Sean Basinski, SVP’s Director, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown Law Center. Prior to law school, he built a pushcart and sold delicious burritos from the corner of 52nd Street and Park Avenue. He founded SVP in 2001 with a $15,000 grant from Yale Law School. Sean lives in a tenement walkup apartment in Manhattan, with a bathtub in the kitchen.
Maggie Russell-Ciardi is our Manager of Institutional Giving. Prior to joining SVP, Maggie served as the Executive Director of Tenants & Neighbors, a grassroots economic justice organization in New York. She earned her MA in Latin American Studies from NYU, focusing on democracy-building and human rights education. She practices ashtanga yoga and plays the flute and harmonium.
Basma headshotBasma Eid, our Organizer, is a native of Rochester, NY. She earned her masters in Labor, Social Movements and Development at the University of London. Before joining SVP, she worked in youth empowerment programs at a refugee camp in South Lebanon, and Zidishan, Inc., a microfinance organization in Dakar, Senegal. Among other things, she coaches youth soccer.
Elise Goldin, SVP’s Senior Organizer, spent three years organizing for affordable housing in New York City at the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board.  She is originally from Evanston, IL and graduated from Macalester College in 2010. She is passionate about bridging immigrant and labor justice. Elise performs improv, loves theater of the oppressed and talks a lot about her Midwest roots.
Matthew Shapiro, our Senior Attorney, grew up in Miami, where as a boy he was once ticketed by the police for selling mangoes by the side of the road without a license. He joined SVP on a fellowship in 2009, after graduating from Cardozo School of Law and the University of Florida. Matt recently spent a year in SE Asia on a street food sabbatical with his wife, Shari.