Erin Mazursky, Founder & CEO
Maz is a lifelong activist and brings over a fifteen years of experience in movement-building, organizing, technology, human rights and advocacy to her work. She found her passion for movements as a student activist in the anti-genocide movement in the early 2000s and went on to work with close to 30 movements in 25 countries around the world. She started Rhize because she saw the potential of movements to create transformative change through greater connection and access to learning across geographies, languages and cultures. Before starting Rhize, Maz worked in and around movement spaces with organizations such as the Alliance for Youth Movements, Purpose, Save Darfur Coalition, AmeriCorps VISTA, Hollaback!, Breakthrough, and New Organizing Institute. She worked on Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and went on to serve in the Obama Administration as the first Youth Advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). She has published articles in publications like the Waging Nonviolence, The Hill, and Foreign Policy and served as a Practitioner-in-Residence at the Sie Center for International Security and Policy at the University of Denver.
KALAYA’AN MENDOZA, Director of Movement Innovation
Kalaya'an is a Queer Filipino American Immigrant with a Disability. He is an award- winning facilitator, nonviolent direct action trainer and community organizer with a decades-long background working in solidarity with frontline communities around the world. Movement work has taken him to global justice flash points from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Protests to the Sunflower Student Movement of Taiwan to the Black powered uprising against police violence in Ferguson, Missouri, USA to the visionary Indigenous-led space of Standing Rock. In his professional life he co-built the Human Rights Observer program at Amnesty International and co-founded Across Frontlines to support frontline and marginalized communities in the Global South to protect themselves in the face of state violence.
Photo : Cindy Trinh / @ActivistNYC
Mariam Azeem, Director of Movement Support
Mariam Azeem lives and works in Islamabad, Pakistan and has a background and passion for working with youth, women, gender and sexual minorities. In 2010, through collaboration with Ministry of Human Rights, SIDA and a national youth organization, she launched a national human rights education program that covered 41 districts of Pakistan, including Azad and Jammu Kashmir. Mariam played a vital role in drafting first ever transgender human rights bill that was recently passed in the parliament in Pakistan. She has a passion for using informal education and popular education techniques to support youth and marginalized communities across Pakistan and around the world. She is a renowned civil resistance trainer whose work focuses on transformational leadership, human rights education, nonviolent conflict and creating participatory and accountable citizenship and democracy. She received her certification in human rights education from Council of Europe in 2010 and further nurtured her skills from Equitas in 2012. In 2016, through support of Learning Initiative Network fund, she initiated series of first ever trainings on subject of nonviolent civil resistance and movement building to create understanding and importance of inclusive and participatory democracy and citizenship and demand deep, transparent and accountable democracy in Pakistan.
gabrielle tang, [outgoing] director of operations and growth
Over the past decade, Gabrielle has worked with a variety of organizations, from direct services to start-up enterprises to philanthropic institutions. Her expertise includes strategy development, program design and management, operational management, and grantmaking. Gabrielle has worked across different human rights and social justice issues, but has primarily focused her career in women’s rights, racial justice, and economic security. Outside of her professional life, she also engages in different community organizing and ongoing volunteer initiatives to serve NYC residents.
Pauline Bunt, Administrative Assistant
Pauline brings over thirty years of experience of project management and administrative support to Rhize. She is also an avid dog lover, has produced an award-winning horror film and in her spare time, composes music with her husband (available on iTunes)!
Haeni Lee, Intern
Haeni Lee is from South Korea and just graduated the university where she majored in a business administration. She is interested in human rights and social justice so she has been doing various kinds of work such as working for a student association, teaching underprivileged students and so on. Since she joined Rhize, she has been learning more about social movements while participating in and experiencing various social movements. She is planning to study more in this field and work for social justice in the world.
board of directors
Nada Zohdy, chair of the BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Runs the OpenGov Hub, the world's first open government-themed coworking community and a network of nearly 40 organizations citizen participation around the globe.
Geoffrey Opio Atim, Board of Directors
Geoffrey is a Program Officer for Open Society in East Africa’s Health and Rights Program. He has a background in civil society research and has worked with both national and international organizations, most recently working on large-scale health governance programme in Uganda. He is as passionate about social movements and their roles in transparency and accountability.
Anh-Thu Nguyen, Board of Directors
Anh-Thu currently serves as a Director of Special Projects for the Democracy at Work Initiative, where she provides consulting, education and technical assistance to emerging worker cooperatives and developers throughout New York City. Her work has encompassed international human rights, social enterprise, and sustainable fashion. She began her career with the UN Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (UNAKRT), and has launched and consulted on several conscious beauty and fashion brands, including being on the founding team of MAKE Beauty. She studied Classics and Government at Georgetown University and received her JD from the University of Texas School of Law.
Brendan Halloran, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Senior Fellow in the International Budget Partnership’s Strategy and Learning Team; former Transparency and Accountability initiative, leading the program’s impact and learning stream.
Ryan Sparrow, Board Treasurer
Ryan currently serves as Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Andor Consulting, a firm that specializes in bridging the gap between people, data, and design. Before starting Andor, Ryan served as the Director of Planning, Assessment and Institutional Research at the City University of New York’s School of Law and has a long history of designing information management systems for organizations of higher education. When not geeking out over spreadsheets and financial management, Ryan supports the amazing, world-renowned band, Tuelo.