Steve McFarland, Coordinator
Steve is a community organizer with a history of work and fierce commitment to building grassroots power in diverse communities. He holds a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary and a Master of Social Work from Columbia University. In 2010 and 2011, he worked as Volunteer Coordinator on the Living Wage NYC campaign, as a powerful citywide coalition of faith-based organizations, community groups, and labor fought for the Fair Wages For New Yorkers Act, which in 2012 overcame Mayor Bloomberg’s veto and won passage. Steve then joined the Center for Popular Democracy to lead its organizing on Long Island, which he liked so much, he decided to stay. Steve joined LICET in 2012 to expand our work to Nassau County, and took over the role of Coordinator in 2014.
Alejandra Sorto, Organizer
Alejandra is a community organizer with an emphasis on social justice. She earned her degree in Communications and Journalism from University Jose Simeon Canas (UCA) in El Salvador, a Jesuit university driven by the ethic of Liberation Theology. Alejandra began her organizing efforts in campaigns involving the fight against judicial corruption, the gang phenomenon, causes of massive immigration, and the fight for women’s reproductive rights. Alejandra also worked as an investigative journalist in El Salvador, and continued as a freelance writer in New York for Noticia and Long Island Wins before joining LICET. She firmly believes in the importance of education, that the people hold the power to change the status quo, and that united we are an unstoppable force.
Our Project Board
LICET works collaboratively with dozens of organizations to build community power in working class immigrant and communities of color. The Project Board includes our core partners in this effort, who help build LICET's strategic plan and carry out key parts of the work. Each brings a deep history of civic engagement, empowerment, and grassroots organizing to the table:
The Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) is a non-profit providing immigration legal services and advocacy that assists the immigrant community on Long Island in its effort to become full participants in the community's life. With offices in Hempstead and Brentwood, CARECEN is the leading organization of its kind in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Make the Road New York (MRNY) is the largest participatory immigrant organization in New York, with approximately 16,000 members. With vibrant community centers in Bushwick, Brooklyn; Jackson Heights, Queens; Port Richmond, Staten Island; and Brentwood, Long Island, MRNY gives voice to thousands of immigrants and working-class New Yorkers through community organizing, educates tomorrow's leaders and provides services to support families.
New York Communities for Change (NYCC) is a coalition of working families in low-and moderate-income communities fighting for social and economic justice throughout New York State. By using direct action, legislative advocacy, and community organizing, NYCC members work to impact the political and economic policies that directly affect us. Through neighborhood chapters and issue-based committees, NYCC works to ensure that every family throughout New York has access to quality schools, affordable housing, and good jobs.
Our Advisory Board
LICET's Advisory Board comprises incredible local organizations working to build power and develop new leaders in African-American and Latino communities across Long Island. To further our goal of building long-term infrastructure and powerful homegrown leadership, we meet quarterly with these core allies to (1) share resources and deepen our partnerships, (2) strategize and carry out campaigns of mutual interest, (3) and identify areas of shared need, to which LICET responds with training curricula, technical assistance, or long-term capacity support. The Advisory Board comprises Choice for All, the New York Civil Liberties Union, SEPA Mujer, and STRONG Youth.