Check out the YW Boston Advocacy Committee:
Brianna Aloisio Savage
Advocacy and Community Organizing Manager, YW Boston
Brianna (she/her) is a Massachusetts native who has dedicated her career to bettering the community around her. Brianna started her career in international relations focusing on educational opportunities for students abroad. From there she continued to focus on education as the conductor in which to empower communities economically and socially. While working in operations for an educational advocacy organization Brianna completed two fellowships in public policy: The International Education Leadership’s Education Policy Fellowship Program and a Visiting Fellowship with Education Pioneers. Through these fellowships Brianna continued to serve in public policy which lead her to the Boston Foundation as the Public Affairs Associate. After serving on the YW Boston Advocacy Committee for two years, Brianna joined YW in a full-time position in May 2022. A part of her role as Advocacy Manager at YW Boston is to manage the advocacy committee as well as our Parity on Board initiative and other community engagement and legislative actions of the organization. Brianna lives in East Boston with her dog and partner, enjoys fitness and cooking in her free time.
Emma works in the Population Health Department of Cambridge Health Alliance as a Program Coordinator for the MassHealth Flexible Services program, which provides funding to alleviate Medicaid patients’ health-related social needs, such as food insecurity and housing instability. In this role her focus is overseeing program operations and evaluation of CHA’s Flexible Services nutrition support programs, which connect high risk, food insecure patients and families with access to healthy food and nutrition education. Prior to her work at CHA, she completed her Master of Public Health in nutrition at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health where she focused her studies on social and behavioral sciences, food and nutrition security, and nutrition policy. Emma is passionate about health equity, and her motivation to join the advocacy committee stems from her desire to empower people from all walks of life to live healthy, free, and dignified lives. Through participating in the advocacy committee, she hopes to learn how to productively advocate for policies that democratize justice and promote peace and dignity for all. During her free time, Emma enjoys hiking, running, baking, and spending time with loved ones.
Melanie Chapilliquen (she/her(s)) is an effective disruptor of change and a culture driver who believes in opening doors of opportunities for others just as they have been opened for her. As the Global Employee Experience & Social Impact Specialist at Mimecast, her day-to-day consists of executing key programming supporting DEI initiatives and inclusive policies. In addition, she creates and organizes core programs related to global CSR and ESG commitments. Before working in tech, she worked at non-profits advocating for education equity for youth and sports equity for young women. She holds a B.A. in Strategic Communication from Nova Southeastern University and an M.S. in Media Advocacy from Northeastern University- a uniquely designed program through a collaboration between the College of Arts, Media, and Design and the School of Law. Melanie is passionate about advocacy and social equity and is excited to join YW Boston Advocacy Committee.
Chris received his Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, focusing on immigration and refugees from Vassar College in May 2022. He is interested in interrogating diversity, equity and inclusion work in the workplace and the everyday and believes everyone has a part to play in ending oppressive structures to build a better world. He hopes to pursue law school in the coming years.
Resiliency Roundtable Director, Jewish Federations of North America’s BeWell Initiative
Kate Greene (she/her) is a licensed social worker with a sincere commitment to holistic, community-based nonprofits. Her passion for social work, paired with her strengths in writing and public speaking, have allowed her to facilitate programs, write grants, and build strong community partnerships. Kate’s professional track record of advancing strategy, equity, and coordination of care spans work with children, families, educators, and foundations. Kate brings experience in mentorship, ongoing impact evaluation, community organizing, social justice education, and advocating for best practices in caring for clients and communities. Kate received her BA in Social Work at Rutgers University and her MSW at NYU. She practices yoga and loves theater, podcasts, and DIY projects!
Rachel (she/her) is the President of Reflection Films, Inc., a WBENC-certified woman-owned video production company that does filming and animation for mission-driven organizations.
Prior to Reflection Films, Rachel worked at several nonprofits focused on public health and education. She has served as a health educator for youth and adults and as a director of a literacy program. Rachel holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MA from Harvard University. In her free time, she enjoys bird watching and playing the banjo.
A Quincy native, Helen has had an interest in social justice and community development from the early days. While at college, Helen studied public and community health and environmental science at Ithaca College and then returned to Massachusetts to take part in AmeriCorps. Helen served at both the Campus Kitchen at University of Massachusetts, Boston and the Fenway Community Development Corporation. Expanding on her interest in community health to focus on housing’s role in community vitality, Helen then went on to join the full time team at Fenway CDC, working directly with residents and community organizers. Currently, Helen is an associate for the Neighborhoods and Housing impact area at the Boston Foundation and has the pleasure of working towards greater housing justice for residents across Greater Boston.
Chinazo is a Massachusetts native committed to causes at the intersection of creative arts, youth development, and equity in education. She received a BA in Psychology from Boston University in the spring of 2021. Following her undergrad, she served a year in the AmeriCorps VISTA program with Boston-based nonprofit Horizons Greater Boston which deepened her awareness of the opportunity gap as a powerful determinant of educational access and student outcomes. She continues to build on the skills and experiences she obtained from AmeriCorps in her current operations role at BalletRox, where she oversees programs, recruitment, and community relationships. Chinazo is excited to join the Advocacy Committee and learn from its members who share her motivations.
Cofounder and Chief Talent Officer, MomUp
Reem is the Cofounder and Chief Talent Officer of MomUp, a mission driven company that works to advance women in the workplace. Having emigrated from Lebanon at a young age, she learned to navigate the challenges of a new world quickly and her love of the intersection of culture and humanity was born. With her expertise in training and development, Reem spearheads the team that optimizes the process for connecting job seekers to well matched organizations. At the same time, Reem works to address issues of gender and pay equity in the workplace and advocates for increased access, representation and opportunity for women. Reem received a dual Master’s degree in Social Work and Public Health from Boston University. Following her social work career, Reem worked as both an intercultural trainer and training consultant to non and for profit businesses, health care organizations and municipalities throughout Massachusetts. Her trainings addressed topics such as diversity, intercultural communication, leadership, work force development, team building and crisis management. As a public health researcher, Reem worked with many national organizations to address issues of systemic racism and its impact on health disparities. She is skilled in group facilitation, training and research, as well as outreach and program development.
Director of Programs and Public Policy, Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee
Rachel is the Director of Programs and Public Policy at Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee (CEOC), an anti-poverty nonprofit providing both direct service and policy and programmatic advocacy to address the root causes and impacts of poverty. Prior to her work at CEOC, she completed her Master of Public Health in nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health where she studied food insecurity, body image, and weight stigma. Rachel continues to work with Harvard’s Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders and the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, where she assists in advocacy efforts to ban weight discrimination in the state of Massachusetts. Rachel is passionate about advocacy and policy focused on equity and the social determinants of health, and is excited to learn from all of the members of the YW Boston Advocacy Committee.
Instructor in Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital
Amanda Raffoul (she/her/hers) is a public health researcher and educator with over a decade of experience in community-based advocacy. Originally from southern Ontario (Canada), Amanda began working directly with youth, schools, and families to raise awareness and prevent the harms presented by eating disorders during her undergraduate degree at the University of Windsor. She received her MSc and PhD from the University of Waterloo School of Public Health Sciences in Waterloo, Ontario, where she researched health policy and eating disorders prevention, and conducted school-based programming with youth through YWCA Cambridge. In 2021 she moved to the Boston area, where she is currently a research fellow and an Instructor of Pediatrics and with the Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders (STRIPED) at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Through STRIPED, she is actively involved in state-level legislative advocacy efforts to prevent eating disorders and works closely with youth and community advocates on bills to ban the sale of harmful diet pills to youth and prohibit weight discrimination.
