DART Center staff provide support to 23 local organizations through consulting, training events, and organizer recruitment.
When John Calkins, one of the founders of the DART Center, retired in 2013, the DART Board hired John Aeschbury to become DART’s second Executive Director. In taking on this responsibility, John stated his commitment to build on the legacy of all of those who brought DART to this point, and work as hard as possible to pass along that legacy to another generation of clergy, lay leaders and organizers. From John’s point of view, DART is uniquely positioned to help people of faith re-claim the biblical mandate to ‘do justice’.
John is an ordained minister. He is married and has three children.
She saw the ways the local government oppressed its own citizens during the darkest moments of their lives and she knew she had to do something. She wanted a career that challenged unjust local systems and city leaders so that all citizens would be treated fairly by their government.
She started her career in organizing in 2010 at ICARE in Jacksonville, FL. During her time at ICARE, Kristin led a campaign that got Restorative Justice Programs in over 100 schools affecting 10,000 Duval County students. She also led a successful campaign to get the Duval County Sheriff and State Attorney to stop arresting and prosecuting children for nonviolent misdemeanors. After eight years organizing in the field, Kristin joined the DART staff in 2019. In her role as Organizer Trainer she takes pride in helping new justice seekers find their power and develop the skills they need to win similar campaigns. She currently resides in Dayton, OH.
When reflecting on this realization, Leah writes, “It wasn’t until I was introduced to DART that I had discovered the power of organizing. Before then, I had imagined myself making prolific films that would agitate people, but I learned that this is not enough. DART doesn’t document problems in our communities and pray for action, it teaches people how to organize to win.” Between 2005 and 2011, Leah assisted and led several successful campaigns as a DART organizer. In 2005, her organization received commitments from the director of the Early Learning coalition to provide funding for a full-day of Pre-K programs for any child whose parents earn less than 200% of the poverty level. As of 2009, over 3,293 4-year-olds from low-income families in Pinellas County, FL have been able to attend Pre-K programs as a result.
A separate campaign resulted in the implementation of district-wide discipline programs for more than 40,000 students in 37 public schools. These schools have witnessed a 60% drop in suspension rates. In 2011, Leah made the transition to DART staff to begin work as the network’s National Training Director.
Sarah’s work with IMPACT and LEAD resulted in increased access to mental health services, the implementation of a Limited English Proficiency policy for law enforcement, a “Ban the Box” campaign that increased employment opportunities for returning citizens, and the successful conclusion of a hard-fought 3-year public transit expansion, the battle for which required her organization to register and win a groundbreaking federal Title VI violation complaint. As a part of DART staff, she finds it deeply rewarding to identify new organizers, and to both help cultivate leaders’ skills and expand their understanding of power and direct action at DART training events.
Sarah was drawn into organizing right out of undergrad, compelled by a deep-seeded sense of injustice that had its roots both in her anger with congregations wanting to talk about community problems rather than work for long-term solutions, and in the appalling disparities she saw between the wealthy suburban school district where she grew up, and the neighboring conditions at inner-city Dayton Public Schools.
Sarah has a bachelor’s in History and Religious Studies from the College of Wooster, and currently lives in Virginia Beach, VA with her husband and daughter.
In his free time, Justin enjoys gaming, photography and performing music with his hip hop duo P2I.
She and her spouse Jac live in Leadville, CO, a small town that happens to be the highest elevation city in America at 10,200 feet. When she’s not at work (or shoveling snow), Moe loves exploring local rivers and trails with her dog, Roo, and hosting family and friends for mountain adventures.
Board of directors
We have a great board of directors, too
Many of our board members are also heavily involved in leading the justice ministry in their city.