Rockwood is proud to announce the 2017 cohort of the Reproductive Health, Rights, & Justice Fellowship.
The fellowship brings together 24 leaders from different strategies, demographics, and locations across the United States for an opportunity to delve deeper into their leadership development, and build stronger ensuring partnerships for a greater impact within the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement.
Please join us in congratulating the 2017 Fellows:
Kelly Baden | Interim Senior Director, U.S. Policy & Advocacy, Center for Reproductive Rights
Kelly has worked in the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement for more than a decade, leading local, state, and national campaigns to advance public policies that improve abortion access. As the Director of State Advocacy for the Center for Reproductive Rights, Kelly oversees state and local advocacy throughout the United States, including shaping policy and advocacy strategies, leading convenings for state legislators, and building support for major national initiatives. Kelly’s expertise focuses on reproductive health, rights, and justice at the intersections of policy, advocacy, research, and culture change. She has appeared on MSNBC, and in outlets such as Time magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the Advocate, and serves on the board of Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity. You can usually find Kelly on the Amtrak between NY and DC, at the beach teaching her nieces and nephew a dance, or anytime on Twitter @KellyBaden.
Sneha Barot | Senior Policy Manager, Guttmacher Institute
Sneha is a Senior Policy Manager in the Washington, DC office of the Guttmacher Institute where she provides policy analysis on a range of sexual and reproductive health and rights issues internationally and in the United States. A lawyer by training, she has almost two decades of experience working to advance the rights of women, low-income populations, immigrants, and many others domestically and globally. Prior to joining Guttmacher in 2008, Sneha was Acting Director and Senior Program Manager at the Asia Division of the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative, where she managed programs to promote justice, democratic governance, and human dignity. She has also lived and worked with local women’s rights organizations in New Delhi, and with several public interest and human rights groups in New York, including the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Urban Justice Center. She currently serves on the board of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. Sneha graduated with honors from the University of Florida, and earned a JD from the New York University School of Law.
Jennifer Blasdell | Vice President of Public Policy & Strategic Partnerships, Physicians for Reproductive Health
A daughter of a nurse, Jenny loves working with healthcare providers. She began her career as a legal intern at the National Abortion Federation, and stayed for nearly a decade. In 2008, Jenny became the Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland where she directed their policy, grassroots, and electoral work and led efforts to combat deceptive tactics of crisis pregnancy centers. In 2011, Jenny joined the staff of Physicians for Reproductive Health where she is responsible for their vibrant public policy program. Jenny has worked with doctors to testify before Congress, met with lawmakers and their staff, and spoken with the media. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two children, and co-leads a Girl Scout troop in her spare time. Jenny is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Candace Bond-Theriault, Esq., LL.M. | Policy Counsel, Reproductive Health, Rights, & Justice, National LBGTQ Task Force
Candace (@attorney_bond) is the Policy Counsel for Reproductive Rights, Health and Justice at the National LGBTQ Task Force, where she primarily builds capacity and facilitates engagement between the LGBTQ and reproductive health, rights, and justice movements through a black feminist lens. Previously, she worked as a legislative assistant in the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office. She received her LL.M. degree from the American University Washington College of Law, her JD degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law, and her BA in Human Rights with a focus on race, gender, and sexuality from the College of William and Mary. Candace is studying to become a certified yoga instructor, and is a zen chaser who enjoys cooking, the sun, listening to Beyoncé.
Jasmine Burnett | Director of Community Organizing, New Voices for Reproductive Justice
Jasmine is a social justice strategist, writer, and community organizer with a mission to transform the ways in which individuals and systems identify with justice, love, and diversity. From her work as a student organizer and President of the Black Student Union of Purdue University, to her position now as Director of Community Organizing with New Voices for Reproductive Justice, she has pushed an unapologetic agenda on issues of anti-Black racism, gender, class, and sexuality. In her current role, Jasmine brings her wealth of consulting experience in the reproductive justice movement to deepen national base-building and coalition efforts among local and state partners in the midwest and rustbelt regions. Her work is invested in the health and wellbeing of Black women, femmes, and girls, and the leadership of women of color and the human rights of marginalized communities. She is a proud member of Echoing Ida, and has published a number articles that center the leadership and contributions of Black women.
