WPC Staff and Board 2016


Darakshan Raja, Director
Funded By The Helga Herz Endowment
Darakshan RajaDarakshan Raja is the Director of the Washington Peace Center, an organization that provides political education, resources, and training for activists in the District. Through the Washington Peace Center, Darakshan co-founded and co-coordinates the  DC Justice For Muslims Coalition, which is comprised of local organizations that are fighting Islamophobia in Washington, DC through local movement work. This includes building out rapid response, community defense, Muslim-led direct actions, and uplifting the needs of Muslim communities within local Sanctuary Movement work. Darakshan also serves as a Board of Trustee for the Consumer Health Foundation, which advocates for racial equity and racial justice through programs and investments that advance the health and well-being of low-income communities and communities of color.
Additionally, Darakshan serves on the Advisory Board for A/PI Domestic Violence Resource Project in DC, an organization that serves Asian/Pacific Islander survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in the District. Prior to working at the Washington Peace Center, Darakshan worked with the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center for 4 years directing a range of criminal justice evaluations nationally spanning across crime victims’ rights, the Violence Against Women Act, sexual violence within prison and youth facilities, and gang violence. Darakshan holds a MA in Forensic Psychology and hopes to strengthen Muslim-led organizing,  and increase collaboration between movements in order to move towards intersectional organizing and collective liberation. Connect with Darakshan at Darakshan@washingtonpeacecenter.org.


Jessie Sheffield, Office Manager
Jessie SheffieldJessie Sheffield is currently studying at Potomac Massage Training Institute, and is focusing on creating affirming spaces for queer and trans folks to receive bodywork. Jessie has co-facilitated discussions on trans competency and inclusion for the DC Trainers’ Network, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Women’s Law Center and the National Council of Jewish Women. In collaboration with the Trainers’ Network and the DC chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), Jessie has also co-facilitated discussions on talking with family members about anti-black racism and fighting misogynoir. During their four years at HRC, Jessie was a founding member of two employee resource groups (trans/gender-expansive and bi/queer/pan/fluid). Connect with Jessie at Admin@washingtonpeacecenter.org.


Washington Peace Center Coordinating Board

The Coordinating Board is responsible for the WPC’s ongoing viability. They set priorities for our work and ensure we have the resources and support needed to meet our goal.  They are engaged directly with our programmatic work and meet monthly.

Angelique BeenAngelique Been
Angelique Been is the Development Director at the Institute for Policy Studies, the nation’s first progressive multi-issue think tank turning ideas to action on peace, justice, and the environment.  She has also worked in fundraising for international development organizations empowering people and local communities, and advocacy at a young peace-builders network in Europe, publishing a tool guide to share best practices of peace-building organizations led by youth. She is driven by the need to connect people with the causes they are most passionate about. She earned her Master’s Degree in International Relations and Organizations at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In her spare time, she listens to all 15 studio albums from Sonic Youth and attempts to eat healthy.

Ramah Kudaimi
Ramah KudaimiRamah Kudaimi is the Membership and Outreach Coordinator at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. She has worked at several grassroots activist organizations including CODEPINK: Women for Peace and the Arab American Action Network in Chicago, as well as interned at the Washington Peace Center during the summer of 2010. She has a Master of Arts degree in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University and a B.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University. Her writing has been published by Al Jazeera English, The Progressive, Truthout, and more.
Katherine Fuchs
Katherine FuchsKatherine Fuchs moved to DC in 2006 and is proud to have lived in three of our city’s quadrants. Katherine is currently Free Press’s Campaign Organizer and her experience spans 15 years of educational and advocacy campaigns focused on environmental, foreign policy, and human rights issues. Some of the organizations that Katherine has worked with include: Friends of the Earth, the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, the Wisconsin Network for Peace & Justice, and a variety of voter rights groups in her hometown of Milwaukee. Katherine cut her teeth as a student privacy organizer and refined her theory of peace through justice at the UNESCO Chair for Philosophy for Peace in Castellon Spain. In her spare time, Katherine enjoys gardening and camping.


Jiva Manske
Jiva ManskeJiva Manske is an organizer and educator who has lived in DC since 2010. He currently teaches an undergraduate seminar on conflict transformation at Georgetown University, and is a Senior Organizer for Amnesty International USA. He has extensive experience as a facilitator and trainer, and has developed conflict transformation and restorative justice programs with communities, youth groups, inmates in jails and prisons, and teachers and students throughout the US, as well as Austria, Romania, Costa Rica, Afghanistan, and Iran. He is a graduate of Brown University, and holds a MA in peace and conflict studies from the European Peace University.  


Samantha Miller
Samantha MillerSamantha Miller is a freelance organizer and trainer based in Washington DC.  Since her time as a student at UCLA, Sam has been involved in social justice work as a staff member and volunteer organizer for groups like United for Peace & Justice, Military Families Speak Out, and the new Students for a Democratic Society.  She has worked extensively with the Alliance of Community Trainers on direct actions, mobilizations and trainings in DC, Texas, and around the country.


Noor Mir
Noor Mir is a DC-based anti-war organizer. Noor was born and raised in Islamabad, Pakistan and moved to the US 8 years ago to go to college in upstate NY. She found herself curious about the use of lethal drones – while newspapers in Pakistan were flooded with eyewitness accounts of the carnage, the US media was completely silent. Upon moving to DC, she 
joined CODEPINK: Women for Peace as an anti-drone campaigner, where 
she engaged in and organized direct actions and created connections between drone strike survivors in Yemen and Pakistan. She then worked 
at Washington Peace Center as interim Program Manager, and is now the campaigner for police accountability, criminal justice and ending gun 
violence at human rights organization Amnesty International. On the side, she is an organizer with the Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum, a campaign strategist and trainer and short story writer.


Sahar Shafqat
Sahar Shafqat is a professor of political science at St. Mary’s College of Maryland (the public honors college of the state of Maryland). She graduated from Mount Holyoke College and earned her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. Sahar is passionate about anti-war activism that is rooted in an understanding of imperialism. She has also been involved in LGBTQ organizing and activism, as well as on living wage issues. Originally from Karachi, Pakistan, Sahar has been in the DC area for 15 years.


Marie Soveroski
Marie SoveroskiMarie Soveroski is Managing Director at EarthRights International, an organization that combines the power of law and the power of people in defense of human rights and the environment. Prior to that she served as Director of the European Centre for Judges and Lawyers in Luxembourg. Her focus and passion is environmental and human rights law and protection, which she has pursued both as a lawyer and as an activist. She earned her JD at Gonzaga University School of Law as a Thomas More Scholar, a full-tuition scholarship program for persons pursuing a career in law in the public interest.


Washington Peace Center Advisory Council

The Advisory Council is made up of allies and leaders who give us input and feedback into our community impact and strategic planning.  They keep us engaged in larger peace and justice movements and help us assess changes and needs.  They meet once a year.

Mackenzie Baris, Jobs with Justice

Nadine Bloch, Washington Action Group

Liz Butler, Movement Strategy Center

Lisa Fithian, United for Peace and Justice, former Peace Center Coordinator

Netfa Freeman, Institute for Policy Studies

David Haiman, Movement Matters

Kathleen Maloy, Strategic Consulting for Equity in Health

Adwoa Masozi, Impact Hub DC

Will Merrifield, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless

Geoff Millard, Iraq Veterans Against the War

Rosemary Ndubuizu, ONE DC

Andy Shallal, Busboys and Poets

Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK: Women for Peace

Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies

Rev. Yearwood, Hip-Hop Caucus