Leverett Wing - Executive Director
Leverett has been the Executive Director of the Seminar since 2015, and is a well-known leader and community mobilizer whose ability to organize on a broad scale, and break down barriers across communities, has led to a number of landmark accomplishments benefiting organizations & causes locally and nationally.
Before joining the Commonwealth Seminar, Leverett led the Community Services Division, at The Massachusetts' Department of Housing & Community Development. In that position, he oversaw a budget of over $200 million and staff of over 50 employees while working with cities, towns and non-profit organizations to offer programs, funding, and technical assistance to support the advancement towards self-sufficiency of households, and the revitalization of cities and towns throughout MA.
Leverett was also the Executive Director of the Washington D.C. headquartered Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), the only non-partisan, national organization focusing on civic engagement in the Asian American community. Prior to that, Leverett helped spearhead an effort to create the MA Asian American Commission, a permanent entity in State government to represent Asian American interests in MA. Having been instrumental in its creation, Leverett was named the Commission's first permanent Executive Director.
An extremely active community leader, Leverett consistently plays leadership roles in conceiving and promoting innovative efforts, bringing the unique needs of various communities to the fore.
As a member of the Board of Overseers at Joslin Diabetes Center, an internationally known hospital and research center, Leverett helped found a first-of-its-kind, national project called the Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI) which seeks to improve the understanding and treatment of diabetes among Asian Americans.
He also sits on the Board of Overseers of WGBH-TV/Radio, Boston’s nationally known Public Broadcasting affiliate, where he helps with efforts to expand WGBH’s minority programming and improve outreach to under-serviced communities.
In addition, Leverett recently joined the Board of Trustees at Eastern Bank, the largest and oldest mutual bank in the United States.
Leverett also sits on the Board of Overseers of the nationally renowned Boston Children's Museum, and he is a Trustee at Wheelock College in Boston, one of the nation's finest higher education institutions in preparing teachers, social workers, and child life professionals for service to children and families.
He also serves on the Board of Directors of Boston’s Higher Ground in Roxbury, MA which aims to better direct resources and services - including child care, social services, and youth leadership development - to some of Boston’s most challenged neighborhoods.
In 2016, Leverett was recognized by Get Konnected as one of their GK 100: Honoring One Hundred of the Most Influential People of Color, in Boston. He was also a recent recipient of the prestigious "Good Guy Award" from the MA Women's Political Caucus, only the second Asian American to ever receive the award.
Leverett was also honored in 2014 by the Asian Community Development Corporation which offered its "Inspiration Award" to him for his work empowering & educating the community regarding political engagement. Color Magazine also presented Leverett with its “2014 Publisher’s Award” for his work breaking down barriers and building collaborative efforts within communities of color in Massachusetts.
Leverett has been featured in numerous local and national publications, been heard on National Public Radio's “All Things Considered” and has appeared on multiple occasions on Boston’s ABC, NBC and PBS network affiliates.
A graduate of Tufts University (B.A.), Leverett is also an alumnus of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government (MPA-2). A longtime Boston Celtics season ticket holder, Leverett enjoys watching, and partaking in, any sporting activity he can. He lives in Boston with his family.
Joel Barrera - Seminar Founder; Chair, Board of Advisors
Emily Torres-Cullinane - Program Coordinator
Emily Torres-Cullinane is a Commonwealth Seminar alum, and the Program Coordinator for the Seminar. In her full time job, Emily is the Assistant Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) where she provides support in the implementation of MAPC’s smart growth plan, “MetroFuture: Making a Greater Boston Region”. Ms. Torres-Cullinane garners constituent involvement and spreads awareness on the various campaigns and activities involved in the plan.
Prior to joining MAPC, Emily was a Partnership Specialist for the 2010 Census working in community outreach and public awareness. Specifically, she worked with local community organizations and college students in the New England Region. Before that she worked as a Meetings/Event Planner and Program Coordinator for the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University.
Emily earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and a Minor in Spanish at Suffolk University. She is a graduate of the Commonwealth Seminar and the Initiative for Diversity in Civic Leadership (IDCL). Emily serves on the board of Suffolk University’s Young Alumni Advisory Group and volunteers for the Cedar Grove Civic Association in Dorchester, MA.
Renato Castelo - Program Administrator
Renato Castelo is the Seminar’s Program Administrator and a Guest Lecturer Seminar. He is also the Community Engagement Specialist at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council in the Regional Plan Implementation Department.
As a first-generation immigrant from Ecuador, Renato is passionate about engaging diverse groups for the development of sustainable communities. Before joining MAPC, Renato worked as an immigrant rights advocate and project coordinator for the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), where he developed and implemented outreach strategies to engage a wide range of community organizations, small businesses, and faith-based organizations in public policy and issue-based campaigns.
Prior to MIRA, Renato worked as a community organizer in Idaho, where he spearheaded the creation of the Welcoming Boise Initiative –a local immigrant integration program. He also coordinated local leadership for the construction of the first bilingual community radio station in Idaho.
Renato holds a master’s degree in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and earned a B.A. in Advertising Communications from the University Of San Francisco de Quito. He is a graduate of the Commonwealth Seminar and the Midwest Academy “Organizing for Social Change” leadership training. Renato is a Core Group member of the Network of Immigrants and African Americans Solidarity (NIAAS).
Lily Tang - Outreach Coordinator
Lily Tang is in her first year at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where she is continuing the activism which marked her years at Braintree High School. An avid history student and reader, her favorite authors are Mitch Albom and David Baldacci. In her spare time, Lily enjoys volunteering with the Asian Community Development Corporation and helping with their various projects. She is inspired by the different people she meets and by her teachers. Her attitude is to "do things for the right reason" and to follow her passions.
Janice Quach - Special Projects Coordinator
Janice - Janice Quach is in her Senior year at Braintree High School, and entering her third year working with the Commonwealth Seminar.