Meet Us

Our Staff

Rebecca Pelham

Executive Director

Rebecca’s passions for democracy, sustainability, and education have guided her professional journey, and she is honored to work with the amazing team at Engage. She previously served as the Director of the Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy at Miami Dade College’s North Campus and as a leader of the Miami Climate Alliance Steering Committee after having completed a M.S.Ed. in Education and Social Change from the University of Miam.

Gilbert Placeres

Deputy Director

Gilbert (he/him) grew up between New York City, Santo Domingo and Miami, and was first trained as an organizer while working with Barack Obama’s re-election campaign after finishing high school. Gilbert continued organizing at and graduated with degrees in Political Science and Quantitative Economics from Tufts University in 2016. He joined Engage in 2017 as an Organizer, and has been proud and lucky to have been part of growing the organization’s voter engagement, leadership development and advocacy work. In 2020, he was selected as one of 20 of Miami’s Next Leaders, and hopes he can continue to move this community toward justice with the powerful young people around him. In his free time, Gilbert likes to read books and paint pretty pictures.

isa zuluaga

Operations Director

isa (they/she) is an intuitive harmonizer that has lived in miami, the occupied land of  tequesta, seminole and miccosukee indigenous nations, since 2001. They are a bi-racial colombian-peruvian that is committed to transforming existing material conditions for our collective liberation. At Engage, is works to improve and implement systems and processes while strategizing and co-creating anti-racist HR commitments that are not just said, but also practiced. Offline, they make art, love many beings, and often daydream.

Briyana Joseph

Lead Program Coordinator

Raised in Liberty City, Miami, Briyana has always wanted to create a better reality for the people in her community. While finding her voice to speak up about many issues, she realized that she can help others find theirs too. She has been actively serving marginalized populations and fighting for the rights of sexual minorities for a while, but honed her craft (of civic engagement) the past four years while attending Mount Holyoke College, where she graduated with a BA in Psychology and Sociology. She is passionate about economic justice, feminism, affordable healthcare and providing people the tools to speak up for themselves so that they can change the world around them.

Jessica Saint-fleur

Membership and Advocacy Organizer

Jessica was born and raised in Little Haiti. She has always exhibited a spirit of activism in her community, as well as the world around her. A recent graduate of Pitzer College, where she obtained a BA in Human Biology as a first-generation student, Jessica began to explore her identity and find her voice. Through her passion directed towards healthcare reform and the #BLACKLIVESMATTER movement, Jessica naturally emerged with an intersectional social justice approach in life, leading her to give back to her own community now with Engage Miami.

Maryan Firpo

Program Coordinator

As a Hialeah native, Maryan’s preferred language is Spanglish. Her immigrant parents made sure she had full exposure to the heart and blight of Miami and instilled a great love of reading and language. Since 2010, she has been an active enthusiast in Miami’s cultural scene through participation and leadership in community events. During this time, she also dedicated herself to practicing Applied Behavior Analysis as a Registered Behavior Technician, working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to help them understand, effectively communicate with, and be understood by the world around them. She hopes to merge all these passions and talents into something sustainable, inclusive, and progressive to benefit and empower people from marginalized communities.

Brianna Lafontant

Development and Outreach Manager

Brianna is a Jacksonville, Florida native. In college she developed a deep understanding of and passion for the social issues that disproportionately affect black and brown communities. After graduation, in the Fall of 2017, she taught middle school to begin her journey to end the inequities that exist within the education system. Since then she has dedicated her life to ending social injustices. In her spare time she enjoys coaching and playing soccer, spending time with her family, and relaxing on the beach.