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.
Valerie Woody is a space nerd, humanist, atheist, feminist, queer transgender lesbian, polamorous, writer, activist, and professional troublemaker.
Kaleidoscope WV, a consulting firm founded by four young, queer women (Chela Barajas, Caitlin Gaffin, Ciera Pennington, and Amanda Schwartz) offers support and training to progressive small businesses, nonprofits, candidates, and individuals to build power, create change, and be more effective leaders in their communities. Kaleidoscope WV focuses on approaching work in an intersectional manner that lifts up marginalized voices and people, specifically women, people of color, those with low income, and LGBTQIA+ folks.
Jennifer Wells is currently the Director of Youth Leadership and Development with West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families as part of the organization’s Our Children Our Future initiative. A transplant from New Orleans, Jennifer is working to make her new home in West Virginia the best place to live and thrive for women and people of color.
Jacqueline Venus is an artist, feminist, abuse warrior, freethinker, and intellect who embodies each of those "labels" about herself with an exuberant amount of passion. She doesn't really abide by society's standards on how many are conditioned to live their lives; whether that's in relation to friends, family, romance, jobs, or the way society is taught to consume.
A Los Angeles-based writer, theater-artist, and teacher, Olivia Buntaine's passion is creating productions of Shakespeare and other classical works with the purpose of starting conversations about violence against women and other marginalized populations.
Pamela J. Peters is an Indigenous multimedia documentarian from the Navajo Reservation. Her multimedia work, which she call "Indigenous Realism", explores the lives and diversities of real American Indians and pushes viewers to critically analyze the psychological and historical structures of Native Americans in mass media.
Best known for award-winning LGBTQ-inspired web series Anyone But Me and Producing Juliet, writer and director Tina Cesa Ward’s latest feminist offering, comic book series Delegates, puts women of color in power and pops with political relevance.
Robin Cloud is a Los Angeles-based comedian, writer, and director. Her first narrative short, Out Again, premiered in March 2017 as part of Refinery29's Shatterbox Anthology. In 2016, Robin launched Cloud Creative Media, a production company focused on creating independent narrative and documentary films and series.
An artist raised on an Owens Valley Paiute reservation in California’s Sierra Nevada, Native American poet and performer Tazbah Rose Chavez draws inspiration from her Nüümü, Diné, and Apache heritage to create powerful, consciousness-raising poetry, film, and music.
Stephanie Hallett is a Toronto-born, Los Angeles-based lifestyle writer and the senior lifestyle editor at HelloGiggles. She was previously an editor at HuffPost and Ms. magazine, and moonlights as a hip-hop dancer and instructor.
Actor, writer, and self-taught filmmaker Mary Neely makes movie-making look easy, directing, editing, and producing her latest short PINK TRAILER, which premiered in North America at 2018's SXSW Festival.