Roberta Phillip-Robbins, J.D. | Executive Director
Roberta comes to MRG from local government where she worked as a policy adviser and program expert on racial and social justice issues. She is a native of Trinidad & Tobago who arrived in New York City with her family as an undocumented immigrant in 1989. Roberta left teaching high school Biology to pursue her J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School with the goal of positively affecting the lives of young people and families through systems-change. As MRG’s Executive Director, Roberta will serve as a passionate and determined advocate who strives to live and lead wholeheartedly. Outside of MRG Roberta enjoys exploring the beautiful Oregon landscape with her partner and daughter.
Colin Crader II | Development Coordinator
Colin is a Filipino-American who has called Oregon home since 1994. His career in social justice activism began at the University of Oregon in 2011 where he studied Political Science. During his time in Eugene, Oregon, Colin was integral in progressive politics and coalition building for social justice issues, and worked with the Oregon United for Marriage to win the freedom for same-sex couples to marry in Oregon. His intersectional approach to social justice movement building for a better tomorrow is what brought him close to MRG Foundation.
Edith Casterline | Office Manager
Stephan Herrera | Capacity Building Director
With more than 14 years of experience across Oregon’s social and racial justice movements, Stephan brings a thoughtful analysis, deep passion, and incredible skills to MRG. Stephan most recently served as Urban League of Portland‘s Organizing Director. Prior to his time at the Urban League, Stephan managed the Sylvania Diversity Grant Fund and supported the retention of students of color at Portland Community College. Stephan was a founder and former chair of Portland Black Pride. As Capacity Building Director, Stephan leads MRG’s Capacity Building Initiative, providing training and multi-year funding to help grassroots social justice groups grow to scale. Learn more about Stephan’s background and passions!
Esther Kim | Grants Coordinator
Esther is a recent arrivant to Portland from Salt Lake City, UT where she was a long-time youth, student, and community organizer with the Voices of Diversity, Asian American Students Association, Queer Students of Color, and Organization of Chinese Americans. Her work centers queer and trans folks of color, fats, femmes, sick and disabled folks, poor and working class folks, immigrant and diasporic identity, non-coastal organizing and the abolition of the prison industrial complex. As the Program Associate, Esther provides administrative and project support for Grant Making, Development, and Communications; and oversees the Travel and Critical Response grant programs. In her down time Esther plays ukulele, make textiles, and likes to go for soaks at the local hot springs.
Brooks Nelson | Finance and Operations Director
Brooks has lived in Portland since 1986 and been involved in a variety of social justice issues over the last 30 years. His work has focused on queer rights, economic justice, anti-domestic and sexual violence, unlearning racism and other related issues. Brooks brings experience in both corporate and nonprofit management to MRG and is excited to get other folks excited about finance and operations. Outside of work he is a woodworker and videographer, most recently sharing his award-winning documentary Switch: A Community in Transition, with audiences across North America.
Carol Tatch | Development Director
Carol has over 27 years of experience in the non-profit sector. Since moving to Oregon in 2007, Carol has served in fundraising roles with organizations that serve the environment, higher education, international aid and relief services, arts and culture, and social justice including at the Hoyt Arboretum Friends Foundation, Marylhurst University and, just prior to MRG Foundation, Mercy Corps International. Carol has a passion for social and racial equity in Oregon and is excited to work at MRG, where she can put those values into action. At MRG Carol provides the strategic vision and leadership for MRG’s major donor program and cultivates individual gifts that have transformative impact on MRG and the communities with which we work. Carol’s passion for knowledge and truth fuels her ever-evolving love for people and their cultures.
Alison Wandschneider | Communications Manager
Raised in a family of community organizers, Alison’s passion for social justice began at an early age. She comes to MRG Foundation with extensive experience in nonprofit and social enterprise communication rooted in her work at Hacienda CDC, Adelante Mujeres, and, most recently, Maya Traditions in Guatemala. With a passion for bridging the nonprofit and for profit industries, she further developed and deepened her skills at Pinchot University in Seattle where she received an MBA in environmental sustainability and social justice. Joining MRG in 2015 as the communications manager, Alison oversees MRG’s social media, direct mail, media relations, and communications strategy. When not at work you can find her either in the garden or the kitchen enjoying the season’s bounty.