverty and homelessness, and race, class, and gender studies, the sociology of health and illness, globalization and development in the global South, health issues in developing countries, and the history and spiritual traditions of India.

She has been active in many social movements including environmental, women's, labor, civil rights and racial justice. She is a coauthor of Doing Democracy: the MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements, and has published work on the civil rights movement, access to health care and issues in higher education. Her professional experience includes work with community organizing and social-service organizations, particularly organizations serving the needs of homeless women. Her New Book is The Chicago Freedom Movement: Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Activism in the North (Civil Rights and Struggle)


Amanda Schemkes is a Community Supported Organizer and is offering workshops on Know Your Rights for Activists, Strategic Design for Corporate Pressure Campaigns (when asking nicely isn't enough) and Security Culture.

AmandaAmanda Schemkes is a grassroots organizer and a lawyer who provides legal support to activists, frontline communities, and political prisoners. Amanda decided to become a lawyer because of her experiences in the animal liberation movement, through which she saw a need for legal support that is grounded in solidarity and resistance. She has traveled throughout the country to work with people who are fighting to protect the earth and its inhabitants. 

For the last ten years, Amanda has been engaged in activism in the animal liberation movement—which has been her foundation for becoming an organizer. Before long, Amanda was drawn into campaign organizing, with the most notable part (so far) of that being her work as a founder and co-organizer of the No New Animal Lab campaign. The campaign became the biggest campaign in the grassroots animal liberation movement in over a decade, which included people participating in over a dozen U.S. cities as well as internationally, marches of hundreds of people, a lawsuit that changed the practices of the University of Washington Board of Regents, national media coverage, and networking/speaking tours throughout the U.S. and Europe. Amanda dreams about how to save the world… taking care of each other, building community and networks, developing strategic campaigns, offering radical legal support, challenging the narrative of the status quo, and looking towards a future of building our movements into being even stronger and more powerful forces.



Daniel Lee is offering workshops on Personhood and Power, Rights and Racism and How to Make an Action Video.

Daniel Lee has been a member of the Move to Amend National Leadership Team since 2012. He is currently the Program Manager for the James Lawson Institute which teaches nonviolent civil resistance. He has worked as an organizer for Americans for Democratic Action, the Los Angeles County Federation and Community Coalition in Los Angeles. Daniel is a veteran of the United States Air Force and Air National Guard, and has participated in Occupy encampments across the country as well as done community organizing locally in Los Angeles. He has also served locally on the Culver City Martin Luther King jr. Celebration Committee, and volunteers with El Rincon Elementary.


meg_wade_headshot.jpgMeg Wade is offering a workshop on Facilitating Challenging Conversations

Meg Wade is currently the Movement Building Organizer with 350 Seattle. She also serves on the Advisory Board for the Participatory Budgeting Project, and has been involved in numerous efforts for local democracy and economic and environmental justice. Some of her past projects include helping found a union for graduate student workers and hiking 200 miles against a proposed pipeline in Southern Oregon.



Elizabeth Lakes is offering workshops on Non-Violent Direct Action, Aerial Blockades / Climbing, Kayaktivism and Action Planning.


Elizabeth Lakes is an environmental educator with her heart in the Great Lakes region! She supports communities defending themselves from unconventional resource extraction by teaching direct action skills and facilitating workshops. She's excited about making these skills accessible, especially to women. Elizabeth has worked with direct action campaigns from Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands stopping line 6B, to Deep Water Earth First against Fracking, mineral rights auctions in Michigan, also Shell to Sea in which Irish farmers have been fighting a Shell natural gas pipeline, to assisting Burmese refugees and migrants with funding in Thailand, to the Tar Sands Blockade stopping the Keystone XL Pipeline in East Texas. She also introduces people to healing aspects of nature and the potential for non-hierarchical organization as an outdoor educator facilitating team building courses at the Adventure Centre at Pretty Lake, in Mattawan, Michigan. Backbone was thrilled to have Lakes join the victorious sHellNo campaign to stop Arctic Drilling as a lead kayaktivist trainer and as a organizer of the 2015 LocalizeThis! Action Camp.


Beverly Naidus and Carol Rashawnna Williams of ARTifACTs are offering the workshop “We Almost Didn’t Make It” that deals with our uncertainties about the future from the perspective of our descendants.

