Cecilia Aldarondo (she/her) is a documentary director-producer from the Puerto Rican diaspora who works at the intersection of poetics and politics. Her feature documentaries MEMORIES OF A PENITENT HEART (2016) and LANDFALL (2020) premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and were co-produced by the award-winning PBS series POV. LANDFALL's many awards include the 2020 DOC NYC Film Festival Viewfinders Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary, as well as Cinema Eye and Film Independent Spirit Award nominations. Among Aldarondo's fellowships and honors are the Guggenheim, a two-time MacDowell Colony Fellowship, the 2021 New America Fellowship, and Women at Sundance 2017. In 2019 she was named to DOC NYC's 40 Under 40 list and is one of 2015's 25 New Faces of Independent Film. She teaches at Williams College.
Sam Hyun is the Chairperson of the Massachusetts Asian-American Commission. Currently, Sam is pursuing his MPP/MBA'22 at Brandies University and is dedicated to advocating and amplifying the voices of Asian Americans. The hate towards the Asian community, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, encouraged Sam to become a host on the podcast #HateisaVirus.
Hannah and Charlie Lucas
Siblings Hannah and Charlie Lucas created the app, @notokapp, dedicated to helping users with mental health. Lucas and Hannah made the app when Hannah's POTS illness caused her to experience depression and anxiety. With Hannah knowing what it's like to live with mental illness and Lucas trying to find ways to help his sister, the two created @notokapp.
Julio Galvez is the founder of Room Service International, a philanthropic organization that serves underserved communities globally. Julio is a DJ, as well as the CEO of Room Service International. In addition, he is the Label Manager of Paradis Worldwide, a music distribution/tech/label service.
Joshua Lang is a creative director and resident DJ for Room Service International, a philanthropic organization that serves underserved communities globally. Joshua is an artist with a background in design and music. He is the founder of BWC Garments, which launched in 2015. He most notably expresses his personal experiences through DJ sets, apparel designs, and imagery.
Amanda Scott is an owner, producer and editor on The Grapevine, and is the founder of Colorspective. The Grapevine centers around the topics of today and are discussed by the innovators of today; young game changers, artists, and cultural innovators take apart the topics piece by piece to discuss the impact on the people of today. Colorspective is a production company focusing on the experiences, businesses, and narrative of Black people.
Ashley Akunna is a filmmaker, and also a host and creator of The Grapevine, a fresh and innovative twist on panel style discussion. The Grapevine centers around the topics of today and are discussed by the innovators of today; young game changers, artists, and cultural innovators take apart the topics piece by piece to discuss the impact on the people of today.
Niha is a sustainability advocate. She uses her Instagram as a platform to advocate for sustainability in fashion, food, and social issues.
Lev Alexander is a London based creative director and the founder of Unicorn Magazine, a digital publication exploring LGBTQ+ culture and that represents many sexualities and identities fitting between gay and straight.
Claire is the founder of SALTY, a platform for women, trans and non-binary people to discuss everything from modern dating, sex and relationships.
Riana is the Founder and CEO of Boss Women Collective, a community aiming to empower womxn with professional development and personal growth.
Reonna Johnson is the VP and Director of Growth Strategy for an LA-based advertising agency. She has extensive work experience at multiple advertising agencies and is also a co-founder of 'Three's a Crowd'. Three's a Crowd is a community of black professionals based in LA with a common goal: to build space, influence, and tangible power within the creative industries.
Justin Polk is a director and producer of TV and digital content. He is a co-founder of Invisible Collective and a co-founder of 'Three's a Crowd'. Three's a Crowd is a community of black professionals based in LA with a common goal: to build space, influence, and tangible power within the creative industries.
Phil Kaye is the co-founder of ProjectVOICE, a group that aims to use poetry as an instrument to educate and entertain. ProjectVOICE brings poetry to the classroom by hosting workshops and events with award-winning performances. They equip students and professionals with the tools to better understand the world around them and themselves. Phil Kaye is an artist whose work has been featured in settings including The New Yorker and the Museum of Modern Art. He is also a National Poetry Slam finalist and the author of “Date & Time.”
Sarah Kay is the co-founder of ProjectVOICE, a group that aims to use poetry as an instrument to educate and entertain. ProjectVOICE brings poetry to the classroom by hosting workshops and events with award-winning performances. They equip students and professionals with the tools to better understand the world around them and themselves. Sarah Kay has performed spoken poetry in over 25 countries and is the author of four best-selling poetry books, “B,” “No Matter the Wreckage,” “The Type,” and “All Our Wild Wonder.”
Jamila is the owner of the Tech Unicorn, an organization addressing the lack of diversity and representation in the technology industry, and an advocate for women in the tech industry. She currently works at Microsoft and affiliate of Girls Who Code.
Jason is the founder and creative director for The Lives of Men, a social impact and diversity organization, helping redefine modern masculinity and advocating for racial, gender, economic and social equity. He is also the Chief Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Officer at BBDO Worldwide.
Jasmine is the founder of Healin' Myself online intensive, helping women crush their imposter syndrome, find inner confidence and live their best lives. She is a coach, event producer, and musical artist currently working in marketing for BlackJoyParade.http://www.jasminefuego.com/
Jason Campbell is an art curator and podcast host with a strong history in the fashion industry. Campbell's art and podcast focus on diversity and inclusion. He curates @diaspora.art.
