Board of Directors
             June, 2019

Board pic -no Kai or Susan.png

Transforming the Board

On June 8th, 2019, members, volunteers, current and former board members of the George Wiley Center acted to take back the Board of Directors on behalf of the community it serves. We, the new Board of Directors, are grateful to have the support of the George Wiley Center’s Coordinator, employees, volunteers, members, and friends. Other individuals, together with grassroots and membership-based organizations—locally and nationally—have reached out to encourage us, and we invite you to do the same by signing our petition at gwc , liking us on Facebook, retweeting us with #takebackyourorg, becoming a member, and donating.

Moving forward, we are renewing our commitment to grassroots organizing for social, economic, and racial justice. Our top priority in the coming months will be to change the foundation of the Board of Directors from an authoritarian model to a democratic one, and to hold organization-wide elections to give control back to the members. We are excited to strengthen our relationship with members as we build power collectively to fight injustice and support one another. We know how much we can accomplish together, and we welcome anyone interested in continuing the legacy of the George Wiley Center to join us. We hold open (free and public) organizing meetings every Wednesday at 6:30 PM.

In Solidarity,

The Board of Directors of the George Wiley Center

Zainab Ilumoka (President)

Zainab interned at the George Wiley Center for two summers while she was a student at Rhode Island College. She currently works in operations at a non-profit organization in Boston. She graduated from Rhode Island College with a BA in Political Science and Public Administration and received an MPA at UMass Boston.

Why GWC? I am passionate about advocacy and the mission of the George Wiley Center.

Fun Fact: I am obsessed with True Crime Podcasts.   

Servio Gomez (Co-President)

Servio is a resident of Providence, RI. He cares about the George Wiley Center because it has served as an important institution where poor people have been able to organize themselves and exercise their power.

Maria Gold (Treasurer)

Maria is a Filipina Immigrant and Pawtucket resident who fought the dictatorship in her homeland before she migrated to the U.S.

Why GWC? Maria has had her utilities unfairly terminated and having this experience drove her to fight alongside others facing the same issue.

Fun Fact: Maria is a great cook!

Alex Burnett (Secretary)

Alex is a Providence resident, recently graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with an A.B in History (Honors) and Gender & Sexuality Studies. Over the past 4 years, Alex has worked on numerous labor, campus, and community campaigns in Rhode Island.

Why GWC? Alex has organized with The George Wiley Center since June 2017 and cares deeply about the Wiley Center’s mission and community.

Fun Fact: Alex owns two small rabbits named Thomas and Teddy!

Mayra Paulino

Mayra has been a socialist and activist for over 10 years. She enjoys fighting for equality as well as social and economic justice. She has been involved in the anti-war movement, immigrant rights movement, Black Lives Matter, the criminal injustice system, LGBTQ rights, improving schools in Providence, and has advocated for domestic violence victims.

Why GWC? The George Wiley Center has done so much for this community and I really would like to be a part of that!

Fun Fact: I love cooking!

Jim Vita

Jim lives in Providence and is a member of the National Lawyers Guild of Rhode Island.

Why GWC? It is important to me that the George Wiley Center is run by its members and the community that it works for.

Fun Fact: I like gummy bears!

Ubaldo Quintero

Ubaldo is a janitor and immigrant from Columbia, where he worked as an ambulance driver. He lives in Pawtucket and for years has participated in the direct actions and leadership meetings of the Wiley Center.

Why GWC? Ubaldo has struggled to defend his family and wife, who has medical conditions, from having their utilities shut off.

Kwame “Tony” Ansah Jr.

Tony volunteered at the George Wiley Center during his graduate summer of 2015. He currently works as an office administrator/manager in Massachusetts. He studied abroad in Ghana and later graduated from the University of Idaho with a BA in General Studies and then went onto receive his MPA from Purdue University (formerly Kaplan Univ.).

Why GWC? It’s part of my purpose in life to engage in social impact initiatives and be of services to others through the George Wiley Center.

Fun Fact: I’m an avid reader & writer and have self-published 8 books since 2015.

Bethany Melo

Bethany is the daughter of Azorean immigrant parents, and has always lived in RI. She works as a special educator in the state, and is a RIC alumni. Bethany is an advocate and supporter of social and economic justice, intent on seeing equity in the world we live.

Why GWC? As an educator, I understand how the lack of basic needs such as access to utilities can negatively affect my students' academic and social emotional performance. I support the mission of GWC in fighting injustice faced by low income families all over RI.

Fun fact: I am a Doctor Who super-fan!

Tim Fischer

Tim Fischer is a case manager at a homeless shelter in Rhode Island and MSW student at Rhode Island College.

Why GWC? Tim has been a volunteer of the George Wiley Center since 2014.

Fun Fact: Tim loves basketball.

Maryellen Kurkulos

Maryellen is an anti-war and social justice activist who currently is the Treasurer and a Board member of Massachusetts Peace Action. She holds a doctorate in Biological Sciences from Columbia University and has been a researcher and professor of biology and genetics.

Why GWC? The mission of the George Wiley Center intersects perfectly with her key interest, the ongoing campaign for a progressive federal budget that funds our communities not war.

Fun Fact: She speaks fluent Demotic Greek and can make a pretty mean spanakopita.


Ellie Wyatt

Ellie is from New York City and has a BA in Sociology and an M.Ed in Special ed. From Northeastern. She has taught special ed for thirty-five years and retired in 2010.

Why GWC? Ellie worked for George Wiley and the Welfare Rights Organization and served as a board member in the past.

Fun Fact: Ellie has four magnificent grandchildren and another coming in August.

Arlen Austin

Arlen is a student of social movements and a PhD candidate in the department of Modern Culture & Media at Brown University. He studies the representation of welfare and welfare recipients in mass media.

Why GWC? We are all on welfare.

Fun Fact:  Arlen is an avid gardener and wildlife rehabilitator.


Chris Murphy

Chris works as a clinician for a non-profit in Providence.  I graduated from Rhode Island College with a Masters of Social Work.

Why GWC?  I believe people need an advocate like this great organization.  

Fun Fact:  I am an avid sports fan and socialist.

Dean Sudarsky

Dean is an artist and educator living in Providence. He has volunteered at New Urban Arts and the George Wiley Center.

Why GWC? I believe in organizing at the community level and the values of the GWC. I am inspired by the work done there and the close relationships between the members and staff.

Fun Fact: I hand letter graphic novels in translation!

Virginia Gonsalves

Ben Evans

Contact the GWC Board at

Group photo of new GWC Board and supporters, Pawtucket Public Library stairs, June 8, 2019

photos by Susan O'Connell