Beverly_Naidus_PastedGraphic-1.jpegBeverly Naidus is an interdisciplinary artist, activist and educator, known for her interactive, site-specific installations to provoke dialog and storytelling.  Inspired by lived experience, topics in her artwork include environmental illness, climate change, unemployment, the alienation of consumer culture, nuclear nightmares, body hate, cultural identity, visions for the future and global justice. She has exhibited her work, guest lectured and led workshops all over North America and in Europe. Her work has been discussed in many journals and books. She is the author of Arts for Change: Teaching Outside the Frame, a narrative collage that explores the motivations for teaching and making art for social change and includes the stories of 33 other practitioners. She has been a teaching artist in several New York City museums and a visiting artist/lecturer at Carleton College, Goddard College, Hampshire College and the Institute for Social Ecology. She has had tenure at California State University, Long Beach and the University of Washington, Tacoma. She facilitates a unique, interdisciplinary, socially engaged, studio art curriculum at the latter campus.  Her collective, ARTifACTs, is developing a series of collaborative and interactive projects with the theme, “We Almost Didn’t Make It” that deals with our uncertainties about the future from the perspective of our descendants.  Her website is www.beverlynaidus.net


Carol_PastedGraphic-2.jpegCarol Rashawnna Williams is a visual artist, a consultant, and a musician. Carol is particularly interested in art as a pro-active agent for change. She "utilizes art as the underlying 'tool' and catalyst to create powerful 'moments' of change, inspiration and clarity, within groups and individuals...the starting point in which foundations are laid.” She has a Masters degree from Antioch University, Seattle, and a BFA from Evergreen State. She mentors youth as a teaching artist. She is a co-founder of the Race & Climate Justice group in Seattle and a member of the ARTifACTs collective that is developing projects that address social injustices and climate change issues. 



Amanda Blaine is offering workshops on Non-Violent Communication, Speaking Your Truth To Power (Building Youth Power to Take Action Despite Institutionalized Agism Oppression), Radical Consent: Protecting Your "Yes" with a Powerful "No," and Anti-Ractist Organzing without enemy images.

Amanda has two decades of experience working with youth and adults to help groups achieve their highest purpose.  As a public middle and high school teacher, she used restorative practices to help her students thrive individually and as a community.  For many years, she facilitated dialogue at Seeds of Peace International Camp, where she supported young people from conflict regions, including racially and economically diverse American youth and Pakistani, Indian, and Afghan youth.  She helps groups work together better, both from an interpersonal approach and a structural level. She also works one-on-one with leaders to support them in thriving personally and professionally. She's passionate about creating a world that works for everyone. Her work draws on Nonviolent Communication, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Family Constellations, mindfulness, Holacracy, Reinventing Organizations, and Critical Oppression Theory and is always learning something new!


Jim Diers is offering a workshop on Building Power Through Assets-Based Community Organizing

jim2.jpegJim Diers has a passion for getting people engaged with their communities and in the decisions that affect their lives. Since moving to Seattle in 1976, he put that passion to work for a direct-action neighborhood association, a community development corporation, a community foundation, and the nation's largest health care cooperative. He was appointed the first director of Seattle's Department of Neighborhoods in 1988 where he served under three mayors over the next 14 years.

Currently, Jim teaches courses in community organizing and development at the University of Washington and serves on the faculty of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute. He travels internationally to deliver speeches, present workshops, and provide technical assistance to community associations, non-profit organizations, and government.

Jim received a BA and an honorary doctorate from Grinnell College. His work in the Department of Neighborhoods was recognized with an Innovations Award from the Kennedy School of Government, a Full Inclusion Award from the American Association on Developmental Disabilities, and the Public Employee of the Year Award from the Municipal League of King County. Jim's book, Neighbor Power: Building Community the Seattle Way, is available in both English and Chinese editions.


Fatmeh.jpgDr. Fatmeh Kassme is offering a workshop on "The Way Out Is In" - Healing the Fragmentation from Ourselves and Others.

Dr. Fatmeh Kassme is a lecturer at both Achva College and Sakhnin Teachers Training College (only for Arab students). She also teaches at a high school in Rahat, the biggest Bedouin town in the Negev., Israel. She received her doctorate from the Department of Behavioral Science at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Dr. Kassem has a deep interest in gender studies and peace pedagogy. Her most recent book is "Palestinian Women: Narrative Histories and Gendered Memories". Currently she is visited the northwest and giving presentations on Vashon, in Seattle and Tacoma.


Bill Moyer is offering workshops on Grand Strategy, Drumming for Demonstrations, Solutionary Organizing, and more!


Bill Moyer co-founded the Backbone Campaign in 2003 with friends from an artist affinity group. He has dual and intersecting paths as both an activist and artist. His involvement with social change work stretches back to the 80's, when as a student he was deeply involved in the anti-nuclear movement and the anti-interventionist movement. After a few years of studying political science and American philosophy at Seattle University, Bill went to Big Mountain to assist Dineh elders refusing to relocate off their traditional land, attended the Institute for Social Ecology, and briefly lived on an organic vegetable farm in Vermont.

On returning to the Pacific NW to live on Vashon Island, activism was replaced with performance and study of music as a percussionist and sound designer. The G.W. Bush administration inspired him to apply lessons of the arts to social change. Backbone Campaign has been a vehicle for much growth and Bill has emerged as a leader in the theory and practice of "artful activism." He designs and produces creative political actions and provides trainings in grand strategy and creative tactics around the country.


Riki Ott is offering a workshop on Building Giant Inflatable Puppets, Stitching and Exploring the democracy crisis & activating system change.


