Robin Mallison Alpern is Director of Training at CSWAC. Raised in the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Robin has had a lifelong concern for racial justice and equity.
Robin's anti-racist activism has taken a variety of forms, including study of books, films, and lectures; taking part in workshops, seminars and trainings; publishing essays, articles and reports; public speaking; facilitating community dialogue; designing and leading workshops; and community organizing. Robin has worked with several anti-racism organizations in her hometown and in the Quaker community, including mixed-race groups and two white caucus groups. She maintains ties with anti-racist leaders, both white and of color, who have served as long-term mentors.
Robin has raised four children who teach her every day how to make the world a better place to live.
Liza Minno Bloom
Liza Minno Bloom is an organizer and educator of Slovak and Anglo descent. She is engaged in various racial justice and popular education efforts in her home of Asbury Park, NJ (occupied Lenni Lenape land), with the Racial Justice Project and the Asbury Park Education Justice Collective.
Before moving to NJ, Liza lived in the Southwest doing anti-colonial solidarity work with the Black Mesa Indigenous collective, which organizes with the Dineh communities of Black Mesa/Big Mountain. The Dineh are resisting a forced relocation from coal mining on their ancestral homelands. She has been a member of BMIS since 2008.
Liza is currently leading a team to develop a racial justice training curriculum for the Episcopal Diocese of NJ and she works as a chapter coach for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). She teaches in the Sociology Departments at Monmouth University and Georgian Court University and is a parent to a grumpy but lovely cattle dog and a small, magical, revolutionary human.
Ava Bynum is a passionate systems thinker and non profit executive, with experience in start-ups, development, non profit management, education, food systems, and community organizing. She is the Executive Director of Hudson Valley Seed, a non profit that integrates healthy eating and experiential learning into public school systems. Hudson Valley Seed currently educates over 3,000 students in on-site school gardens across Dutchess, Orange and Putnam Counties of New York State. Prior to founding Hudson Valley Seed Ava was a farmer and teacher, and in these roles deepened her commitment to making good food and inspiring education accessible to all children. Ava has been a trainer with CSWAC since 2014 and organizes with the Beacon, NY chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). She brings humor, innovation, and integrity to all of her endeavors.
Bonnie Berman Cushing, LCSW
Bonnie Berman Cushing is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and an anti-racist organizer and educator. She has worked in the mental health field for over 25 years as a family-systems therapist. She informs both her own — and others’ — clinical practice with an analysis of the dynamics of power, privilege and oppression. To this end, Bonnie has trained and/or supervised therapists and other human service practitioners throughout the tri-state area — including JBFCS, JCCA, the Ackerman Institute, the Eikenberg Institute for Relationships and NYU, Fordham, Columbia, Hunter and Rutgers Schools of Social Work.
In 2004, Bonnie co-authored a chapter with Monica McGoldrick for the book Human Development and Faith by Chalice Press. In 2010, she was the Lead Editor of the multi-authored book Accountability and White Antiracist Organizing: Stories From Our Work, published by CDD Books and served as editor for Living in the Tension: the Quest for a Spiritualized Racial Justice, by Shelly Tochluk, published by CDD Books in 2016.
Bonnie is a Core Trainer with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond and a facilitator with Border Crossers, an organization that trains educators on how to work with issues of race and racism in the classroom. She is a member of both the People’s Institute Northeast Leadership Collective and European Dissent NJ, and co-founder of the North Jersey Chapter of the AntiRacist Alliance. In addition to her services as a trainer, Bonnie also serves on the Board of Trustees for CSWAC.
Charley Flint, PhD
Activist, educator, and scholar, Charley Flint is Professor of Sociology at William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey. Dr. Flint is also the Coordinator of Internships in Criminal Justice; has served as the Director of the Race and Gender Project; and was the founder of ALANA, a program of and for women of color in higher education in New Jersey.
