Kayla Young is the founder of Boss Babes WV, a women's social empowerment organization; the owner of Eggs Will Roll, a non-traditional egg roll food truck; and mama to two wild toddlers. She is a freelance writer and graduate of West Virginia University.
Jan Rader became Huntington, West Virginia’s first female fire chief in 2017. Jan was featured in 2017’s Oscar-nominated documentary short Heroin(e) for her work in to confront the opioid epidemic in Huntington. She is also a board member of Fairness West Virginia, a statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization. In 2018, Jan was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.
Amanda Estep-Burton is a working class mother of four who cares deeply about the people of West Virginia. She is committed to making a difference in her home state. She is currently running as a Democrat for the West Virginia House of Delegates 36th District.
Kayleigh Phillips works as a graphic designer and tattoo artist in Charleston, West Virginia. She is Assistant Creative Director and Design Editor of Electric Dirt, a zine created by the Queer Appalachia Project to celebrate queer voices and identities from Appalachia and the South.
Tate Thompson is the Founder and Executive Director of WV Transgender Resources (WVTR). In addition to his work at WVTR, he is also a full-time college student studying graphic design.
Diane Pendleton is a feminist wife, mom, grandmother and nurse who is horrified that her generation has not done more to protect our children. Gun violence prevention is her number one concern now.
Katie Quiñonez has served as the Development Director of the Women’s Health Center of West Virginia, the state’s last remaining abortion provider, since September 2017. With a background in journalism, social work and nonprofit fundraising, she earned her Master of Public Administration from Marshall University with a concentration in Nonprofit Management in May 2018. In her spare time, she fosters cats and kittens through local animal rescues in Cabell County.
Cathy Kunkel is a co-founder of Rise Up West Virginia, a progressive grassroots community organization based in Charleston, West Virginia. She is also a co-chair of the WV Working Families Party.
Raven Vance is a young voice in West Virginia who spends her time searching for new ways to get her message of change across to those who are not always willing to hear it. She attends Sarah Lawrence College in New York where she studies Political Science in preparation to pursue a career in Law.
Theresa "Tess" Jackson is a middle school teacher in Huntington, West Virginia. She is currently running for the West Virginia House of Delegates 15th District. She loves reading, spending time with her family, and her two cats Wally and Lillian.
Mamone is an audio engineer and artist living in the coalfields of West Virginia. Mamone engineered and produced some of the first Riot Grrrl albums and served as President of Riot Grrrl Ink (RGI), the largest queer record label in the world until 2014. Today, Mamone is the Creative Director of the Queer Appalachia Project, communicating with over 100,000 people a day who call home below the Mason-Dixon Line through the project's social media. This fall, Mamone's art will be featured in a solo show at Sheherazade Gallery in Louisville, Kentucky.
Ibtesam Barazi is the Vice President of the Islamic Association of West Virginia. Her work as a humanitarian and civil rights activist, in collaboration with the interfaith community in Charleston, spreads peace and understanding, breaks down walls, and removes barriers of misconception about Muslim Americans and their contribution to the United States. She also serves as Vice President of the West Virginia Interfaith Refugee Ministry (WVIRM), a coalition of religious and community leaders formed in 2015 to bring greater understanding of the plight of Syrian refugees to West Virginians and their leaders.
Gabrielle Chapman is the inaugural director of Call to Action for Racial Equality, a statewide racial equity leader, geared towards dismantling oppressive structures and institutional racism plaguing black and brown communities across the state of West Virginia. She carries the story and perspective of a mixed race, black woman in West Virginia and lends her skill set to open up often complex conversations around race and identity with hopes to strengthen her community, and to grow a statewide racial equity network.
Karan Ireland is a mother, writer, activist, and local elected official living in Charleston, West Virginia.
Amy Goodwin is applying to be Charleston, West Virginia's next mayor because she wants Charleston to be a place where her two boys -- and your children and grandchildren.
Katonya Hart is simply working to empower and support people. She believes we must value each other to create the progressive power needed to make change.
Tonia Thomas is one of two Team Coordinators of the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Tonia received both her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Marshall University. She is a lifelong resident of West Virginia.
Momma bear, lotus flower, lifelong public servant, lover of squirrels. Her career used to be her life. Now her family gives her life. Her work and volunteerism fill her soul.
Chris Gosses is the President of Rainbow Pride of WV. For two years, Chris served as Vice President of Rainbow Pride of WV and worked to promote the organization's mission of creating change through social engagement and visibility, educational programming, community involvement and events. In 2015, Rainbow Pride of WV awarded Chris the Power of One Award which recognizes individuals who make a positive contribution to the lives of LGBTQ West Virginians.
Artist, advocate, and entrepreneur Crystal Good uses poetry and performance to explore the landscape of Appalachia as a lens into the universe. She is a member of the Affrilachian Poets, an Irene McKinney scholar, and performs with Heroes Are Gang Leaders, a New York-based Free/Avant-Garde experimental improvisation ensemble. She is the author of “Valley Girl” and is working on her second collection of poetry.
Ellen Allen is a mother, wife, daughter, and lifelong activist who seeks justice for all through her work as Executive Director of West Virginia’s Covenant House.
Margaret Chapman Pomponio is Executive Director of WV FREE, a reproductive health, rights, and justice organization that works every day to for West Virginia women and families to improve education on reproductive options, increase access to affordable birth control, reduce teen pregnancy, improve adolescent health and protect personal decision-making, including the decision of whether or when to have a child.
Shayla Leftridge was born and raised in Oakland, California. She was raised by three loving parents: a stepfather who is a retired teacher, a mother who is also a retired teacher and vice principal, and a father who is a retired Oakland motorcycle police officer. Her family has deep roots in activism and social justice. Today, she lives in West Virginia where she is heavily involved in social activism and a professional vocalist in the vibrant local music scene.
Rev. Kayla was the Contract Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Charleston, West Virginia. Today, she’s the Minister of Congregational Life at All Souls Unitarian in Indianapolis, Indiana. She believes we are all connected, and that our task here is to repair the breaks that keep us from ourselves, one another, Spirit, and a just world.