MARJORIE A. JOSEPH is a native New Yorker, recently relocated from Los Angeles to Houston. She currently serves as Executive Director of Houston Coalition Against Hate. HCAH is a network of community-based organizations, institutions, and leaders who come together to reduce hate and encourage belonging. The Coalition is committed to addressing all incidents of hate, bias, violence, and discrimination, on the basis of a person or group’s religion, race/ethnicity, gender, gender identity/expression, abilities, age, sexual orientation, national origin, creed, immigration status, or genetic information. HCAH does this through education, research, relationship building, and
prevention initiatives, as well as partnering with organizations to host events that celebrate diversity and make Houston strong.
Prior to her role with the Coalition, Marjorie served as Associate Director of Street Poets Inc., an LA non-profit poetry-based peace-making organization dedicated to the creative process as a force for individual and community transformation. There she spent nine years doing the work of gang intervention and violence prevention through the use of music, poetry, and the mentoring of LA’s youth/young adults.
Marjorie is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a BA in Political Science and minors in Dance and African/African American Studies. She was also part of the Leadership In Action inaugural cohort at Rice University’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership. Known as MJ to many, Marjorie is excited to be a member of the 56th class of the American Leadership Forum (ALF). And, to be a member of the Jung Center’s Arts & Exhibitions Committee. She is the recipient of the 2021 United Nations Association-Houston’s Global Citizenship Award, and the work of HCAH has been recognized by The Center for the Healing of Racism with their 2021 Juneteenth Ally Award. An accomplished writer and performer, her poems have been published in several anthologies, and she has appeared on stage (off-Broadway/internationally) and in film. A
creative at heart, she is currently writing/producing a documentary called Private Collection about one of the few remaining collections of Haitian Art since the 2010 earthquake owned by art collectors/curators Leon and Evelyne Chalom.
A leader, visionary, and advocate, she has always been a proponent of art in the space of acknowledgement and activism; and, is the originator of the #justiceoverequity framework in order to facilitate societal and cultural shifts and transformation. Marjorie is excited to be in Houston heralding the work of the Coalition, and feels privileged to be living in the most diverse city in the country.
Director of Operations
Swati Narayan was born in Houston, Texas to immigrant South Asian parents. Her childhood experiences informed her views on justice and the right for all to have access to quality education and life opportunities. She attended public schools, and then the University of Texas and University of Houston. She has worked in the nonprofit sector both in India and in her home city of Houston focusing her efforts on underserved women, children, and marginalized communities.
Swati serves on the Board of Directors for Leadership Houston (Class XXXV), the
Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston’s IMpower, University of Houston’s Friends of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, Momentum Education’s Advisory Board, and is an active volunteer in the Houston Independent School District. Self-motivated and always challenging herself and others to continually delve deeper, Swati is an optimist at heart. Her activism is inspired by the resiliency of the human spirit. She looks forward to a day where people and organizations thrive by embracing and valuing differences in order to foster belonging.
Swati is the mother of three sons and resides with her husband in Houston and their two rescue dogs. She is excited to join the HCAH team and hopes to facilitate a movement where the inherent value, worth, and dignity of all people are respected and supported in all spaces.
Justine Fanarof, Esq. - President
Jyoti Iyer - Treasurer
Karen Walrond, Esq. - Secretary
Dr. Michelle Tovar, Ed.D.
Dr. Madhureeta Achari
Co-Chair Advocacy and Policy Committee, Executive Director
Collective Action For Youth
Boniuk Institute for Religious Tolerance
Co-Chair Research & Response Committee
Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative
The Houston Coalition Against Hate (HCAH) is a network of community-based organizations, institutions and leaders in Houston, TX that have come together to collectively address incidents of bias, hate, discrimination and violence against Houstonians because of their religion, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and immigration status.
Generations of American Indians have been Native and connected to the stolen land now known as the Texas Gulf Coast. Among them are the Atakapa-Ishak, Karankawa, Mariame, and Akokisa tribes. We honor their elders, past and present, as well as the Indigenous people from many nations who live and work in this region today. May this acknowledgement be a humble first step in the undoing of Indigenous erasure, providing accurate historical context while serving as a reminder to current non-native inhabitants, as we strive toward peace, reconciliation, and justice.