Wilnelia Rivera, Chief Doer

Wilnelia is a political strategist, urban planner, and the Chief Doer at Shirley’s Table, a fellowship program for movement-building professionals. From union organizing to serving in state government and now leading her own movement building firm, Wilnelia has been at the helm of policies, programs and political campaigns that address systemic challenges and enable societal change.

Her professional and academic work center on social justice, collective prosperity, and just sustainability. Wilnelia has worked for Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, and most recently served as the lead architect for Congresswoman Ayanna Presley's historic winning campaign in MA-07. Her vision is to train the next generation of movement-builders to rewrite the American social contract. 

Our Leadership Circle

The Board of Directors of Shirley’s Table includes current and retired movement-building professionals, who bring decades of organizing, communications, social justice and political experience. Together, with Shirley’s Table trainers and mentors, we help recruit and nominate Fellows as well as serve as mentors and trainers in the program.

Our Trainers

Over the last 15 years, our Chief Doer, Wilnelia Rivera, has worked and partnered with the most talented cadre of movement-building professionals, and is now teaming up with them to deliver and shape a curriculum and recruit others to a Leadership Circle. This Leadership Circle will act as the participatory board that will nominate and select Fellows to Shirley’s Table.

Our Mentors

To support fellows beyond their training, Shirley’s Table will match fellow with mentors, all of whom are current or retired movement-building professionals. Each mentor will commit to a six-month mentorship, including at least one in-person meeting and bi-weekly check-ins.  The purpose of this mentorship is to receive technical and social support while navigating the political and social justice industry.

Strategic Partners

The following endorsers of Shirley’s Table are committed to serve the US justice movements, civic sector, and democracy.


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