Marilyn first traveled to Nicaragua in 2001 after one of our partners, Inhijambia director Mirna Sanchez, visited her Summit, NJ church. A lasting friendship developed between the two women and Marilyn has since travelled to Nicaragua multiple times, on PeaceWorks delegations, church delegations, and on her own, while supporting several Nicaraguan NGO’s. Her involvement with PeaceWorks and Nicaragua is an ongoing source of personal growth and reflection.
Denis been involved with PeaceWorks since the early years, lending a hand to organize and facilitate shipments, dinner forums, and fundraising events. He has joined several PeaceWorks delegations and led a trip for teenagers to Nicaragua in 2013. Since 2001, Denis has worked for SEIU Local 32BJ in NY where he currently directs the union’s Commercial Division. He previously served for over a decade as the director of AFSC’s Immigrants Rights. He lives in Union, NJ with his wife Jazmina.
Jersey born and raised, Rutgers BA and EdM, mother of two, grandmother of two. Veteran Newark Public School teacher (28 years) as ESL and Bilingual resource teacher. Long time social justice and human rights activist, member of Anti-Racist Alliance of North Jersey, ESL adjunct at Passaic County College, anti-racism educator and organizer, yoga instructor and yogini working with underserved populations.
John Keith, former Mayor of Fairlawn, NJ, has been a supporter of PeaceWorks since 1992. He has been to Nicaragua 6 times, the first in 1985 in the midst of the Contra War, and three times with PeaceWorks delegations. As an environmental engineer with over 40 years experience, John has traveled throughout the world studying and working on environmental problems. As a folk musician John has performed in diverse places around the globe, including a Nicaraguan shoe factory.
Michaelene joined a PeaceWorks delegation to Nicaragua in 2014 and subsequently accepted an invitation to join its board of directors. She has returned to Nicaragua to teach English and photography with PeaceWorks partner organization Inhijambia. A retired attorney and champion for immigrant rights, Michaelene volunteers with the American Friends Service Committee Immigration Rights Project, Know Your Right Immigration Project, First Friends of NJ and NY and with the American Red Cross Disaster Workforce. She served in the Peace Corps in Mexico from 2011 – 2013.
A long time PeaceWorks donor, Diane participated in her first delegation to Nicaragua in 2007 and joined the Board shortly after. Diane currently chairs PeaceWorks’ partner committee, co-chairs the fundraising committee with Rev. Brooks Smith, and leads PeaceWorks’ January delegations to Nicaragua. She works as community strategies advisor for New Jersey Community Capital and consults for other organizations on community development issues both in New Jersey and nationally. Diane previously served for 23 years as founding director of the Housing and Community Development Network.
Originally from the Midwest, Susan lived in West Berlin, Germany, for a decade, where she developed an awareness of global efforts to promote women’s rights. Shortly after returning to the US, she impulsively followed a group of people who were walking through her town carrying a banner reading “Morris Area-Monimbo Sister City Project” and attended their event, sparking a long-term fascination with the people and politics of Nicaragua. She traveled there several times starting in 1989, including leading a delegation that focused on the women’s movement. She has been a supporter of Peaceworks from the beginning in 1992. Susan makes her living as a paralegal and lives in Morristown.
Guy became involved with Peace Works during the first Persian Gulf War and has been a central part of our work ever since, participating in numerous delegations to El Salvador and Nicaragua, packing numerous cargo containers of aid for Nicaragua, and grating cheese at our monthly dinner forums. He now lives in Verona with his family, including his wife Elmis and son Joshua who came into this world on July 19, the anniversary of Nicaragua’s revolution.