Arielle Martinez Cohen
Arielle Martinez Cohen is a singer/songwriter/producer/activist from Los Angeles and a rising sophomore at Brown University. She is currently the Music Director at Zero Hour, a youth-led movement for climate action and has worked with organizations such as the Grammy Museum, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March for our Lives, the United Nations, Pathways to Paris, and Youth Climate Strike. She hopes to use music to create social justice.
Attica Woodson Scott is an American politician from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. A member of the Democratic Party, she serves in the Kentucky House of Representatives for the 41st district. She’s a long-time community organizer who’s worked tirelessly for racial justice and is a champion of reproductive rights, specifically sponsoring legislation to combat the Black Maternal Health Crisis.
Born and raised in Orlando, Representative Anna V. Eskamani is the daughter of working-class immigrants who has a proven track record in building consensus while fighting unapologetically for progressive values. Anna previously served as the Senior Director of Public Affairs and Communications for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida and is a PhD student studying Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida. On November 6, 2018 Anna was elected to serve the great people of House District 47 with a vote margin of 57% to 43%, flipping a legislative seat, and becoming the first Iranian-American elected to any public office in Florida. During her first two legislative sessions, Anna fought hard to increase funding for arts and culture, pushed back against anti-LGBTQ legislation, voted to preserve the environment 100% of the time, and to increase access to healthcare. Tough, authentic and unafraid, Anna has been recognized across the state and nation for her tireless work during the COVID-19 outbreak. She continues to call on the state demanding more testing, immediate benefits for the hundreds of thousands struggling to receive unemployment, and for equitable small business relief. Heading into her November re-election bid, she continues to build collective power and advocate in support of Florida’s hardworking families
Jada White is a 16 year old activist from Oakland California. She has used her platform to advocate for POC, Queer, and Women’s lives. She’s a rising junior at Oakland School for the Arts, and is an aspiring journalist who will use her platform to change the world for the better.
Jamilia Land is a wife, mother, criminal and restorative justice activist, public speaker, and founder of A.S.A.P and Mind Change- a 501(c)(3) organization centered on the mental health and well being of children impacted by police and community murder, gun violence, and incarceration. A Bay Area native, this outspoken, focus driven, and sometimes controversial activist devotes the majority of her time fighting for the rights of incarcerated individuals and families of victims of police brutality. Her life work has taken her into the juvenile detention centers, the state prisons, and various levels of social work specialized in adolescent development. Jamilia is a member of several legislative coalitions including AB392 California Act To Saves Live, deadly use of force legislation; SB1437 Accomplice Liability For Felony Murder; SB1421 Peace Officers Release of Records. Jamilia is an executive board member for March On which is responsible for the historic 2018 election of women to the U.S.Congress. Jamilia currently serves as the policy board chairman for WCIC Head Start and county treasure for SETA/ Head Start. She is often seen navigating the waters of direct community actions and legislative work. When her son was charged with a triple homicide he didn’t commit at the age of 23, she made it her mission to end the felony murder law in California and joined Senator Nancy Skinner in the fight for Senate Bill 1437. She is a dedicated community leader who advocates diligently through various platforms. Jamilia is the epitome of “boots on the ground” community organizing and extreme lobbying for the rights of currently and formerly incarcerated individuals. In 2019 Jamilia became the National Outside Organizer for the Family Project and the 10P Program founded by her husband Samual. The 10P Program is currently being taught inside CDCR facilities to include C.S.P Sacramento and Los Angeles County. Through protests, lobbying and demanding accountability, Jamilia has made it her life’s work to be the voice of the unheard, the voice of the forgotten, and the voice of the voiceless. By challenging policies and exposing discrimination, she stands firm in her convictions. She has made her mark by being diligent in her advocacy of mental health, criminal justice and restorative justice rights. She remains active in the community and continues to support local and national leaders and organizations. Jamilia is highly noted as a change agent for the community provoking actions needed to bring forth change.
Marina started her career in Investor relations in New York City before entering her family business, Dorian, a 150 year old maritime shipping company. After leaving the IR firm she’d been at and receiving her seaman’s certificate from the United States Merchant Marines, Marina moved to South Korea where she worked at a shipyard and on ships. Following her time in Asia, Marina spent 6 years between London and Greece overseeing the business. She moved back to New York in early 2014 to prepare to take the company public and led the in-house IR team in a roadshow landing with an IPO on the New York Stock exchange after a $135M raise. Marina is passionate about Sustainability and has been the vice chair of the intertanko environmental committee for the past 8 years and serves on the board of the North American Marine Environmental protection agency. In 2016 marina co-founded TMV; an early stage venture capital fund focusing on investments in Sustainability, the Care Economy and the Future of Work. TMV has invested in over 28 early stage companies and raised over $30M to date.
Nicco Annan is an immensely talented and versatile actor, dancer, and choreographer who, after making his mark in the Off-Broadway and regional theatre communities, is now etching his way on the Hollywood scene.
Presently, Annan can be seen on Katori Hall’s critically acclaimed new drama series, P-VALLEY. The Starz series follows the community that builds around a strip club in the Mississippi Delta. Annan plays “Uncle Clifford,” a role that he has been with since its conception over a decade ago. As a Black gay man playing a non-binary role ,Annan defies traditional gender limitations while bringing dignity and grace central the common humanity of the character he plays. Alan Sepinwall from ROLLING STONE calls Annan‘s role, “the cast’s big breakout —cynical boss and sentimental mother hen in one shiny package…”
Also on television, Annan has been featured in recurring and guest-starring roles on series such as SHAMELESS, THIS IS US, SNOWFALL, CLAWS, HALF SISTERS, SMOSH, and CHEETAH IN AUGUST. In addition to Annan’s television work as an actor, he and his partner, Rhapsody James, from their commercial dance program, Motivating Excellence, choreographed the cotillion piece in the ALL AMERICAN episode titled, “Protect Ya Neck.” The piece fuses the worlds of classical ballroom dance and current day commercial hip-hop, which has been submitted for a 2020 Emmy® nomination.
In the theater community, Annan trained under pillars in the American Theatre such as Isreal Hicks, George Faison, and Marilyn McCormick. He trained and earned his BFA from the Conservatory of Acting at Purchase College. Annan made his signature theatre premier in The Hot Wing King by Katori Hall which is a genial play, built around a cooking contest in Memphis. Annan’s other theatre credits include, Katori Hall’s Pussy Valley-World Premiere, Lady Killer’s Love Story(CeeLo Green musical),Smokey Joe’s Café, Five Guys Named Moe, and Storyville.
Annan currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
Taylor Yingshi is an emerging artist in Seattle whose work reflects the unique experiences she has gained in adolescence. Yingshi hopes to use her art as a vessel to express the fear and uncertainty of growing up as part of an interconnected, socially conscious generation. As an artist working primarily in 2D, Yingshi’s favorite mediums are oil paint and Photoshop—a parallel to her fascination with the border between old and new. A strong advocate for art equity, Yingshi runs an art collective called Student Art Spaces when she is not in the studio.
Thomas Lopez Jr. was born and raised in the heart of Denver, Colorado. Thomas is Otomi, Diné, Apache and Lakota. They are a Grandchild of Chief Leonard Crowdog Sr. and the Child of Water Woman Sharon Dominguez & Sundance Chief Thomas Lopez Sr. Thomas spent months working with the International Indigenous Youth Council (IIYC) on the ground at Standing Rock to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Thomas continues to work with the IIYC and Future Coalition to inspire and train young Indigenous and Two Spirit leaders to create authentic, sustainable change.
