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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. She currently works for Harborlight Homes, a nonprofit affordable housing developer. Originally from Seattle, Anna lives in Hamilton with her family. Her passions include backpacking, sports of many kinds, collecting passport stamps, and completely disrupting the status quo.

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Treasurer
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.

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director
Jeremy Coffey

Jeremy and his family moved to Wenham from Texas in 2006.  His volunteer activities have included work with the Westford Coalition for Non-Violence, Live for Liv Foundation, the City of Fort Worth Domestic Violence Task Force and the Wenham Zoning Board of Appeals.  He enjoys spending time with his family, watching his kids’ sports and activities, and coaching football and track at the regional high school.  In his spare time, Jeremy is a recovering lawyer, a wannabe entrepreneur and owns/operates a youth recreation center.

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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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Vice Treasurer
Olivia Soolman

Olivia is a Wenham resident and current senior at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School. In school, she serves as the senior class Treasurer, the Stage Manager for the theater program, and a member of the Social Justice Club and DECA. She has been involved with the HWHRC since its inception in 2020 and served as a Youth Board Member until becoming the Vice Treasurer in 2023. Olivia is excited to be bringing her perspective as a young person, her experiences with political organizing and community service, and her passion for social justice to the HWHRC.

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Director
Dana Clayton

With two decades of experience in healthcare operations and technology, Dana is currently the Chief Operating Officer at FOLX Health, a Telehealth company that serves the LGBTQ+ community. She moved to Wenham with her wife in 2017, returning to her wife’s hometown to raise their family. She is Mommy to two incredible humans, an obsessive researcher, lover of good coffee, neutrals and soft lighting. As a queer person with a family in the HW community, Dana is incredibly grateful to the founding members of the HWHRC and excited to support diversity and inclusion efforts in our town. 

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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
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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Youth Advocate
Neve Sheckells

Neve is a current senior at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School and a resident of Hamilton. Beyond HWHRC, they have employment experience concerning food and social justice, and academic extracurricular involvement including the Social Justice Club and the General Consensus student newspaper. They are passionate about community based activism towards collective liberation, and hope to mobilize local youth to advocate for justice and systemic changes in society.

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