Meet Our Storytellers



Barbara Smith is an author, activist, and independent scholar who has played a groundbreaking role in opening up a national cultural and political dialogue about the intersections of race, class, sexuality, and gender. She was among the first to define an African American women’s literary tradition and to build Black women’s studies and Black feminism in the United States. She was a cofounder of the Combahee River Collective and of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, the first U. S. publisher for women of color to reach a wide national audience. She served two terms on the Albany Common Council (2006-13). In 2005 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.


 Isa Noyola is deputy director at Mijente, a political, digital, and grassroots hub for Latinx and Chicanx organizing and movement building. Launched in 2015, Mijente seeks to strengthen and increase the participation of Latinx people in the broader movements for racial, economic, climate and gender justice. Isa also works extensively for the release of transgender women from ICE detention and an end to all deportations and mass incarceration. She is a part of the advisory boards of Familia:TQLM, BreakOUT,  El/La para Translatinas, and the International Trans Fund. Isa identifies as a translatina activist and cultural organizer and is passionate about abolishing oppressive systems that criminalize trans and queer immigrant communities of color.


Kate Shapiro was born in Durham, North Carolina, and raised in Atlanta Georgia where she still lives. She has had the great honor to work in the service of US Southern freedom movements for gender, sexual, racial and economic justice for the last 12+ years. She is a grassroots organizer, trainer, popular educator and strategist. She recently left Southerners on New Ground (SONG) after 8 years on staff, where she helped build SONG into the largest grassroots multi-racial LGBTQ membership organization in the South, that wages and wins intersectional direct action organizing campaigns on life and death LGBTQ issues. Her roles while at SONG included Senior Organizer, Membership Director and Special Projects Director. Prior to SONG she worked with SEIU International Union, The Beehive Design Collective, Spark Reproductive Justice Now and the Center for Participatory Change. She sits on the advisory council of Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective and the Georgia Citizens Coalition on Hunger. 


Mary Hooks is a Black, lesbian, feminist, mother and co-director of Southerners on New Ground (SONG). Mary joined SONG as a member in 2009 and began organizing with the organization in 2010. SONG, a 24-year old organization, builds the leadership capacity of LGBTQ community in the South through direct action efforts and dynamic campaigns. Growing up in a family that migrated from Mississippi to the Midwest, Mary’s commitment to liberation is rooted in her experiences and the impacts of the War on Drugs on her community.


Kelley Robinson currently serves as the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Action Fund and as the Vice President of Advocacy and Organizing at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Robinson enters this role with over 12 years of experience as a leader in the progressive field, with an expertise in sexual and reproductive health, and a deep commitment to leading with equity.


Paris Hatcher is a Black, queer feminist in love with the South. With over 10 years of experience on the local, national, and international level, Paris has been working with leading organizations to amplify the leadership of marginalized communities, win public policy campaigns, and advance reproductive and sexual health and justice, gender justice and queer liberation. Notably, she co-founded and was the Executive Director of SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW, one of the leading reproductive health and justice organizations in the Southeast. Under her direction SPARK led successful advocacy campaigns, increased the participation of women of color, queer and trans youth of color, and young people in the political process, and worked with stakeholders to begin to shift the narrative about reproductive health and justice in the state of Georgia and in the Southeast. She completed her Masters of Arts in Africana Women’s Studies at Clark Atlanta University with a research focus on Caribbean women’s activism and social movements. Paris is a Board member of SONG (Southerners On New Ground), a founding Board member for the Groundswell Fund(2007-2012), a founding Steering Committee member for the Black Reproductive Justice Think Tank, and a bike magician with Red, Bike, and Green. When not grinding for justice, you can find Paris on her bike, on the farm, dancing, or with her fabulous family including her beloved Jack Russell Terrier, Audre.


Noor Mir is a DC-based organizer and facilitator with a passion for facilitation, direct action strategy and training and is a partner at DC Action Lab, a worker-owned collective. At the Women’s March, Noor manages the Digital Defenders Program that has trained hundreds of activists in combating bigotry and intervening in disinformation online. Noor has led on campaign strategy and rapid response design with a plethora of people-powered movements such as the No Muslim Ban Ever Campaign, Home is Here and Firedrill Fridays. Noor currently serves on the Board of the War Resisters League and is the co-chair of Collective Action for Safe Spaces.


