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Staff and Board
Brian Stefan-Szittai came to the InterReligious Task Force staff in 1999. Before joining IRTF, Brian taught sociology at Bowling Green State University-Firelands College and Lorain County Community College. Brian also brought to IRTF several years of experience in community organizing and advocacy for immigrant rights in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, a four-county area on the Texas-Mexico border. Brian co-managed a shelter for Central American refugees and organized faith communities in support of Central American refugees through the Border Association for Refugees from Central America (BARCA). Also through BARCA, Brian did community organizing with Mexican immigrant families in rural colonias. During his years in South Texas, Brian served as chair of the Refugee Rights Coalition, director of the Peace and Justice Commission at a Catholic parish, and co-founder/co-director of the Coalition of Colonia Service Agencies. In Cleveland, Brian is active with music ministry at St. Patrick Church, the Community Land Trust, and the Cleveland Catholic Worker Community.
Brian is a native of Massillon, Ohio, and graduate of Canton Central Catholic High School. Brian holds a BA in Political Science (Bowling Green State University) and an MA in Sociology (Syracuse University), with concentrations in ethnic identity and conflict resolution.
Chrissy is a native of the rust-belt town of Youngstown, Ohio. Chrissy devotes her passion for social justice to her union-laborer father and concern for Latin America to her mother, who found refuge in the US from Medellin, Colombia during the height of the civil war in the 1980s. Chrissy received her BA in International and Financial Management from Hiram College and her MA and MEd in Higher Education Administration and Counseling from Kent State University. At Kent, she worked in Student Affairs, coordinated experiential education, civic engagement and service learning trips, taught Student Development and Leadership courses and served on Sustainability, Equity and Professional Development committees. While studying at Hiram she helped in the initial creation of the 501c3 Hiram Farm Living and Learning community for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and was co-founder of the Olive Branch fair trade store in Hiram, OH.
Chrissy joined IRTF as co-coordinator in 2013. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Disciples Peace Fellowship, the National Council of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and as the Chair of the NE Ohio Fair Trade Network. Her previous board experience includes serving as the Secretary for the Christian Church in Ohio (Disciples of Christ), and as a member of the Higher Educational Leadership Ministries (HELM) national team. She is proud to be a community organizer, organizing in the greater Cleveland area, with groups such as the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) & the Student Farmworker Alliance (SFA), Witness Against Torture (WAT), Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT and ECAP Colombia), Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD), Tree of Life Education Fund (Israel/Palestine), the Asociacion de Trabajadores del Campo Nicaragua (ATC), Refugee and Immigration Ministries (RIM) and others.
Program Associates - volunteer corps members
Rapid Response Network Coordinator
IRTF Board of Trustees
Noha Bechara - secretary
Rachel Rosen DeGolia
Lauren Fraser - Community Shares Liason
Annette Iwamoto - co-chair
Dale Lindsey, LPC
Rachel Napolitano - co-chair
Andy Trares - treasurer