Zulaikha Patel is a South African Anti-Racism Activist, Black Radical Feminist, TEDx Speaker, and Writer. At the age of just 13, she became the symbol of the fight against Pretoria Girls' High School's policy regarding Black girl's hair in 2016.
Juba is a DJ radio host. In 2019, she was a part of the Fuchsbau Festival. Recently, she has also launched a new podcast titled Assurance, which celebrates women DJs in the global south.
Sara Sadok is an 18-year-old from the Chicago area who gained mass popularity on TikTok through her content regarding eating disorders. She gained the courage to do so after seeing a friend struggle with the issue and decided to silently post content that could help her. Sadok's content has spread to help many people who she encourages to lean on her if they need support. She offers her followers encouraging words and even offers to "eat with them" if they have a hard time doing so. Ultimately, she continues to be a light and voice for those in need through her videos.
Jess, known as @soyouwanttotalkabout on Instagram, runs a social justice account that uses infographics to bring awareness and understanding to political issues. Her infographics range from topics such as gun violence in America, truths about womanhood, and the Equality Act. While Jess uses her platform to speak and educate on these issues, she chooses to have her identity protected therefore her last name is anonymous. On her social media, she also has various opportunities for different individuals or organizations to collaborate with her as well.
Avery Francis is the proud founder of builditwithbloom.com which is a website that specializes in full-service workplace design consultancy. Her social media page went viral when she posted the social justice infographic “Things not to say to a Black woman." Though this was unexpected, she continues to use her platform to discuss important social issues and to connect with audiences all over. Avery's life work has thus far been dedicated to diversity and inclusion. She is also a founder of the Bridge Program, which is a free code school for women-identified and non-binary people in tech.
Lexis-Olivier Ray is a multimedia journalist, filmmaker and artist. He is currrenly based in Los Angeles and focuses on housing, justice, cannabis, ghost towns, and California culture. Some places that he has recently done work for is L.A. Taco, LAist, The LAnd Magazine, Curbed LA, KCET, Road Trippers Magazine, Invisible People and Hyperallergic. In 2020, Ray was a finalist for the Ruben Salazer Award and a 2020 CenterForHealth Fellow. He also has independently covered stories on COVID-19.
Daouda Leonard is the creator of CreateOS app. This app provides an operating system for the music industry and provides industry specific tools such as booking a studio session and pay out collaborators.The purpose of the app is to empower artist and bring transparency to the music industry. Along with being the app's creator, Leonard is an artist manager. Overall, Daouda intends to change the face of the music industry as well as the artist experience with his work.
Richie Reseda formerly spent time behind bars before being released in 2018. Since his release, Richie has been a producer an abolitionist-feminist organizer, advocating for prison reform and women's rights with his company, Question Culture.
Sydni Chustz is the founder of Bid Black, an online platform and database dedicated to showcasing the work of Black identifying filmmakers in advertising and beyond.
Keith Cartwright is the founder of both Cartwright Agency and Saturday Morning. While Cartwright Agency is a more traditional agency with "creative audacity", Saturday Morning is a civic and social organization that aims to promote peace and raise awareness for racial justice.
Founder of 2PM, Web Smith writes and oversees the release of weekly newsletters centering around the relationship between media and commerce. He hopes that his work continues to impact others but more importantly, he hopes that he can continue to use the profits and connections built through 2PM to provide a platform of opportunity for those who are often overlooked for those chances.
Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson
Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson, based in Brooklyn, NY, is the co-founder of Discwomen, an NY-based platform, collective and talent agency that showcases and represents talents in electronic music. Founded in 2014, Discwomen has since produced and curated events in over 20 cities and working with over 300 DJs and producers globally. The agency works to promote women and nonbinary artists to help them rise to success.
Devin Williams was born and raised in Gardena, California and is now a content creator and producer for "In the Lab." He made it onto the basketball scene when one of his training videos for a school project accidentally went viral. That video inspired his entire Ten000hours series. Now, he is a highly renowned basketball trainer and uses his skills in the sport and filmmaking to inspire others to put in the 10,000 hours of practice to achieve success, as said by Malcom Gladwell. Today, Williams travels the world training and engaging with athletes with his ideology and use of media to create a new, inspirational view on training to reach success.
Cami Tėllez is the co-founder and CEO of Parade, an underwear company that creates sustainable and inclusive products so anyone can feel great in their bodies. The company notably donates 1% of its revenue to Planned Parenthoods across the country to promote access to sexual education, reproductive rights, gender affirming therapy, and more. She is currently residing in New York where she is shifting the representation in media and rewriting the underwear landscape to be full-spectrum.
Justin Barnette is the producer and manager of the ADcademics Podcast, an advertising podcast that is designed to help current and future advertisers to better understand the industry. He is currently based in Los Angeles, California where he also works at a Strategist for TBWA\Chiat\Day. Before getting where he is now, he previously worked in many positions in the advertising industry.
Lindsey Day, or Lindsey Farrar, is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of CRWNMAG. The print magazine embraces the natural hair of Black women and the way they wear it. Through the publication, she celebrates diversity and empowers others to "tell [their] hairstory."
Michelle Schenadoah is the founder of Rematriation Magazine, a publication dedicated to empowering Indigenous women. Michelle is a traditional member of the Onʌyota’:aka (Oneida) Nation Wolf Clan of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.
