DART Center staff provide support to 31 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.
Between 2014-2022, he was the Lead Organizer for Justice Matters in Lawrence, Kansas where he used a range of strategies to acquire evidence-based policy reform on a wide range of justice campaigns including: mass people actions, litigation, corporate partnerships, alliance building, and media engagement. This has resulted in criminal justice reform, restorative justice in schools, increased mental health services, public investment in affordable housing, and others.
Between 2000-2014, he played an instrumental role in our system for identifying, recruiting, screening, hiring and training over professional organizers and community leaders through as the DART Center's National Recruitment Director.
Prior to his time with DART, he completed the Green Corps environmental advocacy training program and served in the Church of Brethren's Volunteer Service for two years in the Czech Republic.
Finally, he is a father and husband in a family that has fostered many teenage boys including the adoption of two for a total of three boys.
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.
She lives in Harrisonburg, VA, where she enjoys gardening, pickleball and family hikes in the national forest.
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.
Jennifer became the Lead Organizer with BUILD in Lexington, Kentucky in 2016 leading a team to set new local records in building people power and grassroots fundraising. During her tenure, BUILD fought and won community improvements around the criminalization of people with mental illness, racial disparities in education, drug addiction, gun violence and affordable housing.
Jennifer joined DART staff in 2021 as the Director of Organizer Training where she oversees the Organizers Institute for new organizers and ongoing module training, among other things.
In her free time, Jennifer enjoys going on adventures with her partner and running an Instagram account for her not-yet-famous cats.
city and state level.
Since 2018 Melissa has served on the board of directors at Colorado Circles for Change, a youth centered organization creating pathways to reduce juvenile violence and incarceration, as well as creating opportunities for youth to discover sacred relationships with self, family and community. Melissa is active at Highlands Church in Denver, and has a Masters in Pastoral and Spiritual Care from Iliff School of Theology. She is the proud wife and mother to a sweet baby boy who keeps her smiling and grateful everyday.
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.