The structure of FCCAN consists of the Spokescouncil (roughly the equivalent of a board of directors), the staff coordinator, affiliates and dedicated volunteers.
The Spokescouncil is responsible for overall oversight, policy-making and fundraising. The coordinator manages interns and volunteers, administers day-to-day activities, leads grant writing initiatives and other fundraising and coordinates the work of the affiliates. FCCAN as a whole has about 50 active volunteers who are generally local community members, activists and students.
Shirley Man-kin Coenen, Fort Collins Community Action Network Coordinator
Israel (Izzy) Herrera , School Justice PSD Youth Organizer
Izzy is a kindhearted human who does not shy away from involving himself within the community. Being a Colorado native, his journey through the Poudre School District took him through Putnam Elementary, Lesher Middle School, and Poudre High school. During his years in PSD, Izzy became involved with summer programs and helped young students stay active while out of school. In his high school years, Izzy became involved with programs such as PHS Ambassador. With the help of this program, Izzy would go on to present and educate on heavy topics such as bullying, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. Thanks to programs that were offered to him and his family as a low-income student, he was able to gain the resources he would need to solidify his start in the fight for racial and social justice. As a PSD graduate, he began to teach for the school district and on his own account. He now helps the community by offering free movement classes as well as helping organize movements that will ultimately serve to bring smiles and happiness to the community. Izzy is not one to like sitting still; so next time you see him, ask him to do a flip. Or something crazy like that.
Rena Trujillo, Community Representative
Rena Trujillo identifies as a queer, multiracial, Indigenous woman of color. She recently graduated from Colorado State University with her bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies and a minor in Women’s Studies. As she navigates post-grad life she spends much of her time trying to share knowledge and skills gained inside an academic institution and make it accessible to all people. Recently, she has been building knowledge and skills directly related to environmental justice by attending non-violent direct action camps led by Indigenous peoples. She believes there is great power that lies at the intersection of embodiment work, land-based practices, and social and environmental justice. Having access to clean air, water, and soil should be a basic human and non-human right, so until that is achieved and maintained for all beings, her body will remain on the frontlines. Pleasure activities include hiking, fishing, ethically hunting and gathering, creative resistance through art, dancing, eating food, and attending music concerts. She is a proud plant and puppy companion.
Annelise Fleming, FCCAN Intern
Annelise Fleming is a senior at CSU, double majoring in Political Science and Ethnic Studies with a minor in Women’s Studies, graduating next
spring. I have lived in Colorado my entire life and I moved from Aurora to Fort Collins in 2019 officially. I am excited to be interning here at FCCAN and learning more about this organization. My interests include reading, watching documentaries, history and listening to music. I am really passionate about social justice and learning how to dismantle oppressive systems that are so engrained in different parts of our lives. Intersectionality is a huge part of how I operate and relate to others.
Lynn Thompson, Fort Collins Homeless Coalition
Lynn Thompson has a long-standing interest in fighting for the civil, constitutional, and human rights of poor and marginalized communities. She joined the Fort Collins Homeless Coalition (FCHC) in 2014, just a few months after she moved to Fort Collins, and serves as their representative on the FCCAN Spokescouncil. As a member of FCHC, she has worked to defeat numerous sit/lie bans, fought against the City’s camping ban, supported the statewide Colorado Right to Rest Act, pushed for city-wide improvements such as Sunday bus service, 24/7 public bathrooms, year-round drinking water, & 24/7 storage lockers, and engaged in community education efforts. Lynn is also a member of the Northern Colorado Potters Guild, where she explores her fascination with clay and ceramics.
Caridad Souza, Community Representative
Janelle Brazington, Community Representative
Janelle has over 20 years of experience in advocacy and social justice work at local, state, and international levels. She joined Maliasili as their Director of Finance and Administration in October 2019 and provides strategic leadership around financial management, international financial management, grants administration, and human resources. Janelle is passionate about building capacity of community-level efforts and serving as a resource for local nonprofit organizations. Previously, Janelle served as the vice president of administration and CFO for Kansas Action for Children in Topeka, Kansas, where she worked at all levels of operations over the course of 15 years. In addition to nonprofit administration, Janelle has experience in governance, capacity building, strategic planning, and advocacy evaluation. She earned her bachelors in mathematics from Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska. Janelle moved to Fort Collins in July 2019 and is enjoying her new home with her family visiting the mountains and exploring the Poudre Trail.
Cheryl Distaso, Community Representative
Cheryl Distaso is a long-time social justice activist. She worked as the coordinator of FCCAN for over 15 years. She has worked on numerous local campaigns and organizing efforts in that capacity, including the successful 2011 effort to keep thriving low-income schools open, organizing with neighbors of two local mobile home communities to secure relocation funds when their homes got demolished for redevelopment in 2008 and 2011, fighting the horrific sit-lie ban in 2016. She is thrilled to transition into a spokescouncil role for FCCAN and stay involved in a different capacity. She is currently teaching community organizing courses to social work graduate students at CSU as well as on-line with Village Earth, a local NGO. She loves to spend time in the full moon, hiking on moonlit nights in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter.