Originally from Hampton, Virginia, Amirio graduated from the College of William & Mary with a B.A. in Public Policy and a minor in Africana Studies. As an undergraduate, Amirio completed an Honors Thesis on the role of the environment in Afro-Diasporic healing modalities while focusing on diversity and sustainability endeavors. Amirio also collaborated with William & Mary’s Committee on Sustainability to create programming and projects dedicated to diversifying sustainability efforts and served as a research assistant for an academic paper regarding Americans’ changing perceptions of poverty, the poor, and public assistance. As the Student Assistant for the College’s Africana Studies Program, he coordinated events that have encouraged critical dialogue around Black scholarship. As a Grassroots Coordination and Social Media Intern for the Elizabeth River Project, Amirio educated the Virginia Tidewater community about available measures that can be adopted to improve the quality of Virginia’s waterways. In addition, Amirio has had the honor of being a part of several volunteer trips, including a Branch Out Alternative Break trip to Lynchburg, Virginia, where he worked on issues related to food deserts.
Field placement: Martha’s Table
At Martha’s Table, Amirio helped to innovate recruitment strategies to increase the participation rate of Southeast D.C. residents in volunteering at the organization’s Joyful Food Markets. Amirio also spearheaded the organization’s transition into adopting “transformative community engagement” practices. Lastly, Amirio supported the execution of seasonal community engagement and outreach events with Martha’s Table’s External Relations team.
Policy placement: National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty
Amirio completed his policy placement at the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, an organization dedicated to ending and preventing homelessness via legal avenues. Amirio worked with the Law Center to produce a research report that broadly documented the recent nationwide trend of private citizens establishing vigilante groups to target people experiencing homelessness through intimidation and violence.
Hunger Free Community Report
"First Steps: Integrating Transformative Community Engagement at Martha’s Table" is an internal guide to understanding and practicing “transformative community engagement” (TCE)—a community outreach and engagement model that lessens power differentials between organizations and community members. The guide summarizes relevant TCE literature, discusses how TCE has been performed by other Washington, D.C. based nonprofits, and provides recommendations for how Martha’s Table can include TCE strategies into its organizational structure, programming, and services.