Meet Our Staff
Collique Williams is a long-time Boston-area community organizer, who has previously worked at several youth organizations, The City School being among them. He has returned to TCS from Community Labor United, where he has been working with community organizations and labor unions to help move public transit to become more accessible, affordable, and equitable. Collique began his work as a youth organizer at the Boston-area Youth Organizing Project in 2001, where he cut his teeth building a strong base of young folks shaping their communities. It was there that he first learned about, and later trained young people around community organizing and what it means to make change in their communities. In this new role as Executive Director, he hopes to deepen the work with youth who are our current change makers and upcoming leaders in our social, labor, and political arenas.
Shanick (she/hers) grew up in Roxbury and is Afro-Latina. She graduated from Lesley University with a bachelor’s in Global studies. She also minored in Africana Studies, Sociology, and Psychology. She found her passion for social justice work in 2012 after the murder of Trayvon Martin. Since then, she has been eager to contribute to social justice and bring awareness to the many social problems that plague our society. Shanick first began working with TCS two years ago as an intern; learning about the ins and outs of community organizing. Then, Shanick worked as a Lead Facilitator during SLP 2021. These two experiences alowed her to learn and fall more in love with community work.
What's something that inspires you and helps you sustain hope?
Community!! One of my favorite sayings is “it takes a village,” because it truly does! How can you not feel hopeful when you have people who are willing to support you in any way that they can? Witnessing my village and other villages that operate in love and mindfulness is always an inspiring sight.
If you could have coffee with one revolutionary, who would it be and why?
I would love to have coffee with the late bell hooks. I would LOVE to discuss how she believed self-love and wholeness are forms of resistance against white supremacy. Her analysis and strong advocacy for love, in its many forms, have always resonated with me.
What’s a surprising or interesting fact about you?
I am not sure if this is a very interesting fact, but I LOVE Oreos. Oreos are not just milk’s favorite cookies, but mine. A top-tier cookie in my opinion.
Director of Programs and Strategy
Tara Deviki Venkatraman (she/hers) is the Director of Programs and Strategy at The City School and a youth worker, organizer, political educator and therapist. Tara has been rooted in Boston-area racial justice youth organizing for over a decade. From 2011-2017, Tara served as a youth worker and Program Director at The City School, where she co-directed the Summer Leadership Program and Pathways to Change. During that time, Tara also organized with Youth Justice and Power Union in their campaign to decrease funding for police to increase funding for youth jobs in Boston.
As a Licensed Clinical social worker, Tara is also committed to building out mental health and transformative justice practices within communities of color and organizing spaces. She has a therapy practice focused on young people and young adults of color. Tara also loves reading, writing, astrology, teaching people to drive, baking, watching basketball and all things superhero (including grassroots organizing groups!)
What are a few of the issues you're passionate about and why?
I am passionate about abolition and transformative justice, and the current work TCS is doing to fight for non-police, community-based models of collective care.
What is a favorite book or TV show?
So many! A few favorite shows are: Schitts Creek, She-Ra and We Are Lady Parts. Too many favorite books to count, but some that I return to are: Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde, An Unncessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine, and Last Days by Tamiko Beyer.
What is a surprising or interesting fact about you?
People are often surprised that I am a huge Celtics fan!
Director of Finance
Patricha Paul (she/hers) is a sharp, driven professional with more than 14 years of proven experience in banking, accounting and business operations, and a specialized ability to design tools for greater efficiency and profitability. She has earned a reputation as a perceptive and practical troubleshooter with a unique ability to solve large-scale problems often deemed too challenging for others. Patricha was formerly TCS's Accounting Specialist and currently serves as the Director of Finance.
What's something that inspires you and helps you sustain hope? My Faith & Spirituality
What's a surprising or interesting fact about you?
I was a cheerleader in high school.
What are a few of the issues that you're most passionate about and why?
Human rights, government oppression and economic equality.
Favorite TV Show/Movie:
Pathways to Change Program Director
Husain Rizvi (they/them) is the Pathways to Change Program Director and is an SLP 2017 grad. They have been staffed for SJLI 2019, SVP 2020, and SJLI 2022. They co-directed SLP with Ziquelle Smalls in 2023. In 2021, they ran a summer program called Games for Justice, where young people designed games about social justice issues they cared about, engaged in identity development, and learned about design principles in the context of justice.
What's your favorite memory of The City School?
My favorite memory would probably be at SLP 2023 during the youth-led workshops or our April 27th testimony event for the mental health crisis response. Both of these memories were moments when I could see youth step into their power and leadership, which was transformative for me to see.
What's something that inspires you and helps you sustain hope?
I think youth work is something I always come back to and something that inspires me because it's so dynamic and participatory. You have to use your whole self to be a youth worker, and you transform so much through the process of learning and taking action alongside young people. As I continue in my journey as a youth worker, I am excited to learn how to design more democratic and participatory structures for political education and organizing.
A TV show, song, book and/or poem that you’d recommend?
Lately, I have been really obsessed with AR Rahman's 90s/early 2000s work!
Board of Directors
Talia Attar (SLP '18)
Wendy Ramos (SLP '03)