Supporting the critical and creative
Thinkers of the future.
Chloe is a scientist and teacher. She studied engineering at Oxford University, and is currently studying for an MEng still in Oxford. She is particularly interested in biomedical engineering and materials science. As a teacher her priority is ensuring that students come to see the creative nature of scientific endeavour. Giving students an understanding of the truly interdisciplinary nature of scientific research as a means to problem solve and stretch human knowledge is, Chloe believes, key to enhancing their development in scientific fields or simply broadening their horizons and fostering a questioning attitude to the world around them.
Salem Al Qudwa
Salem Al Qudwa is an architectural engineer who holds B.Arch and M.Arch from the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) in Palestine (2003, 2013). In January 2015 he enrolled as a full-time PhD by Design Researcher at the School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University.
In addition to practicing architecture, he was a part-time teacher at the Department of Architectural Engineering in IUG. With a particular interest in fundamental design subjects; Creative Free-hand Sketching and Visual Training, Salem has been active within architectural design education teaching Landscape Design, Architectural Design Studio, Interior Architecture and Architectural Criticism. He is a regular design critic of undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Salem’s professional practice started by working with the Egyptian architect Rami El Dahan (El Dahan & Farid Engineering Consultants in Cairo) on the design and tendering for the Palace of Justice in Gaza. Later he joined the Islamic Relief Worldwide and worked as an Architect and Shelter Project Coordinator. With 11 years’ experience of building reconstruction, emergency and development; mostly focusing on shelter projects with a strong commitment to affordable design to ordinary people in Gaza, he has managed 5 construction projects with a total value of £4 million, ranging from primary healthcare clinics and schools to the rehabilitation of shelters for poor families living in marginalised and rural areas in the Gaza Strip. His artistic skills have also contributed towards the Renovation of Rafah Cross Border Terminal between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
Dr Julia Amos
Dr Julia Amos (Oxon) is the War and Peace at Oxford Research Network Manager and a Research Associate and Steering Committee member of the Centre for International Studies at the Department of Politics and International Relations Oxford. The focus of her research is the prevention and amelioration of political violence and conflict, especially in developing countries.
Jo Cogan read Greats at Oxford University (Latin and ancient Greek literature, ancient history, and philosophy), and is currently completing her MA in Character Education and Virtue Ethics. She is a sought after educator of young Thinkers and also contributes with research on ethics and moral changes to various charities. Most recently she has started to support an Oxfordshire school as an Associate Governor to develop a school-wide character education strategy.
Sam graduated with First Class Honours from Cambridge University. Sam is a talented teacher of languages and philosophy. He is fluent in German and Spanish, speaks good French, and some Portuguese and Polish. He is fascinated by German philosophy and history, modern European political philosophy, and English literature. Beyond the academics, he is a high-level beach volleyballer player, representing England on a number of occasions.
Dr Stephanie Lin Chan
Stephanie Chan, pronouns she/her. Stephanie lives in beautiful Lake Tahoe, CA with her spouse, Evan, three kids (6, 9, 11), German Shepherd rescue, two snails, and lots of fish and fish babies. She has a doctorate in child psychology from New York University. This is her fifth year homeschooling/fun-schooling (wow!). Her social justice passions include protecting the environment, giving equity and voice to the marginalized, and issues of race. She also loves snowboarding and eating ramen and Korean bbq!
Dr Angeles Maldonado
Angeles Maldonado, Ph.D. earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Arizona State University, with a specialization in Social and Philosophical Foundations. She also holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies, with a Minor in Philosophy. Her research focuses on analyzing discourse in the immigrant rights movement. She applies Critical Race Theory and “Border Crit Theory,” a new and emerging theoretical framework she developed for understanding research in the borderlands. Her focus areas of interest are immigration, critical pedagogy in education, community organizing, and social movements.
For the past thirteen years, Dr. Maldonado has been closely involved in the immigrant rights movement in Arizona. Presently, she sits on the Community Advisory Board in the racial profiling case Ortega Melendres vs. Joseph Arpaio. Her role is to represent and engage the community in holding the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office accountable as they embark on the long journey of reform and restoring public trust in its operations.
