Alex Shames, Community Organizer
Alex Shames (he/him) is a queer community organizer who has previously worked in both public education and grassroots organizing. After graduating college, Alex moved to Qingdao, China, where he experienced the joy of living in a city designed for pedestrians and cyclists, not cars. Alex has previously organized nationwide phonebanks with other youth activists in the Sunrise Movement to elect Green New Deal Champions like Jamaal Bowman and Cori Bush to federal office. After working as a public school educator in his hometown of Newton, he became active in local politics as an organizer with Defund Newton PD, then served as Deputy Campaign Manager for Madeline Ranalli's youth driven campaign for Newton City Council while also teaching 10th grade chemistry. When he's not teaching or building grassroots power, Alex enjoys watching reality TV, solving and constructing crossword puzzles, and spending time with his friends and family.
Malaysia Fuller-Staten, Community Organizer
Malaysia comes to the BCU as a Roxbury-born community organizer in Boston. She began her work as a Youth Organizer for The Center For Teen Empowerment at the age of 17 and never stopped, eventually holding roles such as Program Coordinator and Lead Organizer at a number of Boston based organizations. Though a lot of her past work has focused around criminal justice reform and youth advocacy, Malaysia recognizes how infrastructure and transportation intersect with all other societal issues. As resident of Roxbury, she is committed to making streets safe for not only cyclists and pedestrians, but for all who use them across the region, and uplifting the voices of those often left out of important conversations.
If you don't meet Malaysia on a bike or at a community meeting, you may find her spouting her own poetry, listening to 90s rap music, scribbling in a sketchpad, or doing cooking experiments (no measuring cups allowed!) with her best friends.
Mandy Wilkens, Communications Coordinator
Mandy (they/them) started at the BCU coming from years of organizing in dozens of grassroots community campaigns across the Boston area. From their home neighborhood of Allston to Roxbury, they’ve helped organize struggles around a huge variety of issues, from reproductive justice to combating the Allston rat infestation. In 2019, Mandy lead the organizing effort to plan and facilitate the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance event, which highlights the lives of those lost in the intersection of transphobia and racism across the world. Mandy has also been a frequent volunteer at the Boston Liberation Center in Roxbury since their opening in 2021.
If you haven’t run into Mandy doing outreach, at a rally, or at the BLC, it’s pretty likely you’ve seen them darting around on their bike. In the rare moments when Mandy isn’t organizing they’re either at band practice, working on project bikes or at a local metal or punk show.
Ryan Waldron, Events Manager
Ryan Waldron comes to the BCU with over a decade of experience in the non-profit sector. She started her career community building in her home state of Michigan before transitioning to the arts and culture sector, where she honed her event planning and membership management skills at the French Institute Alliance Francaise in New York, the French-American Chamber of Commerce of Chicago, and the French Cultural Center in Boston. Cycling became Ryan’s primary form of transportation while studying in Montreal, and she is passionate about helping make the transformative experience of urban biking accessible to all.
In her spare time Ryan loves baking, learning languages, bike camping, and discovering new grocery stores in the Boston area. Originally from Detroit, she lives in Jamaica Plain with her partner and their cats.