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Women of Color of Trans Experience in
Leadership, Advocacy, & Mentorship

A National Virtual Summit

Women of Color of Trans Experience in
Leadership, Advocacy, & Mentorship

A National Virtual Summit

Women of Color of Trans Experience in
Leadership, Advocacy, & Mentorship

A National Virtual Summit

Hosted by Transformations Youth Organization

Hosted by Transformations Youth Organization


Hosts & Speakers

Transformations Leadership

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Photographer: Khalif Gillett

Carmen Xavier

she/her • KC

Elected Public Official, Former Anesthesiologist
Board Member, Transformations

CARMEN XAVIER is a 73-year-old, out and proud, Mexican, queer & transgender woman. She is a Kansas City native and currently resides in Smithville, Missouri where she currently serves as the planning & zoning commissioner. Carmen has an extensive history in public service including serving as a city elected official in appointed office. She is a graduate of KU (1980) and for 31 years, she worked as an anesthesiologist, where she retired from St. Luke’s Hospital. Carmen has been a guest presenter at the Kansas City School of Osteopathic Medicine, Universities, and Hospitals She is dedicated to culturally-sensitive and competent health care delivery for transgender patients and currently volunteers as a Board Member for Transformations Youth Organization, a non-profit focused on serving trans and gender-expansive young people and those who care for them.

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Kelly Nou

she/her • KC

Community Advocate
Vice President of Board, Transformations

KELLY NOU is a cosmetologist, former female impersonator, and a first-generation Cambodian-American immigrant. She has been in Kansas City since being a young child and living in her truth as a transgender woman for 20+ years. Kelly is honored to have nurtured and mentored many transgender girls in the Kansas City community to start their journey and is dedicated to uplifting her trans sisters of color. She is very focused on healthcare access and keeping communities of color safe. Kelly currently works with Maximus as a Contact Tracer with Springfield Greene County Health Department. Helping with reducing the spread of Covid-19. Kelly currently serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for Transformations Youth Organization, a non-profit focused on serving trans and gender-expansive young people and those who care for them.

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Photographer: Khalif Gillett

Merrique Jenson

she/her • KC & Seattle

Activist & Anthropologist
Founder & Program Director, Transformations
Director, SocialScope Productions

MERRIQUE JENSON is a transgender, queer, second-generation multiracial woman of color who is of White and Mexican heritage. She currently serves as the Program Director for Transformations, a trans and gender-expansive youth organization based in Kansas City. Merrique has been working in the fields of harm reduction and anti-violence advocacy for over 20 years and helped create multiple, startup LGBTQ programs in the Midwest for young people and trans people of color experiencing trauma, houselessness and living on the streets. She is the Owner/Principal of her own company, SocialScope Productions, focused on multimedia artistic programs, equity development, and intersectional professional development coaching. Her multimedia projects have been nationally recognized, including the popular #GetWoke artistic event series. Merrique has performed as a DJ, is a published author, and contributing blogger for The Advocate, Out Magazine & HuffPost, and an award-winning documentary filmmaker.  She is a respected community advisor and racial equity consultant, and some of her clients include About Face Youth Theatre, Bumble, The Coterie Theatre, Grindr, KU Medical Center, Mid-America Arts Alliance and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. She is currently serving a two-year term as a board member for Theatre Communications Group. She recently was awarded a LGBTQ Commission Special Action Recognition by Kansas City and Mayor Quinton Lucas for June 2021 Pride Month. Merrique's artistic work has been recognized by the Association for Queer Anthropology, she is a Kansas City two-time Rocket Grants full-project award winner, has delivered keynotes for Yale University, Southern Oregon University, Northwestern University, headlined Seattle Pride and Houston Pride, and has been featured as a guest on The Oprah Show. She currently spends her time living and traveling in both Seattle and Kansas City, MO.

Hosts

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Gabrielle Inès Souza

she/her • STL

Trans Activist, Artist, Mediamaker

GABRIELLE INÈS SOUZA draws from her life story when writing and sharing about the experiences of Black Trans Women. Her most recent dive into activism and being a voice began as well as catapulted her into this role with her touching video regarding the violence against Black Trans Women and the lack of support received from the very LQBTQIA+ community she belongs to. Gabrielle's compassion, humanity and love for philanthropy comes after 9 years of working in healthcare. Now, she feels that she is able to put that very same devotion and effort back into her community. She is currently utilizing her voice to bring awareness to the violence and hardships of Black Trans Women like herself, modeling for various brands and businesses, as well as offering education around diversity and inclusion to businesses.