Dr. Maldonado’s interest in immigration stems from her own background. Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, her family immigrated to Phoenix in 1989. Dr. Maldonado was an organizer for a variety of nonprofit and labor organizations such as the grassroots organization Tonatierra, the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW Local 99), the Service Employees International Union’s Civic Participation Campaign (SEIU Local 5). She has also worked for Chicanos Por La Causa, as the Program Director for La Union Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), a branch of the United Farm Workers of America (AFL-CIO), and for PUEBLO Center for Legal & Human Rights.
Currently, Dr. Maldonado serves as the Operations Director for the Law Office of Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado, while living in Phoenix, with her husband Ray Ybarra Maldonado and their boys Ray Emerson and Stokely Daniel.
Fabricio Rodriguez became an organizer when he was a underground miner in the 1990s. He and his father attempted to win the right to take a lunch break and were fired as a result. Fabricio was inspired by that fight to help other workers stand up for themselves. Since that time, Fabricio has used innovative strategies such as direct-action, worker-centers, independent unionism to help immigrants, workers and people of faith win victories such as paid sick days, living wages, $15/hour wages, and union contracts. Fabricio led the successful campaign to pass a tax increase in Charleston, South Carolina in 2016, which will result in a $2.1 billion investment in transit and infrastructure. Fabricio founded Restaurant Opportunities Center of Philadelphia, and the independent Philadelphia Security Officers Union. Fabricio has studied organizing at the Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education. Currently, Fabricio lives in the Washington DC area with his wife and son. He organizes school staff and is a visual artist.
Dr Karem Roitman
Dr Karem Roitman is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has worked in education for the past 20 years. She teaches both children and adults, seeing in critical education a path for human development and in teaching a road to endless discovery. She has worked as a consultant on gender, inequalities and education for various government and international bodies. In 2018 she set up Thinkers Meet Up as a means to provide classes that foment critical thinking in all subjects, respect young Thinkers, and support the art of teaching. In her spare time she enjoys attempting to write academic research, poetry, and media articles.
Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado Esq
Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado is a human rights activist, author, filmmaker, and public speaker. Born in Douglas, AZ, Ybarra Maldonado’s mother was born just a few miles to the south in the town of Agua Prieta, Sonora. As a lawyer, Ybarra Maldonado is an aggressive trial attorney who has attained not guilty verdicts for his clients in both state and federal courts. In addition to attaining not guilty verdict he has won motions to suppress evidence that have resulted in complete dismissal of cases and has attained victories at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ybarra Maldonado co-wrote and co-produced the award-winning documentary, “Rights on the Line: Vigilantes at the Border,” was instrumental in bringing about a major civil rights lawsuit against one of the vigilantes, and created and coordinated the Legal Observer Project during the Minutemen’s operations. He has trained hundreds of volunteers and spent months following the minutemen as they patrolled along the U.S. – Mexico Divide. His book “Born on the Border: Minutemen Vigilantes, Origins of Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Movement, and a Call for Increased Civil Disobedience” was published in 2013 and was a required reading in an Immigration class at Harvard Law School.
Ybarra Maldonado has written about and given numerous talks on vigilantism, the militarization of the border and the growing immigrant’s rights movement at numerous universities including Stanford, Harvard, University of California at Berkeley, and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and to community groups from Washington to Iowa. In addition to receiving awards for his commitment to social justice, Ybarra Maldonado has testified in front of local and state bodies as well as having his work quoted at the United Nations. Ybarra Maldonado is frequently quoted in both the national and international media and his work has been profiled in the Intelligence Report, Stanford Lawyer, and in a documentary that premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, entitled “Crossing Arizona.” Ybarra Maldonado spent a year vounteering at a migrant center in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico and in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico assisting with cleaning, preparing food, and conducting human rights discussions amongst the migrants.
Ybarra Maldonado was awarded an athletic scholarship to play baseball at Cochise Community College in Douglas, AZ and later graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University in 2002 with a degree in Religious Studies and fromStanford Law School in 2007. He has previously worked for United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and was a proud public defender in Cochise County and with the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Tucson, AZ.He currently lives in Phoenix, AZ with his wife, Angeles Maldonado, and their handsome boys, Ray Emerson and Stokely Daniel.” -Ray Prior to his marriage to Angeles he was “Ray Ybarra” and legally has changed his name to “Ray Ybarra Maldonado.” The family are avid fans of the Arizona State Sun Devils, Stanford Cardinal, and all things Arizona (minus the anti-immigrant politics).