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 important because the continue to remind me why this work is important.

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 i realized alot of our ideologies are aligned. I would love to understand how she views society today with everything that is happening in the world and her stratgy on supporting peoples growth and basic needs while fighting oppression.

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.

Book: Slavery By Another Name; Kindred; Emergent Strategy; 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


 Amatullah Mervin , Coordinator of Programming and Donor Fundraising 

What's your favorite memory of The City School?

​ My favorite memory​ of the city school is having my niece (Janessa SLP 17'') get in the car after attending the SLP retreat and explaining how much she would forever be changed from the 3 days and 2 nights she spent with her SLP cohort. It reminded me of the moment I realized youth organizing and social justice education has the power to drastically change who you are for the better.

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

​I am a HopeJunkie! People inspire me through their struggle and resilience. 

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

​ Tupac Shakur (or all the Shakur's if possible, Afeni, Assata, let's make this a family affair!)

What's a surprising or interesting fact about you?

I can impersonate almost any accent well after hearing it a few times.

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

TV Show: Greys Anatomy (A show created by a dope Black woman, which makes it revolutionary in my book)

Song: Currently: Therapy by Khalid

Book: The Hate U Give, The Rose that Grew From Concrete

Poem: In the Event of My Demise by Tupac Shakur