Paulina Helm-Hernandez is a queer femme cha-cha girl, artist, trainer, political organizer, strategist & trouble-maker-at-large from Veracrúz, Mexico. She is the formerCo-Director of Southerners on New Ground (SONG), which she co-led for 11 years. Paulina has a background in farm worker and immigrant / refugee rights organizing, cultural work, youth organizing, anti-violence work, and liberation work that centers people most affected by violence, poverty, war and racism.  Paulina is a founding member of  Mijente & Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective, and a Board member of AgitArte & SONG.


Carinne Luck is a freelance organizer, trainer, and strategist born in Israel, raised in London, and based in New York. She currently organizes partnerships with the Working Families Party, and advises US and European efforts to combat antisemitism and its weaponization. For three years she has also co-led the Rooted in Resilience Project with Faith Matters Network. Carinne frequently trains organizers and activists on different frameworks for political struggle and has worked with local, national and international groups, including, Hand in Hand and the domestic worker movement, Mijente, Women's March, J Street, CTZN WELL, Breathe Climate Network, and MoveOn. From 2015-2017, Carinne served as the primary care manager for her father during his struggle with ALS/MND. She has been writing about this experience and weaving personal, spiritual, and political narratives to illustrate how our future is intimately tied to how our society organizes itself around the realities of aging, sickness, and death.


Lydia X.Z. Brown is an advocate, organizer, attorney, strategist, and writer whose work focuses on interpersonal and state violence against disabled people at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, faith, language, and nation. Their other interests include carcerality and institutional violence, asexuality as queerness, and the ableism-racism nexus of transracial and transnational adoption. Lydia is adjunct lecturer and core faculty in Georgetown University’s Disability Studies Program, and adjunct professorial lecturer in American Studies at American University’s Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies. When not working, Lydia is probably strategizing how to hug someone’s cat without getting fur everywhere, where to find the best Ethiopian food nearby, or what new and interesting method of procrastination will enable them to avoid literally any work for at least 24 hours.


Thenjiwe has spent her entire political and professional career challenging the injustices that imprison people and their communities in a life of poverty and/or one behind bars. That commitment has led her to campaign on human rights issues around the world. She honed her human rights campaign development and organizing skills while working for and with movement building collectives and international organizations over the past 15 years. She is currently in leadership within the Movement for Black Lives and is the co-founder of Blackbird, an organization that focuses on movement building in this current historical moment. She also is working with organizers around the world in hopes of establishing an international collective of leaders dedicated to international movement building.


Dr. Clelia O. Rodríguez is a global scholar, speaker, mom and auntie, born and raised in El Salvador. She earned her MA and PhD from the University of Toronto. Before holding a Human Rights Traveling Professorship where she taught in the United States, Nepal, Jordan, and Chile, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Ghana. Prior to teaching at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto about Settler Colonialism, Pedagogies of Liberation, Popular Education, Social Change and Anti-Discriminatory Education, she was a Gender Academic University Advisor in Bolivia, as part of a partnership between CECI and Global Affairs Canada. Recently, she has collaborated with the University of Fort Hare teaching postgraduate workshops. She is the founder of SEEDS for Change, an educational international collective bringing together Black, Indigenous and People of Colour to co-create pedagogies of liberation. She is the author of Decolonizing Academia: Poverty, Oppression and Pain (Fernwood Publishing, 2018) and is currently working on two manuscripts, The Politics of the Uterus: The Who, The What, The When, The Where, The How and the Why and Pedagogies Under the Microscope: Air, Water, Earth and Fire. She is committed to ancestral sustainable pedagogies, decolonizing approaches to learning and teaching beyond the binary, critical race and cultural theories, anti-oppressive transnational cooperation and learning in community centering Black, Indigenous and racialized knowledge and wisdom. Her work has been published in the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, in the Journal of Popular Education, Critical Pedagogy and Militant Research in Chile, the Black Youth ProjectScholarship of Teaching and Learning in the SouthRadical Teacher: A Socialist, Feminist, and Anti-Racist Journal on the Theory and Practice of TeachingPostcolonial StudiesRevista Iberoamericana, among others. Her most recent publication is titled “Pedagogies Under the Microscope” is housed in Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education. “Fui, soy, seré: (Mal)nacida. (Mal)criada. (Mal)hablada. (Mal)educada. (Mal)aventurada” will be published in Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies by the end of the year. 


