It's been an honor and pleasure to support We The People Action Fund this past year in the searches for two amazing leaders to help support the growth and development of the team. In case you don't know, We The People Action Fund and its partner organization, We The People Michigan, you should!
We The People Action Fund and We The People Michigan work to build a multi-racial, working-class constituency across Michigan that is engaged in community organizing, the development of leaders, and the building of a unified, proactive agenda rooted in economic, racial, and social justice for all Michiganders. In 2018, people from all corners of Michigan came together to outline The People’s Agenda, a vision for a Michigan in which all people have dignity, that is safe and sustainable and that protects our democracy and acknowledges our history. Since then, We The People Action Fund and We The People Michigan have been organizing across the state in support of this living, evolving vision. You can learn more about them at www.wethepeoplemi.org.
The team has grown, and this past year, I was thrilled to support them in hiring their first-ever Finance Director and Managing Director.
Cornell Batie joined We The People Action Fund as Finance Director in December 2022. Cornell is a strategic leader with 30 progressive years of leveraging leadership talent in the areas of operations, finance, and procurement. He is a high-leve
l executive with extensive experience in running operations in both for-profit and not-for profit entities. He has a strong background in board governance; providing consultation to diverse groups of senior executives and Board of Directors on complex business strategies, board effectiveness, and developing successful corporate governance processes. Cornell is a native Detroiter who holds two undergraduate degrees in Management and Accounting from the University of Detroit Mercy, and a Master of Business Administration in Finance and International Business from Wayne State University. He has received awards and recognitions for his work, including the Spirit of Detroit
and Crain’s CFO of the Year awards and State of Michigan Special Tribute and Michigan Chronicle’s Men of Excellence.
Miguel Rodriguez joined We The People Action Fund as Managing Director in March 2023. Born and raised in unincorporated East Los Angeles, he was shaped by the rich, multi-generational history of student activism and social justice organizing that sprung from his hometown. Miguel started organizing as a response to anti-immigrant legislation in California and through this work, became committed to building powe
r from the bottom up. As a young adult he made a radical decision to move to Chiapas, Mexico—home of the Zapatista Movement—where, for ten years, he worked on building a solidarity network of BIPOC organizers sharing and learning from each other and directly from Indigenous Zapatista communities. Miguel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA and has spent the last decade dedicated to youth leadership development domestically and internationally. He brings deep project management experience to We The People and offers a breadth of knowledge built from working alongside organizers tackling social inequities in the US, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. Having recently landed in Michigan, Miguel is excited to embed himself in the long history of organizing in the state and looks forward to learning and growing from the gifts, skills and talents of people from this beautiful state. When he finds time, Miguel enjoys one of his many hobbies-- collecting comic books, gravel-biking, gardening, hiking and baking.