Thomas Assefa

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Thomas Assefa

Template:TOCnestleft Thomas Assefa Graduate Student, New School, NYC (Former BOLD staff).

Thomas Assefa started his organizing career through New York Union Semester learning about organized labor and working with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) local 1180 in New York City.

His commitment to worker organizing led him to UNITE-HERE in Ohio to unionize cafeteria workers at Youngstown State University. Thomas then got introduced to Transformative Organizing (TO) through Social Justice Leadership’s (SJL) first ever community organizing fellowship known as Activate. Through Activate, Thomas was placed at Mothers on the Move (MOM), a grassroots community-based organization in the South Bronx. He helped lead a successful campaign that resulted in a historic environmental justice win for the South Bronx community. Thomas also helped spearhead MOM’s first economic justice campaign for green jobs creation.

Nationally, he convened the environmental justice work – group for the Right to the City (RTTC) national alliance and served as it’s co-chair. He also has some experience in electoral organizing, after having worked amid efforts to recall State Senators who attacked workers’ rights in the state of Wisconsin.

Thomas has participated in extensive trainings for both organizers and leaders in SJL’s Transformative Organizing Initiative (TOI). After spending a few months assisting with SJL’s NY TOI, Thomas transitioned as a full time trainer and program coordinator with Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD), a new project initiated by SJL and Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO), to revitalize social justice infrastructure in the Black community and re-center Black leadership in the social justice movement.

Currently, Thomas is a graduate student at the New School in NYC and working part time for the Northwest Bronx Community Coalition close to home allowing him to study and prepare for his next movement contribution. [1]

Organizing Director at New Virginia Majority. Lives in Alexandria, Virginia. From Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Married to Kathy Vazquez.

People's Convention 2019

In July Christopher Rashad Green, Isamar Ortega, D'Elena Camacho, Thomas Assefa were among the New Virginia Majority activists attending the Center for Popular Democracy's People's Convention 2019 in Detroit. The delegates posed with Linda Sarsour and Rep. Rashida Tlaib among others.

BOLD Advisory Council

Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity Advisory Council 2015;

BAJI Board Members

Black Alliance for Just Immigration board as of 2015;

Power and Protagonism

Steve Williams September 18, 2015:


Who says 'protagonism' isn't a word? Marta Harnecker says, 'Sometimes we need new words to describe new actions.' Honored to be soaking up the wisdom of Marta Harnecker and Michael Lebowitz in a room full of hungry and skilled organizers and activists. — with Thomas Assefa, Ilana Berger, Ben Morse, Harmony Goldberg, Randy Jackson, Tony Romano, Jee Kim, Kitzia Esteva, Helena Wong, Matt Howard, Jodeen Olguin-Tayler and Kate Kanelstein at Verso Books.

Dump Trump

DUMP TRUMP, DEFEAT RACISM AND MISOGYNY, BUILD THE LEFT was an open letter to the left from 47 grassroots organizers. October 17, 2016.

A lot of us see something really clearly, but few of us—radical and revolutionary organizers—are willing to say it out loud.
So we’re going to say it. Defeating Trump in the presidential election is a top priority for the left. And at a minimum, that means mobilizing voters for Hillary Clinton in swing states even if you vote for another candidate in a safe state. We’ve got to beat Trump and Trumpism while building movements that will fight, resist and disrupt a Clinton administration that will be militaristic and pro-corporate...
As we mentioned at the beginning, defeating Trump is not enough. We need movements strong enough to fight a Clinton administration on several fronts—whether Israel/Palestine, free trade agreements, climate change, a $15 minimum wage, or the prison-industrial complex. And neutralizing the appeal of the far right means we need to both strengthen our movements for racial justice and win over white workers to a progressive class politics as an alternative to Trump’s racist economic nationalism. Finally, we need to build a left that can help anchor a visionary alternative to corporate Democrats. It won’t be easy, but we’ve come this far. Let’s defend what we’ve got in this election, and keep our eye on collective liberation.

Signatories included Thomas Assefa, LeftRoots.

Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing

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Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing, was a nationwide conference call organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Sunday October 30, 2016.

What's the nature of this right-wing threat? What has this election cycle changed about the political terrain we're fighting on? How do we need to prepare for whats coming after the election? Hear about these crucial questions from our panel of top political strategists, including Nelini Stamp, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Linda Burnham, and Sendolo Diaminah.

Those indicating interest in attending, on Facebook included Thomas Assefa.[4]

NVM Staff

New Virginia Majority staff, as of November 2018;