Meet Us

Our Staff

Rebecca Pelham

Executive Director

Rebecca was raised in the beautiful green mountains of Vermont and is proud to call Miami home for the past seven years. Her 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 Miami. When she’s not at work her love for good books, modern dance, urban design, and gardening keep her more than busy.

Gilbert Placeres

Organizing Director

Gilbert grew up between New York City, Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep. and Miami. He was first trained as an organizer during President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012 here in Miami, before attending Tufts University where he double majored in Political Science and Quantitative Economics. He continued to organize by joining NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s re-election campaign in 2014 and founding a Students Against Mass Incarceration chapter on his campus. Gilbert is passionate about affordable housing, economic justice and empowering marginalized communities, and in the long-term would like to combine his organizing and policy & data analysis skills to advance these causes.

Briyana Joseph


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.

Gabriela Barrocas

Operations and Development Coordinator

Gabriela ‘Gabi’ Barrocas is a born and raised Miamian of the Kendall variety. She has worked in several nonprofits in South Florida in administrative capacities and will continue to streamline the back end of Engage to support organizing capacity. She became interested in advocating for democracy while volunteering with the Obama campaign and through Emerge Miami (a local club of active residents aiming to improve Miami)  and Catalyst Miami’s CLEAR class. Gabi strives to make her city more sustainable, especially with regards to single-use plastic. She is a winner of the Miami Foundation’s Public Space Challenge and thus, on her free time, is building a maze out of plastic collected from Biscayne Bay.

Jessica Saint-fleur


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.