We are so happy to be able to expand our organization to include Cassandra on our staff!
If you have heard of EPOCA, you probably have heard of, read about or met Cassandra Bensahih, our new part-time Community Organizer. Cassandra has been building EPOCA for five years now: first as a volunteer in 2008, registering people to vote; then as a member speaking to reporters about her CORI in 2009;then on the Board of Directors as our Communicator and later as President, pulling members together for every kind of meeting; then as a paid Community Organizer Intern, building relationships with new members and bringing them in to the core team; and later as our first paid Community Organizer Apprentice, helping develop others’ leadership skills!
Along the way, Cassandra took the expertise she learned at EPOCA and began working part-time for the Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants, organizing residents of two apartment buildings to protect their affordable housing from being taken away. We are so happy to be able to expand our organization to include Cassandra on our staff as a professional organizer! Her position is funded for two years, and we hope to extend it for many more.
She says, “I am excited to have a paid position at EPOCA. It’s inspiring! At the same time, it’s crazy because when I was just a volunteer it felt different. It’s responsibility – but now it’s heightened. Even though I did a lot before, I want to be really effective in my role – really help the organization grow. The transition isn’t easy, but I talk with Delia, who has been my mentor for a long time.”
“As always, I’m very passionate about being a part of systemic change. This is the perfect opportunity to follow my dreams and sustain my family’s income, by doing work that I love. It’s the perfect job. Who can ask for more?”
Having been a leader in EPOCA and in the community for so many years now, Cassandra has been a vital part of winning the landmark CORI Reform campaign in 2010, and the CHINS (“Child in Need of Services”) reform in 2011. Now as an Organizer, she is leading EPOCA’s petition drives for both the Jobs Not Jails and Minimum Wage campaigns.
“For anyone that comes to EPOCA, who considers organizing as a career, I say stick with it – you never know how far you can go! Hard work does pay off.”