Our Leaders & Staff
Although United Congregations of Metro East is mainly volunteers, our organization is led by an Executive Board of Directors. Our Organizers go out and connect with members of various communities to organize actions that will address the issues in those communities.
Rev. Michael L. Atty
Rev. Michael L. Atty came to United Congregations of Metro East in 2018 as community organizer. He brought with him skills learned from his previous works in the community and church. Upon receiving his Master of Devinity in 2016 from Eden Theological Seminary, Rev. Atty pursued to use his ministry vocation to impact his community and surrounding areas. He believes that structures of racism, classism, sexism, and other "isms" that creates marginalized groups is the work of sin. He believes that these structures need to be dismantled and people of faith are particularly placed in the world to effect change on these systems to bring about God's kingdom and Christ's beloved community.
Rev. Michael Atty took position as UCM's Executive Director in 2019 and serves on the ministerial staff at The Antioch Baptist Church in St. Louis, MO.
Cheryl Sommer, President
Cheryl Sommer is the current Board President of UCM, however she has been a leader within UCM since 2002. Throughout her time with UCM, Cheryl has helped establish a drug court in St. Clair County, kept Rock Springs Mobile Home Park from being shut down, helped lead UCM's statewide efforst to eliminate an overly rigorous and unnecessary basic skills test that created a major teacher shortage in Illinois, and has a lead role in UCM's current battle with the Veolia Incinerator in Sauget, IL.
Marie has been a community activist/advocate since her days as an Illinois State Police Officer. As a UCM organizer, Marie focuses on the implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act in the state of Illinois.
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Transformational Justice Organizer
Born in East St. Louis, IL and raised in Milwaukee, WI, Stephanie brings 25 years of experience in social services and residential care of behavioral youth to UCM. As a mother of 3 sons, she is passionate about building power in communities that have been overlooked due to poverty.
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All the way from West Memphis, AR, Dean (pronounced di-on) has a love for all things activism. Moving to St. Louis at the start of the pandemic in 2020, he jumped right into the Social Justice Movement. Dean joined the UCM team in October 2021.
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Rev. Stefanie Ward
Stefanie keeps the organization running smoothly behind the scenes. After two years of working with UCM, Stefanie has a new understanding and respect for those who work to eliminate injustices seen and unseen.
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Environmental Justice Organizer
JD is no stranger to community organizing as he has been an activist and active member in his community working to change the narrative. JD started "Boots to the Streets" Campaign to raise awareness of the disparities black communities face due to environmental racism.
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Community Organizer Trainee
Originally from the Bay Area in California, Jaylon brings his east coast charm to the Midwest. After studying at the University of Illinois Springfield and interning with our sister organization Faith Coalition for the Common Good, Jaylon joins UCM with a passion to walk in the footsteps of the late great Rep. John Lewis.