Meet the Staff

Yunuen Alejandra Castorena Romero

RSJI Strategic Development Specialist

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Yunuen Alejandra Castorena Romero lucha contra la opresión y por una liberación colectiva. Es una escritora y artista Chicana emigrada de México. Antes de trabajar para la Ciudad de Seattle, trabajo y aprendió al lado de feroces organizadoras y organizadores comunitarios, maestras y maestros, artistas, y trabajadoras y trabajadores sociales en El Centro de la Raza.  Con el amor y el esfuerzo de su familia y comunidad, recibió su Licenciatura en Economía de la Universidad de Seattle.  Yunuen trabaja junto con el equipo RSJI para desarrollar soluciones colectivas a barreras históricas y estructurales que oprimen a las Personas de Color a través de toda identidad social. Ella cree que la gente más impactada por el racismo debe de estar al centro de todo esfuerzo antirracista.

Yunuen Alejandra Castorena Romero is in the struggle toward a shared liberation and works on anti-oppression efforts. She is a bilingual Chicana writer and artist who migrated from México at a young age. Before joining the City of Seattle, she worked alongside and learned from fierce community organizers, teachers, artists, and social workers at El Centro de la Raza. With the love and struggle of her family and community, she received a B.A. in Economics from Seattle University. Yunuen works with the RSJI Team across the City to collectively develop structural solutions to historic and structural barriers that oppress People of Color across all social identities. She believes that communities most impacted by racism must be at the center of anti-racist work.

Caedmon Magboo Cahill

Caedmon Magboo Cahill

Criminal Justice Strategic Advisor

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Caedmon comes to this work with over a decade of local experience as a civil legal aid attorney, public defender and public defense investigator. Having spent a good part of the last 20 years working on criminal justice issues and the most recent decade equipped with a law degree, Caedmon realizes that the most pressing problems impacting our communities will not be solved by litigation alone. Caedmon channels her work on the RSJI team to help strengthen the City's role in centering the leadership of the communities who have lost the most. As the mixed-race product of an interracial marriage and a family history marked by the trauma of anti-miscegenation laws, she has an acute awareness that even with benevolent intent, government policies regarding race can cause considerable harm. She strives to support government leaders in cultivating anti-racist tools for policy development while also working to repair and limit the injuries of historical trauma.

Casey Connelly

Casey Connelly

RSJI Trainer

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Casey Connelly is a white gender-queer person with a decade of experience in Race and Social Justice within the City of Seattle. Casey has worked with the Race and Social Justice Initiative for over 8 years providing RSJI trainings, serving as a RSJI Change Team Co-Lead in the Seattle Police Department and as a member of RSJI Core Team 4. Casey is also a trained mediator through the King County Inter-Local Conflict Resolution Group. Casey is committed to leading with race to dismantle intuitional oppression and supporting liberation strategies for communities of color.

Diana Falchuk

Diana Falchuk

RSJI Strategic Advisor

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Diana is an artist, parent, organizer, educator and policymaker with 15 years' experience developing programming, training and policies that advance social justice. A former Seattle Arts Commissioner, Diana leads OCR's partnership with the Office of Arts & Culture, through which she designs and facilitates arts-based strategies to increase awareness and action for racial equity across the region. Since 2003, Diana has also designed arts-based alternatives to incarceration for youth, including King County's new Creative Justice. Outside of her time at the City, Diana organizes with European Dissent Seattle, the Cascade Art Congress and Radical Shabbat.

Jennifer Lobsenz

Jennifer Lobsenz

RSJI Strategic Development Specialist

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Born and raised in Seattle, Jennifer comes to the RSJI team with a background in anti-racism training and facilitation, program development and management, and community building.  She is particularly interested in working in partnership with others to increase anti-racism competency, strengthen discourse between diverse groups of people, proactively apply a critical lens to existing policies and practices to make visible channels for productive, meaningful change, and build a practice of equity-driven leadership.

Prior to her time at the City of Seattle, Jennifer held leadership positions at Path with Art (Seattle, WA) and WonderRoot (Atlanta, GA), both arts and social justice non-profit organizations.  She has served on the Board of Directors of MAVIN and holds a MA in Culture and Difference from Durham University (England).

Kelly OBrien

Kelly O'Brien

RSJI Strategic Development Specialist

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Kelly O'Brien graduated from the Seattle University School of Law with his J.D. in 2013, and had been a Consumer Debt Advocate since he came to Seattle in 2008. Originally from the multi-cultural Caribbean nation, Trinidad & Tobago, Kelly earned his undergraduate degree in English Literature at Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA). He went on to study Caribbean Literature & Culture, Ethnic & Third World Literatures, and Post-Colonial Theory at UT/Austin where he obtained his MA. His work focused on the cultural products and artifacts of communities of color, as well as the intersection of art, politics, and life in the US for immigrants and members of the Caribbean & African Diasporas. Turning academics to practice, Kelly's life and work has centered on promoting anti-racism, the arts, multicultural awareness, diversity & inclusivity, cultural competency, self-determination, and creating equal access to rights and services. Kelly is a founding member of the Seattle People of Color Salon (SPoCS), and has worked behind the scenes providing support for community art organizations & projects for several years-most recently at Shunpike where he championed efforts, and partnered with state, city, county, and community art organizations to produce the first Artist of Color Expo & Symposium (ACES) in November 2017 at Seattle Center.

Proudly admitting to coming from an island that entirely shuts down for Carnival, so that everyone can party for five-days-straight, Kelly has an affinity for showing up in performance roles in art and video productions where he can express his actor/writer side while helping his artist friends.  

Kyana Wheeler

Kyana Wheeler

RSJI Strategic Development Specialist

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Kyana Wheeler is a Black woman with extensive experience in anti-racist curriculum development, training, facilitation and racial caucusing. She is an accomplished race relations trainer and has actively engaged in moving the City of Seattle's Race and Social Justice Initiative forward over the last 10 years. With an M.Ed in Educational Leadership and an MPA in Policy Development, Kyana is skilled in implementing systemic change within a large complex government structure and embedding institutional practices that create space for conversations about race and racism. Kyana is a proven consensus builder and is adept in developing partnership between leadership and staff. She has coached, trained and motivated staff to build skills and create capacity to challenge racial inequity. 

Tamar Zere

Tamar Zere

RSJI Deputy Manager

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An Eritrean born in Ethiopia, Tamar emigrated to Seattle in the early 1980's. Tamar has been interested in the African Diaspora since her early years at the University of Washington, where she studied African American Studies. From her time as a journalist in Zimbabwe to anti-gentrification work in Holly Park, to counseling dislocated workers at Renton WorkSource, to directing the Workforce Education department at Green River College, Tamar has been singular in her pursuit of economic and racial justice for workers of color.

Tamar holds a BA from the University of Washington in African American Studies and a JD from Seattle University School of Law.