Cifi Sajan, BSW
Originally from New York, Cifi (she/ her/ hers) is an advocate for racial and gender equity. Cifi has a robust academic career studying both pharmacy and nursing before choosing the profession most in line with her passions- Social Work. As a former Nursing student that worked with patients and saw the impact of inequity ingrained in racism, Cifi’s passion to help others changed from mental health to health equity. She soon switched programs and graduated from Nassau Community College with her Human Services degree. Cifi got her Bachelor in Social Work degree and her minor in Health, Medicine, and Society from Stony Brook University in New York. During her time at Stony Brook, she was also volunteered at school as a Green Team Student Leader for gender-based violence. She was also a Diversity Committee Member at the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) NYS Chapter where she was able to further learn and fuel her advocacy goal. Cifi went to and graduated from Boston College for her Masters in Social Work, where she was also able to intern with Massachusetts General Hospital. As an MSW intern, she was able to advocate for her clients while working with the Dementia Care Collaborative program. She was also able to advocate for changes needed within the student leadership team to be a better support to clients which resulted in changes to help achieve better equitable practices. Cifi is also a committee member at the Racial Justice Council with the NASW MA Chapter and a Young Professional Board Member for the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. Cifi’s academic career and experience has allowed a unique perspective into addressing inequitable practices. She hopes to work in DEI sectors to make changes within systems that can help achieve equitable practices.
Sandy Saenbounmy (She/Her) is the Associate Director of Institutional Giving at Boston Center for the Arts where she manages the grant donor pipeline. She has over five (5) years of experience in nonprofit fundraising and program development. In her spare time, she enjoys jogging, doing yoga and pilates and volunteering for different causes related to education equity, policy and advocacy and community building. Sandy has a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Rhode Island College and a Master of Social Work degree from Boston College.
Deputy Controller, Boston Planning and Development Agency
Boston native Amina Scott has an extensive background in personal and organizational financial capacity building and strategic planning. Amina has served the greater mission of the nonprofit world by providing financial direction and strategy for grassroots organizations. She is committed to building and sustaining wealth and providing asset management strategies to her community and other historically disenfranchised communities. She is an advocate for financial literacy, transparency, equity and accountability and has taken on leadership roles that allow her to empower marginalized communities by demystifying financial concepts. Amina, who is a certified tax preparer, routinely volunteers at VITA centers, Urban Edge and the Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment providing tax preparation services and individual financial guidance to low income members of the community. Amina has served as Director of Finance at multiple non profits organizations in Boston and Greater Boston. She also serves as a Grants and Finance Manager, overseeing a portfolio of fiscally sponsored organizations, where she provides financial management and strategic planning for each
Amina currently serves as the Deputy Controller for the Boston Planning and Development Agency. Prior to joining the BPDA, Amina worked in the office of Boston City Councilor Fernandes Anderson, Chair of Ways and Means, as the Budget Director. This provided a platform to further advocate for financial transparency for marginalized neighborhoods by shaping and creating policy, and leading research graduate classes from Boston University and Northeastern University’s Capstone program around addressing equity through the City of Boston’s budget. Amina developed budget workshops in collaboration with community organizations to initiate meaningful reform around the City’s budget process teaching community how to actively engage with the administration and how to access and navigate existing resources. Amina is driven to provide financial direction and strategy for underserved communities.
Dr. Jessica C. Williams, DMD, FACD
Dental Public Health Resident, Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine
Dr. Jessica C. Williams strives to improve the social determinants of health that impact one’s opportunity for wellbeing. At Howard University, she studied Biology and Afro-American Studies and gained a deep, foundational understanding of the structures of humans and the structures of America. While at Howard, Dr. Williams was also exposed to national dental public health advocacy as an intern at Oral Health America, where she worked to increase access to oral health care for older adults. As a dental student at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Dr. Williams developed and implemented an oral health literacy project as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow, completed a Health Administration and Policy Certificate in Health Disparities Research, and was continually reminded of the social determinants of health that can hinder access to oral health care. After graduating, Dr. Williams worked in rural Iowa as part of the National Health Service Corps and sought opportunities to improve her patients’ health not only through direct service, but also on a statewide and national level, which included serving on the policy committees of the Iowa Public Health Association, American Public Health Association Oral Health Section, and the American Association of Public Health Dentistry. Currently, Dr. Williams is a dental public health resident at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, where she focuses on health policy and research that sheds light on structural inequities, barriers to care, and marginalized groups of the oral health workforce.