Aparna Shah has worked for social change and expanded democracy with immigrant and low-income communities for over 18 years. She is the Executive Director of Mobilize the Immigrant Vote (MIV), a statewide, multiracial coalition of grassroots organizations that builds the power and capacity of immigrant communities through electoral engagement. Prior to MIV, Aparna worked to advance the self-determination and reproductive justice of women, people of color, and queer communities. In addition, she spent several years working to transform a public middle school into a vibrant youth and community center in San Francisco's Mission District.
Aparna is an inaugural Fellow for a New California with the Rockwood Leadership Institute, on the Board of the East Oakland Community Playdate, and holds a Masters of Health Sciences from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She was born in Manila, grew up in Mumbai, and lives with her family in Oakland, CA.
D'Lo is a queer/transgender Tamil-Sri Lankan-American actor/writer/comedian. D'Lo is also the creator of the "Coming Out, Coming Home" writing workshop series, which has taken place with South Asian and immigrant queer organizations nationally. D'Lo's poetry and short stories have been published in various anthologies and academic journals, most recently “Desi Rap: Hip Hop and South Asia America and Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic” and “Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics”.
Aside from touring the university and college circuit with D'FaQTo Life, D'Lo tours Ramble-Ations: A One D'Lo Show, directed by Adelina Anthony, which received the NPN Creation Fund Grant inclusive of residencies in 9 US cities and additional support from the Durfee Foundation Grant. Recent experiences include working as the sound designer for Cherrie Moraga's play New Fire, directing and dramaturgy for TeadaWorks participants solo work, touring with Adelina Anthony on her 2-person show The Beast of Times and facilitating queer masculinity workshops for his second full-length play Boys that Pray, which received funding from the Astraea Foundation.
Jimmie Briggs has earned a reputation as a respected journalist, human rights advocate, lecturer, and educator over the past two decades. Through extensive travels to countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, the St. Louis, Missouri native and graduate of Morehouse College has produced seminal reporting on the lives of war-affected youth and children soldiers as well as survivors of sexual violence. A National Magazine Award finalist and recipient of honors from the Open Society Institute, National Association of Black Journalists, and the Carter Center for Mental Health Journalism, his book on child soldiers and war-affected children Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go To War won him accolades in 2005 and took readers into the personal journeys of war-affected youth.
Further, Briggs has served as an adjunct professor of investigative journalism at the New School for Social Research and was a George A. Miller Visiting Professor in the Department of African and African-American Studies at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. A regular contributor to the daily news website, Loop21.com, his upcoming book Blood Work, is a personal memoir of transformation and redefined manhood. For his work with Man Up Campaign and the issue of violence against women, Briggs was selected as the winner of the 2010 GQ magazine "Better Men Better World" Search, as well as one of Women's eNews' 21 Leaders for the 21st Century in 2011.
Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler is an artist, scholar and entrepreneur based in Oakland, CA. He is the first person to hold the PhD of African-American Studies from Northwestern University. He is the director of STILL BLACK: a portrait of black transmen, a groundbreaking documentary that profiles the lives black transgender men. Dr. Ziegler is also a writer and self-publishes a collection of essays on his GLAAD Media Award nominated blog, blac (k) ademic.
In 2013, he was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 LGBT Activists by The Advocate Magazine, was listed on the inaugural Trans 100 list, and was awarded the 2013 Authentic Life Award from Transgender Law Center. Currently, Dr. Ziegler is building the capacity of Who We Know, a social enterprise centered on economic empowerment for transgender people through entrepreneurship.
Lacy Maria Serros is the Northeast Program Manager for Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP), based in the organization's New York office. Lacy has ten years of experience working in the nonprofit sector with a strong background in grantmaking, policy, and Latino community advocacy. Prior to HIP, Lacy lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and worked as the Community Activist Fellow at the Tides Foundation. She also gained direct experience working in Latino communities at organizations such as the Latino Issues Forum, the Dolores Huerta Foundation, and the United Farm Workers of America.
