The Southern Vision Alliance Board of Directors for FY2015
Joshua Vincent (Board Co-Chair)
Organizer & Musician, USA
Joshua previously served as the State Coordinator for Civic Engagement and GOTV for the NC NAACP in 2012 and was Lead Organizer/ Deputy State Coordinator with Obama for America during the 2008 campaign. As a musician, Joshua has worked with Grammy award winning poets, vocalists and producers such as J. Ivy, Tarrey Torrae, and Buckwild. Joshua and his twin brother worked on the score for the second season of Aaron McGruder’s the Boondocks, alongside 9th Wonder. A trained Jazz Trombonist who also plays salsa, Joshua has performed at the Newport Jazz Festival, The International Association of Jazz Educators conference in Toronto, Long Beach, and New York, and the International Jazz Festival in Detroit. Joshua is also one half of the musical production/hip hop duo Beatnam Vets. They have opened for artists such as Erykah Badu an d Lupe Fiasco and have two full length albums on iTunes. He was among the 6 student protesters arrested in NC House Speaker Thom Tillis’ office opposing the voter suppression bill. Joshua has a Master’s degree in History with a concentration in Jazz studies on Jazz and American Diplomacy during the Cold War Era from NCCU and has his second Master’s degree at UC Berkeley in music. Josh currently resides in Raleigh where he continues to be an active organizer and play music.
Jess Jude (Board Co-Chair)
Administrative Asst., Blueprint NC, USA
Jess is a southern, mixed-race Black, queer doula. Jess currently serves as the co-chair of the Southern
Vision Alliance bringing a depth of experience in intersectional LGBTQ organizing, popular education, and youth work. She is a collective member of the Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project where she helps coordinate grassroots fundraising to support abortion and reproductive health access. Jess has a fierce passion for reproductive justice, believing that it provides a framework for us to direct our work towards autonomy, agency, and freedom. She works as the Administrative Assistant at Blueprint NC.
Monserrat Alvarez (Board Member)
Outdoor educator, program asst, cityWILD, US
Monse Alvarez Matehuala hails from Raleigh, NC by way of California by way of Mexico. She began organizing at the age of twelve and has continued to connect issues and communities in resistance of borders. As a Xicana woman, she sees the importance of building bridges to collective power and community. Monse graduated from the first Youth Organizing Institute Freedom Summer School in 2010 and continued to dedicate time and love to sustain YOI. She became the associate director of the Youth Organizing Institute and her vision was instrumental in the founding of the Southern Vision Alliance. Monse has a degree from NC State University in religious and ethical studies. In 2015 she accepted a fellowship to pursue her passion of connecting the outdoors and social justice.
Peter Gilbert (Board Secretary)
Lawyer, staff attorney, Legal Aid of NC, USA
Peter Gilbert was graduated from Yale University in 2003. He has been active in labor, anti-war, and environmental justice since childhood. He was a union organizer for the UFCW campaign to win unions at Smithfield from 2005-2006. Peter graduated UNC Law in 2009 with high honors. During law school Peter twice co-chaired the annual Conference on Race, Class, Gender, and Ethnicity. Upon graduation, Peter served as law clerk to the Honorable Judge William Osteen Jr. in the Middle District of North Carolina. He worked for 4 years as a legal fellow at the UNC Center for Civil Rights with a focus on school desegregation, excluded communities, and environmental racism. Peter authored “The State of Exclusion,” a report on the legacy of housing segregation on political power, school districts, and environmental racism across North Carolina. Currently, he works for Legal Aid of North Carolina in Durham with a focus on housing and eviction defense. This year he was selected to participate in the Shriver Center’s Racial Justice Training Institute. He also serves on the board of the NC Environmental Justice Network.
Elizabeth Simpson (Board Treasurer)
Lawyer, staff attorney, NC Prisoner Legal Services, USA
Elizabeth Simpson earned her law degree from Yale Law School in 2009. She currently works at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, where she focuses primarily on civil rights litigation challenging the conditions of solitary confinement in the state prison system and the adequacy of mental health care. She is also litigating the parole procedures afforded to prisoners serving life sentences for crimes committed while they were juveniles. Prior to this position, Elizabeth worked at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, where she represented undocumented immigrants, especially in challenges to the use of evidence obtained in the course of racial profiling by local police and immigration authorities. Before becoming a lawyer, she worked for the community organizing group, ACORN, participating in a ballot referendum campaign that secured over 1 million petition signatures in the course of raising Florida’s minimum wage and pegging the rate to inflation so that it continues to rise once per year. She has worked as a Catholic Worker, a grant writer, and in media communications, and she is the mother of two children.