Meet The Amazing Team at Detroit Action!

Farhana Aktar in a Detroit Action Hoodie and Red Headwear

Farhana Aktar

Service & Mutual Aid Program Manager

Farhana is our Service and Mutual Aid Program Manager. She is responsible for supporting the implementation of activities of various projects. This includes but is not limited to co-directing the service series, community engagement, volunteer management, and providing direct service to our clients. She obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work from Wayne State University. As someone who has experienced tremendous difficulties in life that have impacted her education and opportunities for success, she felt that social work is a noble and important profession to further her interest and passion for advocating and creating change at a macro level. As a social justice advocate, working with Detroit Action provides Farhana the opportunities to serve and advocate for the Black and Brown communities that she is passionate about.

Anthony Baber

Cultural Strategist

Bio Coming Soon!

Cynthia Bell

Detroit Action Ambassador

A Detroit Action Ambassador, Cynthia Bell has a passion for working with homeless citizens. Years prior, in a state of homelessness, Cynthia stumbled across the Capuchin Soup Kitchen from a treatment center, looking for help with her ID because she hadn’t had one for many years due to her addiction. While there, she noticed a multitude of people in the same predicament as her and she realized that she wanted to help those people. With this new urge to help others, she noticed that it helped her deal with her addiction to eventually recover. Cynthia joined Detroit Action Commonwealth in February 2012 where she became the secretary and eventually climbed the ranks to become President of the organization. Today, she’s been clean for 9 years and still has that passion for helping citizens who are homeless, low-income, senior and those who are returning from prison. 

Dominique Burton

Community Organizer

Bio coming soon!

Piper Carter

Culture & Training Coordinator

Bio Coming Soon!

Randi Foust

Program Director

Bio Coming Soon!

Khala Granville

Operations Director

Bio Coming Soon

Scott Holiday

Political Director

Bio Coming Soon!

Andie Manney

Operations Manager

Bio Coming Soon!

Alejandro Navarrete

Data  & Research Manager

As Data and Research Manager, Alejandro serves as a link between our array of digital organizing tools and our strong interpersonal network to best craft and target our campaigns and direct services. Alejandro is a first-generation immigrant from Mexico raised in Southwest Detroit. Growing up undocumented and working in the skilled trades, he believes that true safety, prosperity, and freedom come from collective economic and political power. To that end, he has worked with economic and community development nonprofits such as the Southwest Detroit Business Association, TechTown, SER Metro-Detroit, and the Detroit Justice Center. Alejandro is a Cass Technical High School alumnus and has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan.

Theo Nobles

Operations Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Ja’Vay Palmer

Community Organizer

Bio coming soon!

Tenesa Sanders

Housing Organizer

In 2009, Tenesa Sanders was introduced to Detroit Action by a neighborhood friend that worked at the gas station. Tenesa decided to attend a meeting with the understanding that she was getting a home. When Tenesa sat at this community meeting, she realized that it was grassroots, community-based, and helps community members, one person at a time. Tenesa was very intrigued with community outreach and started off as a part-time member and then went on to volunteer on several committees, which gave her the knowledge and expertise to pursue the following positions of chapter president, executive president, and many more. Through hard work and perseverance, Tenesa is now an organizer. Tenesa would like to build a base with community members that are open to educate, relate, motivate and engage members in their community that will build power, community impact, and shared values that align city, state, federal(national) levels.

Branden Snyder

Executive Director

Born and raised on Detroit’s East Side to a working-class union family, Branden has been involved in faith, electoral and community organizing projects throughout the United States for over 10 years. Previously, Branden was the Deputy Organizing Director in charge of Youth Voting for the Hillary For Michigan 2016 presidential campaign, the Deputy Campaign Manager for the groundbreaking Gilchrist for Detroit City Clerk campaign, as well as the Statewide Director of Organizing for Michigan United. Branden’s commitment to democracy and racial justice is fueled, in great part, by his experiences as a Detroiter and that of other Detroiters who have endured poverty and the criminal justice system. He believes in the power of bringing our communities together and challenging leaders to go from victims to victors by engaging the systems and policies that impact our lives. Branden is a graduate of the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor with a B.A. in Political Science and Afro-American studies and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School for Public Policy. Branden also is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity Incorporated and is a die-hard Detroit sports fan (GO BLUE!) filled with a love for dogs, random trivia from “The Simpsons”, Hip-Hop and the NBA.

Twitter: @bsneezy313

Joanna Velazquez

Campaigns Manager

Moving to Detroit at 5 years old, Joanna has been involved in electoral politics and community organizing from her high school years up to the present. As a canvasser and community organizer, Joanna has been passionate about people seeing and hearing themselves, their values, and their issues in politics. Prior to joining the Detroit Action family, Joanna was a Field Organizer in Isabella County with the One Campaign for Michigan 2018 Midterm Elections, and has past experience canvassing as a volunteer on campaigns starting with the Obama 2012 Campaign. Joanna’s experience growing up in both Southwest Detroit and the Downriver community has solidified the need for racial and economic justice reflected in policy. The disparities within education, housing, job opportunities and much more were abundantly clear to her as a child and not much, if anything, has changed for the communities she’s accountable to. She believes that when black and brown folks, poor folks, the most impacted folks are truly brought into the conversation in meaningful ways, real power and change can be built. Joanna is an alumna from Michigan State University- with a degree in World Politics and History with a minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Vanessa Velazquez

Organizing Director

Vanessa Velazquez is our Organizing Director at Detroit Action. She is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada and grew up in the Detroit and Downriver area. Vanessa comes from a proud Puerto Rican household which influenced her passion for politics at an early age; there was constant conversation centered around experiences of poverty and that does not have to be the status quo. Vanessa came to Detroit Action when we were formerly known as Good Jobs Now as a recent graduate from Michigan State University. She received a B.A. in World Politics and a minor in Peace & Justice. Vanessa came in as a canvasser and moved up through the team’s leadership to become our Canvass Director in May of 2019 and leading the organization as Field Director starting in the 2020 Presidential Election. Vanessa’s role was to develop and manage a team of Community Organizers that builds membership and activates the community on a daily basis. Her team uses a deeper canvassing model to develop captivating relationships between canvasser and community leader. As Organizing Director, Vanessa’s new goals with our field work is to make sure that every conversation a organizer has, holds a lasting impact on that community; ensuring they remember Detroit Action not just three weeks from now but also, 10 months down the road.  

Raymon Vinson

Community Organizer

Bio coming soon!

  • 1600 E Grand Blvd #305,
    Detroit, MI 48211
  • (313) 451-4419