Meet the Kairos 2017 Fellows
Aimee Martinez is an intersectionalist feminist and activist who, despite realizing there is a lot of work to do, holds strong to the pursuit of equality for all. She has worked in the human rights field for the past three years for organizations such as Human Rights Watch and WITNESS, where she has focused on social media outreach, measuring impact, and writing for their various platforms. She holds a BA with honors in Political Science from the Macaulay Honors College at Baruch College and an MA in Human Rights from Columbia University, where she concentrated in women's rights and reproductive justice in Latin America. Aimee is a native New Yorker who enjoys travelling, hiking, doing yoga, and getting into the occasional political debate.
Aimee is currently placed with Common Cause.
Intersectionalist feminist who believes in the power of organizing, agitating, and educating. #laluchasigue #respetamiexistencia
Kafia Ahmed is working within the Somali community in Minneapolis to take on the Countering Violent Extremism Program (CVE). She’s spent the better part of the last decade organizing communities of color on issue related to access, criminal justice, foreign policy and prevention of gender based violence. Kafia has a masters in Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University's School of International Service. In her spare time, she loves to listen to podcasts, read, and make terrible pottery.
Kafia is currently placed with Everytown.
Fighting for our communities, our lives and our liberation. I saw the future, we were full of joy. #BlackMuslimWomenResist
Jasmine Banks is a Black queer femme born and raised in the Midwest. Jasmine is a digital organizer, maternal mental health activist, and writer. She is a mom to three beautiful people and believes that a radical life requires radical self-care. She is deeply committed to the dignity and wellbeing of Black women and believes that any strategy that focuses on trusting Black women is a winning strategy. Jasmine is the co-founder of "Now We Rise," a grassroots multi-racial + multi-ethnic digital collective specifically designed to be adaptable and flexible as rapid responders. In addition to her organizing work, Jasmine has served as a program manager with Postpartum Progress, a non-profit focused on supporting folks who experience perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Jasmine is invested in the restorative power of compassion coupled with the unwavering belief that humanity has the ability to transform and hold itself accountable toward building a better world. When Jasmine isn't busy being emotive, loving on her children, and organizing she is playing roller derby under the name "Boombox".
Jasmine is currently placed with NARAL.
A Black queer femme who believes we have nothing to lose but our chains.
xoài phạm is a lover of fruits and the ocean. She is a Vietnamese trans girl born to refugees. She is committed to building a world that nurtures all oppressed peoples, and is especially passionate about the survival of trans people of color, Indigenous sovereignty, and sex workers' protections. Currently, she's working with the Digital Team at the People's Action Institute. The best thing she's done is act as an older sibling to her baby brother. In her free time, she likes to cook and hopes to start martial arts classes.
xoài is currently placed with People’s Action.
#WhoIsShe? Where's she from? What does she dream about?
Lucia Martinez is a digital campaigner at Free Press where she coordinates Free Press’ online work and focuses on digital engagement, content creation and social media strategy. Lucia earned her B.A. in Latino/a & Latin American Studies at Occidental College, where she was an organizer with the Coalition at Oxy for Diversity and Equity. She is a longtime member of Generation Justice and a Civic Opportunities Initiative Network scholar. Outside of work she can be found searching for tacos and dance floors. Follow her on Twitter @louseeuh.
Lucia is currently placed with FreePress.
Intersectional feminist killjoy from New Mexico working towards racial justice and media justice #QueerXicana
Brieanna Fisher graduated from the University of Houston-Downtown with a degree in Political Science. Her passion for electoral politics led to a fellowship with Battleground, Texas where she worked to increase voter registration and turnout in minority areas across the state. She is an avid reader who enjoys creating digital art and spending time with her two young boys.
Brieanna is currently placed with Democracy for America.
