Organizing People | Activating Leaders

OPAL Board

Ben Duncan,  Board Chair

Ben Duncan is the Health Equity Manager for Multnomah County Health Department. His work focuses on the relationships between health and social, economic, and environmental conditions through both public policy and community based empowerment work. Ben also works with the Diversity and Quality Team and is currently Chair of the Oregon Governor’s Environmental Justice Task Force. Born and raised in Syracuse, New York, Ben moved to Oregon in 1997 to pursue a degree in Environmental Science from University of Oregon and has lived in Portland since 2001.

Ben lives in Southeast Portland with his wife Katherine, currently completing her dissertation in Education from Stanford, and their son Rudy who keeps both of them busy!


Chris Winter, Treasurer

Chris Winter received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University in 1994 and then graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1998, where he focused on environmental and natural resources law. For three years he practiced environmental law at Stoel Rives LLP in Portland, Oregon, representing corporate clients on complex matters relating to investigation and cleanup of contaminated industrial sites, regulatory compliance and business transactions.

In 2001, he founded the Crag Law Center to provide affordable legal assistance to groups promoting conservation issues. Since that time, we has helped dozens of groups throughout Oregon, Washington and Alaska, including municipal and tribal governments, conservation organizations, citizen groups, recreational clubs and individual activists. His current practice focuses on environmental justice, salmon habitat and water quality regulation, and public land management. He is a member of the Oregon, Washington and Alaska Bars and is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the District of Oregon, and the Western and Eastern Districts of Washington, and the District of Alaska.  Chris has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Lewis and Clark Law School, where for several years he taught a seminar on forest law and policy.

When Chris isn’t working, he spends time in the mountains with his wife and friends.  His passion for high, wild places has led him across the continental United States and Canada and to remote locations in Alaska, Asia, Africa and Europe. He loves the mountains and wilderness of the Pacific Northwest for their unmatched opportunities for adventure and solitude.


Adam Briggs, Secretary

Adam is a student at Portland State University pursuing a degree in secondary education and is a relatively new face to Portland, moving here from Boston back in the Summer of 2011.  Since arriving in Portland, he has been active as a volunteer with Bus Riders Unite, and joined the Opal Board of Directors as Secretary in the Winter of 2012.

Born and raised in upstate New York, Adam moved to Syracuse to attend the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and earned a BS in Environmental Policy.  After graduation Adam spent a year in Tampa, FL serving as the canvass director of Florida Consumer Action Network before moving to Boston.  While in Boston, he worked with Mass Energy Consumer’s Alliance to bring energy efficiency funding to low income neighborhoods, and was a youth instructor for Bikes not Bombs youth programs.

Adam is happy to bring his non-profit organizing and fundraising experience to the OPAL Board, and excited to work on upcoming OPAL youth campaigns and leadership programs.


Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons

Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons is a Chinese-American, cultural organizer, minister, and musician.  Born in Portland, adopted and raised in Clackamas County, Joseph has worked for democracy, human rights and systemic change that addresses the root causes of inequities for 25 years in Oregon, Colorado, Massachusetts and the Philippines.  Currently he serves as Executive Director for the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, a community organization with over 2,000 constituents that works to advance racial equity in public policy.  He is also affiliate community minister with the First Unitarian Church of Portland.  Previously he served the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, Unitarian Universalist Association and Coalition for a Livable Future.

Joseph is passionate about his family and neighborhood, spending time outdoors with his partner and three school age children, and tending to a prolific plum tree.  He is a past performing member of Portland Taiko, a multicultural trainer, and is particularly interested in the rising community of color electorate.  Community board service includes Resolutions NW, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, and the Oregon Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs.  Joseph completed his Bachelor of Science at the University of Oregon and Masters in Divinity from Harvard University.


Khanh Pham

Khanh Pham is a PhD student and Graduate Research Assistant at Portland State University. Her research interests include, urban planning, environmental justice, and the political economy of climate change adaptation in Vietnam. Riding TriMet buses as a car-free undergraduate student, she grew to love the quirky community of the buses, and became passionate about transportation justice. In 2002, she organized on the buses for six months in South Los Angeles, as part of a 6-month organizer training program at the Labor/Community Strategy Center in LA, which has one of the earliest and strongest Bus Riders Unions in the country. Since then, she’s worked in a variety of social justice organizations, including Global Fund for Women, VietUnity, Refugee Transitions, and National Radio Project. Khanh worked as the Communications Associate at OPAL from Feb 2012-July 2012, and enjoys thinking about how to use stories and strategic communications to mobilize and inspire people to take action. Khanh loves the community at OPAL and Bus Riders Unite, and is excited to be a part of helping to build a stronger, broader movement for social justice in Portland.


Michelle DePass

Michelle DePass is a single mother with a background in Community Development and Green Business who invested in the health and prosperity of her native city, specifically in and around N/NE Portland. She has lived in Washington D.C., Guadalajara, and Caracas, but loves Portland, which is her hometown and home base. She likes the landscape, the transportation options, the weather, the people.

Activism comes naturally to Michelle; her first job in 1973 was at Portland’s Black Panther Free Health Clinic, and she has been involved with social justice issues ever since.

She is raising two boys a dog and a cat. In her free time you’ll find her knitting, reading, hiking and gardening.


Eleyna Fugman

Eleyna Fugman is a local activist, trainer and educator focused on addressing and confronting systems of white supremacy, class oppression and patriarchy in Portland, the US and around the world.  Previously she has worked as a grassroots community fundraiser for the AFL-CIO’s Working America and as a labor organizer for SEIU Local 503.

She is a graduate of the Rockwood Institute’s “Women in Racial Justice and Human Rights” program and a trained inter-group dialogue facilitator for the City of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human Rights.

She is pleased to bring her skills as an equity trainer, fundraiser and community organizer to the OPAL team.

On her free time, she likes to lead people on interpretive nature hikes in the Gorge, study Hebrew and sing in her newly formed band.


Roberta Hunte

Roberta Hunte, PhD works as an assistant professor at Portland State University in the Black Studies, Conflict Resolution, and Women Gender and Sexuality Studies Departments. She also consults with local organizations on equity, inclusion, and retention of diverse staff. She loves karaoke and experiments with gardening. She has been an OPAL board member since 2009.