SENIOR TEAM

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Rhonda Thomas

Executive Director

Reverend Rhonda Thomas serves as the Executive Director for Faith in Florida. Rhonda’s career began as a fellow in 2012 as she fought with the No on 3 Campaign.  She continued to blossom at Faith in Florida in the following areas:

LiveFree Organizer – Reducing Gun Violence –
Miami Dade County, Statewide Campaign Director – Let My People Vote Campaign – Restoring Voting Rights for returning Citizens, and Statewide Souls to Polls Director, where over 800 congregations participated. Reverend Rhonda Thomas has a passion to 
“Build a Beloved Community in Florida where everyone feels a sense of Belonging.”

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Genesis Reyes

Chief of Staff

Genesis Reyes serves as the Chief of Staff for Faith in Florida (FIF).  She joined FIF in September 2014. As the Chief of Staff, Genesis is working to implement and improve the organization’s administrative systems, policies, and procedures. She is also a Data Professional, managing the CE data behind such successful c3 GOTV campaigns including the education around Florida's Amendment 4 and Hillsborough County's State Attorney. Genesis is originally from Miami, Florida. She has a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Mathematics and Sociology from the University of Central Florida. In her spare time, Genesis enjoys running, traveling, and spending time with her dog, Simon.

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Dr. Elizabeth Faulkner Jackson

Deputy Director

Elizabeth Jackson, Th.D. is the Deputy Director of Organizing. She is instrumental in training grassroots organizers to implement faith-based advocacy initiatives for multi-faith congregations and GOTV campaigns. She was a FiF Democracy Fellow and 2018 Deputy Director of the Let My People Vote Campaign. She’s a member of The Treasure Coast (FL) Chapter of The Links, NAACP, and other advocacy organizations. Elizabeth is the Lead Pastor of Life Changers Global Nation Ministries, Vero Beach, FL., and is committed to “Build a Beloved Community” where everyone feels a sense of belonging.

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Dr. LaVon Bracy

Democracy Director

LaVon Wright Bracy is a native Floridian, where she was educated in the public school system. She is the first African American to graduate from Alachua County’s Gainesville High School in 1965. An advocate for social justice and civil rights, LaVon has single-handedly registered more than 1200 people.  She earned her bachelor’s degree from Fisk University, Master of Education (M.Ed.) from the University of Miami, and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) from the University of Florida. LaVon currently serves as the Director of Democracy at Faith in Florida.

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Nanci Palacios

Deputy Director

Nanci serves as Deputy Director of Faith in Florida. She oversees the training and development of organizers and their leaders, develops and manages the organization's CE campaigns, and leads its immigration program. Her career began as a youth organizer, where she co-led campaigns that resulted in DACA and laws granting undocumented students in-state tuition rates in colleges and universities across the state. Her career has allowed her to work alongside Latinx, Black, Queer and Immigrant leaders. She aims to center communities impacted by systems of violence and through her work, she prides herself in aiding leaders to walk into their power so that together, we can build a state that recognizes the dignity in all people.

INTERNAL TEAM

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Jacquelyn F. Estinfort

Administrative Assistant

Over 26 years of experience in Non-Profit Administration and Bank Management. In a former Management role, she had oversight responsibility for membership and petition drives registration and Administrative management of satellite office operations. As former VP of Operations for an international religious Non-Profit, she was tasked to update as well as implement a new financial system, including software selection, testing, and data migration.  She has also been charged to select the organization's commercial vendors and manage the complete budget process.  She also had complete oversight for the creation of new policy and procedure manuals, the establishment of disaster plans, and payroll accounting. Active in her community & local church.

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Lissette Harris

Executive Assistant

Lisette serves as the Executive Assistant for Faith in Florida. She HAILS from Nova Southeastern University,  with a Bachelor's in Business Management.  Lisette started with Faith in Florida as a super volunteer.  She has served as a Data Specialist and Regional Coordinator.  Lisette continues to provide support to the Executive Director and the entire organization as she leads the organization to the next level as we build a  beloved community.

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Loren Lyons

Communications Coordinator

Loren Lyons serves as the Communication Coordinator for Faith in Florida. Hailing from Tallahassee Florida, she is a second-generation graduate of Florida A&M University with a bachelor's degree in Public Relations and a Minor in Psychology. She started her career as a writer for an entertainment publication and was a brand strategist for local and nonprofit organizations. Loren looks forward to bringing her creativity and passion for helping others into her work.

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Yesenia Mendez

Operations Coordinator

Yesenia Mendez serves as the Operations Coordinator with Faith in Florida. Yesenia joined the Faith in Florida staff during the Let My People Vote Campaign, following an internship with Faith in Florida. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Legal Studies with a minor in Writing and Rhetoric from the University of Central Florida. Since 2018, Yesenia has provided support to lead the organization to long term-operational excellence and support Faith in Florida’s mission of building a beloved community.

COMMUNITY LEADERS

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Alisia Harriel

Treasure Coast Organizer

Alisia Harriel is a Congregational Organizer with Faith in Florida, in the Treasure Coast. She has worked with grassroots and non-profit organizations for about 10 years. Alisia started her activism and advocacy work as a college student at Florida A&M University. During this time, she worked as the Florida State Coordinator for Black Youth Vote! (BYV!). In 2018 Alisia worked as a Field Organizer and Trainer for the For Our Future Fund, helping to restore the votes of over 1.4 million returning citizens. Alisia has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration.