Amy Casso | Gender Justice Program Director, Western States Center
Amy has a long history working at the intersections of racial, gender, economic, and health justice in an array of capacities with grassroots and national organizations. As the Gender Justice Program Director at Western States Center, Amy leads the reproductive justice capacity building project, “We are BRAVE,” that works alongside of organizations and leaders of color to help them become public champions for reproductive rights and justice, and fosters strong alliances to strengthen reproductive justice advocacy. Amy brings two decades of organizing, program, and policy experience in her past positions with Causa, National Organizers Alliance, La Fe Policy Research and Education Center, and the Co-founder of Colectivo Flatlander. Amy holds a MPA from the University of Washington Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, and BA degree at the University of Oregon.
Amy Chen | Senior Attorney, National Health Law Program
Amy is a senior staff attorney in the Los Angeles office of the National Health Law Program (NHELP), where her work focuses on reproductive health access both nationally, and in California. Her California-specific work includes insurance coverage for contraception and pregnancy, expanding access to family planning and abortion services, and fighting against religious restriction on reproductive health care. At the national level, she helps lead NHeLP’s efforts to address systemic barriers to comprehensive pregnancy care. Before joining NHeLP, Amy worked as a legal aid attorney at Bay Area Legal Aid in Oakland for eight years, where she provided direct legal services to individuals and families across the San Francisco Bay Area, and advocated on a wide range of issues including health care reform, Medi-Cal, Covered California, and private health insurance.
Farah Diaz-Tello | Senior Counsel, Self-Induced Abortion Legal Team
Farah is a US human rights attorney whose career is dedicated to the pursuit of reproductive justice, with a focus on pregnancy and the full spectrum of pregnancy outcomes. She is Senior Counsel for the SIA Legal Team, where she wields law and policy tools to ensure that people who end their pregnancies outside of the medical system can do so with dignity and safe from threat of arrest. Prior to that, she worked at the intersection of criminalization and reproduction as a Senior Staff Attorney at National Advocates for Pregnant Women. Farah strives to grow the law to promote birth justice and build community power to end mistreatment in birth and obstetric violence. She is honored to serve on the boards of directors of Backline and the Family Law Cannabis Alliance. Farah is an NYC-based Texpat, mother to a herd of boys, and a mediocre but earnest gardener.
Poonam Dreyfus-Pai | Deputy Director, All-Options
Poonam is honored to hold the role of Deputy Director at All-Options, where she creates systems and processes to support the staff and volunteers in designing, implementing, and evaluating programs that offer unconditional, judgment-free support for their clients’ reproductive decisions. Prior to this role, she served as an independent consultant, supporting movement leaders and their organizations through program development and evaluation. Her previous work includes program design, facilitation, and coaching as a Senior Manager at CoreAlign, researching abortion stigma at ANSIRH, and co-leading the Bay Area Doula Project. She currently serves on the Board of the National Network of Abortion Funds. In 2015 she was featured in San Francisco Magazine’s Women in Power issue for her work as a reproductive movement leader. She earned her Masters in Public Health and Masters in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Poonam makes her home in Oakland, where she spends her free time cooking for, playing music with, and endlessly photographing her wonderful family.
Angeline Echeverría | Executive Director, El Pueblo, Inc.
Angeline has served as the Executive Director of El Pueblo, Inc. since 2012. She grew up between upstate New York and South Carolina and first lived in North Carolina in 1999, when she served as an intern for the Farm Labor Organizing Committee through Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF). After graduating from the University of South Carolina with a B.A. in Latin American Studies, she worked full-time for SAF through North Carolina Public Allies, then moved on to bring her commitment to social justice to the Women’s Project in Little Rock, AR; to the Sarapiquí Conservation and Learning Center in Costa Rica; and to the Immigrant Justice Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Prior to joining El Pueblo, she spent four years at La Fuente, an organization dedicated to empowering immigrants and workers in New York City and Long Island.
