Meet Our Team

Mary Moran

Mary Moran

Executive Director, Co-Founder

Mary Moran is a national leader on issues organizing and Black and Brown coalition building. Mary is recognized by 100 Black Men, The Links Incorporated, the NFL, Alliance of Diversity and Excellence, the Committee for a Better New Orleans, and others for her commitment and excellence in leadership, strategy, and communications. Mary’s ultimate commitment is to the freedom of Black and Brown people. She is the co-founder of, and currently leads, Our Voice Nuestra Voz (OVNV), an issues organizing effort in New Orleans.

As a political strategist and organizer, she has led campaigns that won the first ever living wage campaign in the state of Louisiana–and the entire South– in 2018, won statewide legislation that keep school districts transparent and accountable, and fought for numerous policies that protect undocumented students, such as securing a sanctuary school district in Orleans Parish in 2017 and eliminating a discriminatory statewide policy that prevented undocumented students from playing high school sports in 2019.

Mary was a fall 2016 Pahara Next-Gen fellow. In that same year, she founded the #BlackandBrownGetDown, a movement created to build coalition, create a Black and Brown agenda, and win on shared issues. In 2018, she was appointed by Mayor Latoya Cantell to the New Orleans Public Library Board. She also serves on the boards of Broad Community Connection and IDEA Public Schools.

Mary has also participated in a number of international research and organizing efforts. She served as a fellow and organized youth within the Navajo Nation. Mary was a scholar activist in Jamaica and later organized a micro financing circle with street vendors in Tanzania. She also studied in Cuba informing a comparative analysis of the education systems in Cuba and the United States.

Henry Jones, Jr.

Chief Engagement Officer, Co-Founder

Henry Jones, Jr.

Henry Jones Jr. was born and raised in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He has 15 years experience in community organizing with organizations such as SEIU International and Stand For Children. Grateful for the opportunities education gave him, Henry’s passion for empowering people drove him to start Nuestra Voz with Mary. He has a passion for transforming communities through collective action. For him, movement building is a way of life. In Henry’s free time he enjoys creating new small business opportunities and helping others do the same.

Taylor Castillo

Program Director

Taylor Castillo

Taylor was raised in the DC metro area. After graduating the University of Delaware, he worked with a number of start-ups and nonprofits in order to grow their reach and potential. Through his work with nonprofits, he discovered a passion for creating positive change for people and communities. Thankful for the education he received, he now fights so that everyone has the opportunity to a great education. Also an avid musician, when he isn’t working you will find him DJing at local clubs and writing/producing original music.

Laura Venegas

Organizer

Laura Venegas

Laura was born and raised in Tegucigalpa, Honduras where she graduated university and explored her love for video production. She believes education is the first step in creating a strong community. Joining Our Voice Nuestra Voz early on , Laura helped build the base that now provides that backbone of our power and actions. Her hobbies include enjoying Japanese animation, learning about New Orleans history and spoiling her cat.

Rochelle Odon

Special Projects Coordinator

Rochelle Odon

Rochelle was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. She first came to New Orleans as a student at Xavier University of LA. After graduating from Xavier, she left the city but returned nearly a decade later as a high school teacher. As a teacher, she developed a passion for teaching traditionally underserved and marginalized populations, and she brings that same energy and passion to OVNV. When not working, Rochelle likes traveling to new and diverse regions of the world.

Shay

Organizer

Shay

Shay was raised in Riverside County, California where she obtained her first degree in Mathematics. Her passion for education led to multiple opportunities including tutoring and mentoring. As the former President of the Umoja Club at her junior college she advocated for educational equity and resources for students of color. Through overcoming adversity and strong determination she has continued to progress through her educational journey. Upon completion of her education she aspires to be a college professor where she can inspire others in her community to ignite change. She loves engaging in creative arts whenever she has free time. Her hobbies include creative writing, drawing, painting and other crafts. Shay is also pescatarian and loves to eat and try new food dishes.

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