Our Leaders

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

Executive Director

Lead Organizer


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 Franklin

Community Organizer

Marie has been a community activist/advocate since her days as an Illinois State Police Officer. Currently, she sits as President of Concerned Citizens of Precinct #12 and is an active member of New Life Community Church in East St. Louis, IL. Marie takes great pride in her work of dismantling systems that breed social injustice.


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Josue Martinez-Herrera

Latinx  Community Organizer

 Josue has been with us several months now and is still very excited. His current role includes organizing a LatinX Cluster with leaders from Fairmont City, State Park, and Caseyville; working to make Broadband a public utility within the state of Illinois; and organizing for Immigration Reform. If you would like any information regarding our LatinX communities or you would like to join, send Josue an email and he will gladly discuss your interests with you. 


Rev. Stefanie Ward

Organizational Administrator

Rev. Stefanie keeps the organization running smoothly behind the scenes. She may be new to social injustice work, but administration is a gift that she has had since childhood. Stefanie is a member of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Alton, IL and participates in a number of activities and groups.



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Kentaro Kumanomido

Digital & Environmental Justice Organizer

Kentaro is the newest Organizer to the UCM team and has came in already tackling a few issues. Having his expertise on maintaining and improving our digital presence is greatly welcomed. Kentaro brings with him fresh and new ideas to jump on board and organize new ways to combat the injustices found within the environmental practices. Welcome Kentaro to the team!