Karen May is a 20 year veteran of organizing, economic development policy, and development finance. Specializing in equity finance for underserved areas, Karen worked closely with leaders such as then-Illinois State Senator Barack Obama and officials with the Clinton administration. Her early career experience working directly with Cesar Chavez and the UFW gave her a love of community organizing and leadership development, and a firm belief that successful development projects must include strong community components.
After the election in 2016, she felt the call to pivot from international work back to her grassroots, and started organizing with local resistance groups and building coalitions. She currently serves as the Membership Director for RISE Stronger, one of the national partners of ActLocal 2017, and in Southern California, she coordinates the "Southland Resistance" coalition of grassroots resistance organizations along the 10-210 corridor.
Karen holds an M.S. in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University, an M.A. in Economic Analysis from Claremont Graduate University with a concentration in the Political Economy of Development, and a B.A. from Pomona College. You can also find Karen teaching yoga and meditation to bring self-care to diverse communities and resist activist burnout.