Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen, Co-Chair
Professor, American Jewish University; Rabbi in Residence, Bend The Arc
Rabbi Aryeh Cohen is professor of rabbinic literature at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University. Cohen is also the Rabbi in Residence at Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. Cohen’s latest book is Justice in the City: An Argument from the Sources of Rabbinic Judaism (Academic Studies Press). His vision for economic justice, which is deeply rooted in Jewish sources, and is inspired by Rev. Martin Luther King’s call for nonviolent direct action, has led him to protest for the rights of low-income workers, resulting in several arrests.
Mary Stancavage, Co-Chair
Founder, Meditation Coalition
Shakeel Syed, Secretary
West Coast Regional Director, American Muslims for Palestine
Shakeel Syed’s advocacy and activism is rooted in the principle that every person deserves respect and equal opportunity and that change does not come from top-down, but rather bottom-up. One of his core values is to work together in alliances and coalitions for the common and the greater good.
Syed has been steadfast in advocating for a just and fair economy for working families. Syed did not hesitate to challenge powerful corporations when they compromised the rights of workers. He has marched, fasted and put himself at risk of arrest as an expression of his conscience and his belief in fairness and respect for workers.
Syed is the West Coast Regional Director of American Muslims for Palestine, and also serves on the boards of the American Civil Liberties Union (Southern California) and Public Law Center. Previously, he served as CLUE's board chair, and was the Executive Director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California and Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development. He continues to challenge the issues of Islamophobia and xenophobia against immigrants and participated in a walking pilgrimage of Dreamers from Sacramento to Bakersfield. Syed continues to live as a student for life.
Vivian Rothstein, Personnel Chair
Santa Monica CLUE Committee
Vivian Rothstein was introduced to activism through the civil rights movement of the early 1960s. She was a Mississippi Freedom Summer volunteer in 1965 and later a community organizer in Uptown Chicago working to build “an interracial movement of the poor”.
In 1967 Rothstein participated in a peace delegation to North Vietnam to witness American bombing of civilian targets. Upon returning to the U.S. she helped organize the Jeannette Rankin Brigade in January, 1968, the first national women’s march against the Vietnam War in Washington D.C. as well as subsequent meetings between American and Vietnamese women to end U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
Rothstein was a founder of the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union (CWLU) in 1968, one of the first women’s liberation organizations established at the time (and featured in “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry”). CWLU included a rape hotline, speakers bureau, liberation school for women, pregnancy testing clinic and many other local projects.
Rothstein has been with the L.A. Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) and Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) for the past 20 years, working to lift standards for low wage workers in Southern California. She initiated an archive and oral history collection covering the work UNITE HERE Local 11, the local hotel workers union, which is now housed at the UCLA Research Library.
Rev. Jim Conn, Founder
Pastor, United Methodist Church (Ret.)
In addition to being one of the founders of CLUE, Rev. Jim Conn was founding minister of The Church in Ocean Park (Santa Monica), and is now retired after four decades of service to the United Methodist Church. His political activism has focused on social justice in the area of human services. He is the founder of two dozen social services agencies to provide everything from preschool programs to homeless housing. Rev. Conn also served on the Santa Monica City Council, and as that city's mayor. He is a regular contributor to Capital & Main.
Rabbi Dr. Stephen J. Einstein
Founding Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation B'nai Tzedek
Rabbi Stephen J. Einstein is the Founding Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation B’nai Tzedek in Fountain Valley, Orange County. Rabbi Einstein was Vice President of Member Services of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, having previously served as Chair of the Conference’s Ethics Committee.
He is the co-editor of Introduction to Judaism: A Sourcebook, which was used for basic Judaism courses throughout North America for over three decades. He is also co-author of Every Person’s Guide to Judaism. He taught the community-wide Introduction to Judaism course in Orange County for 41 years.
