Activism Series 2021: Speakers and Bios

Get to know our presenters

Monday, April 5 at 7:00 p.m.

Working in the Lion's Den: How to do Racial Justice Work in Majority White Spaces and Not Get Eaten Alive

Tabitha Moore '00 (she/her, they/them) will explore the ins and outs of racial justice work in her home state of Vermont and the perils that come when we try to center anti-racist practices in the places that need it the most. She will offer tips and reflective questions that you can take with you, whether you are a justice novice, warrior or long-time leader.

Bio:
Tabitha is a mother, daughter, and justice advocate from the state of Vermont. Her life's work has been to understand how systems promote or inhibit healthy individual and collective identity development and relationships. With licenses in Couples and Family Therapy and School Counseling, Moore has also meandered into the realm of law enforcement, breaking a barrier in becoming the first woman of color administrator in Onondaga County Probation Department history. She currently resides in her home state of Vermont where she founded the Rutland Area Branch of the NAACP, the second largest branch in New England. She is exploring child welfare as a trainer for the Child Welfare Partnership, and has a private justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) consulting business. She spends a great deal of time at the intersections of racism and law enforcement, serving on the Vermont Criminal Justice Council and the Vermont State Police's Fair and Impartial Policing committees. She is currently part of the Horizons Project Brain Trust and a trustee for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. She relaxes by coaching high school cheerleading, playing with her 4 dogs and, most importantly, spending time with her 3 children. 

Favorite Book, Podcast or other:

Emergent Strategy, adrienne marie brown
The Radical King, edited by Cornell West
Este Puente, Mi Espalda, eds. Cherríe Moraga y Ana Castillo

 Wednesday, April 7 at7:00 p.m.

Can you hear me? How to find, keep, and preserve your authentic voice.

Nicole Minton '09 (she/her)  will discuss the importance of remaining true to yourself in every facet of your life. We all must navigate many spaces in society such as work, school, relationships, etc. that may push or pull us into many directions leaving us to question who we are. Some circumstances are beyond our control, but the one thing we do have control of is who we want to be. Together, we will explore tokenism, imposter syndrome, and ultimately how to find, keep, and preserve your authentic voice.

Bio:
Nicole R. Minton is a class of 2009 graduate of Wells College. While attending Wells, she majored in Public Affairs with a concentration in Ethics and Philosophy. Although she wanted to pursue a career in law after she graduated, she ended up finding a new career path in education during her studies abroad in Mumbai, India where she worked with "street children" who didn't have access to education. She took a vow then that she would teach every child that crossed her path--no matter if it's on the streets of Mumbai or in a classroom in New York--she was going to educate. After leaving Wells, Nicole attended Nazareth College in Rochester, NY where she earned a M.S in Education for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in December of 2010. She began her teaching career in Buffalo, NY where she knew immediately she wanted to be a leader in a school, not just a teacher. In 2013 she started her administrative journey at St. Bonaventure University where she earned an M.S in Education for Educational Leadership with certificates in School Building Leadership and School District Leadership. Nicole became a certified School Building Leader in September of 2016. After teaching for nine years with various districts in New York State, in July of 2020, Nicole became a Dean of Students at Twin Towers Middle School in Middletown, NY where she currently resides.

Favorite Book: Douglass' Women by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Favorite Podcast: Hey, girl by Alex Elle and The Sam Skelly Show

April 9 at 4-5:30 p.m.

Anti-Racist Raja Yoga: Teaching yoga through a social justice framework

Felicia Savage Friedman (she/her)

Bio: For over 30 years Felicia has transformed lives with embodied antiracist organizing through Raja Yoga. Standing firm on the belief that we are all bound and dehumanized by systems of oppression, she envisions a humankind where we have dismantled these systems of oppression and humanely rebuilt new systems together.

A wellness thought leader and yoga guide, her integrative practice ranges from individual to corporate wellness, centered in communities of accountability. Since founding YogaRoots On Location in, Felicia has worked with local and national partners including the Allegheny County Health Department's Maternal and Child Health Department, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Division, Shuman Juvenile Detention Center, University of Pittsburgh's Office of Child Development, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Repair The World, The Kingsley Association, The Pittsburgh Study, and Bike Pittsburgh to unpack racist, capitalist, and patriarchal systems of oppression. Her incredibly vulnerable practice invites breath, meditation, movement, and discussion as a platform to navigate trauma.

