Our Community

Tanya Birl-Torres

Tanya is a lover of light and all things joyful! She is a self professed seeker of clarity and truth and sees creativity as each of our birthrights. Through her work as a yoga and meditation teacher, movement/creative director and facilitator, Tanya help individuals open up to life, allowing it to flow freely through them. Using movement, yoga, creative/spiritual connection and curiosity as a means to ground, source and embody the truth of who we are.
With over a decade long career as an actress, dancer and choreographer, Tanya have come to find her voice as an artist and creative. Blurring the lines of performance she have found a deep reciprocal connection between artist and audience, teacher and student, being and environment. Finding the true collaborative approach to creating change within the self as well as our communities as a whole. 
Throughout her life, she have always heard the inquisitive voice of her 7 year old self. From a young age she have been passionate about asking questions and digging deeper into her own human potential. Through this work with SoHumanity, she is channelling her inner child who sees being creative as an opportunity to shift social consciousness and change the world through seeing the joint humanity in us all. As a mother of a preschooler and a certified scuba diver, she is obviously gusty and up for a challenge!

"I see endless possibility in starting a conversation and seeing how asking the question alone will guide us closer to our collective selves."
 


Giovanna Rogow

As far back as she can remember, Giovanna has had a focus and commitment to serving others. This has been her path to spiritual and internal growth propelling her forward; from serving in the United States Air Force to obtaining her Masters in Business Administration, as well as completion of studies in Divinity and Yoga Philosophy. As the Program Director with the Regional Economic and Community Action Program in Orange County, New York, Giovanna oversees the initiatives of the Orange County Reentry Task Force. She works with people on a daily basis that come from circumstances where poor decisions have resulted in incarceration.  
Providing folks with the tools and resources to recalibrate their internal compass is not only her work, it’s her life’s passion.
 


Dani Davis

Dani Davis is an Emmy award winning songwriter, Tony nominated Broadway producer and director, Helen Hayes Award recipient, television producer, and media/entertainment entrepreneur.  

She is the co-founder of GIRL STARTER, a media company activating young women in entrepreneurship. With a TV series on TLC and Discovery, Girl Starter uses celebrity mentors, Fortune 500 corporate partners, and a bespoke curriculum to get girls started on their dreams.  www.girlstarter.com

A graduate of Duke University, Davis serves on the Executive Board of the Duke Women’s Forum as well as on the Executive Committee of Duke’s Entertainment and Media Group. She is the proud mother of Noah and Nina. Dani loves helping others realize their dreams, and feels uniquely fortunate to e able to do so.
 


Maggie OrzEchowski

"First we eat. Then we do everything else." - MFK Fisher

Maggie believes all roads lead to the dinner table. Health, wellness, community, and progress can happen when people break bread together. Maggie's passion for food and wellness has been enriched by trainings at The French Culinary Institute, NYC Food Policy Center, Grow to Learn, Battery Urban Farm, and the Dos Puentes school garden. Maggie's food justice heroes are Michael Pollan, Tony Hillery, and Karen Washington. Maggie believes that we are all connected and have a shared responsibility to take care of our people and planet. She aims to play her part by making these ideas and practices accessible to all.
 


Sarah E.R. Grosman

Since 2009, Sarah has worked in many capacities to promote and deliver equitable access to the arts in New York City, Seattle, San Diego, and internationally in Malta and Madagascar. Collaborating with arts organizations of many mediums (dance, music, sketch comedy, contemporary art, theater) and social programs (community centers, prison re-entry programs, homeless shelters, labor unions, children’s welfare organizations, international NGOs, and other social service organizations), her work pursues a merging of cultural diplomacy, humanitarianism, civic engagement, and community development for and through the arts. Currently, she serves as the lead officer for Community Programs at Turtle Bay Music School (NYC) and as the Director of Community Engagement and Strategy for Zara Aina (NYC/ Madagascar). Prior to this, Sarah was a founding staff member and community organizer for Public Works, the groundbreaking participatory theater program at The Public Theater (NYC/ Shakespeare in the Park), which invites New Yorkers of every possible background and age to join in the creation of ambitious works of participatory theater. In 2016, Sarah was the United States delegate in Malta for the European Union’s inaugural Global Cultural Leadership Program in the framework of the Cultural Diplomacy Platform. As a theater director, she has worked at Shakespeare in the Park, LaMama, The Foundry, Intiman, The Old Globe, 5th Ave. Theater, and New York University. Sarah is a graduate of Cornish College, for whom she is currently a National Advisory Council Member, and a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.


RACHEL SINHA

Rachel Sinha is a British award-winning social innovator, named by the Guardian newspaper as one of 50 Radicals “changing the face of the UK for the better”.
She is one of co-founders of The Finance Innovation Lab, designed to empower positive disruptors in the financial system. The Lab was named a semi-finalist in the Buckminster Fuller Award ‘Socially Responsible Designs Highest Award’ for its work bringing together people post financial crisis, to accelerate positive change in the financial system. Prior to that she worked on sustainability issues at ICAEW, Co-founding a number of organizations including The Natural Capital Coalition and AuditFutures focused on convincing the accountancy industry in the UK and abroad that sustainability is an important issue. She was named Management Today/BskyB ‘Future Leader of Sustainability’, for her work there and sat on the European Commission Expert Panel on Social Business.
Rachel has co-authored a series of articles in Harvard Business Review and Fast Company and publications including Labcraft: How Social Labs Cultivate Change Through Collaboration and The Finance Innovation Lab: A Strategy For Systems Change. She has been actively building the ecosystem of systems change and created systemschangers.com, a video library designed to shine a light on the growing community of systems change practitioners. Collaborating with Oxford Said Business School, she also led an inquiry into the language of systems change and launched the publication Keywords. She has been a THNK Scholar, at the Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership, has a MA in Marketing (specialized in CSR) and a BA in Psychology. A Brit, Rachel moved from London to New York in 2015 and to San Francisco in 2017.


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Patria Diaz

Her name means “motherland” thanks to her beautiful parents who had the vision and gravitas to name their baby girl, Patria. Her name sits center of the Dominican flag and she is often asked for proof that it’s her real name. For years Patria looked to change her name and make it “easier to manage”, also changing her hair and New York Latina affect. As a brown skin, curly haired girl named Patria Diaz, Jewish Community Centers is not where you might expect me to have established a 15 year long career. Her concentration has been primarily on Infants & Young Children at the Marlene Meyerson JCC on the Upper West Side. Having the opportunity to create community programs from conception to execution, day after a day for over a decade, has highlighted capabilities and her intuitive creativity and has been the perfect place for her to become her own motherland.

Patria see every interaction with the community around her as a part of her work. She's learned that connection is what people take with them every time they gather.  Her work could be described as programmer, administrator, teacher, but the role she covers most is mother. She now serves as Associate Director of the new JCC Harlem, an initiative of UJA. It has been quite a journey to take on that role which is just a few city blocks from where she grew up. Her native neighborhood has changed since then but much is the same. 

"People deserve community. Community and connection are the breeding ground for love and empathy. Only when we see one another at close proximity, humanely and vulnerable, sharing a meal or experiencing art together, can we begin to close the gap between our separate worlds and our one motherland. I pray to continue to be a vessel for connection and personal homecoming, always."