Aurélia Durand is a French illustrator and visual artist whose work highlights and represents people of color. Aurélia's work is achieving much success and has been featured in various publications. Additionally, Aurélia is the illustrator of the New York Times bestseller "This book is Anti-racist."
Deja Foxx is a 20-year old utilizing her platform to educate Generation Z on specific social issues. She founded the organization GenZ Girl Gang, and she is currently a student and Columbia University and a signed Ford Model. Deja also worked as the Influencer and Surrogate Strategist for Kamala Harris on her presidential campaign.
Demian is a Native American artist and activist. Advocacy for the indigenous and LGBTQ+ communities is the primary focus of their work. Demian also pioneered the organization R.I.S.E.: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment, an organization dedicated to amplifying indigenous art and culture.
Renata Cherlise is the founder of Black Archives, a multimedia platform that visually explores and spotlights the Black experience in the past, present, and future. Her mission in using Black Archives is to visually storytell with historical references and striking imagery to present new perspectives.
Alexis Williams is a creative and engineering student at New York University who created a resource website, PB Resources, as an educational tool regarding Black Lives Matter. She utilizes her Instagram and TikTok pages as a way to spotlight her voice and share information about topics ranging from BLM to pursuing STEM. She’s a graduate of Kode with Klossy, a nonprofit founded by Karlie Kloss to teach girls how to code, and has worked with Kloss in different campaigns. She’s also spoken about her experience in STEM at TEDx conference in Colorado Springs Salon.
Ziwe Fumudoh is a Brooklyn-based comedian and writer for Desus and Mero. She also hosts a show on YouTube call Baited With Ziwe. Across her work, she uses satire, sarcastic commentary to discuss serious topics like politics and race and has found a way to bring attention to these topics in a witty and engaging manner. Her early career started as an intern for Comedy Central and followed as a writer for The Onion and The Rundown with Robin Thede.
Scottie Beam, or Deanii Scott, is a native of the Bronx, NY, and the daughter of Shaila Scott, an R&B DJ who has been popular in New York for decades. From a young age Scottie felt the impact of Black music, believing the genre to be "honest and soul-bearing" and was particularly inspired by Kanye West's "College Dropout". She worked as a digital producer for Columbia Records, and a producer for Hot 97. She formerly co-hosted the "State of the Culture" podcast. Scottie is now the co-host of "Black Girl Podcast", focusing on sisterhood and experiences as a young black artist, and "Okay, Now Listen", a podcast that is part of Netflix's Strong Black Lead initiative.
Cherie Hu is the founder and publisher of Water & Music, a newsletter and paid membership community tracking music and tech trends. She has also written hundreds of articles on music, tech and finance for the likes of Billboard, Forbes, NPR Music, Music Business Worldwide, Pitchfork and Rolling Stone. She has spoken as an expert commentator on CNBC, CGTN America and SiriusXM, and currently teaches a course on music and gaming as an adjunct professor at NYU's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.
Julia Feldman, creator of @GivingTheTalk, has been working with youth and adults for the past 15+ years as a teacher, administrator, content specialist, writer, and all-around sexuality expert. She believes that sexuality is an important and dramatically misunderstood aspect of our complex identities and that most people have received flawed messages about their bodies, intimacy, sexuality, pleasure, and risk that leave them dissatisfied and ill-informed. Her goal is to present a new narrative in which sexuality is normal and healthy, where pleasure is central and prioritized, where consent and communication are expected and modeled, where access to information guides healthy decision-making, where curiosity and learning are continuous, and where stigma and shame are absent. When she's not working, she enjoys shopping for produce at her local farmer's market, baking bread, and learning to Samba.
Amanda de Cadenet
Amanda de Cadenet is the founder and CEO of Girlgaze, a digital platform with the mission to lift the achievements of female and non-binary Gen Z creatives. She is also the creator and host of “The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet,” a podcast featuring different guests and topics including gender roles, politics and mental health. Before founding Girlgaze, she began her career as the host of a UK television show and was a photographer for 15 years. Amanda was recognized as the youngest woman to shoot a Vogue magazine cover. In 2010, she published her first photography book, “Rare Birds,” and continues to champion diversity and representation through “The Conversation” and Girlgaze.
Megan Febuary is the founder of “For Women Who Roar,” a media platform dedicated to elevating women’s voices. She was inspired to create FWWR after writing a poem about her experience feeling silenced and strives to use written storytelling as a vehicle to empower other women to speak their truth. In addition to writing and poetry, FWWR ranges in its use of mediums, including podcasts and coaching. Megan created Book Year, a one-on-one writing program, in order to personalize participants’ writing goals and help women find their voice.
Eva Sweeney is a non-verbal queer woman who explores the intersection between sex and disability using her Instagram page, Cripping Up Sex with Eva, and through her book “Queers on Wheels.” Her time at Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences taking a gender studies course prompted her to pursue a BA in gender studies at Occidental College. Though Eva’s parents helped her navigate her identity as a child, she had to create a space for herself as someone who also identifies as queer. The lack of information on sex, disability and queerness drove her to conduct her own research and dedicate her career to educating others as well.
At the young age of 14, Croff decided to take his passions and transform them into pursuits. Since then, he has become an accomplished musician, lyricist, producer, writer, and public intellectual. Now, with a total view count of more than 150 million on educational videos alone, his overall desire is to hold the inevitable position that Tupac Shakur’s untimely death didn’t allow him to reach. That is, Croff hopes to completely blur the line between rapper and academic. In our current paradigm we’ve been socialized to believe that the title “rapper” is indicative of low intelligence and synonymous with cultural downfall. Croff, however, intends to follow the formula as calculated by Shakur and use his influence to lift the collective consciousness of humanity while guiding our society down the road to knowledge.