In addition to being awarded a Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Artist-In-Residence in 2017 and the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh's F.I.N.E. Artist-in-Residence, 2017–2018, Felicia was recognized as a 2018 Onyx Women Network Woman to Watch. In 2018 and 2019, Felicia was selected to participate in both Alisha B. Wormsley's "The People Are The Light" and "There Are Black People in the Future" as an Artist-in Residence. In 2019, she was honored by Creative Mornings as a featured speaker, and, additionally, in 2019 as a co-keynote speaker at the University of Pittsburgh's Reflective Supervision Symposium and as a keynote speaker for Remake Learning on Social-Emotional Learning. Felicia holds a Master of Elementary Education, is a 500-hour Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT), a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), and a Certified Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider. She is the Founder and CEO of YogaRoots On Location, LLC® and its 200-hour Certified Registered AntiRacist Raja Yoga School. Felicia is honored to be married to Martin Lee Friedman, a white Abolitionist Storyteller and AntiRacist Trainer. They are blessed with two adult children: Cleveland, an Independent Inventor in Minneapolis, MN and Maya, the Director of Training with YogaRoots On Location, Pittsburgh, PA..

Social Handles:
Instagram— @yogarootsonlocation
Twitter— @yogarootsonair
Facebook— Yoga Roots on Location

 

Monday, April 12 at 7:00 p.m.

"No love without justice" with Saira Raza '02 (she/her)

In All about Love, bell hooks writes ""There can be no love without justice...abuse and neglect negate love. Care and affirmation, the opposite of abuse and humiliation, are the foundation of love. It is a testimony to the failure of loving practice that abuse is happening in the first place."

Affecting positive social change is rewarding...and exhausting! For activists who are part of underrepresented and oppressed groups, including BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities, the toll on personal well-being can be even more amplified. Making self-care, rest, and inner exploration part of your leadership practice is essential to creating sustainable movements and preserving your authenticity, self-esteem, and capacity for empathy. It is a radical act in its own right, challenging core tenets of capitalist imperialist white supremacist patriarchy that rely on our addiction to work, accumulation, and self-deprecation.

Bio:

Saira Raza (she/her) is a business librarian at Emory University's Goizueta Business Library. She holds an MSLS from University of North Texas, an MPS in Africana Studies from Cornell University, and a BA in International Studies from Wells College. She has served as a co-chair of Emory Libraries DEI Committee since its start as a working group in 2016, witnessing the committee's sustained growth over the years to nearly 30 highly engaged volunteer members. Prior to working at Emory, Saira worked as a business librarian at Lehman Brothers (now Barclays) and King & Spalding. Saira's interests are in decolonizing libraries and educating future leaders to harness the power of good research skills to make informed, ethical, and equitable decisions.

She is also a practicing artist and musician, producing and sharing original music, performances, and installations in Atlanta GA.

"I founded the Activism Symposium! It brings me so much joy to know that it's become a regular part of the Wells experience. Participating as an alumni after 19 years fills me with gratitude and pride in my Wells community. "

Favorite Book: All about Love by Bell Hooks

Connect with Saira:

I don't have social media, but here is my website: https://sistersai.com/
And I also have my LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sairaraza/

April 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Bryant Sanders '12 (he/him)

Bio:

Bryant serves as Director and Co-founder of Grassroots Analytics Non-Profit (GANP) where he oversees all aspects of the business. Prior to starting GANP, he had a long tenure in the nonprofit and government sectors. Most recently he served as the Deputy Director of Development, Voter Participation Center (VPC) and Center for Voter Information (CVI).

Prior to joining VPC and CVI, he served as Corporate and Foundations Gifts Manager at LGBTQ Victory Institute and LGBTQ Victory Fund. While there, he helped build and expand the institutional funding sources, as well brought in strategic partnerships to support the organization's programs that create a pipeline of LGBTQ leaders to serve in public office. In addition, Bryant worked for DC Central Kitchen and the National Farm to School Network, where he developed and diversified their funding streams, as well as managed major donor relationships for these national grassroots organizations.

However, his journey to DC and public service started with United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) doing outreach and constituent affairs for New York state residents before transitioning into the development world.

Bryant is a proud alum of Wells College Class of 2012. While at Wells was an active member of student government serving on the Housing Committee, Community Court, Collegiate Cabinet, and etc. In addition he supported Residence Life as an RA for 3 semesters as well as ran cross country and swam for Wells's collegiate teams. Bryant is also a proud member of Evenline winning dodgeball team of 2010 and studied Public Affairs: Ethics with a double minor in German and Studio Art.

Favorite podcast: The Read

Connect with Bryant:
Instagram—b_sanders26
Twitter—Petty4Petty2017
Facebook—https://www.facebook.com/bsanders.wells12/

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