Founder & Director

Rev. Dr. Andrea Ayvazian

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 revandrea@comcast.net.

Truth School Board

Cate Woolner

John Thorpe

Mehlaqa Samdani

Olivia Ilano Davis

Pamela Schwartz

Renee Moss

Rose Sackey Milligan

Rose Sackey-Milligan

Shelley Abend Zimbalist

Tom Chang


Lindsey Peterson

Associate Director
Lindsey provides administrative implementation of the mission and vision of the school, including management of registration, site coordination and web and social media and she supports organizational development more broadly. In addition to her work with the Truth School, Lindsey is an ordained minister in the UCC, currently serving as Bridge Minister of South Congregational Church, UCC of Springfield. She is a singer/songwriter, and occasional Community Convener of Queer Faith, a live storytelling event.

Joanne Conti

Joanne Conti is the 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.

Shelley Abend Zimbalist

Director of Development

Volunteer Team

Chris Mohn
Co-Coordinator of the Host Program
MJ Adams
Co-Coordinator of the Host Program

Sue Carbin, School Courier
Julie Kurose, Catalogue Editor
Renee Moss, Special Projects Assistant

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 Klare
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