Meet the Teams

There are many different teams at PETA whose members are excited to help you get active for animals—or up your activism game! Whether you are looking to plan a protest or are a student interested in informing your peers about animal rights issues, there’s someone who can help you make that happen. Check out the teams below to see which one can best help you:

  • Grassroots Protest Team

    Need help planning a protest? Grassroots protest coordinators support activist-led demonstrations and engage with activists on PETA campaigns. Click here to see who the grassroots protest coordinator is for your region, and contact them to learn where you can join (or lead) a protest today.


    Matthew Braun

    Manager of Grassroots Protest Campaigns
    [email protected]
    I went vegan to win a bet in 2006, and I never would have imagined the impact that it would have on my life. After winning the bet, I decided to stay vegan, because I felt so much better. As I learned more about cruelty to animals used in experiments and for food, fashion, and entertainment, I increasingly felt the need to share this information with others, so I started leafleting and attending protests.

    I worked as an eyewitness investigator in a chicken slaughterhouse before landing an internship with PETA that involved traveling around the country to spread the animal rights message to people at concerts, parks, and YMCAs as well as outside animal circuses. After traveling for two years, I became a grassroots protest coordinator. I relocated to Los Angeles, and now, I get to work with dedicated and compassionate activists on the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada by helping them plan protests for animal rights!


    ERIKA WILKINSON

    Grassroots Protest Coordinator
    [email protected]
    As a grassroots protest coordinator, I have the privilege of being a grassroots activist while helping others organize compelling and strategic protests all over the U.S. When I was a toddler, I made the connection that animals are just like us as I watched fish being dragged out of their homes by a hook. I stopped eating all animals when I was 7 years old and found out that “meat” comes from animals. Ten years later, I realized that eating eggs and dairy, wearing wool, and petting dolphins at aquariums harms animals, too. When I found out all the ways humans abuse animals, I was heartbroken and knew that I had to speak up for them. I went vegan and dove into activism right away. Organizing my own protests for PETA has become my biggest passion!

    When I’m not protesting or helping others protest, I enjoy hanging out with my dog, Luna; visiting my favorite sanctuary and cuddling my chicken friends; dancing; and obsessing over Harry Potter.


    Carla Wilson

    carla wilson

    Grassroots Protest Coordinator
    [email protected]
    I feel so grateful to have the opportunity to work with grassroots activists, helping them to make changes for the animals in their communities. In 1996, I rescued my first greyhound, Allan, on the day he was scheduled to be killed because he was no longer considered “fast enough” at the local dog track. He opened my eyes to the way animals are used in entertainment. That summer, I attended the March for Animals conference in Washington, D.C., where my life changed forever. It was there that I watched a video of a pig being slaughtered. Having loved animals my entire life, I never took it a step further to think about where the animals on my plate came from. I stopped eating animals immediately, returned home, and got involved with a local animal rights group. I have helped get laws passed in my town banning tethering dogs, retail pet stores that sell puppies, and circuses with animals. When I’m not protesting and helping animals in other ways, I enjoy traveling with my husband, photography, and spending time with our rescued cats.


    Autumn Stairs

    autumn stairs with dog

    Grassroots Protest Coordinator
    [email protected]
    I have worked closely with animals my whole life. My love for them quickly grew into a fierce passion to save every individual I could. That’s what led to me to go vegan over a decade ago and begin organizing animal rights protests of my own with PETA. Now, I’m so grateful to have a position at PETA as a grassroots protest coordinator, helping others speak up for animals by organizing strategic protests.

    I stay active advocating for rights for all individuals, mentoring new vegans, organizing animal rights events, and volunteering at sanctuaries for rescued animals. In my spare time, I enjoy skateboarding and going on adventures with my best friend and animal companion, Nausicaa.

  • Action Team

    Want to spread the word about animal rights? Contact the Action Team for free leaflets and stickers to pass out or to set up an animal rights information table at a large event. Get ideas on ways to get more active for animals at home, at work, and in your community.


    Casey Kern

    Action Team Manager
    [email protected]
    My hometown of Pittsburgh, the “City of Bridges,” will always be near to my heart, but after earning my bachelor’s degree and working as a corporate industrial designer, I moved out West. I first got involved with PETA as an Action Team volunteer, attending demonstrations and helping to get animal rights legislation passed. Fast-forward and now I manage the Action Team, helping to grow our network of activists and increase grassroots actions for animals.

    For fun, I like to check out concerts and festivals, hike trails with my family, and go skiing. My most memorable New Year’s resolution was going vegan in 2012 after watching Earthlings. This transformative exposé inspired me to work toward ending speciesism, and I never looked back!


    DRUANA DOWD

    Assistant Action Team Coordinator
    [email protected]
    My connection with animals began in elementary school—I loved PETA’s stickers and dreamt of one day working for the group. I felt so connected to animals and had no idea I was indirectly harming them! Thanks to stumbling upon “Vegucated” in 2015, my views about the world nearly flipped and I went vegan. My activism started with leafleting and placing PETA’s vegan starter kits around my college campus’s newspaper stands in Moorpark, California. From there, I engaged in various organizations’ actions throughout Los Angeles and became an organizer for Anonymous for the Voiceless. Currently living in L.A., I am obsessed with my senior Chihuahua, Logan, and love listening to audiobooks, trying new vegan recipes and activities, and basking in the outdoors!


    ELLEN COCHÉE

    Assistant Action Team Coordinator
    [email protected]
    I am thrilled to be able to channel my passion for animal rights advocacy into my role as an assistant Action Team coordinator at PETA, where I help people make compassionate choices for animals and work with grassroots activists to amplify the message that animals are not ours to use in any way.

    I’m originally from the U.S., but I was raised in England. I moved back to the U.S. in 2018, and since then, I have dived deep into grassroots activism and learned a great deal from inspiring advocates of animal liberation.

    Since adopting a vegan philosophy and lifestyle, I have become a big foodie, and I enjoy exploring the many great vegan restaurants around Los Angeles. I also like to get outdoors to hike, roller-skate, and enjoy the Southern California sunshine.


    Scott Cator

    Action Team Coordinator
    [email protected]
    My journey into animal rights started 20 years ago in Syracuse, New York, where I learned about the suffering of animals and activism from friends who were tabling at local hardcore shows. They were instrumental in helping me leave animals off my plate and dive into activism. Before joining PETA, I traveled extensively to Taiji, Japan, to speak out for dolphins who are captured and killed at the infamous cove there and to Costa Rica to protect sea turtles from poachers. I currently reside in the Florida Keys, where I advocate for all animals, with a big focus on protecting marine life by speaking out against captive-dolphin facilities, “seafood” festivals, and fishing events.

    When I’m away from the office, you’ll find me cheering on the Detroit Lions and Tigers, scuba diving, listening to far too much Bruce Springsteen and KISS, and hanging with my dog, Beebee, who was rescued by PETA’s Community Animal Project.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind