New Executive Director: Mozart Guerrier

New Executive Director

The board of directors of 21 PROGRESS is excited to announce that Mozart Guerrier has been selected as its new executive director. He will replace retiring executive director, Sharon Maeda, effective February 1, 2015. Guerrier expressed his eagerness to take the helm. “21 PROGRESS has quickly established itself as a collaborative organization eager to stand with those most impacted by the challenges of our time and build a better future,” he said. Guerrier added, “I’m excited to work with the staff, board, and partner organizations to advance our mission of developing the next generation of progressive leadership.”

“We had a number of outstanding applicants, but Mozart’s vision of how we fit into a larger justice movement was incredible,” stated board president, Dave Schmitz. “We were not looking beyond the local area, but his fresh ideas and experience building diverse partnerships sold us all. He’s exactly the kind of leader we need at this time.” Maeda added, “he has an extraordinary grasp of the major issues of the day, expertise in making change, and a humble, warm style that will bridge gaps and build many relationships here. I can leave 21 PROGRESS knowing its in great hands!”

See Guerrier’s TEDx talk at:

Guerrier, a Haitian American, moved from Syracuse, New York, has already fallen in love with Seattle. “He’s already more knowledgeable about issues here than many locals,” added Schmitz. “We have no doubt that Mozart will become well recognized in no time.”

Most recently, Guerrier has been a Community Developer and Partnership Manager with a unique program that engages public housing residents as advocates for breast cancer awareness. He has also built community partnerships with Harvard, Boston University and San Francisco State. He was a caseworker at Catholic Community Services, securing housing for homeless families.

Guerrier has a Masters of Social Work Community Organization and Adult Interventions from University of Syracuse and a Bachelor or Science degree in Psychology. He has served on a number of national and local boards, and has been recognized as an emerging leader under 40.

21 PROGRESS is a 501c3 nonprofit organization in Washington, created in 2012 by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21, the largest private sector union in the state to build a 21st Century movement for equity and justice. Through popular education particularly for immigrants, communities of color and low wage workers it seeks out leaders of tomorrow. It’s flagship program is supporting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) with college and job readiness, civic engagement and other training while providing access to interest-free loans for their DACA application fees. To date, 21 PROGRESS has supported over 250 DACA applicants. Other programs have included free tax preparation workshops in 11 different languages, a Justice Fellows program for midlevel new generation leaders, and leadership training events for immigrants interested in running for public office and young labor leaders.

Congrats to the American Dialect Society! Who?

In the handwringing – and even soul searching –  since Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson last year, it is astonishing how many prominent writers don’t get it.  Even the Oscars didn’t get it, so much so that even Jimmy Fallon mentioned that the nominees were “so white.”
Once a year, members of the American Dialect Society gather at what the New York Times calls the Super Bowl of linguistics, to select the Word of the Year.  They got it.  For 2014, the word of the year is: