Rickke Mananzala served as Campaign Coordinator and then Co-Director of FIERCE for almost four years until he became Executive Director in January 2008. As a former New Voices Fellow at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, he worked to develop methods for legal work to increase support for organizing efforts in transgender communities. Rickke currently serves on the National Steering Committee of the Right to the City Alliance as the New York City regional representative. He also served on the Board of the Third Wave Foundation for five years where he helped to improve grant-making strategies to support young women and transgender youth&151;led community organizing work.
Jonathan D. Lewis Point Scholar, Columbia University School of General Studies , Political Science.
Rickke Mananzala was born in Oakland, California and being from a military family, was raised in a number of different states. He attended high school in Maine and has lived in Brooklyn, New York for the past 9 years. When Rickke first arrived at college in 1997, the only thing he recalled looking forward to was being far away from his high school. After being kicked out of his home at the age of 16 for being queer, he had to quickly piece together a new adult life on his own with college as the top priority to gain the affirming educational environment and peer support he was longing for. Unfortunately, that is not what was awaiting him on campus where his educational experiences in college mirrored many of the same run-ins as high school: isolation, being a target for harassment as one the few students of color and out queer students and the constant fear of finances. These hardships led him to eventually withdraw from college shortly before graduating. After Rickke left school, he had a variety of jobs, often two at a time, while also making time to volunteer at organizations that worked on advocacy issues that were personally meaningful to him, such as LGBTQ youth rights and criminal justice reform. Rickke has been involved with a number of social justice organizations working on racial, economic, and gender justice issues for more than a decade. He most recently served as the Executive Director of FIERCE, an organization building the leadership and power of LGBTQ youth of color in New York City and nationally.
Right to the City
In 2010 Right to the City gave thanks and appreciation to the hard work of outgoing Steering Committee members: Denise Perry, Dawn Phillips, and Rickke Mananzala. At the 2010 U.S. Social Forum, the membership elected a new Steering Committee, consisting of: Anita Sinha, Advancement Project; Jon Liss, Tenants and Workers United/New Virginia Majority; Kalila Barnett, Alternatives for Community and Environment; Alicia Garza, POWER; Mark Swier, Mothers On The Move; Eileen Ma, Korean Immigrant Workers Association; Yvette Thierry, Safe Streets Strong Communities; Gihan Perera, Miami Worker Center/Florida New Majority; and Leonardo Vilchis, Union De Vecinos.
RTTC Regional Contacts 2014
Right to the City Regional Contacts 2014.
- Boston/Providence – Soledad Lawrence, City Life/Vida Urbana
- DC Metro – Jon Liss, Tenants and Workers United
- Los Angeles – Gilda Haas, Strategic Actions for a Just Economy
- Miami – Gihan Perera, Miami Workers Center
- New Orleans – Rosana Cruz, Safe Streets/Strong Communities
- New York City – Rickke Mananzala, FIERCE
- SF Bay Area – Dawn Phillips, Causa Justa/Just Cause Oakland
- Chinatown Alliance – Helena Wong, CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities
Ear to the Ground Project
- We would like to express our deep respect and appreciation for everyone who took the time to talk with us, and the organizations that generously hosted us during our travels. Interviews were confidential, but the following people have agreed to have their names listed for this publication:
Most of those listed were connected to Freedom Road Socialist Organization.
Rickke Mananzala was among those on the list.