We met as student organizers with Swarthmore Mountain Justice, campaigning for our college to divest holdings in fossil fuel companies in solidarity with those fighting mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia. We also conducted research for the Global Nonviolent Action Database, an open source database of over 1,000 case studies of direct action campaigns from around the world.
Alexa Ross was born and raised in Oto territory in so-called Lincoln, Nebraska. Like other members of Maypop, she became politically activated by learning of the struggle against mountaintop removal in Appalachia, a radicalizing experience which led to her involvement in the fossil fuel divestment campaign at Swarthmore College. Alexa graduated from Swarthmore in 2013 with a degree in Sociology and Anthropology, an interest in developing her practice of video production, and a solid political community to continue her work resisting the old economy and grappling for the new. Alexa is crazy about her family, dreams of one day living in the Sandhills of Nebraska, and wants to learn how to dance.
Dinah DeWald was born on settled lands of the O’odham tribes, Phoenix, AZ. Her political journey began while working to form an anti-fracking student organization at Swarthmore College, now called Swarthmore Frack Action. She became involved in Swarthmore Mountain Justice’s campaign for fossil fuel divestment through a joint listening tour of Northeastern PA families directly affected by fracking. Through working side by side with other future members of the Maypop Collective, she developed an analysis and commitment to justice as central to climate and environmental work. This summer she provided support to a Diné family living near Black Mesa on disputed lands, as part of a larger resistance to forced relocation of native families for coal strip-mining. She identifies as a cisgender and straight white woman who loves making music with friends.
Hannah Jones learned a passion for justice from her parents, a high school history teacher and a labor advocate, and a love for the non-human world growing up in the Pacific Northwest. Her upbringing in an a-typical Mormon household as a queer white woman was quite formative, though she is still figuring all the implications of that out. What she does know is that she is continually inspired by the strong women in her family. She owes much of her political development to mentors and friends in Swarthmore and Philadelphia, and to those fighting mountaintop removal in Central Appalachia. From them, she learned about the deeply entrenched nature of environmental, racial, and economic injustice. Hannah works part-time for the Responsible Endowments Coalition. She has worked to develop her skills in training, facilitation, and movement strategy, and is excited to be deepening her community organizing skills with Philly-based organizations. When she is not organizing, Hannah sings and plays saxophone, plays ultimate frisbee, and ferments cabbage.
Sachie Hayakawa is a mixed-race organizer living and working with the Maypop Collective in West Philadelphia. She was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, where she began to develop a commitment to environmental and racial justice. Sachie is the Coordinator of Regranting and Reinvestment for the New Economy Coalition. She also co-coordinates the People of Color Caucus in the Divestment Student Network and is a Wildfire Project Fellow. Sachie is committed to community empowerment through projects that build local resiliency and campaigns that fight for a more just economy.
Will Lawrence is a young, white climate justice organizer from East Lansing, MI. As a high schooler, he came to environmental activism through a love of the outdoors. In college, he was fortunate to work with incredible people resisting mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia, who help him see the connection between economic exploitation, ecological damage and racism. Lately, he’s been thinking about how to build a movement of millions that honors the identity and experience of each one. He is also on the Coordinating Committee of the Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network.
Zein Nakhoda is a South Asian and white, mixed-race, freelance media maker from Dallas, TX. He served as Project Coordinator for Muslim Voices of Philadelphia at Scribe Video Center, working with Muslim groups in the city to produce community history documentaries. He’s currently a Media Organizer with Media Mobilizing Project and a Wildfire Project Fellow. He also works with the Divestment Student Network People of Color Caucus. His media work can be found at zeinnakhoda.com.
Can I Join?
We are a closed collective, meaning that we do not plan to add members in the near future. The collective is a personal and political home where we take care of each other, form familial relationships, and examine our deepest-held beliefs. Having this home makes us happier people and allows us to do effective movement-building work outside of the home. Though there are advantages to growing the collective, we decided after some hard conversations that we want to stay this size for now.
We feel that our size is well-suited to our role as movement pollinators. Maypop isn’t a campaign or a mass movement in itself–we are a small team that connects and strengthens existing campaigns, organizations and movements.
Though Maypop is limited to the six of us, the movement is boundless and can include all comers. If you want to get involved, come talk to us and we’ll connect you to great projects, organizations and people in Philadelphia. Some of the projects may be organized under Maypop’s name; many of them won’t be. That’s how it should be!
We are also excited to support people, in Philly or elsewhere, who are curious about forming their own collectives. If you want to start a sister/brother/cousin collective, get in touch! We are ready to spend time building with you, hearing what you want to create, and sharing our experience from our journey so far.