Active in interfaith affairs, Dr. Einstein is Past President of the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council and an active member of the Catholic-Jewish Dialogue. He served on the Fountain Valley School Board for six years and on the School District’s Personnel Commission for 27 years. Rabbi Einstein is listed in Who’s Who in America.
Rev. Dr. Sarah Halverson-Cano
Senior Pastor, Fairview Community Church, Costa Mesa
Rev. Sarah Halverson-Cano is the senior pastor at Fairview Community Church in Costa Mesa, Orange County. She has been a longtime advocate for the rights of LGBTQ people, low-wage workers, and immigrants. She works tirelessly to build bridges among different faiths, and she has been recognized throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties for her work with the Orange County Labor Federation, the Los Angeles chapter of the Council for American-Islamic Relations, and the Orange County Human Relations Committee.
Betty Hung, Esq.
Staff Director, UCLA Labor Center
Betty Hung is a longtime social justice advocate with a focus on law and organizing. Currently the staff director at the UCLA Labor Center, Betty has worked on campaigns and initiatives in the areas of workers rights, racial justice, immigrant rights, education equity, and gender justice. Hung has played an integral role in campaigns that have achieved victories including: winning $22 million dollars in additional annual income for Los Angeles taxi workers; enacting landmark state legislation allocating $240 million to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the K-to-University of California graduation pipeline; establishing protections for undocumented immigrant students in K-12 schools throughout California; defeating proposed legislation that would have required the equivalent of English-only business signs in a predominantly immigrant municipality; and passing state legislation to address racial profiling by law enforcement. Hung also served on the legal team that litigated the El Monte Thai and Latino garment worker case and the legal team supporting the leadership of Dream Team LA in the successful campaign to win Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). She is also on the boards of the CLEAN Carwash Worker Center, Economic Roundtable, and National Lawyers Guild-LA Chapter.
Labor Leader, UNITE HERE; Worker, Walt Disney Co.
Glynndana Shevlin is a Disneyland shop steward who puts her faith in worker rights through active participation in her union. She holds a board position at UNITE HERE Local 11 and also is a member of the CLUE Board of Directors. In both positions, she sees her duty as working to bring justice and dignity to her coworkers. She has also been active in the Orange County Labor Federation, helping working families to improve their economic position and make strides for good working conditions.
Bishop Mary Ann Swenson
Bishop, United Methodist Church (Ret.)
Bishop Mary Ann Swenson began her career serving Methodist churches across the country as youth minister, associate pastor and pastor. She also held a variety of leadership roles within both the church and her local communities. Bishop Swenson was elected to the episcopacy by the Western Jurisdictional Conference in 1992 and assigned to the Denver Area. In 2000, she moved to the California-Pacific Annual Conference and served there until her retirement.
Executive Board Member, Teamsters Local 2010
Ali Tweini is a revenue analyst for the UCLA Health System, a position he has held since 2011. Before that, he was a vice-president in the board of directors at Cedars-Sinai Federal Credit Union. He has long been active in the fight for workers rights and currently serves as Political Coordinator of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 2010. He is also a member of the Teamsters 2010 Executive Board. He is committed to fighting for workers' place at the decision-making table.
Rev. Gary Bernard Williams
Pastor, Saint Mark United Methodist Church
Pastor Gary Williams was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He is the pastor of Saint Mark UMC in the heart of South Los Angeles. He’s passionate about for congregational revitalization, spiritual transformation, and community engagement. Pastor Gary has a prophetic, progressive, and transformative vision of what South Los Angeles can be.
Pastor Gary is a United Methodist Church Elder in the California-Pacific Annual Conference. He currently serves on the General Board of Church and Society’s Advisory Team for 2019, Ministry with the Poor Gathering, as Chair of the Cal-Pac Conference Committee working to End Mass Incarceration, and as Chair of Strengthening the Black Church Conference Committee. He is the founder of the Full Circle Recovery Ministry, a Christian based 12 Step group, and Faith in Action, a group working to end Gun and Gang violence in South LA.