Alicia Novoa is a student-activist, dedicated to building a more just and sustainable society. She is Director of Engagement at Future Coalition, establishing the Gender Equity Coalition and Future Fellows program, among other initatives. Her hometown is Orlando, FL and she graduated from high school with an International Baccalaureate diploma. Before coming to Future Coalition in July 2019, Alicia worked on her Congresswoman, Stephanie Murphy’s, re-election campaign and as an organizer for March for Our Lives Orlando. She started organizing in the 4th grade, when she founded the recycling team at her elementary school, upon learning that her favorite animal, the polar bear, was endangered. Alicia is a Foote Fellows Honors student and Presidential Scholar at the University of Miami, studying Political Science and Economics. She is a MUNner and writes for her school newspaper, The Miami Hurricane, and other media outlets. Alicia is Colombian, does yoga in her free time, and has a Yorkie named Sparky.
Zoë Jenkins is a high school senior in Lexington, KY. She is the founder and Executive Producer of the Get Schooled podcast with the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team and a Civics 2030 Steering Committee Member with Civics Unplugged(CU). She is also the founder of DICCE, a Civics 2030 Project, which creates diversity, inclusion, anti-racism, and equity programming and training materials for Gen Zers.
DJ Rekha, nee Rekha Malhotra, pioneered the merging of Bhangra and Bollywood sounds with contemporary electronic dance music. Rooted in hip-hop and dub her DJ sets range from Brazilian Baile Funk to Balkan Beats and everything in between.
They founded Basement Bhangra, one of NYC’s longest-running club nights (1997-2017). Her debut album “”DJ Rekha presents Basement Bhangra”” (featuring a track with Wyclef Jean) won much critical acclaim and was nominated for best DJ album by the 2008 Plug Awards. They are the founder of Basement Bhangra™, Bollywood Disco, and co-founder of Mutiny Club nights. They were named “”Ambassador of Bhangra”” by the New York Times.
Rekha was the sound designer for the TONY award‐winning Broadway Show, “”Bridge and Tunnel,”” and received a Drama Desk Award nomination for her work on the play “”Rafta Rafta.”” Rekha was also the associate producer for the NPR Radio Documentary, “”A Feet in Two Worlds.”” They have done remixes for artists that range from Meredith Monk to Priyanka Chopra.
Rekha was NYU’s A/P/A Artist-in-Residence for 2006-2007. They have received numerous community awards and in 2009, was inducted into the New York City’s Peoples’ Hall of Fame. They have curated events for Celebrate Brooklyn, Central Park Summerstage, and has performed at the Obama White House and internationally. Rekha was a Grand Marshall of the 9th Annual NYC Dance Parade in 2015. In January of 2017, They performed at the historic Women’s March on DC. They graduated with a Masters of Science in Comparative Media Studies from MIT in 2019. They serve on the board of Chhaya CDC, which serves to economically empower New Yorkers of South Asian origin. You can hear their weekly podcast Bha.
Heather Booth is one of the leading organizers and strategists in the progressive social change movement. She began organizing in the civil rights movement and was active in the early women’s movement. She was the founding Director and is now President of the Midwest Academy, training social change leaders and organizers. She has been involved in and managed political campaigns and was the Training Director of the Democratic National Committee. In 2000, she was the Director of the NAACP National Voter Fund, which helped to increase African American election turnout. She was the lead consultant, directing the founding of the Campaign for Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2005. In 2008, she was the director of the Health Care Campaign for the AFL-CIO. In 2009, she directed the campaign passing President Obama’s first budget. In 2010 she was the founding director of Americans for Financial Reform, fighting to regulate the financial industry. She was the national coordinator for the coalition around marriage equality and the 2013 Supreme Court decision. She was strategic advisor to the Alliance for Citizenship (the largest coalition of the immigration reform campaign). She was the field director for the 2017 campaign to stop the tax giveaways to millionaires and billionaires. She is now working on a campaign to lower prescription drug prices. She has been a consultant on many other issues and with many other organizations. There is a film about her life in organizing, “Heather Booth: Changing the World.” It has been shown on PBS/World Channel stations around the country.
