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Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA)
Staff and Members

MECA Staff

Barbara Lubin, Founder and Executive Director, is a life-long peace, justice and disability rights activist. She has led nearly twenty delegations of North Americans to Palestine/Israel, Iraq, and Lebanon. She has lectured on the issue of Middle East politics and the plight of the children in the region to dozens of schools, universities, conferences, religious institutions and community groups and she is a frequent speaker at anti-war rallies. Barbara is also the former President of the Berkeley Board of Education. She has four grown children and seven grandchildren.

Deborah Agre, Development Director, worked as a volunteer direct mail fundraising consultant to MECA from 1991 until she joined the staff in June 2003 where she is responsible for direct mail, major donor and foundation fundraising as well as the newsletter and other communications. She has worked in fundraising and communications positions at The Breast Cancer Fund, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Women''s Health Rights Coalition. She was a Senior Consultant at Mal Warwick & Associates, a direct mail fundraising agency working for progressive causes and candidates. Deborah has two school-age sons and she is involved in efforts to build political and financial support for the Berkeley Public Schools.

Dr. Mona El-Farra, Director of Gaza Projects, is a physician by training and a human rights and women''s rights activist by practice in the occupied Gaza Strip. She was born in Khan Younis, Gaza and has dedicated herself to developing community based programs that aim to improve health quality and link health services with cultural and recreation services all over the Gaza Strip. Dr. El-Farra is also the Vice President of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society of the Gaza Strip and a member of the Union of Health Work Committees. Dr. El-Farra has a son and two daughters.

Howard Levine, Associate Director, is also the co-founder of the Middle East Children''s Alliance. He serves as general manager for Alliance Graphics, MECA''s screen-printing, embroidery and promotional products business, manages MECA''s finances, and edits MECA''s written materials. Formerly an award-winning journalist, Howard has worked as an editor and reporter at the Daily Californian, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the Oakland Tribune and elsewhere on a freelance basis. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Michigan State University.

Penny Rosenwasser, Special Events Coordinator, has produced dozens of educational and cultural events for MECA. In 1992 she published a book of interviews, "Voices from a ''Promised Land'': Palestinians and Israeli Peace Activists Speak Their Hearts." Penny has led four women''s peace delegations to Palestine/Israel, and produced and hosted many radio programs on these issues. She has toured the country with her slide show, "The Face of Reoccupation." Penny is active with Bay Area Women in Black and is on the board of Jewish Voice for Peace. Penny has been a long-time organizer and facilitator of workshops on anti-racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism. Her dissertation was on the psychological effects of Jewish oppression on Jews.

Jos Sances, Art Director, helped establish Alliance Graphics, MECA''s union screenprinting business, in 1990. Over the years he has designed and printed posters and t-shirts for hundreds of progressive causes, while at the same time maintaining a steady output of art which address issues and ideas which concern him. He is an expert at computer design and its application to screenprint. Before MECA, he co-founded Mission Grafica at the Mission Cultural Center. Jos has painted eleven murals at the Oakland Coliseum and recently completed a screen printed tile mural commission at the Sixteenth Street BART station in San Francisco. Mr. Sances currently serves as an Art Commissioner for the City of Berkeley and is chairman of the Public Art Program.

Josie Shields-Stromsness, Project Coordinator, lived and worked in Palestine for six months before joining the staff of the Middle East Children''s Alliance. She worked for the Palestinian Environmental NGO Network (now the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign) in Jerusalem and for the Ibdaa Cultural Center in Dheisheh Refugee Camp. She spends at least two months each year in Palestine, based at Ibdaa where she provides grant-writing and other assistance. Josie regularly visits all MECA partners and co-leads MECA delegations to Palestine/Israel. Josie is also a member of Act Against Torture, Break the Siege, and the San Francisco Childcare Collective and volunteers with Left Turn Magazine.

MECA Board of Directors

Eugene "Gus" Newport
Sherry Gendelman
Barbara Lubin
Osha Neumann
Michel Shehadeh
Hon. Maudelle Shirek

Founding Advisors

Sen. James Abourezk
Maya Angelou
Anan Ameri
Dr. Swee Chai Ang
Dr. Fathi Arafat
Prof. Naseer Aruri
Rabbi Leonard Beerman
Prof. Joel Beinin
Jeanne Butterfield
Prof. Noam Chomsky
Ramsey Clark
Dr. Charlie Clements
Dr. Davida Coady
Hon. John Conyers
Angela Y. Davis
Ossie Davis
Hon. Ronald Dellums
Prof. Troy Duster
Kathy Engel
Samih Farsoun
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Max Gail
Allen Ginsberg
Hon. Jackie Goldberg
Yvonne Golden
Bluma Goldstein
Susan Goltsman
Khader Hamide
Rabbi Burt Jacobson
Hon. Grantland Johnson
June Jordan
Casey Kasem
Ying Lee
Riyad Khoury
Prof. Mel King
Felicia Langer
Jerry Levin
Ibrahim Abu Lughod
Bill Means
Holly Near
Prof. Hilton Obenzinger
Jack O''Dell
Father Bill O''Donnell
Matti Peled
Antonio Rodriguez
Michel Roublev
Prof. Edward Said
Rev. Gus Schultz
Pete Seeger
Prof. Hisham Sharabi
Stanley Sheinbaum
Samir Totah
Leah Tsemel
Marc Van Der Hout
Alice Walker
Prof. Dick Walker
Sharon Wallace
Hon. Maxine Waters
Leonard Weinglass
Brian Willson
Leon Wofsy
Tawfiq Zayyad
Jim Zogby


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