Meet Our Staff!

MYRIAM ORTIZ, Executive Director

What's your favorite memory of The City School?

My favorite moments at TCS have been the dinner parties and conversations we've held with younger and older revolutionaries.  Pam Afrika, Marquetta Peltier and Eddie Conway shared so much knowledge! The energy in the room when we have these events keeps me focused and connected to all our struggles.

What's something that inspires you and helps you sustain hope?

Every summer we invite all participants of SLP and their parents for an orientation and SLP staff welcomes them and explain the program and the goals we have for each other.  Seeing how young people lead others into a cycle of leadership development gives me hope that we are on the right track.

If you could have coffee with one revolutionary, who would it be and why?

Comandanta Ramona from the Zapatista Movement in Mexico.  She reminds me that we all have important roles to play in our fight for liberation.  I would love to hear her talk about her love for her people which is what I believe motivated her to fight. 

What's a surprising or interesting fact about you?

I love to dance!  Don't get to dance as much as I used to since my kids were born but dancing is one of my favorite things to do to enjoy life!

What are a few of the issues that you're most passionate about and why?

I firmly believe that people have a right and a responsibility to fight oppression and to reach their liberation by any means necessary.  This means that it is not my call to determine how anybody chooses to fight the forces oppressing them.  I am very passionate about this because a lot of "progressives" are quick to label strategies and tactics as "non effective" if they don't fit a certain criteria.  I am also passionate about my children and the food they eat.  To me its very important that my children learn as much as possible about where food comes from and how to grow it because we are experiencing unprecedented environmental issues that need immediate attention.

Revolutionary Recommendations:

TV Show: Recently started The 100. The Walking Dead, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones.

Song: Latinoamerica by Calle 13 and Redemption Song by Bob Marley and The Wailers

Book: Blood in My Eye by George Jackson

Poem: No me arrepiento de nada by Gioconda Belli

YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8yvIecDL1Q  (My favorite part of this video starts on minute 23:00 :))


ROYAL NUNES, Program Director

What's something that inspires you and helps you sustain hope?

Something that inspires me is when young people learn something new, when they have the "aha" moment or when they yell, "ohhh i get it!" Those moments are inspiring,

If you could have coffee with one revolutionary, who would it be and why?

I would have coffee with Angela Davis because after reading a lot of her books and just my understanding of who she is makes me think she is a very interesting person. As well I would love to understand how she views society today and everything that's going on. 

What are a few of the issues that you're most passionate about and why?

I am passionate about bringing healing to people of color, as well as prison alternatives and supporting young people to grow into adults that care and support other people.

If you could have coffee with one revolutionary, who would it be and why?

Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, Martin Luther King Jr, Zumbi Dos Palmares

Revolutionary Recommendations:

Book: Slavery By Another Name; Kindred; Guns, Germs and Steel, and The Wretched of the Earth

Poem: A Litany for Survival by Audre Lorde

YouTube Video: Interview of Angela Davis from The Black Power Mixtape


TARA VENKATRAMAN, Director of Resources and Programming

What's your favorite memory of The City School?

So many! Political Study Group every Thursday. Cooking together. Welcoming Ramona Afrika in March 2016. SLP actions and protests this summer marching against the American Correctional Association and against gentrification in Egleston Square. Seeing our youth shine at Celebrating Change each May.

What's something that inspires you and helps you sustain hope?

I’m inspired by young people of color’s radical, dynamic leadership and energy, and that of the elders in our community and work. I’m inspired by my family who model unfailing growth, love and care. I’m inspired by the fact that we’re part of a long tradition of liberation movements and just one small but still important part of it.

If you could have coffee with one revolutionary, who would it be and why?

I would love to learn from the incredible Black women activists in the Combahee River Collective, a Boston-based Black feminist lesbian organization from the 70s. Or the amazing women of the Gulabi Gang in India.

What's a surprising or interesting fact about you?

I’m an Indian classical dancer and taiko drummer; I drum with The Genki Spark, a pan-Asian, multi-generational women’s taiko drumming troupe.

What are a few of the issues that you're most passionate about and why?

I am passionate about prison abolition and growing alternative models to address harm. I’m interested in efforts to anchor transformative justice and community accountability work in ways that support racial and gender justice.

Revolutionary Recommendations:

TV Show: Jane the Virgin, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage

Song: Borderline (An Ode to Self Care) by Solange

Book: Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision; Sister/Outsider by Audre Lorde; Bright Dead Things by Ada Limon; Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie.

Poem: everything from salt by nayyirah waheed

YouTube Video: Mujer Soy by Las Cafeteras

Podcast: Fortification – a podcast about the spiritual lives of movement leaders