Imani is a writer, educator and organiser. He is also a co-founder of the Black Liberation Collective, a Black youth collective dedicated to transforming higher education through unity, coalition building, direct action and political education.
BreeAnne is a youth advocate, organizer, and student from California. She is a recent graduate of ENCORE High School for Performing Arts, was a National Student Leader for Women’s March Youth Empower (WMYE), and founded Black Is Lit, an organization devoted to creating space for marginalized youth. BreeAnne more recently started a program, Power of Future Voters, aimed to inspire elementary students about civic engagement. BreeAnne sees herself as a connector. She is committed to working with people, organizations and communities to ensure that people are taking charge of their immediate agency to create change.
Part author - Illustrator - filmmaker Harrison is an artist originally from Onley, Virginia. She has a background in cinematography and screenwriting and a love for storytelling. She earned her BA from the University of Virginia with a double major in Media Studies and Studio Art with concentrations in Film and Cinematography. She received her MFA in Film and Video from CalArts where she snuck into the Animation Department to learn from Disney and Dreamworks legends. There she rekindled a love for drawing and painting. Now, utilizing both skill sets, she is passionate about crafting beautiful stories in both the film and kidlit worlds. Her experimental films and videos focus on her caribbean heritage and folklore. They have shown around the world at film festivals and venues including the New York Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival and Edinburgh International Film Festival.
CEO/Founder of TIME'S UP Now
Tchen serves as president and CEO of TIME’S UP Now and the TIME’S UP Foundation, overseeing the organizations’ strategic plans to change culture, companies, and laws in order to make work safe, fair, and dignified for women of all kinds. In 2017, Tchen co-founded the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund with Robbie Kaplan, Fatima Goss Graves, and Hilary Rosen; since then, the Fund has connected thousands of people to legal or PR support for sexual harassment across dozens of different industries. A former assistant to President Barack Obama, executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, and chief of staff to First Lady Michelle Obama, Tchen has worked for decades to advance gender equality, particularly for working women. At the White House, Tchen spearheaded the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families and helped form the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. Prior to taking the helm at TIME’S UP, Tchen was a lawyer specializing in workplace culture, advising companies on gender inequity, sexual harassment, and diversity. She has served on numerous strategic advisory boards for organizations, businesses, and nonprofits, including the United State of Women, which she continues to co-chair.
Black is an entrepreneur, author, activist, host, comic, public Speaker, and founder of TTL Media, which produces the daily ‘Coffee with Tim Black’™, and the nightly, ‘Tim Black at Night’™ shows. Both shows cover the day’s trending topics built on a foundation of trusted journalism with a dash of comedic entertainment since 2013. Black is also an experienced, charismatic interviewer who exudes a commanding, yet endearing presence audiences from across the world tune into daily.
"The Read" Podcast
The Read is a weekly pop culture podcast based in New York City. He and she have several podcasts affiliated with the Loud Speakers Network headlined by The Combat Jack Show, The Read is hosted by vlogger Kid Fury and internet personality Crissle West.
Novelist Rao is a former television news producer and journalist who worked at stations in the Washington, DC, and Miami, Florida, markets. A graduate of the New York University School of Law, she has also worked as a law associate in a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, law firm. Upon graduation, Rao secured a coveted federal clerkship with Judge Dolores Sloviter in the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. Rao's experiences, however, formed the background for her first work of fiction. In her debut novel, Chambermaid, Rao draws upon her experiences as a federal law clerk to tell the story of protagonist Sheila Raj, a newly minted attorney whose experiences as a Third Circuit law clerk have at least some basis in Rao's own tenure in Philadelphia. Rao also is the Co-Founder of Haven Media.
Willis is a Black queer transgender activist, writer and speaker dedicated to inspiring and elevating marginalized individuals, particularly transgender women of color. She is the former executive editor of Out magazine and a former national organizer for Transgender Law Center (TLC). She's also a part of Echoing Ida, a national Black women and nonbinary writers' collective. In 2018, she was named an Open Society Foundations Soros Equality Fellow. She founded Black Trans Circles, a project of TLC, focused on developing the leadership of Black trans women in the South and Midwest by creating healing justice spaces to work through oppression-based trauma and incubating community organizing efforts to address anti-trans murder and violence. That year, she was also named a Jack Jones Literary Arts Sylvia Rivera Fellow. Willis is a thought leader on gender, race and intersectionality. She’s also experienced in many fields including online publications, organizing marginalized communities for social change, non-profit media strategy and public speaking while using digital activism as a major tool of resistance and liberation. She's currently working on an essay collection about her coming of identity and activism.
Cargle is a public academic, writer, and lecturer. Her activism and academic work are rooted in providing intellectual discourse, tools, and resources that explore the intersection of race and womanhood. Her social media platforms boast a community of over 315k where Cargle guides conversations, encourages critical thinking and nurtures meaningful engagement with people all over the world. As a dynamic lecturer, Cargle has been invited to teach to students and faculty on topics of unpacking the racist histories of various American systems, affirming in the black experience with tools of language, concepts, and cultural systems, as well as workshops that address everything from finding one's highest values to exploring the true allyship in universities across the US and beyond. Cargle has been featured and celebrated in publications such a The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Harpers Bazaar, on the TEDx stage and on the Emmy nominated show the Red Table Talk. In 2018 Cargle raised funds in an effort to support black women and girls to gain access to mental health care. In less than 24 hours her social media community over $10k and over the next several months a quarter of a million dollars was raised and The Loveland Foundation was born.