Jessica is a national leader in civil rights, holding expertise in youth engagement, organizational development, and training. Jessica’s passion for organizing started at UC Santa Cruz where she was elected as Student Union Assembly President for two terms. After graduating, Jessica served as the Organizing Director for the United States Student Association (USSA) where she led campaigns in over 15 states. During her tenure USSA led efforts to pass the College Cost Reduction and Access Act – the largest increase to grant aid since the passing of the G.I. bill in 1944. With leaders of the Generational Alliance (GA), Jessica led efforts to develop Generation Vote, a coalition of 20 organizations invested in building a youth voting bloc that generated over 1 million youth contacts. Jessica then served as the National Training Director for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) where she helped to coordinate national election efforts for the 2012 election to turnout over 1.2 million Black voters and build uniform capacity & training programs for the national, state, and local levels. Most recently, Jessica was the National Chair for Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) where she focused on capacity-building and sustainability efforts through civic engagement, convenings, and trainings. Outside of organizing, Jessica has committed herself to building power through training, working with organizations such as Wellstone Action, Midwest Academy, and the Center for American Progress. Jessica has been featured in national, state, and local media outlets including Ebony, PBS Newshour, BET, CNN, and Buzzfeed and has won numerous awards including the 21st Century Innovator Award from the Midwest Academy. Throughout her career and to-date, she has personally trained more than 20,000 people.
Zoey Cane Belyea is from Seattle, WA. She has performed with fringe and regional companies in Seattle including Book-It Rep, Seattle Shakespeare Co, & upstart crow. In 2014 Zoey was a member of the Core Apprentice Company at The Orchard Project and spent 5 weeks experimenting, generating, and developing new projects with visiting artists. In Austin she created and performed with Gale Theatre Company, collaborating on several productions and traveling throughout Texas and Louisiana. She has also performed in Austin with Mouth Radio, Groundswell, and in several new plays written by Joanna Garner. TETHER theatre/dance is a collaboration with choreographer Devon J. Adams. As a team, the two continue to explore the intersection of dance and theatre in search of new modes of storytelling. Zoey is a certified Barre instructor and 200 hour registered yoga teacher. Her specific training involves lots of modifications and she believes that it’s important for every client to make class their own unique experience, day to day and week to week. She brings her experience in dance and creative movement to class and loves to pump the music and use the beat to help you explore your roots and your growing edge. Zoey has been teaching creative drama and physical theatre techniques for 10+ years. She has worked with students at every grade level. She also leads workshops on community organizing and personal wellness for young leaders. Zoey currently lives and works in Ashland, OR. She is the Movement Assistant for Bring Down the House Parts I & II with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Zoey Cane Belyea
Tanisha Ramachandran is assistant professor of South Asian religions at Wake Forest University. She is currently working on a monograph titled, Idolized Representations: A Genealogy of the Hindu image, which explores the social, political, and cultural history of Hindu imagery in India, Europe, and North America from the late 18th century to the present. She has published in various journals including The Journal of Religion and Culture, Canadian Women’s Studies/ les Cahiers de la Femme, and Material Religion and has given numerous talks on issues pertaining to race, sexuality, religion, and feminism. Currently she serves as the faculty adviser for the South Asian Students and Hindu Student Association at Wake Forest University. She is also a member of the steering committee for the North American Hinduism Group affiliated with the American Academy of Religion (AAR). For the past two years she has been a regular reviewer for books on Hinduism for Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. Her other areas of interest include the racialization of religion, Hinduism in the media, feminism in South Asia and the diaspora, and colonialism on the subcontinent.
For L.A.-based singer/songwriter Wafia, the possibilities in pop music go way beyond escapism. Since breaking through as a featured vocalist on Louis the Child’s gold-certified smash “Better Not,” the Iraqi-Syrian, queer-identifying artist has brought a deep sense of purpose to her kaleidoscopic dance-pop, turning each track into a powerful conduit for self-discovery. On her new EP Good Things, Wafia shares her most impactful body of work yet, boldly detailing the end of a bad relationship and the life-changing transformation that followed.
“For a long time I thought that when you love someone, you love them unconditionally and put up with however they treat you,” says Wafia. “At some point I realized I was preaching positivity and self-empowerment in my music, but I wasn’t always making those decisions in my own life. I felt like I owed it to myself and to my audience to become a better version of myself.”
