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The Hamilton-Wenham Human Rights Coalition empowers everyday activists in our community through education, conversation, and action.

 

Together with our neighbors we challenge systemic injustice, demand equality, and celebrate diversity. We strive to build a more equitable society and a sustainable world through the power of universal human rights.

Our Coalition formed after the Solidarity March in Support of the Victims of Racial Violence that took place in Hamilton, MA on June 2, 2020. More than 700 people marched.

Board of Directors

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President
Anna Siedzik

Anna is a lifelong social justice activist with a career rooted in nonprofit management and civic engagement. She earned a B.A. in History from Yale University and a M.A. in Museology from the University of Washington. Originally from Seattle, Anna lives in Hamilton with her family. Her passions are playing soccer, backpacking, collecting passport stamps, and completely disrupting the status quo.

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Vice Treasurer
Kristin Procter

Kristin Procter grew up in Canada, partnered with a Brit, and birthed Australian babies. She is a teacher, a counselor and a writer, who is passionate about gender, sexuality, reproductive health, and education. Hamilton has been her home since 2013, and her favorite places in town are the library and the woods.

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Director
Becky Caponetti

Becky is an artist, activist, mother of two, and recovering high school oddball with a strong dedication to social justice. The HWHRC is a passion project that grew out of her initial organizing of the Solidarity March in June 2020.  Becky is an active council member of the Hamilton-Wenham Mother's Club and has volunteered for multiple non-profits, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She also co-founded Action Together Massacuhsetts, a group of politically active women who organized after the 2016 election. Becky loves Goldfish Crackers, hates pizza, and is in a constant state of caffeination.  

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Youth Advocate
Olivia Soolman

Olivia is a Wenham resident and current sophomore at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School. In school, she serves as her class's treasurer and is also a member of theater tech crew, DECA, and the Social Justice Club. Outside of school and the HWHRC, Olivia works for various political campaigns and leads the communications and creative teams for the Sunrise Movement Hub in Ipswich. She is excited and honored to be a student voice on the Board advocating for local change on behalf of young community members.

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Vice President
Kirsten Alexander

Kirsten is a marketing and editorial consultant. She brings 25+ years’ experience serving on non-profit boards, including, currently, the Junior League of Boston, Wenham Village Improvement Society, and Hamilton-Wenham Garden Club. She is politically active, both locally and nationally. A history-lover, she’s a fan of New England’s historic stone walls.

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Clerk
Joan DeGeorge

After earning her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at UMass Amherst, Joan decided to settle in Massachusetts and raise her family here. She moved to Wenham with her husband and children in 2015. She is an adjunct faculty member in psychology at two universities and has conducted research on ethnic minority and female patients in psychotherapy. When not carting kids to school and activities, she is baking desserts and sharing them with neighbors. Joan hosted several Bakers Against Racism events in 2020 raising over $2000 for organizations that promote racial equality. 

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Director
Dennis A. Dean, II

Dr. Dennis A. Dean, II is Principal Investigator at Seven Bridges where he leads precision medicine programs. He completed his Masters and Doctoral training at the University of Massachusetts respectively in Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology. Dr. Dean is an avid mentor with a focus on developing a diverse biomedical workforce. Wenham’s open spaces and proximity to the great North Shore called to the Dean Family to settle eight years ago. You will find the Deans (Kids too!) dancing at Northshore Swing nights when it is safe to resume.

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Treasurer
Carrie Jelsma

Carrie and her family moved to Massachusetts from the US Virgin Islands in 2006 and they have called Wenham home ever since. In addition to serving on the HWHRC Board as Treasurer, she is Vice Chair of the Wenham Finance Committee. Her professional background is in public policy and advocacy, having worked in Washington DC as a lobbyist and advocate, in the US Congress as a congressional committee staffer, and in the White House budget office. Her goal is to use her knowledge and experience to make Wenham a welcoming place for everyone. Fun fact: she is originally from Kentucky and loves cheese grits.  

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Director
Anne Brady

Anne has lived in Hamilton for 21 years and has raised her two sons here. She has been an active member of the Hamilton Wenham Human Rights Coalition since its formation in 2020 and is thrilled that this important organizations has its roots in our lovely community. Anne’s life work has been around human rights, first with working with disadvantaged
parents and now with students with disabilities. In addition to her professional work, her volunteer work has spanned the range of working with homeless children, the environment, our schools, and now the HWHRC and the North Shore NAACP.

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Director
Katie Knudsen

Katie has lived in Hamilton for the past 25 years and raised four children here, while also housing a number of international students. Members of her household have, unfortunately, experienced the differential treatment often experienced by people of color, immigrants, and LGBT+ people, while living in Hamilton-Wenham. Katie also works as an adjustment counselor in public schools and is often distressed by the treatment her LGBT, differently-abled, and students of color have received, but also amazed at their resilience. She's hoping to be a voice for young people like these on the Board.