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Photographer: Matt Blind

Joss Barton

she/her • STL

Writer, Poet, Spoken Word Performance Artist
Creator of Cicadas & Coneflowers Writers Workshop for Trans Writers of Color

JOSS BARTON is a writer, journalist, and spoken word performance artist exploring and documenting queer and trans* life, love, and liberation. Her work blends femme-fever dreams over the soundtrack of the American nightmare. Combining prose poetry, non-fiction confessional essays, drag artistry, and spoken word stage performances, Joss examines the myriad states of queer trans womanhoods from historical, political, and pop cultural identities of death, desires, dreams, and disco.

Her achievements include a 2013 fiction fellowship at the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Emerging LGBT Writers Retreat, a contributing artist position for Nine Network’s Public Media Commons Artist Showcase, and a 2016 fellowship with Topside Press' Trans Women's Writers Workshop. She is also an alumni of the Community Arts Training Institute of the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission, a grant recipient of the Regional Arts Commission's Artist Support Grant Fund, as well as a grant recipient of Metro Trans Umbrella Group's Community Fund Micro-Grant. She was also part of the first class of writers selected to create temporary public text-art installations displayed in the historic Saint Louis neighborhood of Marine Villa in collaboration with design and sculpture duo PSA-STL in the summer of 2020. And she is the proud founding organizer of Cicadas & Coneflowers Writers Workshop for Trans Writers of Color.

Her work has appeared in The Contemporary HIV Zeitgeist: A Fresh Look at Gay Men and HIV , Vice Magazine, Vetch Poetry: A Transgender Poetry Journal, Locusts: A Post-Queer Nation Zine, HIV Here & Now Project, For Your Eyes Only Zine Vol. 2, Femmescapes Zine Vol. 2, Out In STL Magazine, Vital Voice Magazine, A Formal Invitation Zine Vol. 1., Nightboat Book’s We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics, BELT Magazine, Smoke+Mold Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, and the Disco Wisdom blog. She has performed across Saint Louis and the United States for Goodie House of Poetry & Stories Reading Series, Metro Trans Umbrella Group's Telethon, Art As Verb queer art show, River Styx Hungry Young Poets Summer Reading Series, Get Woke! Living In Color Kansas City Pride Party, An Infected Sunset Poetry Tour, The Transsexual Empire Strikes Back Poetry Tour, Austin’s Outsider Festival and the GenderUnbound Arts Festival. She resides and writes in Saint Louis, Missouri.

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Marissa Miller

she/her • Indiana

Founding Director, National Trans Visibility March
Founder & Director, Trans Solutions Consulting

MARISSA MILLER is a nationally recognized advocate for human rights, social justice, health equity, and LGBTQ equality. Marissa has worked for the last 15 years on the local, state, and national levels to improve access to treatment and care for transgender people and people living with HIV, and to erase stigma and discrimination through education, policy, advocacy, and visibility.

Marissa is now working to create in the Midwest; she is the Founder and Executive Director of Trans Solutions Research and Resource Center, based in Indiana. Tran Solutions Research and Resource Center is designed to create a Global Culture of safety for the transgender, nonbinary, and gender non conforming communities through policy, safety networks and plans, web developed concepts, equitable opportunities, certifications and devices. In her work, Marissa Miller has worked with some of the nation’s most influential agencies working to End the HIV epidemic including: AIDS United, NMAC, CDC, HRSA, NIH and a former Board Member for Positively Trans (T+) Transgender Law Center. Through her work with the CDC Marissa served on the team that created the first intervention specifically designed for Transwomen, TWIST.

Marissa currently serves as the Senior Strategic Director for the National Trans Visibility March, an annual event that brings together over five thousand constituents from across the U.S. Marissa brings a great deal of expertise serving transgender and gender non-conforming communities, specifically in the areas of: infrastructure building, program development, evaluation and leadership development.

Keynote Panelists

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Dee Dee Watters

she/her • Houston

Life Coach, Entrepreneur, Community Leader

DEE DEE WATTERS is a Black Transgender entrepreneur, community leader, spiritual leader, teacher, life coach, keynote speaker, director, and performer. A passionate public speaker, who aims to educate and entertain the public in her speeches and performances. Featured on TLC, HBO Vice, Travel Channel, AJ Media, Nightline, and Ripley's Believe It or Not just to name a few! Dee Dee has been in various magazines like the Huffington Post, the Ambassador, OutSmart, and many others including magazines and even newspapers overseas! She's received numerous awards and has made history within the black trans community, through leadership and dedication. She was awarded the Advocacy Achievement Award and deemed woman of the year 2019 by one of the largest HIV/Aids organizations in America, Aids Healthcare Foundation. Dee Dee has spoken at large rallies, protests, visuals, and marches; like the Planned Parenthood Power of Pink rally where she received a shoutout from Cecile Richards', or when she reminded the Black women in Houston about BETTER! prior to them marching in 2019 at the March for Black Women in Houston! Dee Dee is the CEO of Take My Calls Virtual Assistant & Answering Services and a partner for the Gender Education Network.

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Photographer: Joshua Foo

Dominique Morgan

she/her • Omaha

Artist, Activist
Executive Director of Black & Pink

DOMINIQUE MORGAN is an award-winning artist, activist, and TEDx speaker. As the Executive Director of Black and Pink, the largest prison abolitionist organization in the United States. She works daily to dismantle the systems that perpetuate violence on LGBTQ/GNC people and individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Partnering her lived experience of being impacted by mass incarceration (including 18 months in solitary confinement), with a decade of change-making artistry, advocacy, and background in public health, she continues to work in spaces of sex education, radical self-care, and transformative youth development with intentions of dismantling the prison industrial complex and its impact on our communities. Ms. Morgan is a 2020 Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award recipient, NAACP Freedom Fighter Award recipient, and 2020 JM Kaplan Innovation Prize recipient. Her new album Pisces In E Flat Major is available on all platforms and her book “Sex Ed for System Facing People” will be available in 2022. Find out more about Dominique at www.dominiquemorgan.com. Check out her TEDxTalk on Resilience

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Korea Kelly

she/her • KC

Community Advocate, Entertainer
Prevention Education at Kansas City Care

KOREA KELLY is a Black woman of trans experience. She is a community advocate, helping other trans and LGBTQIA people in Kansas City. Korea currently works in leadership and in prevention education at the Kansas City Care Health Center. She has also served as the Youth & Adult Empowerment Specialist and UplifT Program Coordinator for the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project, working every day in LGBTQ specific anti-violence and anti-oppression work. She is the owner of Cavalli Entertainment, a business that provides & creates events and spaces for the ballroom & pageant communities, as well as the LGBTQIA community, specifically geared towards people of color.

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Mila Jam

she/her • NYC

Pop Recording Artist, Community Advocate, Transgender Star

NYC pop recording artivist & transgender star, MILA JAM fills every room with talent, personality & undeniable style. A YouTube Sensation turned Original Pop Artist, Mila is known around the world for her unforgettable stage performances & one of a kind music videos. Mila has toured internationally with the Broadway musical RENT; performed alongside James Brown, Mark Ronson, Laverne Cox, Travis Wall, Jody Watley, Lady Kier (Deee-Lite) & Natasha Bedingfield. Appearances include the BBC's The Lilly Allen Show, GLAAD Media Awards, MTV & MTV NEWS with special features on The Huffington Post, MTV.com, OUT.com, Perezhilton.com, and prominently featured in Cadillac’s Audacity of Blackness commercial. Her song 'Faces' was featured in Ralph Lauren's Polo Pride campaign. She is the Odyssey Nightlife Awards Breakthrough Artist (2015), the GLAM Nightlife Awards Best Video & Dance Artist (2013) and the talk show host of an original YouTube Talk Show Series titled 'I'm From Driftwood'.

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Hope Giselle

she/her • Miami

National Advocate, Activist, Author

Miami native HOPE GISELLE got her start in activism, facilitation, and inclusion while in College at Alabama State University. Helping to found and govern the conservative schools FIRST LGBT organization. Giselle ultimately graduated with a masters in Fine Arts as the first openly trans woman to do so at the institution after acquiring certifications from both Harvard and SHRM Giselle hit the ground running with her modern social take on trans and black bodies in both public and private spaces. Giselle made a name for herself through a nearly 10 year career as an activist, master facilitator and author has now founded her own non-profit organization (AllowMe) while serving as a master inclusion specialist and HR consultant by contract. Hope now serves as the Director of Get Phluid and Chief Community Outreach Consultant at Plume health, while still working with organizations like HRC, freedom for all Americans, LGBT University, ITEquality and TransTech Social to help ensure that the voices of the communities she's apart of are heard.

Speakers

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Photographer: 8 Paolo

Bamby Salcedo

she/her • LA

Public Speaker, International Advocate
President of Trans Latin@ Coalition

BAMBY SALCEDO, MA is a nationally and internationally recognized transgender Latina Woman who received her Master’s Degree in Mexican and Latin@ Studies from California State California Los Angeles. Bamby is the President and CEO of the TransLatin@ Coalition, a national organization that focuses on addressing the issues of transgender Latin@s in the US. Bamby developed the Center for Violence Prevention & Transgender Wellness, a multipurpose, multiservice space for Trans people in Los Angeles. Bamby’s remarkable and wide-ranging activist work has brought voice and visibility to not only the trans community, but also to the multiple overlapping communities and issues that her life has touched including migration, HIV, youth, LGBT, incarceration and Latin@ communities. Through her instinctive leadership, she has birthed several organizations that created communities where there was none, and advocate for the rights, dignity, and humanity for those who have been without a voice. