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Presenter Bios

Presenter Bios

Session One 11:00 am- 12:30 pm 

Hey Shorty! Ending Gender Based Violence in Schools and On the Streets

Meghan Huppuch is the Director of Community Organizing at Girls for Gender Equity, has worked with dozens of youth organizers to identify and creatively address pressing issues of gender-based violence in their communities. She is a co-author of Hey, Shorty! A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools and on the Streets. Huppuch resides in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Relational Organizing: A Grassroots Framework

Dr. Georgianna Glose is the executive director of Fort Greene Strategic Neighborhood Action Partnership (SNAP).  She teaches at NY City Tech, is the founding member of the Interagency Council of the Aging, and a member of the Sisters of Saint Dominic. Dr. Glose received a MSW from Hunter College and a doctorate in Social Welfare from the CUNY, with a focus on racism.

Claire Cuno is currently the Community Organizer at Fort Greene SNAP. Previously she worked as a Social Justice Educator at Make the Road New York; an Arts Educator at Foster Pride; and an Assistant Youth and Community Coordinator at the Whitney Museum of Art. She holds a MSW, with a concentration in Community Organizing, from Hunter College.

The Song Unsung And The Story Never Told: Using the Creative Arts To Respond To Trauma

Bushra Husain, LCSW, is a clinical social worker at Sanctuary for Families. She earned her MSW from Columbia University.  Bushra interned with Human Rights Programme, and is involved with the Re-Drawing Resistance Project, a transnational collection of art work from South Asian women’s survival of violence.

Mariama Diallo, MSW, is the African Community Specialist working in the Non-Residential Program at Sanctuary for Families. She conducts community outreach and trainings on domestic violence, forced marriage, and female genital mutilation and is the Co-Chair of the Coalition for the Empowerment of African Women and Girls. She is originally from Guinea.

Emily Nash, LCAT, is a licensed New York State creative arts therapist. She is the founder and director of Therapeutic Arts Alliance Manhattan, a forum offering workshops and seminars dedicated to the exploration of the creative arts as a healing process. She has also worked at Creative Alternatives of New York and The ArtReach Foundation.

Gabriela Kohen, MFA, runs therapeutic theater workshops with Creative Alternatives of New York. She is a faculty member at Therapeutic Arts Alliance of Manhattan and also a performer with an award winning one-woman-show, “Decoding the Tablecloth.” Gabriela is currently studying at the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies. She is a native of Argentina.

Project Prevention

Carole Eady serves as co-chair of Women on the Rise Telling HerStory (WORTH). Carole is a family advocate at the NYC Human Resources Administration and  teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the College of New Rochelle. She serves on the board of directors for the Center for Community Alternatives and is an assistant coordinator for the Exodus Prison Project at Abyssinian Baptist Church.

Tina Reynolds is Co-Founder and Chair of Women on the Rise Telling HerStory (WORTH). Reynolds has a MSW from Hunter College and is currently teaching “Impact of Incarceration on Families, Communities and Children” York College’s Psychology Department. She edited the anthology “Interrupted Life: Experiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States”.

Dinah Adames is an undergraduate at the College of New Rochelle, an advocate for women’s rights, and a member of several organizations helping formerly incarcerated women. She also serves as office manager for Women on the Rise Telling HerStory (WORTH). An avid writer, Dinah has just completed her first manuscript.

African Centered Healing in Social Work

Tanisha Douglas has worked for several organizations including the Harlem Children’s Zone and the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.  A graduate of Columbia University’s School of Social Work, her areas of focus were clinical practice, criminal justice, and African-centered practice. She is strongly connected to her African roots and believes in their healing power.

Michelle Grier is a Health Care Integrator at New Alternatives for Children and serves on the Board of the YWCA of Brooklyn. She has an MSSW from Columbia University. Michelle joined an independent study on African-Centered Social Work to explore the complexities of being an African descendant and providing services to communities of color, and continues to explore African-Centered Social Work.

Young Mother Empowerment

Samora Coles knows first-hand the limited support given to teen single mothers. She created the Young Mother Empowerment program at the Red Hook Initiative, serving over 60 teenage mothers in the metro area. Samora is trained in program evaluation by the CUNY Graduate Center Evaluation Institute of New York and sits on the Community Advisory Board for Planned Parenthood of NYC. She is a native of Brooklyn.

If You Cant See Me, How Can You Help Me?

Tysheena Rhames is the Youth Outreach Worker at Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS). She provides preventive education, early intervention, and peer counseling to girls and young women. Tysheena helped pass the NY Safe Harbor for Exploited Youth Act. A GEMS graduate, she plans to pursue a psychology degree at the College of New Rochelle.

Yolanda is a GEMS outreach worker.

Trafficking and Labor Migration

 Damayan Migrant Workers Association is the leading grassroots organization in NYC examining the intersection of trafficking, domestic work, gender, and migration. Damayan is currently launching a campaign to fight labor trafficking and modern day slavery of domestic workers.

Session Two, 2:15-3:45 

Translating the Gender and Sex Continuums in Mental Health: Client and Clinician Fears

Shannon Sennott is an educator, gender justice activist, and psychotherapist. Trained at the Smith School for Social Work and the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society,  she founded the organization Translate Gender, Inc. Shannon utilizes a transfeminist therapeutic approach in working with differently gendered adolescents, individuals, and families.

Tones Smith is a facilitator, collective member, and curriculum developer with Translate Gender. He is working toward a clinical social work degree from the Smith School for Social Work, with a continued commitment to the liberation and destigmatization of all trans and gender non-conforming people.

Radical Doulas: Supporting All Pregnant People

Caitlin Caven has a BA in Anthropology from Haverford College and has been a member of The Doula Project for over a year. She is also finishing yoga instructor training with a therapeutic focus, and is occasionally a freelance writer.

Lauren Mitchell is an abortion counselor, Gynecological Teaching Associate, and Masters candidate at Columbia University’s Narrative Medicine program. She is Co-Founder and Coordinator of the Doula Project and has worked with hundreds of activists and pregnant women over the past four years.

Circles as Integral Aspect of Difficult Dialogues

José Alfaro is an activist, educator, and psychotherapist from the ‘60’s who is still interested in changing the world.  He is also the parent of a progressive hip hop artist, the step-parent of an activist, and the grandfather of two 9 year-olds, one of whom is presently being raised by him and his domestic partner.

 Liana Maris  is active in numerous teacher activist organizations. She believes the restorative approach is important to social justice work in schools because it emphasizes inclusion and accountability for all members of the community. Liana also believes a punitive, zero-tolerance approach deliberately isolates individuals, rather than provides opportunity to make amends.

Theater of the Oppressed: Rehersing a More Just Reality

Ellen Baxt is a poet whose first book, “Analfabeto / An Alphabet” was published in 2007. As a theater activist she has worked with the CUNY, Make the Road New York, and other community organizations to bring theater to their organizing work. She is a former member of the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory.

Immigration and Detention Issues in the United States: Impact on Asylum Seekers and Immigrant

Amy Cortright is a social work intern with Irate-First Friends and is working towards her MSW at Rutgers University. Her interests include international social work, international community development, and human rights. Amy has worked in diverse areas of social work nationally and internationally.

Greg Sullivan has been the Program Director for Irate-First Friends since 2007. Greg served on the school board of Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey and developed a passion for human rights issues while serving as a Co-Chair of the Social Justice Ministry at St. Elizabeth Church and as a Board member for the Bergen County, NJ, Sanctuary Committee.

Kofi Amoako is a former immigration detainee and asylum seeker from Africa. He will share first-hand knowledge about his personal experiences in immigration detention and his struggles in the legal system.

Fighting to Save the Safety Net for All Unemployed People

Community Voices Heard (CVH) is an organization of low-income people, predominantly women with experience in welfare, working to build power in New York State to improve the lives of our families and communities

Fat is a Social Work Issue

Michelle Matthews is a second year master’s student in the Silver School of Social Work at NYU. She is a fat activist and integrates her activism into her social worker education. Michelle is the founder of the Size Diversity Coalition of Social Workers, where she conducts trainings on fat bias and blogs in the fat-o-sphere as The Fat Social Worker.

