Casey Cook, ext. 203
As an advocate and community organizer, Casey Cook has brought her passion for real change to a range of social justice issues, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender liberation, access to health care for people with HIV, promoting harm reduction strategies for drug users and sex industry workers, and environmental justice.
Since 2006, Casey Cook has served as executive director of Bread & Roses Community Fund. Prior to joining the staff at Bread & Roses, Casey served as executive director at Prevention Point Philadelphia for six years. There she provided harm reduction services while advocating for access to health care for injection drug users, sex workers and transgender hormone users. During her tenure at Prevention Point Philadelphia, she co-founded the Trans-Health Information Project for transgender, transsexual and gender-variant individuals.
Casey received her Bachelors in Women’s Studies and Education from Temple University, and her Master of Social Service and Master of Law and Social Policy from the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College.
Casey currently serves at the chair of the board of directors for the Funding Exchange, and has previously served on the boards of the Center for Responsible Funding, and Penn PIRG and as the former co-chair of Liberty City Democratic Club.
Nigel Charles, ext. 207
Nigel joined Bread & Roses in 2017 to support the growth of the Giving Project, which guides participants through a process of collective learning, fundraising, and grantmaking.
A Philadelphia native, Nigel has worked in education and workforce development organizations in Philadelphia and Camden. Most recently, he served as the community development assistant at Philadelphia LISC supporting program staff in planning and implementing community initiatives in Philadelphia neighborhoods.
Nigel has a master’s degree in urban studies from Eastern University and is passionate about racial, social, and economic justice, community violence, and community/police relations. Nigel lives in the East Falls neighborhood with his wife, Brittany, who is a school counselor in Northeast Philadelphia.
Aarati Kasturirangan, ext. 206
director of programs
Aarati (Arthi) Kasturirangan joined Bread & Roses Community Fund as director of programs in 2015. She is a long time organizer, activist, educator, and researcher in movements for gender justice, racial justice, climate justice and peace. She has a Ph.D. in Community Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. During her time in Chicago, Aarati co-founded the Chicago chapter of Incite! Women of Color Against Violence, and coordinated the 2002 Color of Violence conference.
In 2009, she moved with her family to Washington, D. C. where she was a stay at home mom and leader of the Music Hour for her local MOMS CLUB. Since moving to Philadelphia in 2013, Aarati has worked with the American Friends Service Committee building connections between their program work across the country and the world. In addition, she co-founded 350 Philly, a local effort to build a movement for climate justice here in Philadelphia.
Aarati lives in South Philadelphia with her husband Jonathan Lipman, and her two children Asha and Eli. As such you may find her on sunny days hanging out in Goldstar Park singing “Let it Go” at the top of her lungs with her children. Aarati is an aspiring gardener with a black thumb, a wannabe coffeehouse singer-songwriter, and a eerily accurate reader of tarot.
Maura Kelly, ext. 204
Before joining the Bread & Roses team in 2011, Maura provided organizational support for a variety of local and international nonprofits, a small, community-based tax accounting firm, and also worked in disability advocacy. She has also been involved in grassroots LGBT and Fat Acceptance/Health at Every Size movements over the last two decades.
Though originally from north-central New Jersey, having lived the past twenty years in Center City she now considers Philadelphia to be her hometown, where she lives with her longtime boyfriend, Rob “Bird” Williams.
Maura has a bachelor’s in psychology from Temple University.
Thom Lynch, ext. 205
director of resource development
Thom Lynch has more than 25 years of experience working in non-profit programs fighting for equality and against poverty. He most recently served as the Deputy Director of Strategic Partnerships for Philabundance and has also served as CEO & President of the San Francisco LGBT Community Center and COO of Project Open Hand; and had his own consulting firm specializing in fundraising for progressive causes and candidates. Thom also was appointed to Mayor Gavin Newsom’s transitional committee, was a member of the advisory board of the Human Rights Watch. He also served on and helped found the diversity board of the San Francisco Forty-niners football team. He lived in Madrid where he advised the Mado Madrid and Orgullo Madrid committees. He has also worked as a gospel singer, therapist, and television actor.
Thom is an accomplished fundraiser and leader of growing organizations. While in San Francisco, he helped found the first economic development program for the LGBT community in the world, the first job training and placement program for transgender workers, and became a well-known voice for the San Francisco LGBT community through news media and advocacy. Thom grew up in New England.
Thom went to high school in the Lehigh Valley and college in Phoenixville where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology. Thom and his two trusty dogs are getting to know Philly very well through its parks and restaurants.