MEET THE STAFF
The iACT staff is a lean, nimble team ready to adapt to the situation at hand.
MEET THE STAFF
Founding Executive Director
Gabriel became involved in the situation in Darfur out of a sense of personal responsibility. He believes that the power of community and compassion, combined with personal empowerment, can bring about meaningful change. He graduated from California State University at Dominguez Hills with a degree in Behavioral Science, and previous to founding iACT, Gabriel worked as a Family Consultant, providing in-home therapy for abused children and their families. In addition to visiting the refugee camps on the Chad-Darfur border over 20 times, Gabriel has spearheaded campaigns such as the 100-Day Fast for Darfur, Darfur Freedom Summer Vigils, Camp Darfur, Darfur Fast for Life, as well as iACT’s innovative programs such as Darfur United and Little Ripples. He is featured in The Enough Moment, a book written by activist John Prendergast and actor Don Cheadle.
Why Gabriel Acts:
“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.”
Chief Operating Officer
Katie-Jay graduated from Portland State University with a B.A. in Sociology and a focus on Community Development. Through her positions as a founding Board of Peers member of Education Network for Global and Grassroots Exchange (ENGAGE), AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer Coordinator with “I Have a Dream” Foundation-Oregon, and Founding Coordinator of the Portland Coalition for Genocide Awareness, Katie-Jay brings extensive leadership, community organizing, and development experience to iACT. As COO, she coordinates day-to-day and overseas trip operations; manages volunteer team members and interns; oversees the Carl Wilkens Fellowship program; handles community partnerships and sponsorships, development opportunities, and runs the U.S.-based programs and presentations including iACT’s Camp Darfur exhibit; and is often the first point of contact for anyone interested in supporting iACT projects with time, in-kind donations, or financial contributions. Katie-Jay has traveled to the Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad eight times and is available for educational workshops, training sessions, and speaking engagements.
Why Katie-Jay Acts:
“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. Educate. Activate. Empower.”
Director of International Programs
Sara-Christine manages the development, implementation, and evaluation of iACT programs in refugee camps; serves as the primary grant writer; and contributes to marketing content. Sara-Christine graduated from the University of Hawaii Manoa with an undergraduate degree in Political Science, and from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Master of Public Health degree. Her interests lie in improving the health of the most vulnerable through community-oriented approaches that not only provide access to food, shelter, clean water, sanitation, and education but also inform and empower citizens. She has previously worked at Direct Relief and has traveled and worked on health and development projects in Kenya, Chad, and Senegal. Sara-Christine is currently on the Board of Directors for The Chad Relief Foundation.
Why Sara-Christine Acts:
“Because everyday, men, women, and children with hopes, aspirations, talents, and skills, just like you and me, must live in a refugee camp with little opportunity, making incredibly difficult choices just to survive.”
Programs and Operations Manager
Felicia provides support to iACT’s international and domestic projects, day-to-day operations, and organizational management; as well as travels to refugee camps to assist in iACT’s program implementation and evaluation, including aspects involving mindfulness and meditation training. She attended the University of California, Irvine and has a degree in English, as well as a certificate in Mindfulness Fundamentals from Mindful Schools. Felicia is also very active in her church and sings with the Orange County Women’s Chorus.
Why Felicia Acts:
“ ‘Jesus said, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” ”(John15:12)”
Oumda Al-fateh Tarbosh
Al-fateh Tarbosh is the Program Coordinator for iACT, an international organization whose mission is to aid, empower, and extend hope to those affected by mass atrocities. Tarbosh oversees iACT sports, education, nutrition, and human rights programs across five refugee camps in eastern Chad. Before becoming a refugee in camp Goz Amer, eastern Chad, Tarbosh was an accounts manager and traditional leader, or oumda, in his village in Darfur, Sudan. Since becoming a refugee in 2003, Tarbosh has served as a primary school teacher and an English teacher, and has maintained his traditional leadership role as oumda for his community in camp Goz Amer.
Refugees United Soccer Academy Manager
Coach Souliman was the captain of the original 2012 Darfur United Men’s Team (DU) that traveled to Iraq. He returned to his camp with pride, energy, and the determination to share the skills he had learned through DU with the children of his camp. Souliman works alongside coaches Issag, Sadiya, and Thouhilia to manage the program on and off the field.
Why I Act…
“Football, to me, is everything. Football is support. Football is health. It means relationships and it means peace.”
Since graduating from NYU, James has worked with nonprofit and activist organizations that assist marginalized communities both locally and around the world. James specializes in combining new media with traditional activism methods on the web, in print, and on the street. He likes to draw.
Why I act:
“I act because I believe everyone has a fundamental human right to food, education, health, housing, and freedom from fear.”
Team and Operations Manager
Danielle Kercher is a graduate from Pepperdine University with a B.A. in Psychology. Through her work with populations suffering from mental health issues, youth and adults with physical and mental disabilities, and at-risk youth providing crisis interventions and trauma-informed care, Danielle brings a grounded work ethic centered around patience, compassion, and empathy. She uses her attention to detail and organizational skills to manage iACT’s internal operations, provide logistical support to U.S.-based and international programs, onboard volunteers, and maintain donor and community partner relations. She currently works from iACT’s main headquarters in Southern California.
Why Danielle Acts:
“Because surviving isn’t living. We are all human beings and we need more than just food, water, and shelter. We need to feel safe, to feel connected, to have purpose, and to have opportunities to realize our potential.”