Amy Everitt | Vice President of Special Projects, NARAL Pro-Choice America
At NARAL Pro-Choice California, Amy has been an innovative advocate for reproductive freedom for women and families throughout California. Under her leadership, California became the only state to successfully regulate anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers. Working for the Democratic National Committee, she successfully worked to elect pro-choice candidates for governor in Wyoming and Kansas in a year when Democrats sustained epic losses. She is most proud of the work she did for the Gore/Lieberman campaign in Michigan. Amy also spent time working internationally in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. As the Executive Director of AMCHAM, she created a scholarship program for Vietnamese students. In her previous position at the US Trade and Development Agency, she was most proud of pioneering disaster relief and prevention as a new investment sector.
Marinah V. Farrell | President, Midwives Alliance of North America
Marinah has grew up in the southwest, a child of the borderlands, and parents who were devoted to missionary work, faith, and indigenous medicine. The politics of Arizona, as well as the beauty of the Mexican and indigenous cultures, have been the foundation for her work in activism and community-based midwifery. Marinah has a deep respect for midwives fighting to access reproductive choice and birth justice for their communities, participating in innovative education, mentoring, and equity activism. Marinah is currently the President of the Midwives Alliance of North America, and has established community-based free health care via several organizations. Marinah is proud of her salsa, learning how to love harder, and being a servant leader for midwives, magic babies, and the families that love them.
Angela Ferrell-Zabala | Director of Strategic Partnerships, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Angela currently serves at the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Angela joined Planned Parenthood in 2014 as the Director of African American Leadership and Engagement, where she worked to ensure that the real, lived experiences and needs of communities of color – particularly black women and girls – are centered in the strategies that the organization moves forward. In her current position, she makes sure that Planned Parenthood is working in partnership with existing organizations, groups, and institutions led by, and serving, the black community. Previously, Angela worked for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) as the Director of Field Operations, where her chief responsibilities were grassroots organizing, state strategy, and capacity building within progressive faith communities. Before joining the team at RCRC, Angela worked at the Center for Community Change where she played an integral role in immigrant youth leadership projects, as well as the Community Voting Project. She is passionate about movement building, and empowering the next generation of leaders. With a background in Social Sciences, Angela began her journey into the world of social justice through many volunteer opportunities with particular interest in women’s rights, the LGBT community, immigration, and education.
Amy Hagstrom Miller | Founder, President, & CEO, Whole Woman’s Health
Amy is the Founder, President, and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, LLC, which was first established in Austin, TX in 2003. Now, eight facilities in Texas, Minnesota, Maryland, New Mexico, and Illinois serve more than 30,000 women a year. In 2015, Amy launched Shift., a nonprofit that works to strategically shift the stigma around abortion culture through education, training, proactive policy, and advocacy. Amy holds a degree in International Studies, with a concentration in religion and a minor in Women’s Studies from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. She began her career in reproductive health care 25 years ago, and soon discovered her calling to change the way women experience themselves in healthcare. Her national recognition for innovation, outspoken advocacy, and action has led her to be a frequently quoted spokesperson, conference presenter, and a nationally sought-out expert on women’s reproductive health.
Kimberly Inez McGuire | Senior Program Director, Conway Strategic
Kimberly is a queer Latina reproductive justice advocate, policy wonk, and communications strategist with a decade of experience building and leading innovative, values-based campaigns for progressive nonprofits. As a Program Director with ConwayStrategic, she brings a critical analysis on race and gender and a deep knowledge of public policy to a diverse portfolio of work encompassing reproductive health and rights, immigration policy, LGBTQ liberation, and racial justice. Previously, she served as Director of Public Affairs at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, where she transformed the organization’s public affairs program, and played a leading role in the introduction of groundbreaking legislation. Prior to NLIRH, she served as Senior Associate for Programs and Policy at the Reproductive Health Technologies Project. Kimberly currently serves on the advisory committees of the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Born Perfect campaign, and Women’s Voices for the Earth’s Detox the Box campaign.
