Founder & Director

Rev. Dr. Andrea Ayvazian

Rev. Dr. Andrea Ayvazian is a pastor, life-long activist and the founder and  director of the Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership. The Rev. Dr. Andrea Ayvazian has been inspired to create and lead the Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership. A veteran of every peace and social change movement since the 1960s, when she was radicalized at Oberlin College during the Vietnam War, Andrea has never stopped being an activist and trainer. An ordained pastor in the United Church of Christ, Andrea served as Dean of Religious Life at Mount Holyoke College for ten years. She then went on to revitalize the Haydenville Congregational Church in Western Massachusetts, which grew from a congregation of 13 people to almost 300 people during her dozen years as the Senior Pastor. Andrea is a long-time war tax resister, a nonviolence and peacekeeper trainer, a frequent speaker on strategies for effective movement building, and she writes a monthly column on the intersection of faith, culture and politics for the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, MA. She holds degrees from Oberlin College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, the Graduate School of the Union Institute, and Yale Divinity School. Her papers, chronicling over four decades of movement activism, have been collected and archived at the Smith College Women’s History Archive as part of their permanent collection. Contact Andrea at director@truthschool.org.


Lindsey Peterson

Associate Director

In addition to my work with the Truth School, I am a singer/songwriter, Organizer of Queer Faith and an ordained minister in the UCC.  I love the water and want to protect it. 

Email me at lindsey@truthschool.org

Joanne Conti


Joanne Conti is the new bookkeeper for The Truth School. She is originally from Connecticut and holds a B.S. in Business Administration from St. Joseph College in West Hartford. Prior to coming to The Truth School, Joanne has worked in the public, private, and non-profit sectors mainly in the areas of administration or finance.

Steering Committee

Advisory Board

Norma Akamatsu
Rev. Dr. Margaret Bulitt-Jonas
Sister Claire Carter
The Honorable Jo Comerford, State Senator
Rabbi Justin David
Thulani Davis
Dr. Ruth Folchman
Meg Gage

Yamila Irizarry-Gerould
Randy Kehler
Dr. Michael Kalre
Dr. Jennifer Ladd
Attorney Thomas Lesser
Lilly Lombard
Bob Mazer
Pastor Louis Mitchell

Naz Mohamed
Jeff Napolitano
Attorney William Newman
Douglas Renick
Alexandra Russell
Attorney Elizabeth Silver
The Honorable Ellen Story, Former State Representative
Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum