Hope Wood is currently a Project Director with New Organizing Institute and is passionately working to engage people of color in the national progressive movement. Born and raised in sunny, suburban Southern California, on the back of Harley Davidson motorcycles, in Catholic mass, and on the dance floor of the local dance studio, Hope has devoted the last 14 years of her life to community organizing. She began first as elementary school teacher and then a dance arts educator in inner city Los Angeles, and then found her political voice in the 2007-08 Obama campaign where she volunteered as the Obama Team Coordinator for Congressional District 33 during the Primary election, and then was hired on as the California Battleground States Coordinator for the General Election.
During the summer of 2009, as a participant in the pilot of Leadership, Organizing, Action: Leading Change course, the Harvard Executive online learning course taught by Professor Marshall Ganz, Hope co-developed the Courage Campaign Deputy Field Organizer program, which trained and supported volunteer organizers who helped develop over 40 Equality Teams, grassroots organizing groups mobilized in 23 California counties to build local progressive coalition around LGBT equality. In 2010 and 2011, Hope worked with Professor Ganz as a Teaching Fellow and Course Coordinator, coordinating and teaching in the distance learning course she piloted as a student, and helping to connect 190 change makers in over 20 countries across the globe.
Hope is now using what she has learned as a practitioner, teacher and mentee of Marshall Ganz to coach and train new and seasoned organizers and campaign leaders to employ engagement organizing strategies and practices in their work. She knows there are millions of people like her out there, from "a-political" families who care deeply about people living in dignity, and are just waiting for the opportunity for you to engage them and help them connect to their own hope and agency to change the world.
Prior to her work as an organizer, Hope accomplished one of her childhood dreams of being a Los Angeles LakerGirl, dancing and representing the organization in various community events and military welfare tours across the globe. In addition to her current work with NOI, Hope volunteers on the core committee for Sistahs Steppin’ In Pride, the East Bay dyke march and festival that seeks to empower the diverse, East Bay lesbian and queer women's community to reclaim their lives from fear and celebrate their community and spirituality.