Board of Directors

LJ Amsterdam


LJ is a trainer, dancer, and youth organizer born and based in occupied Lenape territory/New York City. For a decade she has created making-spaces and mobilizing-spaces for young folks through music, movement, and political education. She is currently the the director of development and special projects, where she leads non-violent direct action trainings and workshops focused on Abolishing ICE and other areas of focus.

Amber Mathwig


A fourth generation white settler in the so-called United States, Amber joined the United States Navy in 2002, motivated by what she believed to be patriotism, and now understands to be an intentional sociocultural miseducation that relied heavily on Islamophobia, as well as many other -isms and -phobias that Amber experienced, witnessed, and perpetrated throughout her enlistment. After leaving the military in 2012, Amber felt deeply broken, both physically and mentally, and was seeking the knowledge and language to explain her experience.

Through both formal and informal education, Amber began to understand her own complicity in this violent system & the great deception of U.S. military righteousness. She came to About Face in 2017 and immediately felt as if she had found her organizing home, not only because of the militant anti-war stance, but the commitment to addressing the deeply dangerous roots of cishetwhitepatriarchal capitalism.

Amber has a Master’s of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, with a research focus on militarized sexual violence, systemic violence, and post-military transition. She also worked in student veterans services for 5 years, where she prioritized post-military healing through knowledge and creating welcoming spaces for veterans who identify as a gender, racial, religious, or sexual minority. In addition to being an awesome note taker, Amber brings to the board a strong knack for understanding and organizing systems through thoughtful questions and analysis.

John Motter

John Motter served as an infantryman in the Marine Corps from 2007–2011. He deployed with 1st Battalion 2nd Marines to Iraq in 2008, and to Afghanistan in 2010. He is one of the co-founders of Ground Game LA, a community organization based in Los Angeles, that works with other local grassroots organizations addressing police brutality and militarization, the criminalization of the homeless, tenants rights, immigration justice, climate justice, and other movement work.

Claude S. Copeland, Jr.

Claude S. Copeland, Jr., is a 40 year old Black veteran, organizer, and Christian, and he wears a few other hats. He served 7 years in the US Army and was deployed to Iraq from 2003–2004. He has been a member of About Face: Veterans Against the War for almost 10 years and has previously served on the board. Claude is from and currently lives in NYC.

Clare Bayard

Clare Bayard has organized in grassroots movements for collective liberation for 25 years, and worked with About Face since 2005 as a civilian supporter. Clare has built over a dozen organizations, coalitions and networks, and trained thousands of activists in organizing skills, strategies, and direct action to dismantle militarism and white supremacy and construct multiracial democracy in the U.S. 

Connecting struggles against U.S. empire at home and abroad is the heart of Clare’s political work. Clare comes from a family with several generations of veterans, is active in the War Resisters International Network and served in board and staff positions at the War Resisters League for over a decade.

Spending years working in community safety, as a crucial part of demilitarization, led Clare to train as a somatic healing practitioner supporting survivors of war, state violence, and sexual assault. 

Clare’s writing on G.I. resistance and anti-racist organizing has been published widely including the Guardian UK, Z Magazine, Alternet, Common Dreams, The Hill, and the recent anthology We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st century America.  

Shawn Fischer

Shawn Fischer is a Southern Appalachian-based community organizer and activist. They are deeply informed from their experiences living in rural and small communities across the US South. Much of their practices are informed from working with grassroots organizations focused on providing abolitionist-based safety and security, mutual aid, and disaster relief. As an anti-war military veteran, Shawn uses their experiences gleaned from within the Military-Industrial-Complex to aid and assist organizations and communities struggling at the intersections of social, racial, gender, and economic justice. They have responded to the rapid response needs and requests of communities and organizations under threat from across Appalachia and the US South. They are a co-founder and team member of the Highlander Safety and Security Team, Board Member of About Face: Veterans against the War, Tennessee certified handgun instructor, and avid gardener, explorer, and forager of wild and magical things.