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Welcoming CHJL's Inaugural Cohort!

Updated: Apr 29, 2021

We are thrilled to announce that CHJL’s first 9-month coaching certification program is slated to begin in just a few weeks. 38 participants from around the country are set to go on this transformative healing journey. Participants’ work includes mental health in Black communities to support for Indigenous mothers to grassroots organizing. Folks are joining us from all over the country, from Lenape territory (NY), to Tongvaa (LA) and Ohlone (Bay Area) lands.

Scroll down to meet Denise, Shireen, Johnny, Brittany, Adlemy, and Marquez! And stay tuned for future posts to meet the rest of the cohort.

Denise has 35 years in labor and community organizing, dedicated to developing strong grassroots leaders, democratic organizations and movements. She organized throughout the south and helped train a new generation of organizers in labor. She also helped develop the Women's Global Equity Project, working throughout Africa and the Caribbean with women labor activists. In 2000 she co-founded Power U Center rooted in Miami’s historically Black community of Overtown. She has served on a variety of boards and today she is the Director and co-Founder of Black Organizing for Leadership & Dignity (BOLD) committed to developing leadership for transformative organizing amongst Black organizers nationally.

Shireen Zaman believes in the power of investing in leaders and helping each person unlock their potential. She is currently the Director of the RISE Together Fund (RTF) at the Proteus Fund, where she leads efforts to mobilize resources to grow promising, innovative, community-based organizations in America’s Muslim, Middle Eastern, Arab and South Asian communities. She comes to this role having led a community-based think tank for four years. She is the daughter of immigrants, who grew up around (and still enjoys) her large extended family. Shireen has two children who make her proud every day, and has lived in the Washington, DC area for 20 years. You can learn more and contact Shireen at

Johnny Buck is a proud father and partner, artist, cultural resource specialist, and nonprofit management professional. His work is rooted in healing-centered, sustainability, and Indigenous approaches; these approaches have given him an understanding of the importance of cultivating, building, and fostering symbiotic relationships for the long term. Johnny continues to be inspired by his Wanapum and Yakama elders and ancestors as he explores nature, applies to graduate school, works toward self and collective healing, and seeks opportunities to evolve his creativity. You’ll occasionally catch him karaoke-ing at random events; mostly, you will see him at home telling stories and laughing around with family.

Brittany Schulman (Waccamaw Siouan) grew up in rural North Carolina. As a traditional storyteller, Brittany’s perspective is grounded in her experience growing up with her mother, siblings and grandparents on their family farm and her Waccamaw Siouan community. As an advocate and educator, Brittany has served in many roles to ensure that Native Americans and Indigenous values are included. Brittany created the Good Relatives Book Club and is a co-host of the Wrong NDN Podcast and the Misadventures Podcast. Brittany is married to a wonderfully supportive husband, Joseph (Leech Lake Ojibwe) and they have two small children, Corrina Nakoma and Jerod Wakita.

Adlemy is a community organizer and holds the role of Statewide Membership Coordinator with the Essie Justice Group; they strive to maintain member engagement and leverage all members’ skills and passions into campaign work. Adlemy brings a passion for organizing that connects with the joy and creative strategy of Black and Brown people. Adlemy’s path has been organizing for collective liberation with experience fighting for tenants’ rights, prison abolition and working with others to scheme and dream up what a strategy for a 21st century socialism can be.

A popular educator, artist, and strategist, Márquez Rhyne’s work is to impact culture writ large to make justice, equity, healing, and transformation common sense, alluring, and inevitable. They apply art and culture toward improving life outcomes related to race, economics, gender, health, and labor. Márquez trains, mentors, and coaches creatives and movement leaders across the globe how to wield the power of story and build narrative power, and the differences between them. Interminably fascinated with creativity and flow, they enjoy science fiction, futurism, and vegan cuisine. Currently living on the South Side of Chicago, Márquez hails from Memphis, Tennessee.

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