Peppermint or Miss Peppermint, is an American actress, singer, television personality, drag queen, and activist from New York City. She is best known from the nightlife scene and, in 2017, as the runner-up on the ninth season of RuPaul's Drag Race. In 2018 Peppermint made her debut in The Go-Go's-inspired musical Head Over Heels as Pythio, becoming Broadway’s first out trans woman to play a lead role.
Created in July 2015, Pap Culture is a Cape Town based YouTube channel founded by Thembe Mahlaba (host), Nwabisa Mda (host) & Bongeka Masango (videographer). The channel was created as an entertainment platform that the trio felt was missing on the YouTube platform, especially in South Africa. Thembe and Nwabisa were interested in starting a podcast channel and once Bongeka moved to Cape Town last year, they realized that they we were all interested in creating a content platform online and YouTube just felt like the right fit. These three are opinionated young black women who thought, “why not?”. And Pap Culture was born.
Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter
Tometi is a globally recognized human rights advocate, strategist and writer of Nigerian-American descent. She has been active in social movements for over 15 years, and is widely known for her role as a co-founder of Black Lives Matter and for her years of service as the Executive Director of the United States first national immigrant rights organization for people of African descent – the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI). A millennial trailblazer and immigration policy expert, Opal is respected for her creativity and bold leadership. At age 28 she became the Executive Director of BAJI. There she had an 8-year track record of leading the BAJI team in successful campaigns that advanced migrant rights and racial justice. She is currently being featured in the Smithsonian’s new National Museum for African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), and in 2018 was a recipient of the Vh1 Everyday Trailblazer honor and was a Frederick Douglass 200 Awardee for her groundbreaking contributions to contemporary social movements.
Stamp is the National Organizing Director at the Working Families Party. She works with volunteer leaders across the country to build local progressive infrastructure. Nelini joined the New York Working Families Party staff in 2008; door knocking and field organizing for a variety of electoral campaigns across New York State. Since then, she has been deeply involved in social movement work around economic and racial justice across the country. She worked on the ground at Occupy Wall Street to help bridge the gap between labor, community- based organizations and Occupy activists. Afterward, Nelini co-created the Freedom Side and co-founded Dream Defenders in Florida, which organizes and trains youth in non-violent civil disobedience, civic engagement, and direct action. Lately, as a co-builder of WFP's Resist Here project, which launched #ResistTrumpTuesdays, she has been chasing Senator Schumer around to make sure he stands up to Trump. You can often find her leading marches, rallies and mic-checking at direct actions.
Wadler is an American student and activist against gun violence. She has made speeches advocating for victims of gun violence in the United States, especially black female victims, most notably at the anti-gun protest March for Our Lives. She attends Maret School in Washington, DC. She is 11 years old.
Congresswoman McBath is a mother, a wife, an author and an activist, but the most important title she will ever hold is Jordan’s Mom. She has dedicated her life to preventing other families from experiencing the same tragedy that she did. McBath held dual roles as the national spokesperson for Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, as well as faith and outreach leader for both. After years of advocating to local, state, and federal legislators, the Congresswoman decided to run for office herself. She decided to run for the Georgia State House in 2017, but after the Parkland shooting she knew she had to step up and run for Congress. In addition to her experiences with gun violence, the Congresswoman was inspired to run for Congress because she is a two-time breast cancer survivor. She knows the importance of covering those with preexisting conditions and increasing accessibility to quality and affordable health care. The Congresswoman proudly represents Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District.
CEO/Founder of Lex
Rakowski is the founder + CEO of Lex, a lo-fi, text-based social app for lesbian, bisexual, asexual, & queer people. For womxn & trans, genderqueer, intersex, two spirit, & non-binary people. Inspired by old school newspaper personal ads, Lex (fka Personals) lived on Instagram for years before evolving into an app.
With over 10 million views, Jouelzy curates weekly discussions to encourage women of color as they define their own success stories, emboldening them to push back against harmful social norms. Jouelzy provide a safe space for women of color to address complex cultural issues faced on a daily basis. Over 186k #SmartBrownGirls engage in discussions covering everything from mental health, career, relationships to tech and history/culture. With a dash of wit, snark and humor, Jouelzy educates her audience on historical and political context of trending pop culture topics in her popular #PopSnark series. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Jouelzy is a woman of the world having lived across the United States and traveled through Ghana, Togo and South Africa. Some of her most popular discussions center around bridging the gap of the millennial and educating on the dynamic history of the African diaspora. Reveling in all her ubiquity, Jouelzy in every facet is celebrating #SmartBrownGirls and encouraging each individual to embrace their unique diversity.
Jonathan Van Ness
Van Ness is an American hairdresser, podcaster, and television personality. They are internationally known as the grooming expert on the Netflix series Queer Eye, for their work on the web series parody Gay of Thrones, and for hosting the Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness podcast.
Jason Y. Lee
Founder/CEO of Jubilee Media
Lee is the founder of Jubilee Project, a non-profit production company that inspires young people to live for something greater. Jubilee Project has garnered over 30 million views online for various causes and featured in The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Mashable, The Queen Latifah show and more. In his former life, Lee was a consultant at Bain & Company and worked for Clinton Health Access Initiative in Zambia. He graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School.