Pamela Merritt | Co-Director, Reproaction
Pamela is the co-founder and co-director of Reproaction, a new direct action group forming to increase access to abortion and advance reproductive justice. She is a writer, activist, and blogger at AngryBlackBitch.com. In 2008, AngryBlackBitch.com was named one of the “World’s 50 Most Powerful Blogs” by the Guardian. In addition to her personal blog, Pamela is a contributor to Rewire (previously known as RH Reality Check). Pamela is a founding member of the Trust Black Women Partnership, and she sits on the NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri board. Pamela is also a member of Black Alliance for Leadership & Action, a strategic think tank and convening space around issues impacting black people in St. Louis. She has previously served as Communications Director for Progress MO, and Statewide Digital and Data Coordinator for Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri. A proud Missourian, Pamela lives in St. Louis with her canine companion Zelda.
Joy Messinger | Program Officer, Third Wave Fund
Born in South Korea and raised in rural Western New York, Joy Messinger’s life has been guided by a passion for reproductive justice and healing. For the past 15 years, she has worked with dozens of nonprofit and grassroots activist groups in the Northeast, South, and Midwest, focused on building power with youth, women of color, immigrants, and LGBTQ and disabled people. Currently, Joy is a Program Officer at Third Wave Fund, a national feminist fund resourcing youth-led gender justice organizations, and an adjunct instructor at the University of Chicago. She also holds degrees in social work, public health, and nonprofit leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of North Carolina. When she’s not working, Joy enjoys organizing spreadsheets, fundraisers, and people to support local abortion access, queer and trans people of color, and Asian American organizing and spoiling her very adorable cat Kimchi.
Oriaku Njoku | Co-Founder & Executive Director, Access Reproductive Care-Southeast
Oriaku, Co-Founder and Executive Director of ARC-Southeast, works at the intersection of abortion access and reproductive justice. The professional turning point in her life was in 2014 when she started working at an Atlanta abortion clinic. Seeing the need for abortion funding and base-building specifically abortion access in the South, she and a group of colleagues came together with hopes and dreams of amplifying the voices of people where they live, work, and love. She truly believes that we can and will create a cultural shift around how we talk about abortion in the South, and regularly invites people she meets to join her in making reproductive justice a reality. Currently, she supports southerners in navigating pathways to accessing safe, affordable, and compassionate abortion care through funding, practical support, and advocacy. Oriaku finds solace at home with cupcakes, her partner, and three movement pups: Marley, Charlie and Ruthie June (aka “RJ”).
Juana Peralta | Director of Outreach & Community Engagement, Sylvia Rivera Law Project
Juana is a queer, fat hard femme Latinx who has been educating and organizing around issues of gender, sexuality, race, class, and disability for 10 years. In 2012, Juana was named one of Chicago’s “30 Under 30” by the Windy City Times. Currently, Juana resides in NYC, and serves as the Director of Outreach and Community Engagement at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. At SRLP, she co-directs the Movement Building Team, and works to strengthen the leadership of transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex (TGNCI) people; leads cultural/community organizing; and fights for trans liberation, specifically prioritizing the leadership of formerly-/incarcerated, low-/no-income, immigrants, people with different abilities, and TGNCI people of color. Juana has a deep commitment to abolition and organizing around the intersections of prison justice and reproductive justice, and works alongside SRLP’s Prisoner Advisory Committee, using public education to organize around the harms of the prison industrial complex and prisons as centers of reproductive oppression.