Made with producers like John Hill (Portugal. The Man, Demi Lovato) and Sammy Witte (Harry Styles, Jessie Ware), Good Things unfolds with a raw vulnerability that comes from processing her breakup in real time. The effervescent single “Pick Me,” for instance, took shape from a particularly illuminating heart-to-heart with co-writer Caroline Ailin (Dua Lipa, Selena Gomez). “There’s a phrase I started saying to myself around the time of the breakup: ‘I would pick me every time,’” Wafia explains. “I was talking to Caroline about how that had become like a mantra to me, and so we decided to turn it into a song.” With its kinetic piano melody and brightly dizzying beats, “Pick Me” ultimately makes for an anthem of self-celebration, every line lit up in Wafia’s airy but potent vocal work. “I love how you hear the title and assume it’s going to be a love song for someone else, but really it’s a song for yourself,” she notes.
Not only a major breakthrough in her emotional growth, Good Things marks a profound evolution in Wafia’s sound, a journey that began with the making of the EP’s shapeshifting lead single “Flowers & Superpowers.” Produced by Rogét Chahayed (Travis Scott, DRAM) and Grammy Award-winner Hit-Boy (Beyoncé, Jay-Z & Kanye West), “Flowers & Superpowers” finds Wafia elegantly merging elements of R&B and alt-pop and even country, dreaming up a gorgeously textured backdrop to her tale of a bad edible trip. “Ever since we wrote that song, I’ve felt like I have a much stronger understanding of the direction I want to go in,” she says. “It’s like a perfect marriage of all my influences and everything I want to bring to my music.”
Along with spotlighting Wafia’s prismatic sensibilities—informed by artists as eclectic as Marvin Gaye and Shania Twain and Arab pop stars like Nancy Ajram—Good Things reveals her gift for inhabiting so many moods within a single song, a factor that makes brilliant use of her stunning vocal range. On “Hurricane,” for instance, Wafia drifts from frustration to longing to self-assured resolve as she muses on the havoc wrought by toxic masculinity. “My ex was a producer and wanted to be in the session the day we wrote ‘Hurricane,’ but I told him there were too many people in the room,” she recalls. “He took that as a personal attack, and told me later that I would’ve written a better song if he’d been there. It made it very clear that he could only love me if there was something in it for him, which was a huge turning point for me.”
Elsewhere on Good Things, Wafia explores everything from the self-doubt that comes with being broke and aimless (on “Butterflies,” a sweetly weary slow-burner) to the irresistible thrill in rising above those who try to keep you down (on the EP’s disco-ready title track). And on “Lose a Friend,” Wafia offers up a beautifully melancholy ballad about the demise of a close friendship. “It’s so strange how there really isn’t a word for a friend breakup, because to me it’s almost more painful than a romantic breakup,” says Wafia. “Out of all these songs that one’s the hardest to talk about, because I’m still trying to figure out what went wrong.”
As Wafia points out, the emotional realism of Good Things traces back to her longtime habit of carefully tracking her moods and mindset. “I have a Notes folder on my phone where I keep a very stream-of-consciousness record of how I’m feeling—so now I’ve got this giant document of every feeling I’ve ever felt for the last five years,” she says. “When I’m going in to write a song, I’ll look through that and try to dissect things a little further, and figure out what the takeaway might be. Reflection is a very big part of my songwriting process.”
Born in the Netherlands, Wafia first began setting her emotional outpouring to melody at age 12. After moving around for most of her childhood—living all over Europe and in New Zealand—her family eventually settled in Australia, where she took up guitar and started booking solo gigs in high school. Although she later studied biomedicine at college, with plans of becoming a doctor, Wafia soon felt an undeniable urge to return to music. “Halfway through my first year I realized, ‘I’ve got to start writing again,’” she says. Mining inspiration from indie-folk acts like Bon Iver, she began playing acoustic sets in local cafés and posting her performances on Tumblr, quickly building a loyal following online. When her 2014 single “Let Me Love You” amassed over five million streams on SoundCloud, Wafia left school and put out a series of independent releases. On the heels of her 2018 EP VIII—a six-song effort featuring her heartrending single “Bodies,” written the day her Syrian family members were denied refugee status for entrance into Australia—Wafia joined forces with Louis the Child for “Better Not” and next teamed up with Wrabel for “I’m Good” (a viral hit that landed at #14 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 of 2018). As she continued collaborating with in-demand producers, Wafia signed to Atlantic Records/Rodeo Records, making her label debut with “Flowers & Superpowers” in fall 2019.
With her first full-length due out soon, Wafia hopes that Good Things might instill her audience with the same sense of strength she found in creating the EP. “Even though these songs are about falling in love with someone who wasn’t good for me, they’re also about the beauty of coming out of that, and learning how to love yourself,” she says. “It would mean so much to me if they could help people to know that they have value, and to feel more comfortable in their skin. I always want my music to leave people feeling better about themselves than they did before.”
Melanie Travis is the Founder and CEO of Andie, the leading digitally native swimwear brand. Melanie established her career at some of New York City’s most successful consumer technology companies: Foursquare, Kickstarter, and most recently Bark & Co. Melanie studied Comparative Literature at Haverford College and film directing at the California Institute of the Arts (MFA).
Janaya Future Khan is a storyteller, activist and futurist. Future has become a leading voice in the global crusade demanding social transformation, justice, and equality and currently serves as the International Ambassador for Black Lives Matter. The co-founder of Black Lives Matter Canada, Future is a writer and lecturer and has been featured in Vogue, The Cut, and CNN.
A formidable talent to be reckoned with, Uzo Aduba is an award-winning actress whose work spans television, film, and theatre. Aduba recently earned her 4th Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Shirley Chisholm in FX on Hulu’s limited series, MRS. AMERICA. Chisholm not only made history as the first African American Congresswoman, but also became the first African American candidate to run for President from a national political party when she launched her unprecedented 1972 campaign. The critically acclaimed and award nominated series tells the story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and the unexpected backlash led by a conservative woman named Phyllis Schlafly, played by Cate Blanchett. Next, Aduba will begin pre-production on AMERICANAH staring opposite Lupita Nyong’o on HBO Max. This 10-episode limited series is based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel of the same name. It tells a story of Ifemelu, played by Nyong’o, who lives in Nigeria and heads to America, where she finds academic success, but is forced to grapple for the first time with what it means to be black. Aduba will play Aunty Uju, Ifemelu’s young aunt who is a highly intelligent doctor and left Nigeria under tumultuous circumstances to resettle in America to build a better life for herself and her son Dike. Last year, Aduba finished her celebrated run as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren in the critically acclaimed Netflix Original Series ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. Her performance garnered a sweep of awards including the 2016 and 2015 SAG Award for “Best Actress in Comedy,” the 2017 SAG Award nomination for “Best Actress in a Comedy,” the 2015 Emmy Award for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series” and the 2014 Emmy Award for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy.” In addition, Aduba was honored as part of the show’s win in the category of “Best Ensemble in a Comedy” at the 2017, 2016 and 2015 SAG Awards. For her Emmy wins, Aduba joined Ed Asner to become only the second actor ever to win Emmys for the same role in the comedy and drama categories. Furthermore, with her SAG and Emmy honors, she became the first African American actress to win the award in each category. She was also nominated for the 2015 and 2016 Golden Globe Award for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series, or TV Movie.” The show’s seventh and final season launched on Netflix in Summer 2019. In film, Aduba was last seen in the independent drama MISS VIRGINA, inspired by a true story. Her other film credits include BEATS (Netflix), CANDY JAR (Netflix), MY LITTLE PONY (Lionsgate and Hasbro), AMERICAN PASTORAL (Lionsgate) opposite Ewan McGregor, Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning, and Sian Heder’s TALLULAH (Netflix). On television, Aduba appeared in NBC’s 2015 musical production of THE WIZ LIVE! as Glinda the Good Witch. Directed by Kenny Leon and produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, the production also starred Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Ne-Yo, Amber Riley, and David Alan Grier. Aduba made her television debut in 2012 on the hit CBS show BLUE BLOODS. On stage, Aduba made her Broadway debut in CORAM BOY in 2007 followed by the hit musical revival of GODSPELL in 2011. She discovered her talent for singing at a very early age and became a classical music major at the Boston University School of Fine Arts. Work in theatre quickly followed with critically acclaimed performances at both The Huntington Theatre in Boston and A.R.T. where, under the direction of Dianne Paulus, she won the prestigious Elliot Norton Award for Best Actress in a Play. She made her West End Theatre debut in The Jamie Lloyd Company’s contemporary adaptation of Jean Genet’s THE MAIDS. Directed by Lloyd, the playalso starred Laura Carmichael and Zawe Ashton. Aduba was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Play for her work in the Kennedy Center/Olney Theater production of TRANSLATIONS OF XHOSA. Other theater credits include DESSA ROSE at the New Repertory Theatre, TURNADO: RUMBLE FOR THE RING at the Bay Street Theater and ABYSSINIA at the Goodspeed Theatre. She currently resides in New York City.