Margolin is a Colombian-American writer, community organizer, activist, and public speaker living in Seattle, Washington. Her identity as a Latina Jewish lesbian drives her passion to fight for those who are oppressed and marginalized. Margolin’s love for her Pacific Northwest home fuels efforts to protect mother earth. Climate change is destroying Seattle, Margolin’s home. The oceans are acidifying, which is killing the fragile ecosystems. Margolin hardly sees seals or otters, a once common sighting in the area. Margolin is the founder of Zero Hour, an international youth climate justice movement. Zero Hour led the very first Youth Climate March in Washington DC and 25 other cities all around the world during the summer of 2018. Margolin is also a plaintiff on Our Children's Trusts' Youth v. Gov, a Washington state lawsuit against the state of Washington for denying her generation's constitutional rights to a livable environment by continuing to make climate change worse. Youth are already dealing with the detrimental effects of climate change and as they get older, will inherit a world ridden by climate chaos. Margolin’s frank and humorous writing has appeared on CNN, Refinery29, The Seattle Times, TeenInk, Writer’s Digest, The Guardian, and Huffington Post. Youth To Power, her debut book, is the ultimate guide to being a young activist and will hit bookstores worldwide in 2020.
Hirsi is an American environmental activist. She co-founded and serves as the co-executive director of the U.S. Youth Climate Strike. Hirsi won a Brower Youth Award for her climate activism. Hirsi grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is the daughter of the U.S. congresswoman Rep. Ilhan Omar and Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi. While in middle school, Hirsi was focused on the Black Lives Matter movement. At the age of 12, she was one of the participants protesting for justice for Jamar Clark at the Mall of America. Hirsi attends Minneapolis South High School in Minneapolis. She started her climate activism after joining her high school's environmental club in her freshman year. Hirsi has coordinated the organization of hundreds of student-led strikes across the United States on March 15 and May 3, 2019. She co-founded the U.S. Youth Climate Strike, the American arm of a global youth climate change movement, in January 2019. She acts as the co-executive director of this group.That same year, Hirsi received the Voice of the Future Award. In 2020, Hirsi was placed on BET's "Future 40" list, which is a list of “40 of the most inspiring and innovative vanguards who are redefining what it means to be unapologetically young, gifted & black." Her politics are left-wing, distinct from liberalism.
From creating one of Britain’s most watched comedy channels out of his bedroom to being labelled “the most influential British Asian of his generation," Arshad has become one of the UK’s most popular and important British Asian talents and personalities. After graduating in drama from the famous Richmond Drama School and being taught by BAFTA winner, Tom Hardy, Arshad quickly realised the number of roles available for a British Pakistani were both limited and predominantly stereotypical. Deciding to take matters into his own hands Arshad saved up his earnings from working in his father’s school uniform store and bought himself a camera. In December 2010 Arshad wrote, directed and edited an episode called ‘Diary of a Badman’, based on a hapless twenty something year old male determined to prove his street credentials only to learn a moral lesson at the end of the episode. Uploading it to YouTube and going on holiday straight after, Arshad returned to find the episode had hit one million views within ten days thrusting him into the spotlight as one of the most exciting new talents in British comedy. Fast forward to 2017 and over 95 million views later, Arshad became the first British Asian to have his own scripted comedy series on BBC Three playing ‘Gentleman Documentarian’ Ahmed Armstrong in the mockumentary series ‘COCONUT’ also starring Nina Wadia. Arshad finished 2017 off on a merry high starring in the SKY COMEDY Christmas short HUMZA ARSHAD’S CHRISTMAS JUMPERS featuring Mo Gilligan and Emily Atack.
George M. Johnson
A prolific and powerful voice, Johnson is an award-winning Journalist, Consultant, and Activist located in Brooklyn NY. From the scores of places that he’s written for to the outlets who have written about him, his connections in the media world run deep with his knowledge and expertise being called upon from publishing to the big screen. On social media, he has an impressive presence, with nearly 50K engaged followers on Twitter who are always eager to see what he’s writing next, garnering nearly 100 million impressions monthly. He is currently available for freelance writing assignments, television consulting and writing, and speaking engagements.
Eddings is the co-host of the independent podcast For Colored Nerds. Eddings is also a development producer at Gimlet Media, a podcast network based in Brooklyn. Eddings acted as producer on a new Gimlet podcast, Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty, premiering exclusively on Spotify.
Founder/CEO of kweliTV
Spencer is the Founder & CEO of kweliTV, which celebrates global black culture through curated, undiscovered and award-winning indie films, documentaries, web series, children’s programming and events. She’s a former radio host and producer of emPower Hour, a show that examined social justice issues affecting people of color, on Washington, DC’s 89.3 FM WPFW. A Memphis native, Spencer graduated from Jackson State University where she studied communications and journalism. She has written for The Clarion-Ledger, The Oakland Tribune and the Crisis Magazine. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Spencer served as Director of Communications for EdMarket where she ran the communications department and managed all media properties for the organization. A former AmeriCorps*VISTA and Chips Quinn Scholar, Spencer recently completed her first documentary, Mom Interrupted, which tackles gun violence through the stories of the ones most impacted—the mothers of murdered young black men and women. She is a Halcyon Incubator Fellow, a Voqal Fellow and a Google NexGen Policy Leader. Spencer was first place winner of the 2017 Harvard Business School African Business Conference Pitch Competition and was honored with the Bold & Innovative Truth Teller Award at the 2018 Black Millennial Convention. In 2019, she was featured in “How We Fight White Supremacy” as one of the more than 60+ black leading organizers, artists, journalist, entrepreneurs, etc., (including Ta-Nehisi Coates & Tarana Burke) who offered wisdom on how to fight white supremacy through their work.
