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Aliisa Lahti, co-Executive Director

Aliisa Lahti grew up in central Michigan and now lives in Kalamazoo where they have been engaging in antiracism organizing with the local nonprofit, ERACCE (Eliminating Racism & Creating/Celebrating Equity) since 2009.  They studied Comparative Religion and Environmental Studies at Western Michigan University.  Aliisa serves on the Antiracism Transformation Team at PFC Natural Grocery and Deli where they previously served on the board for six years.  Aliisa is a skilled facilitator and core trainer with Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training (ERACCE’s national partner). Collective decision making is a practice they engage in as often as possible.  Aliisa finds the work of antiracism to be humanizing and life giving and is passionate about further exploring the intersections of identity. Aliisa became a parent in 2014 and loves being outside and teaching and learning with their children, Weaver and Niilo.

B Jo Ann Mundy, Organizer/Trainer

Rev. Dr. B. Jo Ann Mundy is a former co-Executive Director of ERACCE (Eliminating Racism and Creating/Celebrating Equity), and a Core Organizer-Trainer for Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training, a national partner working collaboratively with ERACCE toward the institutionalization of racial justice in public and private institutions throughout southwest Michigan. Currently Jo Ann serves on the board of Crossroads and as Co-chair of the Board of the PFC Natural Grocery & Deli of Kalamazoo, and as the pastor of Worship & Justice at Sunnyside UMC. As a founding mentor of the NIA Project, Jo Ann encourages the celebration of identity, purpose and sisterhood in adolescent women of color. Additionally, Jo Ann is a founding member of the Three Rivers Area Faith Community (TRAFC), an ecumenical faith-based social justice network of churches striving to build a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-generational anti-racist faith community in Three Rivers, MI where she completed her doctoral thesis Sacred Actions to Bring Racial Reconciliation. Jo Ann has enjoyed over 25 years of pastoral ministry. Jo Ann enjoys reading, music, her guitars and computers and, most of all, the young people in her life.

Fernando Ospina, co-Executive Director

Fernando Ospina is Co-Executive Director of Eliminating Racism & Creating/Celebrating Equity (ERACCE) and an apprentice with Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training. He is an Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership Advisory Board member, adjunct faculty at Western Michigan University School of Medicine, and on the Kalamazoo Public Library Antiracism Transformation Team. He has a Master's degree in Conflict Resolution from the University of Denver Korbel School of International Studies and a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Denver Morgridge College of Education. He is currently a PhD Student at WMU’s Department of sociology. He has experience working with youth and adults charged with violent and nonviolent crimes. He has facilitated anger management classes and treatment classes for male and female domestic violence offenders. He is driven by the desire to create a world in which people live harmonious, authentic lives.

J./Jasmine Kyon, Organizer/Trainer

J./Jasmine Kyon is an organizer, trainer, and bookkeeper in ERACCE (Eliminating Racism and Creating/Celebrating Equity). J. is a queer Burmese-Taiwanese organizer who grew up in Queens, New York. J. has a Kalamazoo College B.A. in Economics, Public Policy and Urban Affairs. In 2015, J. studied in the International Sustainable Development Studies Institute, researching indigenous farmers’ rights, urbanization, and seed sovereignty in Northern Thailand. In 2016, J. was a Student Research Fellow at the Arcus Center of Social Justice Leadership, doing research on equity within the public transportation of Kalamazoo County. J. was also an organizer in the Kalamazoo Poetry Collective, connecting Kalamazoo College to local artists, introducing community youth to higher education, and facilitating storytelling workshops. They are currently serving on the PFC Grocery and Deli’s Antiracist Transformation Team, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation’s Antiracist Transformation Team, and Outfront’s Intersections Committee. Every summer J. is a counselor at a camp for trans children. J.’s passion is working toward a world where cities serve everybody, and they are currently pursuing their Master’s degree in University of Southern California Price’s Urban Planning program. You can find them walking their dog, Moose, everywhere and anywhere in Kalamazoo. 