Aliza Abusch-Magder will be a first year student at Columbia University this fall. She plans to study Women & Gender Studies, and is excited to share some concepts, as an “ametur sex educator” with everyone tuning into Femme Z. Aliza is also an artist, writer, and weightlifter. She’s a TED-talk addict, with an expansive sticker collection and a love of people watching.
Kellyn LaCour-Conant is a restoration ecologist based in Iti Humma (Baton Rouge) with over 13 years of experience in habitat conservation and community organization under their belt. As a two-spirit member of the Cane River Creole community, Kellyn is guided by the hands of their ancestors to continue a family tradition of healing, stewardship, and liberation. When they’re not busy advancing environmental justice, Kellyn can often be found gardening, crafting, or playing beach volleyball.
From modeling to starring on the reality tv show Survivor, Dr. J’Tia Hart knows how to land a cool gig. Her best job ever? Her current role as a nuclear engineer working in national security. J’Tia works for the Department of Energy analyzing science and technology to understand how they may be used to help or hurt. Her job allows her to use her technical talents to make our nation and the world a safer place while serving as an example of #blackgirlmagic and #STEM excellence. She is passionate about getting women to join her in STEM careers, especially black, Latinx, and Native American women! J’Tia lives by the saying, “If we exist in her eyes, then she can excel in this world.
Chanté Summers is a research scientist at Pfizer Inc where she supports the development of mid- to late-stage drug conjugates. Falling in love with her first chemistry high school class led her to complete a Master’s of Science in Chemistry from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where she worked on synthesizing a library of small molecules for potentially biologically active compounds.
Kelly Knight is an associate professor of forensic science at George Mason University and a STEM Accelerator. At Mason, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in forensic science, runs their on-campus forensic DNA laboratory, and guides and mentors students. Professor Knight is also a strong advocate for women in STEM and is the co-founder and director of the Females of Color students. Professor Knight is also a strong advocate for women in STEM and is the co-founder and director of the Females of Color and those Underrepresented in STEM programs for girls in grades 6-12.
Jasmine LeFlore is a senior aerospace project engineer, dual degree graduate student, and the co-founder of Greater Than Tech – a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching girls of color the intersectionality of engineering and business to create technology business leaders of the future. In her daily life, Jasmine works on business transformation initiatives, engineering synergies, and various special assignments. As a self-proclaimed change agent, Jasmine is motivated to inspire and uplift others into engineering and business by her unflinching ability to move things forward.
Stephanie Murphy has proudly represented Florida’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2017. She is a former educator, businesswoman, and national security specialist who is focused on jobs, security, and opportunity for every American. By always putting people over politics, Congresswoman Murphy has been consistently named one of the most effective and most independent Members of Congress. She is the first Vietnamese-American woman to serve in Congress and the first woman to ever represent Florida’s Seventh Congressional District.