Chella Man is an 19-year-old, deaf, genderqueer, queer artist currently transitioning on testosterone. He is studying virtual reality programming at The New School in New York City, while creating art on the side. His main focus is to educate others on issues regarding being queer and disabled within a safe space. Man rose to wider prominence in 2019 for portraying mute superhero Jericho in the second season of the DC Universe series Titans.
Brittany Packnett Cunningham
Cunningham is a leader at the intersection of culture and justice. Cited by President Barack Obama as a leader whose "voice is going to be making a difference for years to come," Cunningham is an unapologetic educator, organizer, and writer. Her popular 2019 TED Talk on Confidence has garnered nearly 3 million views worldwide. Cunningham is the author of the forthcoming book, We Are Like Those Who Dream, with One World. Known as @MsPackyetti on social media, Cunningham has become a sought-after voice in the work of social change and empowerment. Cunningham plays many roles, all focused on freedom. Cunningham is an NBC News and MSNBC Contributor and former Director’s Leader and Fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics exploring social change and intersectional activism. A lifelong activist and proud member of the Ferguson Uprising, Cunningham is co-founder of Campaign Zero, a policy platform to end police violence and co-host of the 2019 iHeart Radio Best Political Podcast, Pod Save The People. Cunningham was an appointed member of the Ferguson Commission and President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Today, she continues to advocate for urgent systemic change at critical decision making tables and through national and international media.
Luse is co-host of The Nod, a podcast about Black culture. She previously hosted Sampler, a podcast about podcasts, and co-hosted For Colored Nerds, a podcast about race, news, and pop culture. Her work has been featured by Essence Magazine, Esquire, and The New Yorker. She is also the 2018 recipient of the Newswomen`s Club of New York`s Front Page Award for Best Podcast Feature. Luse is from Farmington Hills, MI and is a proud graduate of Howard University. She lives in Brooklyn.
Lundy-Paine is an American actor and Fashion Icon. They consider their acting career to be a side show to their career as a pop star in the Improvisational Voice Band, "Subtle Pride" (ft. Mina Walker, Zach Donovan and Misha Brooks). Lundy-Paine's parents, Laura Lundy and Robert Paine, are both performers in the Bay Area.
Imani is a critically-acclaimed historian, outspoken advocate and activist, and dynamic public speaker. The author of two historical books: Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History (2018) and Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and The Black American Dream (2020), she centers women and girls, global Black communities, and the LGBTQ community. Imani has appeared on Fox News and MSNBC, presented at colleges and universities, spoken at conferences around the world, and delivered powerful talks for organizations and brands including TEDx and GLAAD.
Bogado is a reporter for Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, covering immigration. Previously, she was a staff writer at Grist, where she wrote about the intersection of race and the environment. She also was the news editor at Colorlines and a writer for The Nation. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The American Prospect, Mother Jones and a variety of other publications. She holds a bachelor's degree in American studies from Yale University, as well as a certificate in indigenous peoples rights and policy from Columbia University. Bogado is based in Reveal’s Emeryville, California, office.
Ashlee Marie Preston
Preston is an American media personality, journalist and activist, the first trans woman to become editor-in-chief of a national publication, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and the first openly trans person to run for state office in California. Originally from Kentucky, she moved to Los Angeles and began transitioning at age 19. She first rose to public attention after publicly confronting Caitlyn Jenner over her support for the Trump administration. She contributed her writing to a number of publications, and has been recognized for her activism by various media organizations and companies. Preston is active in the Los Angeles trans community, and is a member of multiple community organizations, including serving as the chair of communications and media sponsorship with group Los Angeles Pride, and as a community outreach member with the Human Rights Campaign. She also served as a campaign surrogate for Elizabeth Warren's 2020 presidential campaign.
Hamilton built a venture capital fund from the ground up, while homeless. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a fund that is dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT. Started from scratch in 2015, Backstage has now raised more than $7 million and invested in more than 130 startup companies led by underestimated founders. In 2018 Hamilton co-founded Backstage Studio which launched four accelerator programs for underestimated founders in Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and London.
From the board room, to film sets, to the White House, Ross is a leading figure of success and strength in the movement for trans and racial equality. Named, “1st Foot Soldier of the Year” in 2015 by Melissa Harris Perry, Ross is the founder of TransTech Social Enterprises, a company that empowers trans and gender nonconforming people through on-the-job training in leadership and workplace skills. Ross has toured nationally, speaking her powerful mission into action with business leaders, educators, and the President of the United States. Since studying theater at Florida Atlantic University, Ross has been featured in film, television, and live theatre. Ross is the breakout star of the upcoming series Her Story, which explores the deeply moving lives and loves of two trans women in LA. For over ten years, Ross has directly engaged her communities in order to create opportunities for independence, freedom, and success through social work, entrepreneur and leadership development, business building, and education. Ross continues to engage leaders both at home and abroad, teaching, entertaining, and consulting for organizational change that creates space for the rich experiences of trans people and people of color to speak, share their value, and create lasting success. A devout buddhist, Ross walks with compassion and believes that all people have worth — it is only a matter of helping each person find it for themselves.
Seales formerly known by the stage name Amanda Diva, is an American comedian, actress, disc jockey (DJ), recording artist, television personality, VJ, author and poet. Aside from her solo career, she was also a touring member of the musical group Floetry. Since 2017, she has starred in the HBO comedy series Insecure. Seales is also one of the co-hosts of the syndicated daytime talk show, The Real, alongside Loni Love, Tamera Mowry, Adrienne Bailon, and Jeannie Mai.
President of HRC
David is the first civil rights lawyer and the first person of color to serve as president of HRC in the organization’s nearly 40-year history. David has significant litigation and management experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. He has been at the forefront of the movement for LGBTQ equality for more than a decade and worked at both the state and national level. In 2015, David was appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve as Counsel to the Governor. In this role, he has functioned as the Governor’s chief counsel and principal legal advisor, and managed all significant legal and policy deliberations affecting New York State, including evaluating proposed legislation; implementing laws and policies and formulating the State’s posture in both affirmative and defensive litigation. For the past decade, David has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law. He began his work in academia with Fordham University Law School and continued at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland and Temple University School of Law.
ALOK is a gender non-conforming writer and performance artist. Their distinctive style and poetic challenge to the gender binary have been internationally renowned. As a mixed-media artist Alok uses poetry, prose, comedy, performance, lecture, fashion design, and portraiture to explore themes of gender, race, trauma, belonging, and the human condition. They are the author of Femme in Public (2017) and Beyond the Gender Binary (2020). In 2019 they were selected as one of NBC’s Pride 50 and Out Magazine’s OUT 100. They have presented their work at 500 venues in more than 40 countries.
Wong is a disability activist, media maker, and consultant. She is the Founder and Director of the Disability Visibility Project® (DVP), an online community dedicated to creating, sharing and amplifying disability media and culture created in 2014. Wong is also a co-partner in four projects: DisabledWriters.com, a resource to help editors connect with disabled writers and journalists, #CripLit, a series of Twitter chats for disabled writers with novelist Nicola Griffith, #CripTheVote, a nonpartisan online movement encouraging the political participation of disabled people with co-partners Andrew Pulrang and Gregg Beratan, and Access Is Love with co-partners Mia Mingus and Sandy Ho, a campaign that aims to help build a world where accessibility is understood as an act of love instead of a burden or an afterthought.
A follower of the Fridays for Future movement and of fellow climate activist Greta Thunberg, Villaseñor is a co-founder of US Youth Climate Strike and founder of Earth Uprising. Villaseñor's fight for climate action was sparked when she was caught in a smoke cloud from the November 2018 Camp Fire in California during a family visit. As an asthma sufferer, she became physically ill, during which time she researched the climate change and temperature rises which contributed to the fire's severity. Her mother was enrolled for climate change courses at Columbia University and she sat in on those, learning about the underlying science. Soon afterward, she joined New York's chapter of Zero Hour, a group of American youth climate activists.
Akilah Hughes is a comedian (stand up, sketch, improv, writer, YouTuber, etc.,) originally from Cincinnati (who dey?!) who is now hanging out in Brooklyn, NY. She writes for Fusion, HelloGiggles, Femsplain, and Refinery29, and is a sketch and improv person trained at Upright Citizens Brigade.
Ai-jen Poo is the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the co-director of Caring Across Generations. Under her leadership, domestic workers won eight state Domestic Workers Bill of Rights and federal overtime and minimum wage protections for more than two million home care workers. She is also an influential voice in the Me Too and women's movements, including participating in the Times Up action at the 2018 Golden Globes. She is a 2014 MacArthur "genius" Fellow and a TIME 100 alumna and has been a featured speaker at the United State of Women Summits, Aspen Ideas Festivals, the Obama Foundation Summit and the 2018 Women’s Convention. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, TIME and CNN.com. She is the author of The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America.
In December 2017, Barkan drew national attention engaging Republican U.S. Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona about Flake's impending vote on the proposed tax cuts, captured on video by another activist, Liz Jaff, when they were on the same cross-country flight. Barkan pressed Flake on the PAYGO cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security that such large tax cuts would trigger, endangering programs that Barkan's disease meant his survival would soon depend on. He pleaded with Flake to "be an American hero" and vote against the tax cuts to ensure that patients like Barkan would not lose access, for instance, to the ventilator Barkan would eventually need to be able to breathe. Flake voted for the cuts. Following that encounter, Barkan developed the Be a Hero campaign that supports a range of progressive causes and candidates.
Bundles grew up in Indianapolis in a family of civic minded business executives. She was named after A'Lelia Walker (1885–1931), a central figure of the Harlem Renaissance. Walker was (via adoption) her great-grandmother. Walker was the daughter of entrepreneur Madam C. J. Walker. Bundles' mother, A'Lelia Mae Perry Bundles (1928–1976), vice president of the Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company and active in local and state Democratic politics, also served as a member of the Washington Township School Board and was a fiscal administrator with the City of Indianapolis. Her father, S. Henry Bundles, Jr. (1927-2019), became president of Summit Laboratories, another hair care manufacturer, in 1957 after having worked briefly with the Walker Company. He served as an Indianapolis 500 Festival director for many years and was a board member of the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Bureau.