Bishop Dwayne Royster | Interim Executive Director
Bishop Dwayne D. Royster, a leading voice in modern faith-based activism, wants to change the world. Whether he is serving as a pastor, challenging the status quo as a political activist, educating and empowering communities as a radio show host, or encouraging and inspiring audiences around the country as a writer and public speaker, Bishop Royster’s work is fueled by deep faith and passionate commitment to bringing about social justice.
Bishop Royster has served in pastoral ministry for the past over 26 years in a variety of positions and denominations. Driven by his deep commitment to the four biblical principles of redemption, restoration, renewal and refreshment, Bishop Royster works diligently to meet people where they are and instill in the congregation a need to be like Christ: slow to judge always ready to offer grace and mercy.
Bishop Royster currently serves as Senior Pastor of Faith United Church of Christ in the North Michigan Park Section of Washington, DC. Bishop Royster is an advocate for preparing congregations for the ministry of availability. Prior to his current role as Senior Pastor, Bishop Royster has had the honor of presiding over the Living Water United Church of Christ (Founder and Senior Pastor); Mid-Town Parish UMC (Pastor); Way of Life Ministries Mennonite Church (Church Planter and Pastor); Harold O. Davis Memorial Baptist Church (Staff Minister) and Camphor Memorial UMC (Associate Pastor). Bishop Royster has also served the United Church of Christ in the following capacities: United Church of Christ Board of Directors (2013-2017); UCC Executive Committee (2016-2017); Penn Southeast Conference Consistory (2008-2012); Philadelphia Association Executive Committee (2008-2012); Philadelphia Association Committee on Ministry (2010-2014) and Ministers for Racial, Social and Economic Justice Board (2010-2014).
Bishop is a graduate of Geneva College’s Center for Urban Theological Studies (BS in Urban Ministry Management), a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary In Philadelphia (M.A. in Religion Degree- African American Church specialization), and has studied at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, Bishop Royster is the General Secretary of Higher Ground Christian Fellowship International and serves on the College of Bishops.
Bishop Royster has extensive organizing, advocacy, political and faith leadership experience. He believes that it is imperative that a prophetic faith voice is heard in the halls of power calling for equity and respect for the moral value of every human life. He currently serves as the National Political Director of Faith in Action (formerly the PICO National Network), the nation’s largest faith-based organizing movement committed to racial and economic justice with 40+ federations in 26 States and 4 countries.
Bishop Royster serves as the Founder of the Society for Faith and Justice, an ecumenical religious order committed to a charism of social justice as a spiritual discipline and spiritual practice. Bishop is also the former Executive Director of the POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild) and a former councilman-at-large for the Municipality of Norristown. And when he’s not blogging at “Change The Damn World,” Bishop Royster can be found co-hosting a radio show, “Solutions”, on Philadelphia’s WURD.
Bishop Royster’s work and ministry have been featured in the Philadelphia Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Time Magazine, Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia Magazine, New York Times, RT Today, Fox News, Religion and Ethics Weekly (PBS), ThinkProgress, Huffington Post, Fresh Air (PBS), Voice of America, Washington Post, The Washington Informer and many other outlets.
Bishop Dwayne D. Royster is married to the lovely Suzette Royster and together they are the parents of two beautiful daughters.
Reverend Yvette Davis | Director of Formation
Pastor Yvette Davis is Associate Pastor of Urban Engagement with Cookman Beloved Communities Baptist Church in Philadelphia, PA, The Rev. Dr. Donna Jones, Senior Pastor.
Prior to that, Pastor Davis served in the United Methodist Church in pastoral and extension ministry roles. Among these roles, she was the first African-American woman pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in Harrisburg, PA and Asbury United Methodist Church in York, PA, and Bridesburg United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, PA.
She served as the Director of The Office of Urban and Global Ministries, Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century Coordinator, and Shalom Coordinator for The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church. Pastor Davis resourced more than 120 urban local United Methodist churches in the areas of ministering with ethnically and socioeconomically diverse populations in an urban context.
Pastor Davis serves on several Boards and Committees including The Christian Churches United Healing Communities Organizing Committee; The WITF Community Advisory Board; the Strategic Planning Committee for Jewish Family Services; and The Emerging Ministries Consulting.
Pastor Davis earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from New York University; a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from Drexel University; attended Drew Theological Seminary; and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Business Administration at Capella University. She is a Lilly Foundation Clergy Leadership Fellow and a JP Morgan Chase Foundation Fellow for Nonprofit Management for Faith-Based Leaders.
Pastor Davis currently lives in Harrisburg with her cat, Buster. When she has spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends, reading, crocheting, and practicing for her motorcycle license test.
Kendra Cochran | Director of Civic Engagement
Yvette Gimenez | Director of Operations
Emilie Haertsch | Director of Communications
Will Fuller | Interim Director of Organizing / POWER Metro Community Organizer
Jordan Ford | POWER Philadelphia Community Organizer / Economic Dignity Organizer
Jordan Ford is a faith-based community organizer fighting for social justice and liberation. He is a proud husband and father. He and his family are members of Love Zion Baptist Church in North Philadelphia. Jordan also serves on the board of the Center for Economic Empowerment at Love Zion, Inc. He is currently working as the Economic Dignity organizer for POWER, organizing around affordable housing, raising the minimum wage, and preemption repeal.
Jordan grew up in the Poconos and attended Howard University, where he studied political science. He has eight years of organizing experience, having begun his community organizing career at ACTION United. Before joining POWER, Jordan worked on the Krasner for District Attorney campaign as the finance director. His passions are racial and economic justice, missions, and evangelism.
Mary Laver | POWER Philadelphia Catholic Community Outreach Organizer
Lena Glickman | Formation Coach and Trainer
Lena Glickman grew up in a small town in Southern Vermont. She attended Oberlin College, where she majored in history, focusing on race and class in America. As an organizer for Pennsylvania Working Families, she built power around economic and racial justice in Bucks and Montgomery Counties. Buddhist Vipassana meditation and Quaker faith and practice serve as guiding forces in her life and organizing–pushing her toward greater presence, connection and action for justice.
Lilah Saber | POWER Philadelphia Community Organizer
Jaisy Omollo | POWER Philadelphia Community Organizer
Jaisy B. Omollo is from the Pennsylvania area, born in New Jersey. Jaisy was raised her two parents who migrated from Kenya, East Africa in search for better opportunities for themselves and their children. As she watched her parents struggle in this country she believed that it was her duty to take advantage of the opportunities that the country had to offer in honor of her parents.
In 2014 Jaisy attended La Salle University where she received her Bacelor’s in Political During her time at La Salle University, she was recognized as a student leader in many organizations at the University and even the Surrounding community. She served as the Vice President of the African American Student League, Senator of Student Government, and even student member of the Board of Trustees. In her third year in college, she was offered an opportunity to work for the campaign of Pennsylvania’s current Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Immediately after that, she was offered to serve as a legislative intern in the office of Councilwoman Cindy Bass.
After earning her degree she continued her efforts as an organizer and Minority advocate and was recruited by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to serve as on Capitol Hill in the office of Congressman John Lewis, legendary Civil Rights leader. Through this experience she has built relations with the grandson of Nelson Mandela as well as the staff for Impact Strategies by Angela Rye of whom she volunteered for after her time on the hill.
Now that Jaisy is an organizer with power, she hopes to continue making an impact for others throughout Pennsylvania and even in the country.
Nathan Sooy | Director of Public Policy / POWER Central PA Area Director
Nathan Richard Sooy has nearly 30 years experience working with social justice organizations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. Before coming to work for POWER, Sooy was Central Pennsylvania Campaign Coordinator for Clean Water Action for nearly 8 years organizing against the effects of fracking on water and air. Nathan was Executive Director of community organizing projects in Baltimore, Maryland and Muskegon, Michigan. Nathan built a successful Labor/Community Coalition in Wisconsin that developed increased progressive voting power in state elections. Sooy also the Associate Director of the Cleveland office of Ohio Citizen Action and got his first significant training in community organizing in Detroit during the 80’s.
Sooy has been trained as a leader and organizer in the traditions of the Gamaliel Foundation, PICO Network, and DART Network and is an alumnus of the Midwest Academy and National Peoples Action.
Rabbi Julie Greenberg | Climate Justice Coordinator
Terri Burgin | Climate Justice Fellow
Rev. Gregory Edwards | Director of POWER Lehigh Valley
Rev. Dr. Gregory James Edwards is the Director of POWER Lehigh Valley, Founder and Senior Pastor of the Resurrected Life Community Church, United Church of Christ, and President and CEO of the Resurrected Community Development Corporation. Under his leadership the church and community development corporation have experienced exponential growth, evidenced by membership, financial self-sufficiency, and employment creation.
His contextual approach to urban ministry–based upon an understanding of the intersectionality of race, spiritual growth, educational empowerment, economic self-sufficiency, community development, and public policy–led to the creation of the Resurrected Life Children’s Academy, the James Lawson Freedom School, and the Campaign for Change community organizing initiative.
