Our alumni are movement builders, innovators, and equipped with the skills and support to push their organizations and our movements to the next level in digital campaigning. Meet them below.
Oanh-Nhi was the Program Associate at Move to End Violence, where she led the program's first social change campaign. With six years of film and documentary experience, Oanh-Nhi developed a passion for digital storytelling and ending violence against girls and women which she put to use working on the Global Clothesline Project documentary, which documents the stories of domestic violence survivors from around the world. Oanh-Nhi graduated from Dickinson College with a double major in International Studies and Policy Management, and currently serves on the Seattle Chapter Workgroup of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and on the Board of Directors for the Council for American Students in International Negotiations (CASIN). In her spare time, Oanh-Nhi screenwrites and enjoys running, pilates, and hiking.
Oanh-Nhi is currently a campaigner with 18MillionRising.
Anti-racist, feminist, social justice activist, ambivert who loves chai, screenwriting, hiking, exploring & heart to hearts #imnottiredyet
Genny Roman is an organizer who still believes that peace and plenty can be worked out some way. Genny worked on various campaigns using digital means as a way to build power, including with the AFL-CIO and Dēmos. She received her BA in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of South Alabama. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Mississippi, Genny was heavily steeped in a cultural boiling pot and is inspired by a vision of the future where identity and collective struggle can coexist to transform society. In her spare time, Genny enjoys going to comedy shows, reading dense philosophical tomes, and playing the ukulele.
Radical brown babe who wants to raise less corn & more hell and shake you into consciousness with her dulcet tones #investedinthestruggle
Irna Landrum is a child of the bayou, a lover of large bodies of water, and a non-swimmer. She is from the New Orleans metro, with deep family roots in Vacherie, Louisiana. Irna graduated from Hampton University with a Bachelor's in political science and from University of Minnesota Duluth's Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) program. For thirteen years, she has made her home in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she has worked as an educator, labor organizer, and electoral campaign organizer, before establishing a career as a place-based organizer focused on community planning and leadership development in Saint Paul's historic Rondo community. She has spent the last two years organizing low-income residents in South Minneapolis for economic justice. Irna is also a skilled workshop facilitator and trainer who works to challenge oppressive dynamics inside of social justice movements. Irna is a recipient of the Emerging Writers Fellowship at the Givens Foundation for African American Literature. Her work as a writer, artist, and organizer is driven by a profound belief in the power of community and connection. Irna once acted in a piece in which she married the entire audience every night. She has approximately 500 spouses in the Twin Cities.
Irna is currently a campaigner with Daily Kos.
Trying to find myself in you, and loving her fiercely. #RadicallyLovingColoredGirl
Ernesto Villasenor, Jr., is a proud Compton native. After receiving the Gates Millennium Scholarship in 2010, he graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY with a degree in Sustainability Studies and a minor in Economics. He currently serves as an Assembly District Delegate with the California Democratic Party’s 64th Assembly District and sits on the Council for the Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Association as a National Member. He previously served as an AmeriCorps Massachusetts Promise Fellow in Dorchester, Massachusetts and worked for the 1st District City Councilmember of the City of Compton. Ernesto has a background in environmental justice and health policy, having done research in environmental health disparities in inner city communities throughout the US and slums in South America and Africa. In his spare time, Ernesto loves to mix music, hike, travel, perform spoken word, and take pictures whenever he doesn’t forget his camera.
Ernesto is Advocacy Coordinator for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest.
Innovator, Visionary, and Fighter for Progressive Change. Vessel for positive change and #StraightOuttaCompton
Elizabeth Marie Taveras is Cuban-Dominican and a Miami native. She attends the Florida International University School of Journalism and is in the Digital Media Studies program, with a concentration in Political Science. She founded a local grassroots organization named Reclaim Your Power and Equality (R.Y.P.E.) that organizes around social change, gender equality, and permaculture. Elizabeth became a radical activist through Occupy Miami and has since been involved in taking action on several issues around food justice, climate change, ending state violence and militarization of police, prison divestment, gender equality, and feminism.
Radical Latina organizer who’s activating the activators, activating the actualities, and an activist, in progress. #activistlife
Mohammad Khan is a campaigner, activist, and avid student of policy and politics. His work is inspired by and focuses on intersectional movement-based activism and building the political power of emerging and marginalized communities. Mohammad is the Campaign Manager at MPower Change, a grassroots movement rooted in diverse Muslim-American communities working to build justice for all people. Mohammad has worked on electoral, issue, and civic engagement campaigns, including roles as Political Director for gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout, Campaign Manager for a NY City Council race, and work in coalitions supporting the Fight for 15, criminal justice reform, and efforts to protect public education. He is also the Secretary of the Muslim Democratic Club of NY, which works to empower NY’s Muslims in local elections. He is a Regional Board member of Citizen Action of NY, a grassroots social justice organization. He holds a BBA from CUNY’s Baruch College and an MPA from Columbia University. A native of Queens, Mohammad is a proud member of the tragedy-prone yet resilient tribe of New York Mets fans. In his spare time, Mohammad enjoys powerlifting and indoor and outdoor gardening.
Queens born & bred. Politics and policy nerd. Fighting for the progressive movement and community #empowerment
Anay Bickham was born in Louisiana and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where she currently resides. Anay earned a Bachelor’s degree in Media Arts from the University of Arizona and then completed her graduate studies in Africana Studies earning a Masters from State University of New York in Albany. Anay’s nonprofit work has included case management and program coordination work in homeless and youth services, and she has been active in community organizing through volunteering with Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Public Allies Arizona Alumni Network. Anay co-founded and serves as Project Director for Arizona Black Voter Alliance, which was instrumental in creating Black Roots Nation during 2015 Netroots Nation conference that helped center the Black Lives Matter movement into the 2016 Presidential campaign. Currently, Anay serves as board secretary for the Greater Phoenix Urban League Young Professionals Network. She also works with the Maricopa County NAACP. She is a research junkie and a Pinterest nerd, and is passionate about love, Justice, and freedom.
Anay Bickham is a campaign manager with ColorofChange.
I'm always on my grind, looking for the next opportunity & refusing to stay down. #AnayAllDay
Eric Enrique Borja is a second-generation Salvadoran-American, who for the past five years has been working towards a Doctoral degree in Sociology at the University of Texas in Austin. Since entering UT-Austin in 2010, his research focus has centered on understanding how new technology changes the way in which we collectively contend for our political interests. Specifically, he looks at how hashtags and Internet memes are leveraged by political movements, such as the #BlackLivesMatter Movement, to subvert power and the state. Eric finds inspiration from his parents, who in 1979 migrated to this country from El Salvador. In his spare time he admits to playing video games - at the moment he is into Fallout 4 since he grew up with the franchise.
Working towards a PhD @UTAustinSoc | #BlackLivesMatter always | Advocate for #QPOCs | interested in tech, activism, social change, & politics
Maryam Mikaniki is a multimedia journalist based in Brooklyn, New York. She has worked for Al Jazeera English and Accessories Magazine among others. Maryam is particularly interested in world news, science, politics and fashion. Most recently, she worked on a documentary feature about reproductive healthcare in Mississippi. She has a master’s in journalism from New York University.
Independent multimedia journalist. Fmr @AJEnglish & @AccessoriesMag - @nyu_journalism alum
Avatara Smith-Carrington, a New Jersey native, hip-hop enthusiast, and bibliophile, is a recent graduate of Rutgers University with a double major in Political Science and English and a double minor in Critical and Comparative Race and Ethnicity Studies and Social Justice. As a former mentor for their University’s Social Justice Community, previous intern with the African Women’s Development Fund based in Ghana, and presenter/creator for various programming centering media, coalition building, and marginalized identities, Avatara is passionate about reclaiming and taking up space. As the creator and director of a web-based docuseries entitled “To Queer Things Up”, they are actively engaging in cultivating both virtual and physical spaces for marginalized people within the queer community.
Avatara Smith-Carrington is currently in Law School.
Avatara is lover of all things social media, Steven Universe fanatic, amateur chef, and ultimately a #radicalqueerblacknerd
Ian Mann is a Freelance Visual Artist based in South Florida. After graduating from West Broward High in 2010, Ian attended Florida Atlantic University where he majored in Film and New Media Studies. While attending FAU, Ian helped charter Progressive Black Men, Inc., a community service organization, and served as its first president and membership chair from 2012-2014. The chapter has grown from eight members to forty-five, and many of the men in the organization have gone on to graduate, hold leadership positions at the university and create their own businesses. In the past two years, Ian has directed a short film, been a cameraman for the award winning web series ‘Close Friends,’ and was most recently Director of Photography for a short film he made while attending the Toronto International Film Festival. Ian is inspired by art, history, literature and the people in his life. In his spare time he enjoys watching movies, reading, exercise, playing violin and eating.
In a society that's always looking towards the future, Ian decides to rediscover the past and live in the present. #TheMannTheMyth #MannMade
Iram Ali worked as the Associate Director of Operations & Development at Iraq Veterans Against the War. Ms. Ali has native fluency in Punjabi and Urdu, organizing and leadership experience, and is a non-profit management professional. Born in rural Pakistan and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Ms. Ali’s various identities influence her passion for social justice for marginalized groups. She also enjoys using humor to pinpoint issues. As such, although new to Twitter, Ms. Ali created #HijabiAndHideous to outline the insidious nature of fast-fashion, overconsumption, and how unhealthy fashion trends are catered to Muslim women. You can follow along @iramfali. She also holds a first degree black belt in Shorin Ryu, and writes fiction and poetry during her spare time.
Iram Ali is a campaigner with MoveOn.org.
passionate woman of color trying to make this world a better place for people b/c people are power. #workinguntilwewin
Fresco Steez is a community organizer, educator, and aesthetic designer born and raised on the south side of Chicago. She is currently the DC Chapter Co-chair of Black Youth Project 100, and has fought for freedom with young Black people for nearly a decade. Fresco has served as a youth legal advocate for the Know Your Rights Project, a Junior Grant Officer for the Chicago Crossroads Fund, and a coder and analytics scientist with Code for Progress. Fresco is rooted in the fight for Black Liberation and freedom for all oppressed people. She provides an intersectional young, Black, queer analysis to the struggle for justice in local and national political climates, and is inspired by unapologetically Black political heroes like Assata Shakur, Ella Baker, Audre Lorde, and Harriet Tubman. In her spare time, she makes T-shirt graphics and memorizes the lines of her favorite rap lyrics.
Fresco is the BYP100’s Digital Strategist.
The secret is out! We just discovered Black Queer magic in Fresco Steez.
Moonyoung is a Campaign Organizer for Courage Campaign. Before joining Courage, Moonyoung worked for Technicolor and the California State Assembly, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from UC Berkeley. Inspired by the power of education and its ability to empower individuals and communities, Moonyoung helped organize the first public hack-a-thon in the City of Burbank. Over 300 aspiring programmers attended the event held at Nickelodeon Animation Studios. Aside from fighting for progressive issues, Moonyoung is deeply passionate about protecting the environment and being a steward for our ocean. She is a former volunteer at the Ocean Institute, where she helped organize its first Girls in Ocean Science Teen Conference. In her spare time, she can be found exploring hiking trails throughout California.
#IAm not a #DoctorLawyerEngineer. #IAm not a #ModelMinority. #IAm not a stereotype. #IAm fearless, outspoken, & real. #DontPlaceMeInABox
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
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.
Courtney Sebring is a young, Black feminist, queer troublemaker and creative from Durham, North Carolina. She is proud to be a grassroots organizer in a community that tears down statues, empties cages, and wins political power. An artist of many mediums and a student of many disciplines, Courtney pours herself and all the skills she has developed into work that is unapologetically aligned with the liberation of all Black people. She has built family in this movement and feels their support at her back always. She is committed to a lifetime of learning along the way to freedom. Courtney is thrilled to continue this journey as a 2018 Kairos Fellow at Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart).
Courtney is also a design enthusiast and DIY-queen. Honoring Toni Cade Bambara, she is dedicated to making the revolution look irresistible. She spends her free time watching Youtube tutorials, scrolling Pinterest, and doodling in her sketchbook.
Erica Mauter is a retired engineer (and still a STEMinist). She worked for five years as the Executive Director of a community choir organization. She earned her BSE in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership from St. Catherine University, where she wrote her thesis on Ranked Choice Voting. She has extensive experience volunteering for campaigns, candidates, and organizations working in social justice and the arts. She currently sits on the board of directors for the Headwaters Foundation for Justice and the American Civic Forum, is an appointee to the City of Minneapolis capital budget advisory committee, and chairs Stonewall DFL, the LGBTQ+ community caucus of Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.
Erica was a blogger for over a decade, publishing several projects on Twin Cities life and minority experiences in Minnesota. She has consulted for nonprofits and small businesses on digital marketing and content strategy. She's an on-again-off-again runner with one full marathon under her belt. She's a season ticket holder for the Minnesota Lynx. Erica lives in the Tangletown neighborhood of Minneapolis with her wife Missy and their two dogs, Peanut Louise and Florence. Erica just finished her first run for office in 2017, seeking to represent the 11th Ward on the Minneapolis City Council.
