IDEA digital organizers weave across each of the organizing teams and make sure that powerful stories are shared.
Sam Chaltain, Sr. Fellow - Washington, D.C.
Sam Chaltain is a DC-based writer and education activist. Previously, Sam was the National Director of the Forum for Education & Democracy, an education advocacy organization, and the founding director of the Five Freedoms Project, a national program that helps K-12 educators create more democratic learning communities. Sam spent five years at the First Amendment Center as the co-director of the First Amendment Schools program. He has taught high school English and History in both public and private schools in New York City. Sam’s writings about his work have appeared in both magazines and newspapers, including the Washington Post, Education Week and USA Today. A periodic contributor to CNN, Sam is also the author or co-author of six books.
Jesse Bacon - Philadelphia, PA
Jesse Bacon, Social Media Communications Director of VIVA Teachers, brings public high school teaching experience and 21st century technology and media skills to IDEA Digital Organizing. He has worked with nonprofit organizations to reach and engage their constituencies and audiences, helping them achieve fundraising goals and connect with traditional and social media. Jesse previously taught high school in the Chicago Public Schools system and at the Chicago Freedom School. He received a Master’s Degree in Teaching from Roosevelt University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Video Communications from Antioch College. Jesse has experience as a consultant and trainer in communications, web content, campaign and fundraising activities. Jesse’s former employers, current clients and volunteer experiences include the Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews for Racial Economic Justice, Seattle Public Health, U.S. Campaign to End Occupation, ACORN, MoveOn, and Barack Obama for U.S. Senate.
David Loitz - Portland, OR
David Loitz is a passionate lover of education, film, basketball, food and life. He recently completed his Masters in Holistic Elementary Education at Goddard College. His goal is to open a human scale school in the near future and help others do the same. He has a wide range of accomplishments in creative endeavors, including 10 years as a filmmaker with a BFA (Film/Video) from California Institute of the Arts. He is an avid blogger with Cooperative Catalyst and can be found on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook and other education sites. He loves Education literature and commentary, from books, to films, to blogs. If you ever want to a suggestion, feel free to ask and he will give you 10. David lives in Portland, Oregon with his beautiful fiancee, Marta.
George Patterson - Jackson, MS
George M. Patterson, Jr, most commonly known as "Chuck," is a professional multimedia, community and youth outreach training consultant who uses innovative, educational and experiential teaching methods to empower campuses and non-profit organizations on how to maximize minimal resources to get maximum results. His seven years in higher education and community activism has been dedicated to enhancing student leadership and empowerment programs by showing how to develop and execute concepts for marketing campaigns and strategic planning for college campuses and non-profit organizations. His diverse background in community outreach spans from civic engagement to health and wellness initiatives. George is currently the Director of Campus Life and Community Outreach at the Tougaloo College Owens Health and Wellness Center. He has a Master of Liberal Arts degree from the University of Saint Thomas and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Tougaloo College where he was a student leader and became a member of the Rho Epsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Beth Sanders - Birmingham, AL
Beth Sanders is a dynamic young educator known for using technology and social media to empower and connect her students in inner-city Birmingham, AL to the global community. She is also a technology consultant with the Alabama Best Practices Center, Connected Coach with the Powerful Learning Practice Network and co-founder of the Youth Converts Culture program set on empowering youth to bridge the gap between technology and humanity. Beth is a part of IDEA's Digital Organizing Team and you can connect with her through social media here.
Nadya Vilá - Central & South Florida
Nadya is admitted to practice law in the State of Florida and the United States District Courts for the Middle District and Southern District of Florida. She has experience in Intellectual Property Law and Criminal Defense, as well as business entity formation law. In addition to individual clients, she can use her skills in these areas of law to cater to schools. Nadya is fluent in English and Spanish, and conversationally proficient in Italian. She loves being in Kissimmee and Orlando, Florida, where she founded TEDxYouth@Orlando with friends early in 2012. Originally from Puerto Rico, Nadya also loves visiting the country and teaching art workshops at Nuestra Escuela’s campuses. Nadya’s background is in fine art and film, and she is passionate about (painting and) using her skills in art and law to create opportunities to discover and enjoy the arts in a safe environment.
Catherine Reynolds - Ridgewood, NJ