Rev. E. West McNeill, Executive Director
West (they/them) is the Executive Director of Labor-Religion Coalition. They are ordained in the United Church of Christ and have over a decade of experience organizing with community, faith, and labor organizations. They are a graduate of the Union Leadership Institute of the NYS AFL-CIO and Cornell and hold an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where they were a Fellow with the Kairos Center for Rights, Religions and Social Justice. Prior to joining LRC, West served as a parish minister in Tacoma, WA. They have a B.A. in journalism from Ithaca College.
Joe Celestin, Digital Communications Organizer
Joe is a recent graduate of the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Before beginning his MSW, Joe worked at the Immigrant Defense Project, advocating for the rights of immigrants caught at the intersection of the racist immigration and criminal-legal systems; at IDP, Joe held roles in Development and Digital Strategy, and has honed many skills in community organizing, campaign strategy, and policy analysis over the course of his career.
Most recently, Joe has held graduate-level internships at Common Justice, working on their Fair Access to Victim Compensation Campaign, and Brooklyn Defender Services, as a part of their Policy, Advocacy, and Reform Team. The criminalization of people and communities of color has been a throughline in Joe's work, which he hopes to continue in a policy-oriented role after the completion of his degree.
Deb Schwartz, Social Work Intern
Deb (they/them) is a second-year MSW student at Hunter College, where they are on the Community Organizing track, with a concentration in social policy. Before pursuing their MSW, Deb worked with People’s Action on electoral organizing and also worked on New York City Councilmember Krishnan’s successful 2021 campaign.
Prior to their organizing work, Deb worked for a number of years at various magazines, as a writer and editor, and in marketing. They’ve written lifestyle and reported for a number of outlets. Deb is Jewish and their spiritual practice is Zen Buddhism. They’re excited to use their writing and organizing chops to further LRC’s work over the course of this year!