Staff & Board
Samantha (she/her) is a queer white woman who believes in addressing power inequities by building representative and progressive leadership. With a degree in community development and a background of reproductive health advocacy, Samantha has worked on issues globally at the United Nations, regionally as board vice president for the Northwest Abortion Access Fund, statewide and locally on campaigns, and in both chambers of the legislature. She also serves as a member of the NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon board of directors and was a founding board member and co-director of New Leaders Council Portland. When she’s not working to make the world a better place, Samantha is playing bass in her feminist punk bands, cuddling her dog Pierre, or sampling the best of Oregon’s food, wine and beer with her spouse Zach.
Maddie (she/her) brings a strong sense of passion for community involvement and collaboration to Next Up. She is a white woman that hails from Redmond, WA and received a degree from Willamette University with a BA in both Politics and Spanish. Over the last year and a half, she has overhauled Next Up’s data systems, grew the volunteer program, and planned exciting new events, ensuring the organization is set up for the next generation. Outside the office, you’ll likely find Maddie at a trivia or board game night, hiking, reading, or trying to drag her friends to square dancing.
Isabela (she/her) is a queer Latina youth advocate and educator. She received a BA in Community Development from PSU and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Participatory Budgeting Oregon. Her experience co-founding the non-profit Youth Ending Slavery during high school and subsequent work with the Institute for Sustainable Solutions (PSU), Verde, SOLVE, and Habitat for Humanity instilled in her the power of youth and community work to bring about social and political transformation. In addition to her love for all things justice-related, she also enjoys chasing sun spots, reading femme centered speculative fiction novels, and eating anything made out of potatoes (especially curly fries and ajiaco).
Devin Ruiz (she/her) is a queer Latina from Los Angeles, CA and finds revelatory opportunities in community work. Devin has an unwavering commitment to centering Black, Indigenous, people of color, low-income people, LGBTQIA individuals, and youth in their grassroots community engagement work. She obtained dual degrees in Political Science and Women’s Studies from PSU and wrote her thesis on how white supremacy is reproduced through racial grammar. When Devin is not deep in theory or YouTube, you can find her at the spa or overdressed and trying to find any and all warmth in Portland (usually in the form of community, chisme, and food).
Emily (she/they) is a white queer person committed to moving resources to fund grassroots community organizing, as led by the communities most impacted. As a Portland chapter leader of Resource Generation and a Giving Project member (now board member) with Social Justice Fund NW, she has developed organizing and fundraising skills rooted in social justice principles and a belief in personal transformation through collective action. Previously, Emily had a day job as a software engineer. She appreciates great fiction, nerding out about organizing and facilitation, and taxonomies of personality (personal stats: type 1/INFP/Virgo/Gryffindor).
Amelia (she/her) is currently pursuing a master’s in social work with a concentration on practice and leadership with communities and organizations. She has passion and experience for working with and advocating for currently and formerly incarcerated communities and approaches barriers within these communities with a harm reduction framework and equity lens. Amelia loves puppies, but she loves social justice even more.
Msr Pierre is a puggle that can’t go inside the Capitol because dogs are banned. But, he helps inspire a generation to be movement makers. His well-timed snuggles, barks, and walk breaks keep the vibe right as we push through hard things to create diamonds. Every day, Pierre helps us make cute things: moments, movements, and money.
Sanne brings meaningful social justice philanthropy experience from her activism with Social Justice Fund NW and Resource Generation. She is a white woman and holds a masters in public administration, with a focus on nonprofit management and environmental policy. She brings a willingness to help with literally any project. *Also serves on the Next Up Action Fund Board
Wlnsvey is the daughter of immigrants and brings knowledge from growing up in Bandon, OR and making her adult life in Aloha. She works as a Case Manager at Family Promise of Beaverton. She is well connected in Washington County and has extensive organizing experience and a desire to see more Latinx representation in public service. *Also serves on the Next Up Action Fund Board
Zoe is the Legislative Director to Rep. Barbara Smith Warner. She says that Next Up has shaped her into the leader she is today. She is a white woman who has worked on public policy, communications, and digital organizing in several realms. *Also serves on the Next Up Action Fund Board
Amira is a multiracial Black and Korean student at La Salle Prep, born and raised in North East Portland. She brings an understanding of the socio-political context and civic engagement ecosystem, deep connections, and significant non-profit experience.
Kenya grew up in Woodburn, Oregon with her first-generation Mexican immigrant family. She is a communications professional who has shared her expertise in our rebranding strategy and major donor campaign. *Also serves on the Next Up Action Fund Board
Amanda is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs where she was raised on her family’s cattle ranch. She recently graduated from PSU’s undergraduate Social Work program. She is a proud Navajo, Warm Springs, Wasco, Yakima woman who brings significant perspective, community organizing, and communications prowess. *Also serves on the Next Up Action Fund Board
Mahala is a queer white woman who is the Executive Director of Give!Guide, a program of Willamette Week that raises millions of dollars for Portland area non-profits each year. She brings experience with event planning, branding, communications, fundraising, and a desire to go deeper on diversity, equity, and inclusion. *Also serves on the Next Up Action Fund Board
Hannah is a Palestinian-American woman who is first generation in the U.S. Her experience in organizing and politics has shaped the driving force for her work to bring a diversity, equity, and inclusive lens. She has vocalized for a racial justice method for the voting methodology of the organization that will be implemented past leadership transitions. *Also serves on the Next Up Action Fund Board
Jonathan is a gay white man with significant fundraising, non-profit program evaluation, and non-profit financial experience. Jonathan works at Cascade AIDS Project, and contributes toward growing the fundraising and financial management skills of other board members. *Also serves on the Next Up Action Fund Board as Treasurer
Gabrielle is a multiracial Black woman activist who co-founded a high school cohort, Oregon Youth For Gun Reform, at Next Up. Her understanding of intersectionality and desire to learn have radically shaped our organization for the better. She is a Freshman at Swarthmore College.
Our Next Up Board of Directors provides oversight and support to our work. They are 10 people with a richness of experience, ranging in age from 17-34. Our board is 90% women, 64% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), and 20% LGBTQ. Our Board of Directors is comprised of fierce community advocates who are deeply committed to the success of our organization.
Courtney Graham, a Political Strategist at SEIU Local 503, devotes her time to supporting candidates and campaigns that are committed to advancing economic, racial, gender, and reproductive justice for all Oregonians. She is passionate about increasing voter access and expanding opportunity for young Oregonians in order to address system inequities and building long-term power.
Joséluis is a Latino immigrant that grew up in Salem, OR where his work in the community inspired him to take political matters into his own hands. He is a seasoned organizer and teacher, that believes collectively uniting and demanding action and accountability is imperative for political transformation.
Hayden Miller was born in Beaverton, raised in Hood River and has been a passionate political organizer, legislative aid, and spokesman for a statewide ballot measure campaign. He now works in the office of Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson. He is committed to making Oregon a state where all who call it home have access to what they need to be happy, healthy, and successful.
Our Next Up Action Fund Board of Directors provides oversight and support to our work. They are 11 people with a richness of experience, ranging in age from 23-34. The Next Up Action Fund board is 66% women, 50% people of color, and 33% LGBTQ. Our Board of Directors is comprised of fierce community advocates who are deeply committed to the success of our organization. (Additional members are listed under Next Up Board of Directors because they direct both organizations.)
Jake Oken Berg
Representative Jefferson Smith
Amy Sample Ward
Lizzy Atwood Wills
Representative Brent Barton
Cyreena Boston Ashby
Representative Ben Cannon
Senator Lew Frederick