Enhancing Our Lens: US & Cuba Relations

Rachael Ibrahim is a Social Work Community Organizer, activist, and consultant working locally and internationally. Rachael uses an anti-racist approach to address oppression through schools, organizations, and grassroots organizing.  Her affiliations include The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, Hunter College School of Social Work, and the New York Collective of Radical Educators, among many others.

Session Three, 4:00- 5:30

POWER: How Normalized Oppression Effect People of Color

Where Our Minds Empower Needs (WOMEN) is a small group of women-identified youth working towards the revitalization of women’s health for women of color. Since forming in April 2010, they have taken a holistic approach to women’s health. WOMEN is located in the Hunts Point neighborhood of The South Bronx and housed at The Point CDC.

Beautiful: The Documentary

Tammy Williams is a professional social worker and professional hairstylist. She owns IMENA Inc., a NY-based hair and beauty company. IMENA focuses on helping women identify and maintain their personal style of beauty.  As a social worker, Tammy works with individuals, couples and families.

Radical Social Work: Embracing Our Radical Roots  

The Radical Social Work Group is a group of activist social workers–which we define broadly–who aim to confront injustice to transform our society through radical social work practices. We’ve been meeting for monthly potlucks since 2008, supporting each other and working together. We are an inter-generational and multiracial group.  Find us through our Google group, RadicalSWG.

Make Art! Build Community!

Ama Codjoe is the Lead Teacher for the ACTION Project and Co-Coordinator of Professional Development for DreamYard’s Out of School Programs.  She is a graduate of Brown University (B.A. English) and Ohio State University (MFA, Dance).

Malaika Holder, a senior at Bronx Theater High School, is a fourth year ACTION Project participant.

Dalverson Rosario, a senior at Urban Assembly of History and Citizenship for Young Men, is a third year ACTION participant.

Organizing for Change in the NYC Child Welfare System

Michael Arsham, the Child Welfare Organizing Project (CWOP) Executive Director since 1998, is a social worker with over 35 years of experience.  He was an early advocate for community-based family support and preservation services in NYC. Mike developed and directed programs with Rheedlen Center for Children and Families, which is now the Harlem Children’s Zone.

Sabra Jackson is the Child Welfare Organizing Project (CWOP) Parent Advocate Network Coordinator. She has lectured at numerous universities and conferences, including the National Advocates for Pregnant Women’s conference on drugs, pregnancy, and parenting.  She completed CWOP’s Parent Leadership Curriculum in 2005 and has reunited with her two children who were placed in foster care.

Sandra Killett is a mother with personal experience with the child welfare system. She completed CWOP’s the Child Welfare Organizing Project (CWOP) Parent Leadership Curriculum in 2006 and is a Parent Advocate with The Children’s Village. Sandra is a member of the People’s Institute Women of Color Group and is a former board chair of Community Voices Heard.

Bernadette Blount has been a Child Welfare Organizing Project Project (CWOP) Organizer since 2001. She has written a variety of publications, including co-authoring CWOP’s parents’ rights manual. She has guest lectured at law and social work schools around NYC and serves on a national steering committee addressing disproportionate representation of families of color in child welfare.

Speaking Out:  LGBTQ Survivors of Violence

The New York City Anti-Violence Project Speaker’s Bureau program is made up of a mixed-gender and multi-racial group of individuals. They have worked together to address their own experiences of hate and domestic violence as LGBTQ-identified individuals, while speaking out and sharing their stories.

 Fundraising for Justice: Organizing and Making Money

Ellen Gurzinsky held leadership positions in community based and national organizations for 30 years before founding Windowbox Coaching and Consulting. Ellen earned her MSW in Community Organizing and a certification in Executive Coaching at New York University, and has taught at Hunter College School of Social Work. Her work has focused on workers’ rights, women’s advocacy, LGBTQ rights, movement building, and more.






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