Gabriel Stauring Co-founder and Director Los Angeles Area
Gabriel co-founded Stop Genocide Now in 2005, which gave birth to i-ACT in 2009. He became involved in the situation in Darfur out of a sense of personal responsibility. He believes the power of community and compassion, combined with personal empowerment, can bring about meaningful change. Previously, Gabriel worked as a Family Consultant, providing in-home therapy for abused children and their families. He graduated from California State University at Dominguez Hills with a major in behavioral science. In addition to visiting the refugee camps on the Chad-Darfur border 14 times, Gabriel has spearheaded campaigns such as the 100-Day Fast for Darfur, Darfur Freedom Summer Vigils, Camp Darfur, Darfur Fast for Life, and is featured in The Enough Moment by John Prendergast and Don Cheadle.
Why I Act:
"Because it's personal. I am a father and cannot help but thinking what it would be like if it was my kids sitting in the middle of the desert, with so much danger and so little hope. I know so many refugee fathers,mothers, and children. They are friends. I must act.”
Katie-Jay Scott Director of Community Programming Los Angeles Area
Katie-Jay keeps i-ACT running on several levels. Much of her work entails coordinating partnerships with other grassroots organizations and implementing the campaigns developed by Gabriel and seeing through the details. She graduated from Portland State University with a BA in Sociology and a focus on Community Development. She has previously worked as a community organizer in Thailand, Guatemala, and with grassroots organizations across the United States. Katie-Jay learned of the situation in Darfur in April 2005 through the American Jewish World Service and co-founded the Portland Coalition for Genocide Awareness with other grassroots activists in November 2005 and has been a part of the i-ACT team since July 2007. She has visited the Chad-Darfur border region five times and coordinated several campaigns and i-ACT partnerships. She works to bring the voices of refugees to the world conscience. Her motto is: Activate. Educate. Empower.
Why I Act:
“Because I feel we are all part of one community and one humanity. It's a value that runs deep and I feel obligated to not only share this, but to help build the next generation of leaders. I've always felt that I will leave this world a better place, and each day there is something I can do to work towards this.”
James Thacher Media Specialist Brooklyn, NY
James is i-ACT's web and graphic designer and main video editor. As a full-time staff member, he also does a little bit of everything to keep all the projects running. Since graduating from NYU in 2008, James has worked with non-profit and activist organizations that assist marginalized communities both locally and around the world. He helped found a harm reduction organization that performs outreach to the homeless transient homeless community in New York's Lower East Side. He credits the 'DIY individuals' in that project with instilling the creativity he puts into i-ACT's media and projects. James specializes in combining new media with traditional activism methods on the web, in print, and on the street.
Why I Act:
"I got involved with i-ACT because it was no longer enough to be informed about the issues or even to vote in every election cycle for the 'right' candidate. Progress was happening too slowly on the Darfur issue and organized pressure was the only way to force the issue into the spotlight. I also act because the creativity of the activist community and the Darfuris themselves feeds back into my life and the art I create."
Sara-Christine Dallain Project Coordinator
Sara-Christine is interning with i-ACT to help coordinate Darfur United and the major projects connected with Darfur United including The Academy, the Darfur United adult soccer team and the Darfur United documentary. She is currently a Master’s Public health student at UCLA with an interest in improving the health of the most vulnerable populations in sub-Saharan Africa through community-oriented approaches that not only provide access to food, shelter, clean water, sanitation, and education but also inform and empower citizens. Sara-Christine graduated from the University of Hawaii Manoa with a degree in Political Science. She has previously worked at Direct Relief International and has traveled and worked on health and development projects in Kenya, Chad, and Senegal. She is currently on the board of directors for The Chad Relief Foundation as well as the Evaluations Chair for the Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition at UCLA.
Why I Act:
"I act because I believe that the atrocities experienced by individuals and communities in other parts of the world matter."
Jennifer Tang Little Ripples Project Coordinator
Jennifer became passionate about international development and humanitarian work when studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, and leading youth performing arts workshops in one of the surrounding townships. After graduating from UCLA with a Masters in Public Health in Community Health Sciences, she taught adolescent reproductive health to high school students in South and East Los Angeles. She has also worked as a Research Associate at the UCLA Center for Health Services and Society, where she was able to foster an understanding of the community engagement and community resilience approaches, and hopes to incorporate these strategies in her work with Little Ripples.
Why I Act:
"I act to create a positive, lasting impact for the future of our global community."
Jeremiah is a social entrepreneur whose vision is a socially conscious business model designed to engage employees and clients in global causes and make a significant difference in the world. He authored a book on the subject and consults with companies to create a work environment where the employees are empowered to make a difference.
Why I Act:
"I act because there are millions of our brothers and sisters whose lives have been destroyed. They are barely surviving and they deserve humanity to step for them. I act because I want to truly live and experience life - all of it."
Lauren Farello Board of Advisors Volunteer, Former Intern Los Angeles/Washington D.C.
Lauren interned with i-ACT over the summer of 2011. Her main project was Bring Guisma Home, a campaign that allows citizens to host home gatherings to inform their friends and family about the atrocities committed in Darfur. She now works on a little bit of everything, including some of i-ACT's larger projects. Lauren is also the first student representative chosen for the i-ACT Board of Advisors. Lauren’s passion for global affairs and women’s rights led her to D.C. where she entered the Women’s Leadership Program at The George Washington University. She graduated high school as a three-sport athlete involved in Associated Student Body, and won many scholar-athlete awards.
Why I Act:
"A love for anything international, combined with the desire to make a positive influence on the lives of others."
Estelle Comment Volunteer: Tech Team San Francisco
Estelle joined i-ACT in 2011, working on the tech team developing code for CommKit and Pazocalo. She says i-ACT has an "open mind for the best usable technology" and this keeps her devoted to the team. She graduated from an MSc at Stanford in electrical engineering in 2011, and now is starting to venture out on her own on many interesting projects. In addition to her work with i-ACT, she is working on a website that will allow visitors to browse through the world's constitutions.
Why I Act:
"I donate my time and skills, because what I do (and not what I kinda plan on doing someday!) defines my spot in the world."
Carley Dryden Volunteer Redondo Beach, CA
Carley came to i-ACT after interviewing Gabriel and Katie-Jay for a story. She now volunteers her knowledge of editing, writing, and content advice. As of 2011, Carley has been a weekly newspaper reporter for three years. She chose journalism to make a positive impact on people's lives - to help them make informed decisions about their government and future, and to highlight individuals doing inspiring work. She has always had an interest in the plight of refugees, and hopes to devote more time to telling their stories in the future.
Why I Act:
"After hearing about what the Darfuris in the refugee camps go through on a daily basis, the love they have and great sacrifice they've given to protect their families, how can you not continue to help?"
Stacey Martino Volunteer Los Angeles
Stacey has been to the camps, traveled with Camp Darfur, and helped with the development of Camp Darfur & Voices of America. She has helped with several outreach campaigns and focuses on using the arts to connect people to i-ACT’s work. Stacey has spent the past 20 years combining arts and activism with a focus on connecting every day people and direct action.
Why I Act:
“Meeting Gabriel at the first Camp Darfur changed my life and opened my eyes. The next thing I knew I was pitching tents for Camp Darfur as it began travelling and getting to know the people of Darfur as I sat in the refugee camps. I continue to act because I met the children of Darfur and see them every time I look in my own children's eyes.” (photo credit: Andrea Carrion/HOY)
Carolyn Au Web Designer
Carolyn Au grew up in Malaysia and now works in the Bay Area. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a degree in Computer Science. Carolyn works hard on creating an interactive website that invites users to participate in building community with refugees and displaced persons still in danger of violence.
