24th Annual Women's Interfaith ForumEffective Dissent: Getting Your Point Across
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
Women’s Interfaith Forum Panelists
Elizabeth Meyer is the founder and lead organizer of the Women’s March on New Jersey, held in Trenton in January. She continued in the lead organizing role for the NJ March for Science also in April. Currently, she is a member of the Women’s March on New Jersey 2018 steering committee, working to bring the one-year anniversary march to Morristown on January 20th.
Ms. Meyer graduated from William Paterson University with a B.A. in Communication, a minor in political science, and a New Jersey teaching certificate. She worked for four years in the radio industry in the New York and New Jersey markets as a producer, news anchor and reporter, and on-air personality. Elizabeth has 12 years of experience as a middle school educator in both urban and suburban districts, teaching history, reading, writing, photography, theater, and character education.
Saily M. Avelenda, Esq., is a Co-Executive Director of NJ 11th for Change, Inc., a member of the group’s Board of Directors and of the group’s founding Steering Committee. Until May 2017, Ms. Avelenda was employed as Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at a community bank in northern New Jersey. Shortly after her congressman, Rodney Frelinghuysen (R; NJ-11), sent a fundraising letter to a member of her employer’s Board of Directors calling attention to her activities with NJ11th for Change, she left her position after almost seven years with the company.
Ms. Avelenda received her J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1998, and her B.A., cum laude, from New York University in 1994 and previously served as General Counsel and Compliance Officer of Hann Financial Services, Inc., in Jamesburg, New Jersey, and Vice President / Bank Counsel for Hudson United Bank, in Mahwah, New Jersey. Prior to going in-house in 2003, Ms. Avelenda practiced management-side employment law with several local and DC law firms.
Reverend Robin Noelle Tanner is an American Unitarian Universalist minister notable for her activism for the causes of religious freedom and civil rights. She is the Minister of Worship and Outreach at Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Summit. From 2010 to 2016, she was lead minister at the Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church in Charlotte and Salisbury in North Carolina.
Reverend Tanner worked to overturn HB2 (more formally the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act), the March 2016 North Carolina law banning individuals from using a public bathroom that does not match the person’s biological sex. Despite challenges, HB2 remains in effect. She is also an advocate for equal opportunity, voting rights for Latino and African-Americans, raising the minimum wage and marriage equality, along with other issues
As the executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution, Jamila Raqib promotes the study and strategic use of nonviolent action worldwide. Since 2002, she has worked closely with Dr. Gene Sharp, the world’s foremost scholar on strategic nonviolent action. Their curriculum, Self-Liberation: A Guide to Strategic Planning for Action to End a Dictatorship or Other Oppression, provides in-depth guidance for planning a strategic nonviolent struggle.
Ms. Raqib’s work centers on presenting a pragmatic approach to nonviolent action to activists, human rights organizations, academics and governments. She travels throughout the world conducting consultations and workshops for individuals and groups seeking to achieve diverse goals such as opposing dictatorship, combatting corruption, attaining political rights, economic justice, environmental protection and women’s empowerment.
Jamila Raqib holds a B.A. in Management from Simmons College in Boston, MA, and is a Research Affiliate of the Center for International Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.