CAARSEA: Colonial Area Anti-Racism Social Equity Alliance
The vision of CAARSEA is for the Colonial area to be a community united to overcome racial injustice, where diversity is welcome, encouraged, celebrated and valued.
We work together to create and support systemic change at a local level in areas such as the schools, police and government structures.
We respond directly to issues of discrimination, racism, and social inequity in our community.
We raise awareness, model and facilitate courageous conversations, and provide resources for community learning and engagement.
Rennie Volpe lives in Plymouth Meeting with her husband, two children, and their dog. She enjoys cooking, spending time with friends and family, exploring nature, playing sports, and watching musicals. As a psychotherapist, Rennie believes that sharing our experiences with one another has the power to connect us, and that diversity in any group is a strength. Her goal for CAARSEA is to move our community culture toward one led by empathy, justice, and equitable opportunity for all of our children and neighbors.
Sonia Cooper Pinkney
I am a wife, mom of 3 and have been a Plymouth Township resident for almost a decade. I'm honored to be a part of the CAARSEA core team. Our members are neighbors of all backgrounds who work incredibly hard at educating ourselves and actively advocating towards an anti-racist society. In addition to CAARSEA; I am an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and have led multiple diversity related initiatives at my employer. I was drawn to CAARSEA because of the opportunity to impact at a local level. Our communities are multi-generational spaces. Communication and change at the local level can create a lasting difference for generations to come.
Originally from New Orleans, Juliet Curci has called the Philadelphia area home for the last 16 years. She has resided in Lafayette Hill since April 2017 with her husband, Chris, and two children, Ben (8) and Genevieve (5). Juliet is an educator focused on access and equity issues in her professional work as well as in her public advocacy efforts. Her dedication to CAARSEA is related to her desire to see the community in which she raises her children demonstrate inclusivity and fight against injustice. Her favorite part about being involved with CAARSEA is the friendships and connections she has developed with the many inspiring people within the group.
Melissa Gartenberg Livney
I moved to Lafayette Hill in 2007, where I live with my husband (a PW grad), our dog, and our two children, both of whom attend elementary school in Colonial School District. I work as a clinical psychologist, serving older adults, many of whom are in families affected by dementia. I grew up in a very racially and religiously diverse town in Bergen County, close to New York City, where awareness of and attention to diversity and efforts towards anti-racism, though not always successful, were an integral part of our awareness. I was drawn to leadership in CAARSEA as I see this group as an important force in leading a conversation, providing a forum for education, and building bridges throughout our area.
Elizabeth Cheever, along with her husband, has been a Whitemarsh Township resident since 2015. She is a mother to their 4 year old daughter and 2 year old son. Elizabeth received her BA of Psychology and Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Widener University. She has worked as a physical therapist in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas since 2010 in skilled nursing, sub-acute, and home care settings.
Bridget has been a resident of Plymouth Township since 2013 where she lives with her husband John and two kids, Brady and Maggie. Bridget began her activism in 2016 with the Women's March on Philadelphia. Issues like gender equality, equal pay and paid leave had always been front of mind until June 2020 and the murder of George Floyd. Her favorite thing about CAARSEA is how the community effort toward anti-racism has brought so many together (mostly virtually!). She plans to work every day to fight the injustices of systemic racism and hopefully teach her kids to do the same.
Marketing & Communications
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Heather Greaves set up roots in the Colonial area 17 years ago in Conshocken, before moving to Whitemarsh in 2011 where she lives with her husband, Jeff and two daughters Hannah and Maggie. Heather received her BA and MBA from Philadelphia University (now Jefferson) in international business. She has worked in various non-profit development and healthcare marketing positions helping underserved communities in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas. Her passion to join CAARSEA stems from her desire to live and raise her family in a community that values diversity and where all members of the community feel safe and heard. While she is still learning and listening, Heather is committed to using her voice and privilege to stand up for injustices and to be a better ally. She has found “her people” in CAARSEA and is most grateful for the incredible relationships that she has developed through this organization.
Gail has lived in the Colonial Area community for 14 years. Gail has over 20 years of experience in community activism in Philadelphia and other surrounding areas. When the call of action was presented to Gail to join the CAARSEA leadership team, with no hesitation, she answered with a firm “yes”. Gail firmly believes that all citizens should have equal rights and opportunities. Her involvement with community programs throughout her life has aided in the emergence of her passion to join CAARSEA in bringing social equity to past in the Colonial community. When she leaves this earth, her aspiration is to have inspired all to open their minds and embrace all that God has planned for themselves, the community, the country, and the world.
Youth & Schools Committee Chair
Monica Salvia has lived in Plymouth Township with her husband for eleven years, along with their daughter and twin boys. Inspired her neighbors’ outpouring of care in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, she moved from a (mostly) social media activist to attending CAARSEA events, and now volunteers on the CAARSEA Board. Monica brings her professional expertise in volunteer management, event planning, and higher ed advancement to CAARSEA as chair of the Youth + Schools Committee. Her goal is to connect more deeply with her neighbors toward an inclusive and equitable community.
Events Committee Co-chair
Megan Griffin-Shelley grew up in Whitemarsh Township, attending schools operated by the Sisters of Saint Joseph before heading to Washington, DC for college. She studied Psychology and Secondary Education at American University. As a politically active student, she attended the Women’s March in 2017 and the March for Our Lives in 2018. Megan currently works as a Constituent Services Advisor for a Montgomery County State Representative and serves as Co-Director of CAARSEA’s Events Committee. She is particularly passionate about ending all forms of voter suppression, including felon disenfranchisement, and reforming our nation’s broken criminal justice system. Understanding the importance of local politics and grassroots organizing, Megan is beyond excited to join such a dedicated group of individuals leading the effort to overcome racial injustice in our community.