Jennifer Douglas, Organizer/ Trainer 

Jennifer Douglas, or Jenn, is an organizer with ERACCE (Eliminating Racism & Creating/Celebrating Equity). Jenn was raised in Gary, Indiana, and received a degree from Western Michigan University in Sociology and Race and Ethnic Relations, and completed WMU’s signature program in Diversity and Inclusion. As as student, Jenn worked for the WMU LGBT Student Services Office Wesley of Kalamazoo, and is a member of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc, a multicultural sorority. These experiences sparked Jenn’s passion for organizing and anti-racism participated in the Sankofa Pilot program of 2017. Jenn envisions a world with collective community that intentionally recognizes and affirms the vast intersections of all people. She also believes in creating an inclusive space in Christianity that includes anti-racism and LGBTQ+. Jenn enjoys listening to music, dancing, mentoring young women, and being in community with people different from herself.

Lisa Kaiser, Organizer/Trainer

Lisa Kaiser is an organizer/trainer with ERACCE (Eliminating Racism and Creating/Celebrating Equity).  She studied Secondary Education in English Language Arts and Family and Consumer Sciences at Western Michigan University, and has a Masters in Education from the University of Michigan Dearborn in Special Education with a focus in emotional impairment.  Lisa grew up in Southeast Michigan and has been working as a high school teacher in Livonia for over 12 years. Her work as an educator brought her to ERACCE in 2011, as she began to address the issues of inequity she noticed in the educational experiences of her students of color.  She established and continues to organize an antiracism group at her school, which is aimed at addressing and eliminating these inequities. Lisa has also worked as a consultant for the State of Michigan Department of Education, delivering trainings on cultural proficiency to colleges and universities across the state.  She has been a member of ERACCE’s Regional Organizing Team since 2017, and is deeply committed to her work as an antiracist. Lisa lives in Ferndale with her spouse. She loves singing, reading, baking and cooking, and spending time with her two goofy dogs.

Manuel Bernal Carmona II, co-Executive Director

Manuel Bernal Carmona Jr. is a Xicanx Mexican person with Indigenous roots in Michoacán Mexico. Manuel holds an ancestral and gratuitous connection to the Purépecha people. Manuel is a co-executive director, and organizer/trainer with ERACCE (Eliminating Racism and Creating/Celebrating Equity) and an apprentice in training with Crossroads AntiRacism Organizing and Training, the national partner of ERACCE. He graduated with a BA in political science and MA in public policy analysis and administration from Indiana University. Manuel has worked as a facilitator for the men’s batterers intervention program at the Center for Nonviolence in Fort Wayne, Indiana where he helped unpack the internalization of violence in group settings and introduced nonviolent concepts for enduring nonviolent communication and behavior in relationships. Manuel has also worked as a community educator at the YWCA northeast Indiana facilitating education on racial justice, the economic empowerment of women, domestic violence, and immigration. Manuel enjoys listening and internalizing resistance music as a form of racial resilience and empowerment. Manuel also practices brazilian jiu jitsu where he feels deeply connected to his body, mind, and feels a spiritual connection to the earth.

Rachelle Yeaman, Operations Manager

Rachelle Yeaman is the Interim Co-Executive Director of ERACCE (Eliminating Racism & Creating/Celebrating Equity). She’s certified in Permaculture Design and manages the fledgling permaculture site at the Wesley Foundation of Kalamazoo. With this appreciation for natural systems as well as an eclectic mix of work experience in bookkeeping, administration, and teaching, Rachelle is focused on developing operational structures that strengthen ERACCE as an organization while serving the humanity of all staff people, board members, and team members. In the community, she sits on the board of directors for PFC Natural Grocery and Deli and is continually astounded to watch how quickly her two nephews are growing. 

Samantha Weaver, Organizer/Trainer

Samantha Weaver is an organizer-trainer with ERACCE (Eliminating Racism & Creating/Celebrating Equity). Sam was born in the Upper Peninsula, grew up in Big Rapids, MI, and is a graduate of Kalamazoo College where she studied English and Political Science. Sam has worked with multiple Kalamazoo organizations in her journey of becoming a community organizer, including the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, OutFront Kalamazoo, Michigan United, and Farmworker Legal Services. She believes that white people have a stake and responsibility in antiracism work and she is passionate about engaging with fellow white people, especially in the LGBTQ community, in accountable multiracial justice efforts. Sam loves sharing food with her family, both given and chosen, and in her most recent crafting endeavor, has been learning the art of rug hooking.


Jo Woods, Co-Chair (Director of Human Resources, Kalamazoo County Government, Retired)
Chris Dilley, Co-Chair (General Manager, People’s Food Co-op of Kalamazoo)
Angela Fortin, (Kalamazoo Public Library & KPL Antiracism Team)
Jax Lee Gardner, (Interim Associate Executive Director, Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership)
John Oliver, (Director of Quality and Evaluation, Communities in Schools)
Kyle Fall, (Site Supervisor, KRESA Head Start)
Rachel Roberts, (Principal, Head Start & Diversity Coordinator, KRESA)
Sara Carroll-Muniz, (Battle Creek Public Schools)


The ERACCE Regional Organizing Team is comprised of committed antiracism organizers and trainers who work with ERACCE staff and board to grow the antiracism movement in Southwest Michigan.



Most people agree racism is a tough topic, and an even tougher experience. Often, the agreement ends there. Questions like, “What is racism? How does it function? When and where did it start?” are rarely asked, and even more rarely answered. In 1994, a group of concerned citizens in Kalamazoo found themselves asking those questions and more:  “What if there is more to racism than personal race prejudice? What if institutions are intentionally designed to benefit one race over all others? What if the way they are set up continues to impede the best intentions and efforts of institutions to be all they aim to be?”

In 1997, the local governing body of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the North/West Lower Michigan Synod, joined a dozen other Kalamazoo area communities of faith to continue asking vital questions about race and racism. They began exploring how hidden, persistent organizational patterns inherited from past generations and subtly embedded in their systems were preventing them from fulfilling their missions.  One year later, the Synod property of a local church was sold for $180,000. With an increasing awareness of the devastating role institutional racism plays, the Synod committed the proceeds of the sale toward planting a seed of racial justice work in Kalamazoo. The goal: to intentionally work with other local organizations to build the capacity to recognize, identify, and understand institutional racism, work together to dismantle racism, and establish new anti-racist organizational structures and practices.

After two more years of conversations, planning and organizing, in January 2000 the Kalamazoo Northside Ministerial Alliance, Kalamazoo Anti-Racism Alliance (KARA) and the Synod jointly announced the birth of Eliminating Racism & Creating/Celebrating Equity (ERACCE). Its vision: to eliminate racism in Southwest Michigan. Its method: host and subsidized the most effective antiracism workshops in North America. While the trainings would be open to any institution, the Northside Ministerial Alliance provided direction to offer priority access to local government, faith communities, law enforcement and justice system, educational institutions, and health organizations.

As they continued organizing in the community, ERACCE members offered colleagues the opportunity to participate in 2.5-day Understanding & Analyzing Systemic Racism workshops at the reduced registration cost, significantly subsidized by the seed money from the sale of the Church. Six workshops were offered during the first year, which hundreds of community members attended to begin developing a working analysis of racism and join a growing network of fellow colleagues who had gone through the training.

In March 2006, ERACCE grew from its grassroots collaborative beginnings into a regional community service anti-racism organizing and training resource center to meet the growing needs of partner organizations. In April 2007, after receiving support from the Kalamazoo Community Foundation John E. Fetzer Fund, the Arcus Foundation, the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, and Greater Kalamazoo Area United Way, the board approved a detailed plan for developing a Regional Antiracism Organizing and Training Team.

Through their partnership with ERACCE, numerous institutions have come to realize that as they work to dismantle racism internally and transform into systems committed to authentic racial justice, they can more effectively serve their constituents. Many have developed Antiracism Transformation Teams, which go through additional training, and are equipped to lead their institutions to dismantle individual, cultural, and institutional racism.

Today, the demand for ERACCE is growing. We are receiving an increasing number of training and organizing inquiries from local community organizations and businesses seeking assistance in addressing systemic racism. Many institutions send multiple board and staff members through a 2.5-day “analysis workshop.” In addition to training, ERACCE has developed the capacity to provide technical assistance and organizing support and consulting to organizations needing support as they organize and design the right training at the right time, geared to intentionally selected participants, as part of a strategy for long-term organizational change.

To learn more about ERACCE’s mission, vision, and goals, please visit Our Focus. Like us on facebook and follow us on twitter to stay up to date on antiracism analysis relevant to current local, regional, and national news. 

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