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Dreaming Into Fall – Building Our Team

Greetings from all of us at TREC and happy almost Fall,

Like so many of you, we at TREC have been navigating quite a bit of transition, while simultaneously working to create space to vision into our hopes and dreams for ourselves and all of you. 

At the intersection of reflecting on the past and dreaming the future we seek, we find ourselves radically imagining what’s possible in terms of living further into our values in support of all of you, and of the movement we seek to co-create. We are actively resisting seeking the familiar and the known in service to stretching into what’s possible. Perhaps you can relate? It is hard and exciting stuff.

This work of radical imagination – of dreaming the future we hope for rather than being confined by the limitations of what we know – is a concept embodied by the incomparable Adrienne Maree Brown. Daunting and exciting all at once, it spurs us to awaken our creativity in service of our collective vision.


“I have a vision of social justice movement as sanctuary. Not a tiny, perfectionist utopia behind miles of barbed wires and walls and fences and tests and judgment and righteousness. But a vast sanctuary where our experiences as humans, who have experienced and caused harm, are met with centered, grounded invitations to grow.”— adrienne marie brown

When faced with the type of uncertainty and overwhelm that we’ve collectively experienced since early 2020, our ability to get excited about – or even tap into – our collective creativity, can feel very depleted. If you’re having that experience, you are in very good company! Take it slow and seek small moments to play with new ideas, rather than cracking open your whole strategic plan or mission.

Here at TREC we have been building our team and are so thrilled to introduce you to two of our new colleagues, maia mareš and Cairá Lee Conner-Ware. With each new team member, we re-form as an organization, and we could not be more honored to have their influence on our work and organization, particularly as their commitment and experience integrating a holistic approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout all that they do could not be stronger.

maia mareš

TREC’s Program Coordinator, Operations 


maia (they/them) joined the TREC team as Program Coordinator in May 2022 to support the participant and staff experience for TREC’s training programs and internal meetings. As an alum of TREC’s leadership program, maia is excited to bring their love of details and logistics to the TREC Operations team.

From New York to Alaska, maia has worked within nonprofits on program coordination, communications, operations, and capacity building, including in environmental conservation. Most recently, they worked with organizations and companies across the U.S. as a consultant, focusing on people-centered HR, people operations, and organizational development. They are a big believer in practice and process as vital sites for the enactment of liberatory change within individuals, teams, and organizations.

maia mares headshot
maia mareš,
TREC’s Program Coordinator

Cairá Lee Conner-Ware, TREC’s newest Associate

Cairá Lee Conner-Ware

TREC Associate, Organizational Development


Cairá (she/her) joined the TREC team in 2022 following 8 years as a passionate youth development leader for equitable education. She has found fulfillment impacting the lives of young people through managing multiple experiential and social-emotional learning programs across the city of Chicago. Cairá is also a certified community organizer (Midwest Academy, 2016), and has worked with organizations like Kenwood Oakland Community Organization and We Charge Genocide on local grassroots initiatives to make tangible improvements in the lives of marginalized communities. In 2015, she co-founded Assata’s Daughters, a radical political education program for young Black girls and femmes run by an adult community organizing collective working to combat police violence and community divestment. She was also a member of Black Youth Project, Chicago Light Brigade, and Black Lives Matter Chicago.

And we are still dreaming into our future this fall – TREC is now hiring a Senior Consultant in Leadership Programming & Coaching – check out the job posting and feel free to share it with anyone who may be interested.

As we approach the seasonal shift away from the ecstatic, vibrant colors and smells of summer toward the more contemplative time of Fall, (and for many groups, a very big push toward the end of the year,) we wish you ease and joy,

– Everyone here at TREC
Background Image: American Rivers | Scott Bosse