Who We Are
Sonia Silbert, Director
Sonia Silbert is originally from New York City and has been living in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of DC since 2006. She has been an organizer and activist on peace and justice issues for many years. Most recently she has worked for No War, No Warming, CODEPINK: Women for Peace and organized with Common Ground Collective in post-Katrina New Orleans. In 2010 she was awarded a Building the Next Generation of Women Leaders Fellowship from the National Council for Research on Women. She has a certificate in Non-Profit Management from Georgetown University and joined the Washington Peace Center as Co-Coordinator in May, 2008.
Dany Sigwalt, Progam Manager
Helga Herz Peacemaking Fellow
Dany Sigwalt is a third generation washingtonian who grew up in Columbia Heights. As the daughter of academics, she has been a proponent of combining theory and practice in her activist work long before learning the term praxis in the classroom. Her student-activist career focused on mixed-race, queer, and student of color issues at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. Most recently, Dany came to us after working at Words Beats & Life, a youth development/hip-hop nonprofit housed directly above WPC’s office. She has been a core-organizing member of the DC Childcare Collective for two years- an all-volunteer organization that seeks to shift social understanding of childcare from being disproportionately placed on women of color from low-income backgrounds to community work.
Candice Jones, Administrator
Candice Jones is a birth doula and student midwife who has been living in Washington D.C. since 2007. Her work and activism center around maternity and reproductive health issues with the hope that all women and their families will one day have access to quality, respectful, and gentle care. In addition to her business, Birth With Candice, she has been a volunteer doula with The Family Health and Birth Center and an outreach volunteer with HIPS.
Washington Peace Center Coordinating Board
The Coordinating Board is responsible for the WPC's ongoing viability. They set priorities for our work and ensure we have the resources and support needed to meet our goal. They are engaged directly with our programmatic work and meet monthly.
Pedro Cruz is an experienced organizer who has worked for years with DC day laborers both independently and with DC Jobs with Justice. In 2005 he was key in the student and worker living wage victory at Georgetown University. He is originally from the Dominican Republic, earned a PhD from Georgetown and currently works with DC Jobs with Justice as their Campaign Coordinator.
Robby Diesu (Chair)
Robby Diesu is an organizer, trainer, and strategist who works in various social movements through his work at Vision Communiqué, an organizing firm he started in the spring of 2010, and with DC Action Lab- a newly formed collective of organizers in the District. Robby specializes in mass mobilizations for the environmental movement, bringing thousands to DC to protest fracking, corporate investment in coal and the Keystone XL pipeline. He is a recent graduate of Catholic University and helped found CUAllies, their unofficial gay-straight alliance. He worked for many years as a civilian ally with Iraq Veterans Against the War and is a member of Civilian-Soldier Alliance.
Ese Emerhi is an nonprofit management consultant, and has spent the last few years working on human rights issues here in the U.S. and in the Middle East & North Africa region pushing for progressive democratic initiatives that promote freedom and the respect of human rights. She is also a board member of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network and serves as the Chair of the Chapters committee, coordinating and executing core programming slates and manuals that ensure the growth of the network. In addition, she is currently working with clients in Sierra Leone to provide concrete educational tools to children in the rural parts of the country.
Philip Fornaci is a graduate of Columbia University and the G.W. Law School, and a 30-year resident of D.C. Active on issues around criminal “justice” and prison issues, he served for ten years as Director of the D.C. Prisoners’ Project, the primary prisoners’ rights organization in D.C. He is a former Steering Committee member of the D.C. Statehood Green Party and a Board member for the Museum of Hidden History, with a long history of anti-war and LGBT activism.
Julian Forth is a graduate from Messiah College (’06) and from Duke University’s Divinity School (’09). He has lectured in the area of religion, violence/nonviolence, and systemic injustice. He has extensive experience in service to low-income and homeless populations (i.e. hospice care, employment, tutoring), in interfaith dialogues, and has supported numerous causes such as anti-war demonstrations, LGBTQ rights, and AIDS awareness. Currently, he resides in DC working as Housing Counselor/Trainer providing tenant rights education for Housing Counseling Services.
Katherine Fuchs has been living in DC since 2006 and is currently the Program Director at the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability. Her experience spans a decade of educational and advocacy campaigns focused on nuclear, foreign policy, and human rights issues. Some of the organizations that Katherine has worked with in the past include: the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Peace Action, the Wisconsin Network for Peace & Justice, LGBT Center Advocates, the Wisconsin Fair Trade Campaign, and a variety of voter rights groups in her hometown of Milwaukee, where she received the Future of Change award from Community Shares of Wisconsin for her work around elections. In her spare time, Katherine enjoys gardening, volunteering with the Grassroots Education Project in DC, and supporting her local PBS station.
Samantha Miller is a freelance organizer and trainer based in Washington DC. Since her time as a student at UCLA, Sam has been involved in social justice work as a staff member and volunteer organizer for groups like United for Peace & Justice, Military Families Speak Out, and the new Students for a Democratic Society.
Marie Soveroski is Managing Director at EarthRights International, an organization that combines the power of law and the power of people in defense of human rights and the environment. Prior to that she served as Director of the European Centre for Judges and Lawyers in Luxembourg. Her focus and passion is environmental and human rights law and protection, which she has pursued both as a lawyer and as an activist. She earned her JD at Gonzaga University School of Law as a Thomas More Scholar, a full-tuition scholarship program for persons pursuing a career in law in the public interest.
David Thurston is a native of Washington D.C. who is deeply involved in the movement for immigrant rights in the metropolitan area. David helped to found both the DC Alliance for Immigrant Justice and the Metro D.C. Interfaith Sanctuary Network. David joined the Washington Peace Center Board in February 2008 and is deeply committed to building movements against war and U.S. imperialism.
Washington Peace Center Advisory Council
The Advisory Council meets once a year to provide WPC board and staff feedback and input into our organizational priorities and work. They provide us formal connection with many of our most important allies to ensure we're working in collaboration, as well as advice and experience from their own personal work.
Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK: Women for Peace
Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies
Nadine Bloch, activist/artist/educator, Washington Action Group (WAG)
Mackenzie Baris, Jobs with Justice DC
Adam Eidinger, Mintwood Media Collective
Humberto Garcez, Manuel Zapata Olivella Afro-Latino Development Center
Graylan Hagler, Ministers for Racial, Social and Economic Justice
Anise Jenkins, Stand up! for Democracy in DC (Free DC)
Geoff Millard, Iraq Veterans Against the War
Andy Shallal, Busboys and Poets, Iraqi Voices for Peace
B Wardlaw, Peace Center supporter
Emira Woods, Foreign Policy in Focus, Institute for Policy Studies
Laura Worby, Nurse Practitioner and health care advocate
Rev. Yearwood, Hip-Hop Caucus
Partners and other relationships and affiliations
In order to effectively achieve its mission and strengthen its network, WPC is a member organization of United for Peace and Justice and an affiliate of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC).