Tannia Esparza (she, her, ella | they, them, elle) is a Queer Xicanx Indigenx grateful to have found home in the high desert mountains in Tewa People’s Land in New Mexico and proud to come from a migrant family of brave, persistent matriarchs.
Tannia is a storyteller, facilitator, doula, healing centered coach and founder of GiraSol Descendants, a beloved community making project, offering storytelling as a practice for building the world we need and deeply desire. Tannia has been growing alongside social justice movements for over 18 years working at the intersections of reproductive, gender and racial justice, and Queer liberation.
Tannia loves to run by the river, in the red earth of deep canyons, and among the mountains whenever they can. She continues to do her best to move courageously toward her sacred purpose.
Darcelle is a Queer Caribbean Activist from Trinidad & Tobago. They have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is currently completing a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology, where they’re researching obstetric violence in Trinidad and the impacts of this form of systemic gender-based violence on the mental health of birthing people. Darcelle is a Senior Communities & Culture Officer for Holistic Security & Community Convenings at FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund, using their background in mental health to support organizational care and wellness strategies, plan radical gatherings and holistic security practices. They’re a dreamer– spending much of their time getting folks together to imagine alternative ways of navigating our world.
Paul has been out and active in the LGTBQIA community for over 3 decades. He has organized and produced community centered grass root events, been a peer counselor, peer group moderator and facilitator for close to 2 decades. He believes in ethics, values, action, equity and justice based community service and mutual aid. He has been working in finance and accounting for over a decade and has an MBA in Accounting and Finance from Pepperdine University. He has served on the board of The Pacific Center for Human Growth in Berkeley, CA, Folsom Street Events as Board Treasurer, Trans Lifeline as Board Treasurer, and a member of the finance committee for Transgender Law Center.
Naa Hammond is a Black, African, immigrant, queer femme, and a Senior Program Officer with Groundswell Fund, a public foundation that strengthens U.S. movements for reproductive and social justice. Prior to joining Groundswell, Naa worked in research and communications for Funders for LGBTQ Issues, an organization that works side-by-side with funders and movement organizations to mobilize philanthropic resources that enhance the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities. Naa currently serves on the boards of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and Funders for Reproductive Equity. Over the last decade, Naa has worked in development and grassroots fundraising with several U.S. organizations committed to gender, racial and economic justice, including FIERCE, Third Wave Fund, Queers for Economic Justice, and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. Naa holds two B.As in ‘Social and Cultural Analysis’ and ‘Urban Design and Architecture Studies’ from New York University. She manifests her passion for community healing through her work as an herbalist and a doula-in-training. Naa was born and raised in Zimbabwe, as the child of proud Ghanaian immigrants. She now lives in New York City with her partner.
Alison is a veteran creative director specializing in creative leadership. She has over twenty years experience building and leading large, diverse teams and providing creative strategy, relevant storytelling, and integrated advertising for global businesses, including Barneys New York, Gap, Sony Music, and Crate&Barrel. She has served as representative, business manager, and executive producer for musician and songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello since 2006, realizing 250% growth over ten years. Alison is also the founder and creative director of Set Editions, a small design studio that produces a line of text based goods that have garnered a devoted following among celebrities, friends, and politicians, and have been carried in over 300 museums and design shops. She currently consults with artists and brands on defining their mission, strategic development, and creative expression. She works most tirelessly to ensure the creative integrity and equitable representation of independent creative clients. Originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts, Alison moved to New York to attend Barnard College in 1992 and seems unable to pull herself away.
Ilana is a deeply committed human rights advocate. After practicing labour and human rights law in Canada, she spent eight years at the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) on human rights and as the CEDAW Advisor at HQ. During this time she travelled extensively, working with grassroots women’s groups working on a wide range of women’s rights, human rights, and sexuality-related rights issues and movement building. Ilana was the co-founder and first President of UNGLOBE, a group advocating for the rights of LGBTQ U.N. employees. In 2003, at the height of the AIDS pandemic in Africa, Ilana co-founded and served for 17 years (2003-2020) as the Executive Director of The Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) – an organization established to support community-based organizations that were – and continue to be – at the heart of the response to the AIDS pandemic. Ilana and Stephen created the SLF with the firm conviction that community-based organizations are the experts on what is needed in their communities, that funders should respect the agendas of their partners, and work to amplify their voices and perspectives, and be accountable for the power imbalances in the funding relationship that can disrupt powerful and effective programmatic and advocacy work at the grassroots and national levels. In 2016 Ilana launched the SLF’s African LGBTQ Initiative, supporting LGBTQ CBOs in eight countries with programmatic and operational support. The SLF has disbursed over 130 million to 1800 initiatives led by over 300 CBOs in the 15 sub-Saharan African countries hardest hit by HIV and AIDS. Ilana is the founder and host of the podcast Grandmothers on the Move, and lectures and writes frequently on human rights issues, LGBTIQ rights, and the responsibilities of intersectional philanthropy. Ilana was the recipient of the Canadian YWCA Women of Distinction award for International Development, and was named one of the Top 25 Women of Influence in Canada. She has served as an advisor to the InterPride Global Solidarity Fund, a member of the LGBTQ Dignity Network, is a Board Member of Gender at Work, and still serves as a Senior Advisor to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Susana is a Senior Advisor, Global Programs for CREA and a Fellow at the Global Health Justice Partnership (Yale University). Her work focuses on building cross-movement strategies and advocacy to challenge criminalization of sexual and reproductive rights, sexuality, HIV, sex work, sexual orientation, gender identity and drug use. From 2008-2014, she was the senior gender, HIV and health advisor at UNDP. Susana has worked in a senior capacity with a wide range of women’s rights, human rights, sexuality-related rights and SRHR organizations, including Open Societies Foundation, ICASO, the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Amnesty International, the OUTRIGHT Action International (formerly the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission), the International Women’s Health Coalition, Harvard School of Public Health, WHO, and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, among others. She has spoken and written widely on topics related to gender-based violence, sexuality, health and rights. She is currently a Board member of the Positive Action for Girls and Women Fund and the Athena Network and sits on the Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program.
Raquel (Rocki) Simões is a white Brazilian dyke who came to the United States in the late 80s, fell in love with women and rice krispies treats (not necessarily in that order) and decided to stay. Most of her community organizing work has focused on queer/trans youth, homelessness, and social justice. Most of her personal work has focused on being a loving friend, partner, ex-partner, anti-racist community member, and parent. On a good day she does some of these things well. Rocki was at Avenues for Youth for 14 years and has a long history with its GLBT Host Home Program (now ConneQT), which she helped start in 1997. She was honored for her work with a True Leadership Award by the True Colors Fund in September 2015.
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.
Eboné is the Founder and CEO of Evolv, an advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations reach their strategic objectives and strengthen their organizational culture by designing and implementing customized approaches rooted in values of diversity, inclusion and equity to confront the complex challenges of an ever-changing workforce and marketplace. Prior to this work, Eboné was a corporate transactions attorney and lived and worked in Asia, specializing in mergers and acquisitions and market entry risk mitigation.She is a Senior Fellow and Member of the American Planning Board of Humanity in Action and serves on the Board of Directors of Astraea Foundation and the Junior Board of The Osborne Association. Eboné is a proud east-coaster: born in Miami, raised in the D.C. metro area, schooled in New England and currently residing in Brooklyn.