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Tools for a Better Tomorrow

Who We Are

We are volunteers with a variety of education and training backgrounds. We come from many walks of life. We work cooperatively to build and lead ACT.

 

ACTIVE COMMUNITY TRAINERS

 

Jordi Comas is an educator, scholar, chef, and social entrepreneur.  He has started or led community and political organizations or networks since 1994.  He combines the study of social networks with a humanistic perspective on information and communication technologies.  Ideas, creativity, innovation, and good cooking are among his passions. Habla español fluido también.

 

 

Chip Facka is a known organizer and agitator who has been active for 10 years in North Central Pennsylvania. He has been an integral part of three congressional campaigns, and has received national recognition for his efforts in regional organizing and advocacy. His accomplishments include direct action and public theater — like managing the deployment of a 10′ tall wheelchair sculpture for use in health care demonstrations around the region.

 

 

Nicole Faraguna has served as Director of Outreach and Education for the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association since March 2005. She co-founded the Susquehanna Valley Progressives, a nonpartisan organization established to promote core progressive values and issues through education, networking opportunities and advocacy. She enjoys hiking Pennsylvania’s wild places; playing in the garden; reading, cooking and traveling.

 

 

Penn Garvin is a long-time community organizer beginning with the Civil Rights movement, the women’s movement, Act-Up during the AIDS epidemic, the anti-nuclear movement, non-intervention in Latin America movement and others. Trained in mediation and organizational development she brings a strong commitment to building healthy, vibrant social movements that work together to bring about social justice.

 

 

Mary Hague has lived in East Buffalo Township since 2002, and grew up in Virginia. She used to teach American Government and environmental policy before homeschooling her son for several years. Her current community work focuses mostly on the Susquehanna River and water quality issues.

 

 

 

Dwayne Heisler studied Computer Information Sciences and became an entrepreneur/small business owner for 25 years. He has served in leadership positions with the Democratic Party as a delegate and in voter outreach and LGBT Caucus. He is a founder of several organizations for equality and nondiscrimination. When he is not facilitating presentations, he’s directing, playing and singing early medieval/renaissance music or enjoying time with his dogs and husband near Bloomsburg.

 

 

Taylor Lightman comes to the group as an electoral organizer. He has worked with Al Franken, Bernie Sanders, Jon Ossoff, and For Our Future Fund.  Taylor is passionate about and committed to social and economic justice, journalism, and sustainability.  In his free time, he likes to listen to music, read, create art, and play Go.

 

 

MaryJean Moser has been involved in training and education in one way or another for over 40 years.  After six years as a high school English teacher, she spent two years in the Peace Corps as a community trainer.  In her 14-year corporate career, she worked for various Bell System companies in all aspects of communications, training, and professional development. In her 20 years at Bucknell University, she has worked in the Library and in the Education Department.

 

 

Doug Orbaker is a retired pastor and mission worker with many years experience in Central America and a long-term commitment to racial and social justice. While others have worked on the left edge “pushing the envelope,” his work has been mostly with small towns helping to move people into the spaces that those activists have created. He is the author of a paper titled “Talking to Middle America About Progressive Issues” which is available online.

 

 

Lois Passi has been involved in social justice matters for approximately 30 years.  She was a clinical social worker for 15 years. Over the years, she worked with a foster care prevention program, people with AIDS and their families, and schizophrenics. She was also an Imago Relationship therapist, helping couples to listen to one another.  She chaired Community Alliance for Respect and Equality (CARE) for several years and is currently working with the United Way’s Basic Needs Task Force as well as the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way.

 

 

Samantha Pearson works professionally on non-partisan community engagement and has extensive experience running public meetings, drawing people in to participate in unfamiliar processes, and introducing concepts to new audiences.  As a designer, she is particularly interested in envisioning the world we want and helping others to get past the tyranny of the status quo.

 

 

Casey Pegg hails from the Rust Belt of Western PA, has been active in social justice movements since 2008.  They work with Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and fight fracking as a community organizer for the Shalefield Organizing Committee.  Casey is familiar with a variety of grassroots organizing tools to claim political power for marginalized people.

 

 

Steva Stowell-Hardcastle is a small business owner & veterinarian with experience in campaign field organizing, community activism, demonstrations and lobbying. She also has skills using social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to promote events and advocate for issues.

 

 

Peterson Toscano promotes justice and equality through storytelling. With his original theater pieces and performance lectures, Peterson opens up discussions about LGBTQ issues, the Bible, and climate change. He also facilitates groups on non-violent approaches to change making and lobbying. Peterson is the host of the Citizens’ Climate Radio podcast.

 

 

 

 

 

ENCOURAGE TRAINERS

 

Arlyne Hoyt is retired from Bucknell University where she served as director of Psychological Services. She currently has a practice in shiatsu massage, qigong instruction, and spiritual direction. She completed her training in shiatsu at the International School of Shiatsu.  Her training is spiritual direction was from Oasis Ministries for Spiritual Development. She has led numerous workshops/retreats on qigong , meditation and motion, and spiritual development.

 

Lucy Heggenstaller owns and operates a retreat center called Dancing Bear Lodge. She is a Reiki Practitioner and a Clinical Social Worker. She utilizes modalities of healing that empower people, integrate body wisdom and help people connect to their deeper selves and nature.

 

Emma Kristjanson-Gural is a homeschooled high schooler who is passionate about activism and the arts (both together and separate). She is a member of Active Millennials for Progress and has participated in marches and rallies around the east coast. Emma is an environmentalist, and spent the fall semester of her junior year in Wisconsin at Conserve School, a semester school focused on environmental sustainability. On any given day, you will find Emma dancing, acting, playing ukulele in the park, or planning a revolution.

 

Jyothi (Lori) Weaver is an Integral Yoga instructor and the operations manager of the Whole Life Society center in New Berlin. She deeply believes that a place of peace and love dwells within each of us and that our best decisions are made when we draw from that core. And although life will always continue to hold challenges, disappointments, and sorrows, with yoga as spiritual base, one is better able to accept life circumstances with a sense of grace, knowing that those times will once again be balanced with moments of light and timeless joy. When not twisting and breathing deeply at the center, she can be found sharing heart to hearts and British humor laughs with my son, Logan, having Zen moments with her fur friends, Sadie and Scout or playing guitar.