Charley was the first black woman to receive a PhD in Sociology from Rutgers University in 1981, where she was an active participant in the development of the Women's Studies Program. She has published and presented on a range of subjects including the reintegration of incarcerated females, poverty and teen pregnancy, the intersectionality of race, gender and class in political attitudes as well as issues of whiteness and white privilege. She has contributed to several publications, serves as peer reviewer for the Journal of Violence Against Women and has been interviewed on CBS, NBC, FOX, BET and in several print media outlets on issues of race, ethnicity, criminal justice, and gender.
Charley is also past Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Association on Corrections, past President of The New Jersey Association of Criminal Justice Educators, and past Board President of the YWCA of Eastern Union County. In addition to her services as a trainer, Charley also serves on the Board of Trustees for CSWAC.
Justin is a CSWAC trainer and a Bronx resident (of Portuguese & Irish descent) who is originally from East Providence, Rhode Island. He completed his Master's Degree at Fordham University's School of Social Service in 2009. Justin's anti-racist organizing style/analysis is informed by the principles of the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond. Justin uses these anti-racist organizing principles to work toward collective liberation from all oppressions (Sexism, Heterosexism, Ableism, etc...).
Currently, Justin splits his time as caretaker for his twin daughters and as an Organizer and Core Trainer with the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond. Prior to that, he spent the last 3 1/2 years working at The Dorothy Day Center for Service & Justice at Fordham University in the Bronx working collaboratively to create/maintain accountable relationships between the Fordham & Bronx communities.
Edie Grauer, MSW
Edie Grauer, BSW, MSW, is a seasoned non-profit executive and change agent whose career has focused on promoting empowerment, inclusion and self-determination of oppressed and disenfranchised persons. She has extensive experience in the areas of homelessness, criminal and juvenile justice, children in out-of-home placement, substance abuse and addiction, and HIV/AIDS.
Edie has taught at numerous colleges and universities in the areas of social work, criminal justice, community and leadership building, drug abuse and addiction, sociology, and psychology. She developed and presented training for The New Jersey Project on Inclusive Scholarship, Curriculum, and Teaching to college faculty on honoring and infusing cultural diversity across the disciplines.
Edie has designed and implemented training in community-based agencies including power and privilege; empowerment; self-determination. She was recognized by Volunteers of America for her infusion of cultural diversity into their employee training and program policies and standards, and was awarded a Transcultural Art Project through Rutgers University for a transitional housing program for persons affected by HIV.
Edie currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties (CASA).
Jeff Hitchcock, MS, MBA
Jeff Hitchcock is co-founder of the Center for the Study of White American Culture, Inc., where he presently serves as Executive Director. He has authored several articles and a book, titled Lifting the White Veil: A Look at White American Culture. With CSWAC he has designed and facilitated many workshops, staff trainings, and presentations on the topics of whiteness, white privilege, white American culture, and what white people can do to help foster a multiracial society
Jeff received his MBA from the Stern School of Business, New York University, and his MS in Social and Personality Psychology from Rutgers University. Aside from his academic pursuits and work with institutional clients, he is active in organizing for racial justice. He is a member of the AntiRacist Alliance (ARA), a multi-chapter association of racial justice activists in the New York metropolitan area, and a founding member of the ARA North Jersey chapter.
Orinthia Swindell, MEd, MEd
Orinthia Swindell is a CSWAC trainer and Associate Director of Diversity at Brooklyn Friends School where she has been a member of the Brooklyn Friends School community for over twenty years. She began teaching in the Preschool Afterschool program and later served as the Family Center Coordinator. She became Associate Director of Diversity in 2012.
Orinthia has had a lifelong passion for learning about diversity and equity issues. She has facilitated workshops, presented at National Conferences and been a guest speaker at teacher preparation programs. Her focus is on young children's awareness of race and difference and adult skill development around identity.
Orinthia holds a Bachelor's Degree from Brooklyn College in Sociology, A Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education N-2 from Hunter College and a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Leadership from Bank Street College of Education.