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Cirenio Cervantes

Congregation Organizer

Cirenio Cervantes is a passionate leader that works to advocate for the immigrant community as well as to develop leaders. His work centers on those that are directly impacted by the unjust systems of oppression. As a student, he also continues to learn about health disparities that plague our communities. He uses what he learns and puts it into practice with the various communities in Hillsborough County. His vision is to create a beloved community where everyone has the opportunity to prosper along with their families.

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Denise Brown

Live Free Organizer

Ms. Brown is a graduate of Miami Dade College and holds an associate's degree in Public Administration and has completed a long list of training by the State of Florida Crime Prevention Institute. Ms. Brown has devoted her life and career to public service with a special focus on youth and families impacted by gun violence. She serves as Faith In Florida’s “Live Free Organizer”.  Her favorite quote is from the late Dr. Martin Luther King "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others."

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Dr. Rosalind Osgood

Broward Organizer

Loren Lyons serves as the Communication Coordinator for Faith in Florida. Hailing from Tallahassee, Florida, she is a second-generation graduate of Florida A&M University with a bachelor's degree in Public Relations and a Minor in Psychology. She started her career as a writer for an entertainment publication and was a brand strategist for local and nonprofit organizations. Loren looks forward to bringing her creativity and passion for helping others into her work.

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Dr. (Tony) Ferdinand Drayton

Riviera Beach Organizer

Dr. (Tony) Ferdinand Drayton is the Lead Pastor of Saint James Church and Congregation Organizer with Faith In Florida. He earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree in Transformative Leadership at the historical ATS accredited Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rochester New York, a Masters of Divinity (SFCTS), and a B.A. in Psychology, Pfeiffer University, North Carolina. He is credentialed under the auspices of the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education.  Dr. Drayton maintains a passion for social justice across a broad spectrum of divides. And Faith In Florida offers a further platform to address such disparities.

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Linda Wiggins-Chavis

Hillsborough Organizer

Linda Wiggins-Chavis is an organizer & activist, theologian, freelance writer, and ordained ruling elder in the PCUSA. She is a founding Board member of Liberative Justice Ministries and was previously a biochemist and teacher. Her writing analyzes and critiques theological, racial, and social justice issues. She has worked in both the pharmaceutical industry and in academic research and has worked with students in various capacities – classroom teaching & tutoring, S.T.E.M. programs, youth ministry, etc. Linda is very passionate about the work she is currently doing with Faith in Florida, which is geared towards fighting for the social, political, economic, and environmental justice needs of marginalized communities.

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Matthias Byrd

Pinellas Organizer

Matt Byrd is a passionate advocate getting his start as an organizer leading field programs for various political campaigns.  His efforts helped make history in Florida by sending the first African American female to the Florida State House to represent District 70.  Matt is passionate about his community, being a voice for the impacted, and helping others find their voice and power to be the change they want to see.  With the support of Faith in Florida Matt will be leading organizing efforts in Pinellas County to reduce gun violence by 30% by 2023.

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Nick Carey

Pinellas Organizer

Nick serves as an Organizer in Pinellas County. Nick and his wife Aileen moved to St. Petersburg in 2017 where they found a church home that connected their faith with a belief in justice.
Nick left his career as a Chemist in July 2020 amidst the pandemic and uprisings for Black lives to pursue his passion for community and the abolition of White Supremacy. He joined the Faith in Florida family in September 2020 and has since worked to organize residents of Pinellas County around reducing gun violence, expanding access to the ballot box, and guaranteeing housing for everyone.

Rae Whitely

Palm Beach Organizer

Pastor Rae Whitely serves as a congregational and community organizer in Palm Beach County, Florida. Migrating from Jamaica, he is a first-generation American. Rae serves on various religious and community advisory boards. He has a strong desire to bring sustainable change to the lives of "the least among us"; helping to ignite the inner potential that lies within them. His mission is simple and ordained by God: Be a “kingdom influencer" wherever the Lord leads. He humbly continues to share his faith intentionally. Rae is married to Bethan and is proud parents to 8 children and 14  grandchildren.

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Rev. Dr. Cheryl Coleman

Central Dade Organizer

Cheryl Coleman serves as congregational and community organizer for Miami Central Dade County. She joined Faith In Florida in 2018 bringing over 30 years of experience in healthcare as well as dedicated community service and advocacy. She is a graduate of Barry University with a Ph.D. in Nursing and a Masters in Business Administration. She additionally, holds a Master of Science in Nursing with Advanced Nurse Practitioner Certification from Florida International University. Her passion for equipping and empowering the marginalized in society fuels her organizing work as a member of the Faith In Florida team.

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Dr. Stephanie Russell

North/South Dade Organizer

Dr. Stephanie E. Russell, Senior Pastor of Our Father’s House of Prayer Ministry Church. Stephanie serves as a Community/Clergy Organizer for North Dade and South Dade Florida. She believes in empowering people to dismantle powers that oppress people. She believes in impacting people that allow us to impact change.

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Tracey Stallworth

Gadsden Organizer

Dr. Tracey Stallworth is a Gadsden County-based organizer who has initiated Souls to the Polls and participates in Good Trouble (John Lewis). In 2021, he opposed HB1 and SB90 with Faith in Florida at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida.
Dr. Tracey Stallworth’s main objective is to advocate for FREEDOM, JUSTICE, and EQUALITY for the marginalized and disenfranchised citizens of North America by empowering people to organize, strategize and mobilize Truth to Power where it is needed the MOST.