Lea Campbell, a resident of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, is founding President of Mississippi Rising Coalition and a passionate advocate for dismantling exploitative systems perpetuating white supremacy and poverty. Her advocacy and community organizing work in Mississippi has focused on anti-racism and anti-poverty initiatives; dismantling the prison industrial complex; ending food apartheid in Mississippi; removal of the Confederate emblem from the Mississippi state flag and advocating for equal civil rights protections for the LGBTQIA+ community. Lea serves on the Mississippi Advisory Committee for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights where her work has has focused on exploring the role of prosecutorial discretion and qualified immunity in perpetuating systemic racism within the Mississippi criminal legal system.
Morris Mock was born in Natchez, MS and attended North Natchez High School then
Calloway High School in Jackson. He attended Jackson State University where he majored in
Music. Morris is a graduate of the Mississippi Black Leadership Institute and one of the founding
members of Nissan Organized Workers (NOW). He is also an illustrious member of AF&AM and part of the Mississippi Poor People’s Campaign. Morris, whose passion is labor rights and
organizing, states, “There’s no peace without unity!”
Charlotte Ciobanu is a recent Mississippi transplant from California. She attended the University of California, Riverside, where she double-majored in philosophy and sociology and then went on to receive her Master’s in philosophy from San Francisco State University. Her interests in social justice include: bridging the wealth gap between white and BIPOC families, food sustainability and distribution, public education, and environmental justice. In her free time, you are likely to find her in her garden with her two pit bulls and bulldog.
Laronne O. Lewis, Sr. is a native of New Orleans, LA and father of 3 young men. He has called Waveland, MS his home for 32 years now and is a 1993 graduate of Bay St Louis High School. Laronne attended MS Gulf Coast Community College where he studied Industry Maintenance and Business Administration and was a member of MGCCC football team. After college, Laronne committed to a lifestyle change and pursued a career as an all Natural Professional Bodybuilder, and he still competes in Supernatural Bodybuilding and Fitness Organizations. Laronne served 2 year as the Hancock County Political Chair and 2nd Vice President of the Hancock County branch of the MS NAACP, and he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Hancock County Boys and Girls Club. He is a 2018 graduate of Leadership Hancock County, and in his spare time, Laronne loves to mentor young men from all walks of life.
Melissa Garriga is a resident of Pascagoula, MS. She has a B.A. in Public Relations
from Tulane University. She previously served as Press Secretary for Representative Jeramey
Anderson’s 2018 campaign for US Congress, and as communication’s director for Ours to
Change Mississippi. Currently, Melissa serves as a co-chair on the steering committee for the
Mississippi Prison Reform Coalition as well as working as their media relations specialist.
Melissa volunteers her services as the ride share coordinator for Mississippi Resiste’, and she
recently joined the Mississippi Chapter of the Poor Peoples Campaign. She is also a proud card
carrying member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
She strongly advocates for public education, civil and human rights, workers’ rights, immigrant
rights, MedicareForAll, anti-imperialism, incarcerated folks, and socialist feminism. Melissa is
strongly guided by the works of Rosa Luxemburg and her quote, “The most revolutionary thing
one can do is always proclaim loudly what is happening.” She is dedicated to moving
Mississippi forward in progress and away from oppression, because she knows that a better
world is possible.
Fred Chestnut is a native of Hattiesburg and a respected community activist, organizer and y0uth football coach and mentor in the Hub City today. He is a former shop steward and union rep for LIUNA 693 where he fought for union rights in the poultry processing industry. Fred states, "Companies have overworked and underpaid employees in stressful conditions for too long. I believe in standing for people of all races for equality, safety, fair wages and treatment. I stand with workers everywhere as one family demanding, CHANGE NOW!!!"
Sonia L. Davidson, a native of Michigan, has called Mississippi home for 17 years and is mother of two young men. Sonia is a graduate of Jones County Community College with a degree in Arts and earned a BA from the University of Toledo. She is very involved in her community, which is her heart's passion. She is a board member of Student Lives Matter of Mississippi, where she fights for equal rights for all students in her community, serves on the Lamar County School District Booster Club and loves working with MRC's MS Gulf Coast Mutual Aid Network and its Food Security Initiative. While serving others, she is able to be a positive role model for the youth of her community, and being a "football mom" connects her with youth from all walks of life. Sonia believes wholeheartedly in her personal motto, "Doing more than a hashtag," while fighting for equality and justice for all.
Lisa Foster is a resident of Petal, MS. She is a recent graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, receiving her Masters in War & Society (History) and a minor in Race & Ethnicity. Prior to graduate school, she spent ten years in the museum field and a total of fifteen years in non-profits. She was awarded the 2017 Mississippi Historical Society’s prize for best Mississippi History Now website article as co-author of the feature story “Jefferson Davis Soldier Home – Beauvoir.” She has also worked as a research consultant for an episode of the genealogy television show, “Who Do You Think You Are?” Her work and research interests include the Mississippi Homefront during the Civil War, the Confederate veteran, social welfare for Mississippi Confederates and their dependents (wartime aid and post-war pensions), and the Beauvoir Soldiers Home.