Ziquelle SmallsSenior Organizer

    With a family history and childhood roots in Boston’s movement ecosystem, Ziquelle has been involved and grew up with a multitude of youth organizations, and has deep roots in organizations and movement formations in the East Coast and the South. 

    From 2013-2019, Ziquelle had the opportunity to develop and lead multi-issue campaign work calling for divestment from policing and investment in youth employment in the city of Boston with the Youth Justice & Power Union (YJPU). This work includes the fight for economic justice, anti-state violence and surveillance, anti-policing, and larger abolitionist work. 

    In the larger organizing movement formation of the ‘Unnamed’ Youth Organizing Group, Ziquelle worked towards organizational resilience, providing leadership pathways for youth to join, and become leaders, and do effective collaborative organizing and political education. Ziquelle was part of this collective from 2014-2019, and is committed to creating a sustainable movement ecology for transformative youth organizing for Black and brown leaders to lead political campaigns and organizing work. 

    Ziquelle has continued to steward and lead a multitude of political projects through popular education and emergent facilitation work, like The City School’s Summer Leadership Program from 2012-2018 – demanding youth groups and organizations embrace radical scholarship, create Black queer affinity spaces, and teach and coordinate a variety of popular education workshop series, seminars, and leadership development work. Ziquelle worked in a variety of roles, and later became the director for the Summer Leadership Program in 2016-2018. 

    From March 2019 to August 2022, Ziquelle became the Organizing Director at Power U Center for Social Change, where their work focused on developing and leading international organizing efforts on key issue sectors centering reproductive justice and mental health support for students, teachers, and health-care workers in schools, as well as advanced civic engagement, anti privatization, and grassroots community participation in the public education sector.

    Now,  Ziquelle is back in Boston as the Senior Organizer at Community Labor United, working to advance an assessment of the youth organizing field and support the development of leadership institutes in Boston. You can contact them at Ziquelle@massCLU.org.


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