Meet the “Staff”
Welcome to the bio page for our “staff”, we use quotation marks because all the individuals depicted here do all their work as volunteers and do not receive a salary. Here you can get to know the folks who run the day to day of Smash the Slumlords, we welcome you to check this page out and get to know the people who make everything possible.
Sharice Taylor is the Board Chair for SMASH and an active resident of Liberty City. She is currently living in a building owned by slumlord Abraham Vaknin, and her powerful story is a constant reminder of why the work we do is so important. A proud mother of 11 children and grandmother to 14 more, Sharice is an institution in Liberty City and a source of inspiration to all of her neighbors.
Mary is the treasurer of the SMASH Board. She has an MSW and a history of active community involvement in Miami. She is also an active member of the International Association of Social Work with Groups (IASWG) and has been successful in developing financial support for SMASH’s efforts to create a Community Land Trust in Liberty City.
Porgie “Gigi” Town is the Secretary of the SMASH Board. Gigi is a resident of Liberty City, and former tenant of slumlord Abraham Vaknin’s buildings. She brings the power of her dramatic story to the operations of SMASH, making sure that we never forget how hard life can be for families that are forced to live in slum conditions. She is also an entrepreneur, and her candle-making business is set to light the way for a community in darkness.
Diana Marie Lee
Diana Marie Lee is an elder healing woman whose roots are African American and Cherokee Nation, from Tahlequah
and Muskogee, Oklahoma. Diana has worked for over 26 years building the capacity of leaders and groups serving
vulnerable communities including immigrants and refugees, youth, elders, labor activists, farmers, poor and low
income, people with special health care needs and communities of color. A certified B Corp since 2012, Diana’s
business Sweet Livity LLC delivers wellness and business coaching to support individuals and groups serving
vulnerable communities to do their jobs to the fullest, with improved well-being, sustainability and results.