Rocki Simoes is Assistant Director for Community-Based Programs at Avenues for Homeless Youth.
Geetanjali Misra is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of CREA. Geetanjali has worked at the activist, grant-making, and policy levels on issues of sexuality, reproductive health, gender, human rights, and violence against women. She has taught as an adjunct professor on the intersection of LGBT issues, sexual rights and public health at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Before joining CREA, she was Program Officer, Sexuality and Reproductive Health for the Ford Foundation in New Delhi and supported non-governmental organizations in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka working on sexual and reproductive health and rights. She also co-founded SAKHI for South Asian Women in 1989, a non-profit organization in New York, committed to ending violence against women of South Asian origin. Formerly, she was Chair of the Boards of Reproductive Health Matters (UK), a global peer reviewed journal on sexual and reproductive health and rights and Mama Cash (the Netherlands). She was a Board Member of FHI 360 (USA) and also served as President of the Board of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) where she led a strategic planning and organizational development process leading to changes in leadership roles and structure. In the past, she held several key advisory roles such as being a Member of Cordaid’s Expert Advisory Group (the Netherlands), served as a core member of the Action Plus Coalition for Rights, Education and Care in HIV/AIDS (India), was regional and Global Advisor for Global Fund for Women (USA) among others. She writes on issues of sexuality, gender, and rights, and has co-edited ‘Sexuality, Gender, and Rights: Exploring Theory and Practice in South and Southeast Asia’ from SAGE. She is also author of ‘The Power of Movements’ published by AWID. She holds Master’s degrees in International Affairs from Columbia University, US, and in Economics from Syracuse University, US.
Darla Kashian is Senior Vice-President, Financial Advisor with RBC Wealth Management in Minneapolis, MN, where she advises net worth families, foundations and non-profit organizations. Darla’s career has been enriched by board service, and currently includes serving on the board of GiveMN and Rimon: the Minnesota Jewish Arts Council. Darla, her partner Sam and their two children live in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Iimay Ho is the Executive Director of Resource Generation, where she organizes young people with wealth for the equitable distribution of wealth, land, and power. Prior to Resource Generation, she spent 3 years as the Director of Operations and Finance at The Management Center where she helped move the organization to the next level of performance. Born and raised in North Carolina, Iimay was politicized through interning with Southerners on New Ground (SONG), which builds, sustains, and connects a Southern regional base of LGBTQ people in order to transform the region. She moved to the Washington, DC area in 2008 to work for OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates where she led programming for student leadership development. Iimay is an active member of the DC queer Asian American community, and helped organize the Rainbow Dragon Fund, the region’s first grassroots queer Asian American giving circle. In her free time, Iimay enjoys attending silent meditation retreats, rock climbing, karaoke, and watching movies with her partner Megan.
Bookda moved to the U.S. from Iran in 1980. She has been living in Seattle for 27 years. A Social Worker by personal direction and formal training, Bookda is most passionate about social change and organizing communities around the root causes of social and economic inequities. She is the executive director of the Mona Foundation, which supports grassroots educational initiatives around the world which emphasize service to the community and increased opportunity for women and girls.
Eugénie FitzGerald has worked in the nexus of social change and business in a variety of dynamic leadership roles designing and implementing new strategic initiatives. Ranging from designing a city-wide implementation plan to shift to a paperless payday, to leading the first initiative that designs and implements solutions to LGBT poverty, to becoming the President of the for-profit side of an innovative leadership enterprise – her leadership roles have had the common thread of being entrepreneurial and generative. Currently she is pursing a hypothesis on how to leverage the tech sector for social change, by first building skill and experience running a tech business. She is the General Manager of BorrowLenses.com, a midsized online camera and video rental company with a mission to advance the photographic and cinematic dreams of their customers by delivering superior, cutting-edge gear and providing exceptional customer service. She also sits on the Board of Advisors for two sister organizations, the Center on Business and Poverty, and Progress Through Business. She has an amazing and charismatic baby, a rockin wife and a mélange of animals at home in San Francisco. In her free time, she enjoys photography, crafting and traveling.
William Cordery currently works at the Surdna Foundation. Prior to that, he served as the program officer for the South at Marguerite Casey Foundation. Before joining the foundation, William served as the senior development officer for the Southern region of Amnesty International USA. As senior development officer, he managed the organization’s relationships with its major donors across 11 Southern states; stewarding individual relationships to our human rights work and cultivating their long-term giving to Amnesty. William began fundraising in 2003 as the development director for Project South, where he designed and launched the organization’s first national major donor program; and was at the helm of national foundation fundraising and marketing for the organization. As a key member of the national Resource Mobilization Working Group for the first US Social Forum, William designed and helped institute multiple fundraising strategies that raised nearly $1 Million for the historic 2007 grassroots convening. William has served on the national steering committee for LGBT rights at Amnesty International USA, consulted with Queers for Economic Justice (QEJ) and is a founding member of Sweet Tea: A Southern Queer Men’s Collective.
Jennifer Brier is Director of the Program in Gender and Women’s Studies and Associate Professor in GWS and History Departments at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She specializes in the history of sexuality and gender. She is the author of Infectious Ideas: U.S. Political Response to the AIDS Crisis, published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2009. Brier has curated several historical exhibitions, including Out in Chicago, the Chicago History Museum’s prize winning exhibition on LGBT history in Chicago, and Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture, a traveling exhibition produced by the National Library of Medicine. She is currently at work on a major public history project called History Moves, a community-curated mobile gallery that will provide a space for Chicago-based community organizers and activists to share their histories with a wide audience.
Urooj Arshad is the Associate director of International Youth Health and Rights at Advocates for Youth. She manages a project of the International Division that builds the capacity of youth-driven organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean to empower young people as strong advocates within their own countries and at international forums on reproductive and sexual health and rights of youth, especially young women and LGBTQ youth. She has also designed a project that seeks to address the reproductive and sexual health needs of Muslim-identified youth.
Previously, Urooj provided capacity-building services to community-based organizations working with youth of color around reproductive and sexual health. Urooj has presented about her work at several domestic and international conferences, including the International HIV/AIDS Conference 2010 in Vienna, Austria; the Youth Pre-conference to the International HIV/AIDS Conference 2012 in Washington, DC; the European Science Foundation’s conference on Religion, Gender and Human Rights 2011 in Linkoping, Sweden; the LGBT Pride and Heritage Event hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; the State Department; the National Press Club; Georgetown University and Princeton. Urooj was also the keynote speaker at the LGBTQ Symposium 2013 at American University.
Urooj has had sixteen years of experience organizing within LGBTQ communities of color, especially addressing issues of Islamophobia, violence, sexism, transphobia, and ageism. She is a steering committee member of the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity (MASGD) which seeks to address the intersectional impact of Islamophobia, homophobia, and transphobia. Urooj has been a member of the Center for American Progress’ Women’s Health Leadership Network and its Faith and Reproductive Justice Institute. Urooj has been a fellow with the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute and a current member of the Kalamazoo College Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership Global Advisory Board.
Urooj is the recipient of several awards including the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance’s 2012 NQAPIA Community Catalyst Award and the Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition’s We Speak award.
Urooj was selected to serve on the U.S delegation to the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.