2021 Mentors & Staff
Jennifer Herrara Condry
Born and raised in Harlem, New York, Jennifer is the daughter of Dominican immigrants. She worked for 22 years as a student affairs professional with a focus on multicultural student success before leaving to focus on building Juniper Creative Arts. During her 18 year tenure at Middlebury College, Jennifer led efforts for the retention and care of college students from marginalized identities and developed co-curricular programs to support student success, identity development and sense of belonging. She is a 200-hour certified Hatha Yoga practitioner, an energy worker with Level 3 certification in Healing Touch and Level 2 certification in the Usui System of Reiki Healing, and a spiritual herbalist. She holds an M.A. in Spanish linguistics from the Middlebury Language Schools and a B.F.A in art history and business from Hunter College. Jennifer is a creative director, concept designer, and visionary who facilitates creative placemaking to foster community-building, personal expression, and healing.
Rachel is trained as a Neuro Muscular Therapist, Yoga Teacher, and a practitioner of Reiki and Reflexology. She works as an anti-racist educator and organizer with Building Fearless Futures, helping youth and adults work together to combat racism in Vermont Schools and Communities. She is a mother to 2 amazing Children, Sol and Evie (who you'll get to meet at camp), and someone that you immediately want to be friends with. "I love teaching young people how to respect, nourish, and care for themselves and their own bodies". Rachel is a courageous ally and mentor of spirituality, good sense, and justice, and is an excellent part of being at camp.
Kenya is Co-Founder of Radical Imagination. She has a fancy art degree that she rarely uses while running a BIPOC arts residency from her home in Vermont. Having acquired a broad range of skills, from papier mache to tiny-home construction, she hosts skillshares and workshops and feeds residents and visitors from her unruly garden. Since the pandemic began Kenya has shifted her focus to the Every Town project with the primary goal of permanent land access and stewardship for BIPOC in Vermont.
A 1st generation Latinx of mixed Andean heritage, George remains grounded in place and community, living and organizing in Lenapehoking territory (North Jersey). Currently a graduate student researching Andean cosmology as practices of autonomy and resistance, George dwells along the hyphen of activist-scholarship, working with youth in various spaces for transformative change. George continues to navigate spaces within and beyond the institution, guided by ancestral and grassroots knowledge.
Born in 1977 in Somerville Mass, Netdahe was a white-skin privileged red-diaper baby of a feminist prison-abolitionist mother, an anti-imperialist life-long political prisoner father (Ohio 7/United Freedom Front), and a soon-to-be-released political prisoner father from the Black Panther and BLA struggles. His family fled police persecution to VT when he was three and he's been here since. He co-founded and now cooperatively runs a non-profit, Building Fearless Futures, within which he continues his life’s mission (to do anti-racist intervention work in his demographic/community of origin: money-poor rural white folks) with brilliant partners and expanded services/approach to the work.
Chip Thomas, aka jetsonorama, is a photographer, public artist and physician who has been working in a small clinic on the Navajo Nation since 1987. There he coordinates the Painted Desert Project which he describes as a community building dialog which manifests as a constellation of murals painted by artists from the Navajo Nation as well as from around the world. Thomas’ own public artwork consists of enlarged black and white photographs pasted onto structures along the roadside primarily on the Navajo Nation. His motivation is to reflect back to the community the love they’ve shared with him over the years.
Raquel Mattos C
Raquel is a 17-year-old rock climber hailing from La Paz, Bolivia. She works as a climbing instructor and camp counselor at Metrorock Station. She has been involved in the social justice movement for four years now, speaking on resilience and racial justice. This will be her second year teaching rope ascending skills at Uprise camp, and she’s super stoked to spend the summer with the awesome teens at the camp! Besides outdoor bouldering, Raquel enjoys reading, snowboarding, and baking.
Mujib is an educator whose focus has been on helping folks deepen their personal awareness. Leading groups and helping people develop their relationship and comfort in the forest is a major part of what Mujib has been doing for some time now, and something he hopes to continue with for years to come.
Christopher Wiersema (he/him) is a Vermont based interdisciplinary artist working in experimental film and video, media arts education, documentary practice, and sound art. He is the founder and director of the Vermont Youth Documentary Lab and co-founder of The Bicycle Day Recording Cooperative. Originally from the Chicagoland area, his work has focused on landscape, everyday life, social and environmental justice, poetry, and improvisation. Christopher lives in Montpelier, Vermont, with his partner, writer and artist, Taylor McNeely, and their two sons. He is currently a worker-owner and Office & IT Manager at New Frameworks.
Henry grew up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. He and his amazing 17 year old daughter live at the new center in Marshfield, VT with part of the Grassroots Center crew. Henry has worked in social movements and building trades around the US, working on mass actions, small actions, food sovereignty projects, and supporting racial and economic justice work. He currently works with the VT National Lawyers Guild, the Regeneration Corps (a "Just Transition" highschool organizing project), does direct action and Know Your Rights training, coordinates protest arts workshop, and is a carpenter by trade. His favorite current work is Uprise Camp and supporting Every Town VT and the Neighbors.
On a lifelong quest to use creativity as a walking stick and viewfinder, believing wholeheartedly in the ability of artwork and creative pursuits as tools for radical change, to bolster movements and messages, to start fires of meaning, illuminate paths of quandary and curiosity, to inspire others and self to resilient and vibrant life and action. Thru my website www.jonasfrickeart.com you can sample work of many mediums including performance art radical courage musical theater under the moniker "If Not I Than Who Then."
Amanda has been a part of the Uprise Camp Coordinating Collective since 2020, after attending and volunteering in 2019. She has worked empowering youth in outdoor education settings over the last two decades around the country including aboard tallships in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. While she comes from a pretty particular school of non-violent direct action, coming up in groups like ACT UP Philadelphia and Out Now Springfield, she works hard to empower youth to imagine and design effective campaigns that work in a rapidly changing world.
Kira (she/they) is an anarchist, abolitionist attorney from Vermont who writes and defends radical local laws, trains state-targeted groups in legal self defense, and supports arrestees through the court process. Kira is a better knitter than most people would suspect, very hit or miss with cooking, and finds meaning in life by building community with other people over shared values and purpose.
Lex (they/them) is a fat, queer abolitionist and a steering committee member for both Vermont Freedom Fund and Letter by Letter NH/VT, groups that work to further decarceration and provide support, bail funds, and community to those that are incarcerated. As a Respiratory Therapist who hates the Medical Industrial Complex, Lex works hard to create an inclusive hospital environment for trans and GNC folks navigating the healthcare system. Lex is a recent transplant to Vermont, having moved from the borderlands of New Mexico, and is still (and possibly forever) acclimating to the cold and rainy weather.