People-powered campaigns give me life. Passionate progressive who will primary anyone at anytime. #PowerComesFromTheCollective
Luz Hernandez is a first generation, queer, anti-capitalist, Latina organizer born and raised in East Dallas. Due to years of watching her immigrant family forced into assimilation, she turned to creating art that allowed her to connect to her cultural traditions. When she began working as a Planned Parenthood Raíz Organizer in Dallas after losing access to her reproductive health care, she incorporated art and culture in her organizing work in order to uplift the stories of QTPOC in her community. Luz is unapologetically committed to shutting white supremacy down and is not afraid to use scrappy organizing tactics to do so. She understands that intersectionality is more than a buzz word and is dedicated to fighting for the liberation of black/QT/immigrant lives. Luz is also a data and analytics nerd that understands the importance of strategy in order to win. Recently she worked on a winning campaign in Nevada for NextGen Climate as their Data Director that elected the first Latina, Catherine Cortez Masto, to the U.S. Senate. Luz hopes to build skills in data and tech in order to one day support her community with tools that will help them win. In her spare time, Luz likes to surround herself with art of any form, dance to hip hop, cumbia, and batchata, and learn to cook Mexican vegetarian recipes.
Luz is currently placed with Food and Water Watch.
I resist thru my existence, heal thru art + culture, and am inspired by the light and strength of my ancestors #alwaysresist #siempreresiste
Laila Abdelaziz is a community organizer based in Tampa, Florida. Prior to becoming a Kairos Fellow, Laila served as the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Florida's Legislative and Government Affairs Director where she led local and statewide advocacy campaigns to protect civil liberties and challenge Islamophobia. She currently serves on the board of the Florida Young Democrats and 88.5 WMNF Community Radio. Laila formerly served on the City of Tampa Human Rights Board, the New Leaders Council of Tampa Bay board, and has extensive experience in local and national campaigns and electoral campaigning and politics.
Laila is currently placed with Fight for the Future.
Laila, born in the Palestinian Occupied Territories, is Palestinian, Russian, and American. She is inspired by social movements, internationalism, civic engagement, literature, art, and, most importantly, humanity.
Mario Gil Jr. is a second generation Mexican-American from Brooklyn, NY. A graduate and Posse Alumnus from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, Mario earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Gender Studies and Psychology. With a liberal arts education and previously working at The Feminist Press and Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation, Mario found a profound personal commitment to intersectional social justice issues. He is passionate about creating and participating in communal critical learning spaces for Queer, Feminist, and Masculinity and Femininity politics with a racial lens. His professional background includes communications, media relations,
social media marketing, and business operations. On his spare time, he writes as a meditation practice, experiments with photography, and walks puppies in New York City. Follow him @gilmario_jr.
Mario is currently placed with Mijente.
#DeliberateQueerLatino relearning the magic of my people and moving #beyondfear to create spaces that affirms our existence and freedoms.
Collette Watson is a multifaceted creative pro based in Phoenix, Arizona. A magna cum laude graduate of Howard University's Cathy Hughes School of Communications, Collette previously spent five years as a copywriter and creative lead in the New York office of J. Walter Thompson Company, the world's fourth largest advertising agency. She currently serves as a creative communications strategist with Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJ) as well as co-founder of web channel and media company BlackRiver.Life. Collette maintains an indie singer/songwriter career through which she's shared stages with Lauryn Hill, Boyz II Men, Talib Kweli and others. In the community, Collette serves as press secretary for Arizona's East Valley NAACP and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Greater Phoenix Urban League Young Professionals and Arizona Association of Black Journalists. In 2017, Collette was named among the Top 40 Leaders Under 40 by Greater Phoenix Urban League Young Professionals.
Collete is currently placed with FreePress.
Alma Zamudio, is a long time Chicagoan Community Organizer, Urban Planner, Campaign Strategist and photographer. Some of the campaigns Alma Zamudio has led and support include housing, transportation, education, environmental justice and labor organizing. Some of the successful strategic campaigns I have led and been in collaboration with include: Getting Political support to reinstate the monetary Award Program a grant of low income students, gathering political and social approval for a zoning request for affordable housing in the northwest side of Chicago. An area that is experiencing rapid gentrifying and that has caused eviction crisis of low-income Latinx families, the reinstate of the 31st bus route in the South Lawndale community, and the passing of the Illinois Domestic Worker Bill Of Rights, and the creation of the first worker run domestic worker collective job center in the entire Midwest. She studied Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Alma is currently placed with Courage Campaign.
She is a nature lover, naturalist bruja, chicana, femista, painter, and poet who loves to learn and survivor of oppression who is transforming. for her and her community.