Riki Ott, PhD, is a marine toxicologist and former Alaska commercial fisher ma’am who experienced the trauma and devastation of the Exxon Valdez oil spill firsthand. This became a vehicle for personal growth and her work in front-line communities to increase public awareness of the enormous socio-economic costs of our oil dependency. In 2015, she received the Grace Lee Boggs Award from the Make It Safe Coalition for her work empowering people to have a voice in energy choices in their own backyard. She directs two projects for the Earth Island Institute: UltimateCivics.org towards a healthy democracy; and AlertProject.org towards a healthy energy future.


Nick Caleb, Akash Singh, and Daphne Wysham of the Center for Sustainable Economy and SEEN are offering workshops on Equity & Environmental Justice, U.S. & International Environmental Law & Politics, hosting the Climate Action in the Pacific Northwest & Worldwide Panel in conjunction with Graham Clumpner of Our Children's Trust, and convening Young Activists for Climate Action Campaign Strategy Sessions.


Nick Caleb ​is Staff Attorney at the Center for Sustainable Economy, providing legal counsel for the Climate Justice Program. Nick graduated with an LL.M. from Tilberg University in The Netherlands after receiving a J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law. Nick is active locally in Portland, Oregon policy-making​, with a particular focus on ​environmental justice, sustainable cities and issues around the commons. Formerly with “Neighbors for Clean Air” and “Our Children’s Trust,” Nick helped launch the Youth Climate Action Now (YouCAN) campaign. This campaign is a continuation of an effort that began with energetic youth in Eugene who organized to persuade the Eugene City Council to pass the country’s first binding climate recovery ordinance, committing city planning and policy to a science-based, community-wide greenhouse gas reduction goal of 350 parts per million of CO2, the level deemed “safe” by climate scientists.


Akash_-_17953004_1476880415696806_8593640964159302086_n-300x300.jpgAkash Singh is the Climate Justice Youth Organizer for the Center for Sustainable Economy. He is a Post-Baccalaureate student in the Biology Department at Portland State University and an atmospheric research scientist at STAR Research Labs. An Environmental Justice Organizer with Neighbors for Clean Air, Singh also represents Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility on the One Oregon Coalition.

As a member of the Climate Action Network through the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Singh recently completed a year-long research project on the chemical components of black carbon, its interaction with other chemicals and toxins, and its effects on human cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. Singh was also a leading organizer for the Portland March for Science, which drew a crowd of 15,000 Portlanders in support of scientific truth.

In January, Singh was appointed to represent the Environmental Justice Task Force and the NAACP on Governor Kate Brown’s Cleaner Air Oregon Task Force along with the President of the NAACP – Portland branch, JoAnn Hardesty. He is fighting to create a robust regulatory framework on industrial toxins and ensure cleaner air for all Oregonians. As a passionate advocate for environmental justice, the protection of public health, and action on climate change, he is thrilled to be bringing the next generation onboard this critical fight.


Daphne_great-lakes.jpgDaphne Wysham is leading CSE’s Climate Justice Program. A founder and director of the Sustainable Energy & Economy Network in 1996, Daphne has worked for several decades on research and advocacy at the intersection of climate change, human rights, fossil fuels, international finance, carbon markets and sustainable economies. Her path-breaking research and advocacy has resulted in shifts in public policy and investment at the national and international level. 

Her writings, commentary and analysis have appeared in national news publications and on radio and TV, including The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The Washington PostGristThe GuardianThe Nation, The Financial TimesThe Huffington Post and on Al JazeeraDemocracy Now!MSNBCBBCNPR, and Marketplace, among others. For 8 years, from 2003-2011, she hosted Earthbeat Radio and TV, which focused on the politics of climate change and other environmental issues. Daphne is concurrently an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies where she worked for 20 years. She also is the coordinator of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network.  She is a graduate of Princeton University. Daphne serves on the board of the following organizations: Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth-Nigeria; Nuclear Information and Resource Service; and the Arctic Defense Fund. She also serves on the National Climate Justice Advisory Group for the Unitarian Universalists.

In the aftermath of Portland, Oregon Mayor Charlie Hales’ passage of Portland’s groundbreaking fossil fuel infrastructure policy, Daphne has been organizing civil society groups, mayors and other elected officials in the U.S. and Canada to endorse a platform for no new fossil fuel infrastructure in their jurisdictions.


Peter Hasegawa is offering a workshop on "Community Power Analysis - Understanding who we're up against," and part of the Strategic Campaign Design Panel. 

Peter Hasegawa has experience as a community and union organizer. He has previously worked with SEIU, the Sound Alliance which is part of the Industrial Areas Foundation network, and he is currently the Organizing Director at the Martin Luther King County Labor Council.


Now, more than ever, we need to come together to vision, strategize, and skill-up in order to create the world we yearn for!

Don't miss Localize This! Action Camp. APPLY TODAY!