Tiffany Pryor | Executive Director, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health
Tiffany received a BA in Human Services from Villanova University. She brings a wealth of knowledge from her rich experiences in youth development work, a trip to Cambodia, and two years in Americorps. These experiences proved fundamental to her desire to work with under-resourced youth, and resulted in the pursuit of her Master’s Degree in Social Work from DePaul University. During her first year at DePaul, Tiffany serviced as an intern at Alternatives, Inc. where she engaged young women in weekly social justice workshops. In her second year of the program, she was introduced to ICAH as a Community Organizing intern, and was the lead organizer for healthcare and school networks in Chicago. Tiffany’s powerful advocacy tactics have been central to ICAH’s successes in policy change, network growth, youth leadership development, and adult capacity building. In the process, she has risen as a compelling voice and energetic spokesperson for the Reproductive Justice movement, and is an innovative and inspiring leader as she guides ICAH’s next stage of strategic planning to increase intersections between racial, youth, birth, labor, gender, immigrant, disability, and reproductive justice.
Diana Thu-Thao Rhodes | Director of Public Policy, Advocates for Youth
Diana is the Director of Public Policy at Advocates for Youth, a national and international reproductive and sexual health/rights organization that centers the needs and voices of young people. In her current capacity, she oversees the organization’s international, federal, and state policy strategy and advocacy efforts. She currently sits as co-chair of the Federal Sex Ed Coalition, and serves on the Steering Committee for Take Root: Reproductive Justice in Red States Conference. Diana has worked with grassroots and grasstops stakeholders in social justice movements for over a decade, primarily around issues that affect women, youth, LGBTQ, and communities of color. Additionally, Diana has been curating and organizing with local arts and music communities for nearly 15 years, beginning in her hometown of Las Vegas, and now in her newly-adopted home of Washington, DC. She’s passionate about creating intentional spaces for activism, as well as creativity and radical self-expression.
Valencia Robinson | Founder & CEO, Mississippi in Action
Valencia is CEO and Founder of Mississippi in Action. The organization educates Mississippians on HIV/AIDS. She is a strong advocate for women’s rights, transgender rights and awareness, and reproductive justice. She can often be found at the capital, at rallies all over the state, and anywhere injustice plagues the LGBT and all communities. Her community efforts are endless. She is always ready to go to work for righteousness and rarely misses an opportunity to make a contribution. Valencia’s favorite quote is from Fannie Lou Hamer: “There is one thing you have got to learn about our movement. Three people are better than no people.”
Dr. Corrine Sanchez | Executive Director, Tewa Women United
Corrine of San Ildefonso Pueblo is Executive Director of Tewa Women United. She completed her doctorate in Justice Studies at Arizona State University. Corrine is trained in sexual assault intervention and prevention. She has worked in the sexual violence field for 20 years, and helped refine Tewa Women United’s awareness and healing intervention, “Trauma Rocks.” She has been part of the co-creation process of building Indigenous Knowledge through the contribution of TWU’s Research Methodology and Theory of Opide, a braiding of practice to action. Corrine was one of sixteen visionary leaders across the country selected as the first cohort of the Move to End Violence. She is dedicated to family and community healing, youth development, and ending violence against women, girls, and Mother Earth through her service with Tewa Women United.
Coya White Hat-Artichoker | Community Specialist, Sistersong
Coya is a proud enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Nation, raised on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Coya has been doing activist work in various communities and movements since the age of 15. Coya was a founding member of the First Nations Two Spirit Collective. She currently serves on the boards of SisterSong, PFund Foundation, and American Indian OIC. She is also a consultant providing analysis on Native American issues and reproductive justice. She has appeared in the film After Stonewall, and was selected as one of the 2010 “40 under 40” LGBT Leaders by the Advocate, and as Velvet Park’s 2014 “Top 25 Significant Queer Women”. Her writing has appeared in Sharing Our Stories of Survival: Native Women Surviving Violence (Altamira Press, 2007), The Bilerico Reporton LGBTQ Nation, and The Huffington Post. She tweets @coyahope.