Lacy also participated in the Women's Policy Institute of the Women's Foundation of California, a yearlong training program on the policymaking process in California. Lacy raised awareness about reproductive justice and garnered broad support from communities of color. She subsequently co-mentored the Environment and Reproductive Justice team of the Women's Policy Institute class of 2010. Lacy joined HIP in the summer of 2011 after receiving a Masters in Public Administration through the National Urban Fellowship program. Lacy also graduated from the University of California, Davis with a BS degree in Biotechnology and a minor in Chicana/o studies. A native Californian, Lacy enjoys gardening, hiking, and yoga.
Malachi Larrabee-Garza currently serves as Director of the Community Justice Network for Youth at the W. Haywood Burns Institute (BI). Before coming to BI, Malachi spent 5 years at the School of Unity and Liberation (S.O.U.L.) as the Advanced Political Education Director. Malachi co-founded the Brown Boi Project in 2010.
Additional Board appointments include National Strategist for Southerners On New Ground and S.O.U.L. Malachi sits on the Advisory Committee of BreakOUT!, based in New Orleans, LA. Malachi is a 2008 KopKind Fellow. Malachi proudly brings over 15 years of community organizing and popular education experience to the W. Haywood Burns Institute and is honored to help build a movement strong enough to “stop the rail to jail ”.
Mervyn Marcano is a political communications strategist with deep roots in social justice sectors. Through his public affairs firm, Marcano Strategies, he works with elected officials, campaigns, foundations, and organizations of all shapes and sizes. Marcano regularly steers clients through difficult media cycles by maintaining a sharp eye on a client's vision and core audiences. Selected clients include: The Mayor's Office of The City of Oakland, The Mayor's Office of the City Of San Francisco, The San Francisco Foundation, The W. Haywood Burns Institute, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Obama For America.
When he was Public Relations Strategist at the Center for Media Justice (CMJ), he worked hand-in-hand with community organizers to amplify the story of Oscar Grant's shooting by a BART police officer and the subsequent protests as a result. Prior to his work at CMJ, Mervyn was Communications Director at ColorOfChange.org, the million-member black online advocacy group founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Q-Roc Ragsdale has been performing, filming, designing, and creating art in and about the world around her for many years. Not content to pick one medium, Q-Roc has a broad range of talents allowing her to work on projects ranging from plays and multimedia productions to websites and movies. With a strong background in video/film production, performance, and social media, Q-Roc has had the opportunity to work with a variety of organizations and people through her young career. She counts herself as a largely self-taught & self-motivated artist with a desire to play a larger role in the both the performance arts and video/film communities. She is currently touring her one person show, The Bull-Jean Stories Multimedia Adaptation.
She is a founding board member of BUTCH Voices, the largest organization for masculine-of-center women in the nation. Q-Roc is the driving force behind Orange Moon Media, LLC, a multi-function media production company that provides video production, graphic design, and viral marketing services. Orange Moon Media, LLC, launched Q-ROC.TV, an online TV network that celebrates the uniqueness and diversity of the queer community. To live time she practices the healing arts of Tai Chi and Yogua Dao, while always seeking more peace, love and compassion. Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo!!
Samantha Franklin is a Program Officer at Johnson Family Foundation (JFF), where she began as Grants Manager & Program Associate in 2010. She is a member of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and the Grants Managers Network and has participated on volunteer committees for both organizations. She currently serves on the New York Women's Foundation Grants Advisory Committee and the grant making board of the Queer Youth Fund, and she participates on various planning committees and working groups for Funders for LGBTQ Issues.
Prior to working for JFF, she held the positions of Project Manager at an education policy and workforce development think tank in Boston, MA, and of Junior Capacity Building Specialist at the Harm Reduction Coalition in New York City. Samantha has a BA in Psychology and a MA in Social Work Administration. She is passionate about the political and social advancement of all members of the diverse and multifaceted SGL/2-S/LGBTQ communities. A native New Yorker, she currently resides in Brooklyn.
Sandra Kim is the Founder and CEO of Everyday Feminism, one of the fastest growing online feminist platforms. Everyday Feminism helps people address the everyday violence, discrimination, and marginalization they experience due to their gender, sexual orientation, race, and class through their online magazine, forum, and online courses. Sandra brings an inside-out approach to feminism because she believes personal transformation and social transformation are interdependent. She's also pioneering an innovative online business model for feminism and social justice to make this work sustainable for activists.