Yuen-Lin Tan Technology Advisor
Yuen-Lin Tan joined the i-ACT team in 2005, answering founder Gabriel Stauring’s call for assistance with the technological aspects of the first i-ACT mission to Chad. Since then, he has continued to support the team on technical and non-technical issues. Yuen-Lin has made two trips to Chad, in 2007 and 2009. Spending time in person with the refugees from Darfur, these trips moved him immensely and deepened his commitment to helping them. Since 2007, Yuen-Lin has been developing Commkit, a system that will allow refugees based in Chad to communicate directly with others around the world. On World Refugee Day 2009, Yuen-Lin, the i-ACT team and partner organizations UNHCR and VSee connected audiences around the world with the refugees in Chad through an interactive live webcast. Yuen-Lin believes that many of the world’s problems stem from a lack of understanding and friendship between people, and that i-ACT is a powerful agent of change in this regard. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. He grew up in Malaysia, and is currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Eric Angel Technology Advisor
Eric Angel is a software engineer that holds a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Davis. His M.S. thesis involved research in human perception of spatial sound and hands-on work with audio recording systems. In college he also studied image processing, and after graduating he was a Lecturer for an upper-division Electrical Engineering class at U.C.Davis. For the past 6 years he has lived and worked in Los Angeles. In June of 2009 he traveled as a member of the i-ACT team to the refugee camps for Darfuris in Chad. He ran the on-site technical operations for several live video conferences from within a refugee camp on the trip. This included a live link with a UNHCR World Refugee Day event for VIP’s in Washington D.C. and a 5 hour long live video feed that was viewed by people from around the world on a UNHCR website as it was happening. Eric also has experience with web design, audio processing, and video editing in Final Cut. Eric works with SGN because he deeply believes that technology has the ability to create links between people from different communities and cultures to solve some of the world’s worst human rights violations.
Lexi Stauring Team Member
Lexi Stauring It was not too long ago that I found myself enjoying my final days of residency in Hawaii. I run in and out of the shade of tall palm trees, skipping along hot, black volcanic rock ignited by the heat of the sun, a sun shared by some many worldwide. My thoughts dangle between Hawaii and my future, and I am not yet thinking of the refugees who feel the same heat of the sun on the other side of the world. Inside, my Apple lights up. My first stop is facebook to notify friends and family of my soon return to Los Angeles. Paging down the list of friends, I come across my uncle, Gabe. As I read his page, surrounded by the slow Hawaiian life, I feel a sudden change in emotion from excitement to pure remorse. What I see is only a small sample of all the progress that i-ACT had made since I last tuned in. What I feel is regret for being absent from it all; for living only in my moments and being so caught up in my own life. I am fresh out of High School and around the same age as many of the students i-ACT works with. Like many of my peers, I am having a harder time discovering my niche in the world then I ever imagined. Since my arrival here, I feel most content when I’m helping with i-ACT projects and campaigns. Impatient excitement grows as each new project moves from idea to effective action. Now, I not only share the same sun with our Darfur friends, but I share my life with them as a member of the i-ACT team.
Cory Preston Graphic Design
Cory Preston graduated from the University of Idaho, where he studied Graphic and Interface Design. He hopes to put what he’s learned here to good use helping people in anyway possible. Cory learned about the genocide in Darfur when Stop Genocide Now came to his school in 2007 and has been actively involved in working towards a safe Darfur ever since.
Ian Harrington Advisor
Ian Harrington joined the i-ACT field team for World Refugee Day events and brings his creative video editing to the team. He edits videos that bring together pop culture and the voice of the Darfur refugee to inspire and empower citizens to act.
Rachel Veerman Co-founder, Advisor Los Angeles area
Rachel is an active member of i-ACT. Her main focus is to teach others that by taking action, one individual can make a difference. She has over 20 years of administrative background and is enthusiastic to share her knowledge to help i-ACT be successful in all their endeavors. Currently she works at the UCLA School of Public Health as a Sr. Public Administrative Analyst.
Why I Act:
“I act because I realize that by my inaction I am contributing to the problem. I used to say ‘How can THEY let this happen?’ Then I realized that by doing nothing, I was ‘THEY.’ I was the bystander. I don't want to be ‘THEY.’ I want to be an UPstander. What moves me to act the most are the children. So many children suffer because of our inaction: in hunger, neglect, violence, illiteracy, incarceration, and illness. Where is our compassion? Where is our love? Inaction is not an excuse, so I try and must ACT.”
Quilo i-ACT Headquarters Los Angeles area
Quilo is an Australian Cattle Dog originally hailing from Mexico. He provides moral support and security for i-ACT’s office. He can be seen making surprise guest appearances in i-ACT video blogs. Quilo has a special affinity for his feathered friends, and lets birds eat out of his food dish.
Why I Act:
“Arf!” (We think it translates to “Because people throw my ball, and therefore I love people!”)