A frequent lecturer at colleges and universities, he has presented to the faith-based, corporate and non- profit sectors, has been featured in TIME Magazine, and has served as Guest Chaplain to the Pennsylvania State Senate. As a professional musician, he is a musicologist specializing in Black Sacred Music and Jazz.
Dr. Edwards currently serves as Board Chair for Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley, and board member for the Community First Fund, the financially largest Community Development Financial Institu- tion (CDFI) in Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley focused on improving the economic well-being of historically marginalized, and under represented communities in Eastern Pennsylvania. He previously co-chaired the Water Fountain Project, a regional task force comprised of African-American and Latinx political and community leaders committed to addressing educational and economic inequities in the greater Lehigh Valley. He is the co-founder of LVSU, (Lehigh Valley Stands Up), a multi-racial, class- crossing grassroots initiative purposed to create an equitable and just Lehigh Valley through policy change.
During his 2016 trip to Liberia, West Africa, Dr. Edwards was enstooled as Chief by the National Council of Elders of the World-Wide Missions of Liberia, and the people of Grand Bassa.
In 2016, Dr. Edwards was inducted into the inaugural class of the Martin Luther King, Jr. College of Pas- toral Leadership at Morehouse College, for his exemplary leadership in advancing Martin Luther King’s Beloved Community through peace, truth, justice and nonviolent direct action. In 2017, during their Sesquicentennial celebration, Morehouse further honored Dr. Edwards, inducting him into the college’s prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers.
As the first person of Black African Heritage to run for federal office in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, his historic candidacy for Congress in 2018, was covered by MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washing- ton Post, the Atlantic, Guardian Magazine, NOW THIS, and a hosts of other media, and social media out- lets. In 2019 he was appointed Chair of the Lehigh County Democratic Black Caucus, and in 2020 he was appointed to the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee.
A graduate of Geneva College (Bachelor of Science in Urban Ministry Leadership), the University of Delaware’s Graduate School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs (Certification in Community Economic Devel- opment), Drew University (Master of Divinity), and the New Brunswick Theological Seminary (Doctor of Ministry in Prisons, Public Policy and Transformative Justice), Dr. Edwards has been awarded the NAACP Man of Vision Award, the Peace Pilgrim of the Year Award, the Community Development Award by the Allentown Human Relations Commission, the William Gray III Leadership Award, and the prize for Multi-Cultural Church Leadership from Drew University, where he simultaneously served as President of the Theological Student Association and the Black Ministerial Caucus.
Rabbi Mordechai Liebling | Director of Reflection and Renewal Process
Rabbi Mordechai Liebling is coming to POWER from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College where he founded and directed the Social Justice Organizing Program. Prior to that he was the Executive Vice-President of Jewish Funds for Justice. Earlier he was the Executive Director of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation. Before attending rabbinical school, he was a community organizer in Boston.
He was a co-founder Shomrei Adamah the first U.S. Jewish environmental organization and of T’ruah: A Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. He serves on the boards of the Faith and Politics Institute and The Shalom Center of which he is President Emeritus. He has served on the boards of numerous national and international NGO’s. He helped create and was part of the leadership team of Green Justice Philadelphia that successfully stopped the development of a new Southport Oil Terminal in 2016.
Rabbi Liebling is part of a Faith in Action Training Team that leads workshops on Racism, Antisemitism and Christian Hegemony and, co-leads workshops on these issues in other venues. He and Lynne Iser, his wife, lead workshops and retreats on The Work That Reconnects developed by Buddhist scholar, deep ecologist and activist Joanna Macy.
He has published chapters in several books—most recently, in Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis, issued in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day; in Seeking Redemption in an Unredeemed World; and in God, Faith & Identity from the Ashes: Reflections of Children and Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors. Liebling has also written articles for many publications, including Tikkun, Jewish Currents and The Reconstructionist. He was a co-author of The Children of Abraham Haggadah, the first seder to tell the history of Israel/Palestine as a dual narrative.
He received a B.A. in Political Science from Cornell University, an M.A. from Brandeis University in History of American Civilization, and an M.H.L from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College from which he was ordained. He is certified as a Jewish Mindfulness Meditation teacher.
He is married to Lynne Iser, they have five children; their family was the subject of the international award-winning documentary Praying with Lior.
Executive Committee for the Board of Directors
- Rev. Melanie DeBouse, Co-Chair
- Rev Mark Tyler Co-Chair
- Rev. Michael Caine, Treasurer
- Frances Upshaw
- Hildegard Kent
- Liz Brunton
- Erica Owens
- Lori Hershey
- Imam Abdul-halim Hassan
- Rev David Tatgenhorst