Huiying Bernice Chan is a creative writer, multimedia storyteller, and cultural organizer from New York City with roots in the Toisanese diaspora. Huiying is the first to graduate with an individualized major in Ethnic Studies from Wellesley College since its founding and co-ignited a student movement for ethnic studies. In 2016, Huiying received the Knafel Fellowship to travel solo to Chinatowns in eight countries around the world, documenting global stories of migration and resilience across the diaspora. Huiying has received fellowships and awards from the Asian American Writers' Workshop, Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation, Seeding Change Center for Asian American Movement Building, and Random House. They currently work closely with the Chinatown Art Brigade and The W.O.W. Project creating community art and programming in the midst of rapid displacement in Manhattan's Chinatown. As a proud water sign, Huiying is in love with Cantonese food and exploring the teachings of the universe.
Jelani Drew is a queer, black, southern organizer and creative who is passionate about social change and storytelling. A graduate of VCU’s Master’s of Social Work program, they focused their academic studies on social work administration, policy, and programming. Jelani has recently relocated to the North and is working to find community in Philadelphia, but continues to stay engaged in Southern organizing communities such as Southerners on New Ground and Virginia Anti-Violence Project. Jelani has been a recipient of VCU’s Black History in the Making award and Richmond’s Black & Bold award. Their passion lies in empowering people of color and queer & trans people to thrive in all aspects of life and organize in creative ways.
I am a Mexican-born photographer and immigration rights activist. I first came to prominence in August 2015, when I released a video statement in response to Donald Trump’s remarks about undocumented Mexican immigrants. In the video, I defend myself, and fellow undocumented immigrants, against Trump’s characterization of us as criminals, drug dealers, and rapists; I was, in fact, working three jobs, one of which was as a busboy in Trump’s own Soho Hotel.
The video quickly became viral, and I was featured in several media, including The New York Times, The LA Times, All In with Chris Hayes (MSNBC), NY1 Noticias, Univision and Telemundo. I finished an Associate’s degree in photography at LaGuardia Community College in Queens and I'm currently working on my Bachelor's degree in Public Affairs at Baruch College. I also started several photo projects in response to anti-immigration sentiment, which I hope to publish in a book one day.
Shireen Nori is a South Indian American, Bay Area born Pacific Northwest raised community organizer, agitator, and educator. Shireen has been committed to reproductive justice for nearly ten years. She has worked closely with Planned Parenthood Federation of America, serving on their Young Leaders Advisory Council, Youth Rising Communities of Color Council and as a National Spokesperson where she served on a committee that conducted endorsement interviews with the 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidates. She worked at Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii where she helped flip the Washington State Senate and most recently worked at the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum in Atlanta, GA. Shireen deeply believes in people power and decolonial organizing. In her spare time, she can be found eating food that other people have prepared.
Sijal Nasralla is a activist, artist, and community organizer who is humbly settling in beloved community within Durham, NC. Before joining Kairos, Sijal created art insatiably, mobilized direct actions, and led strategic campaigns for a wide range of social justice work happening locally and globally. His work has tinkered at the intersection of electoral politics, Palestinian-solidarity, Black Lives Matter, and refugee/immigrant communities in NC and the Middle East. He comes to the Kairos fellowship with a passion towards learning, impact, and utilizing digital strategies to make mass work happen in nuanced and beautiful ways.
Tanya Aguilar Garduño is a proud xicana from south Texas, who is passionate about building tech-based and data driven social justice campaigns. Her experience working on redistricting, voter engagement campaigns and community governance campaign led her back to school to pursue a computer science degree at Texas State University. Currently she lives in Austin, TX and in her spare time she likes to roller skate and go on hikes.
Tara Tabassi has been a grassroots organizer for over a decade, from building national strategies to end police militarization with the War Resisters League to community organizing with LGBTQ youth of color with FIERCE NYC. Besides dismantling the Military Industrial Complex one campaign at a time, Tara believes in the power of community gardens, healing with plant medicine and telling stories through graphic illustration.
Cazembe Murphy Jackson is a Black, Working-Class, Southern, Non-binary, Trans person. He is a social justice organizer who believes that ordinary people are capable of doing extraordinary things when we work together for a common goal. He is a commitment to loving himself so deeply that others are inspired to love themselves just as deep. Cazembe is a storyteller, trainer, facilitator, strategist, and writer. He works across movement sectors with many organizations and coalitions including Movement for Black Lives, National Network of Abortion Funds, Southerners on New Ground, and Black Lives Matter Global Network . In his free time, he enjoys listening to a fun mixture of trap and gospel music while reading political non-fiction on his Kindle.