Rinku Sen, Executive Director of Narrative Initiative, is a writer and social justice strategist. She is formerly the Executive Director of Race Forward and was Publisher of their award-winning news site Colorlines.  Under Sen’s leadership, Race Forward generated some of the most impactful racial justice successes of recent years, including Drop the I-Word, a campaign for media outlets to stop referring to immigrants as “illegal,” resulting in the Associated Press, USA Today, LA Times, and many more outlets changing their practice. She was also the architect of the Shattered Families report, which identified the number of kids in foster care whose parents had been deported. Her books Stir it Up and The Accidental American theorize a model of community organizing that integrates a political analysis of race, gender, class, poverty, sexuality, and other systems. You can learn more about her current work at


Ginna Green is a strategist, writer, movement-builder, consultant, and Partner and Chief Strategy Officer at Uprise, where she co-founded the Media Badass Masterclass. She is also the co-host of A Bintel Brief: The Jewish Advice Podcast from The Forward

At Uprise, Ginna leads the practice on diversity + equity + inclusion and philanthropic advising within the Jewish community, and is a principal strategist for its progressive movement communications clients. She has worked as Chief Strategy Officer at Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, Managing Director of the Democracy Program at ReThink Media, and in multiple roles at the Center for Responsible Lending. 

In addition to serving as president of the Women’s March Win PAC, Ginna sits on the boards of Bend the Arc, Political Research Associates, the Jews of Color Initiative, the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable, and Jewish Story Partners. She is a proud South Carolina native, and the mother of four kids from college to first grade.


Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a Queer Black Troublemaker and Black Feminist Love Evangelist and an aspirational cousin to all sentient beings.  Her work in this lifetime is to facilitate infinite, unstoppable ancestral love in practice.  Her poetic work in response to the needs of her cherished communities has held space for multitudes in mourning and movement.  Alexis’s co-edited volume Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines (PM Press, 2016) has shifted the conversation on mothering, parenting and queer transformation.  Alexis has transformed the scope of intellectual, creative and oracular writing with her triptych of experimental works published by Duke University Press (Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity in 2016, M Archive: After the End of the World  in 2018 and Dub: Finding Ceremony, 2020.)  Unlike most academic texts, Alexis’s work has inspired artists across form to create dance works, installation work, paintings, processionals, divination practices, operas, quilts and more.  


My name is b. sokari brown. I am a daughter, sister, wife, aunt, and friend. Lover of nature, plant mama, and tree hugger. I am the daughter of June Sandra Brown, the granddaughter of Constance Barrow, and the great-granddaughter of Fredericka Zeelika Lewis. 

Professionally, I am a trauma-informed Advanced Practice Registered Nurse with certifications in Mental Health and Pediatric Primary Care. I am a certified yoga and meditation teacher and founder of Courageous Space Yoga and Wellness, LLC. I earned my 200-hour yoga certification at Sacred Chill West under the guidance and leadership of Octavia Raheem and Meryl Arnett in 2019. I completed my 300-hour certification with Michelle C. Johnson which focused on the intersection of yoga and justice. 

My work - rooted in a healing justice framework - is devoted to helping BIPOC individuals, children, parents, and communities explore and understand the ways that adverse experiences impact our minds, bodies, and emotions. Through yoga, meditation, sound, and other somatic practices, I help individuals understand the impact of trauma (acute, systemic, generational, etc.) in order to build resilience, create connection, and cultivate safety. 

It is my hope, that with every practice we share, that we work towards cultivating courage and liberation from the inside out. 


Rachel is a first generation Mexican American, who grew up on the Northside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She started her career right after high school as a domestic worker cleaning houses, spending three years doing that work before beginning her college education. She worked her way up through the nonprofit world, establishing herself as a recognized expert on building transformational online and offline communities and networks, Rachel has previously worked with with Amnesty International USA, Women for Women International, Girl Scouts of the USA, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Wisconsin Public Television, and with the Mayors offices in Memphis, Tennessee and Somerville, Massachusetts.


Tamika is Deputy Director of Women's March. She is an organizer, doula, midwifery apprentice, writer, and unschooling mama who is passionate about and active in struggles that affect Black women’s lives. Tamika has organized for abolition, reproductive justice, and for domestic workers’ rights. She is a consultant with Winds of Change Consulting, and a founding member of the Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid (MAMA) Fund and JustGeorgia. She serves as a Community Advisory Board member of Critical Resistance, a Leadership Team member of the Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective and as treasurer of OHRD.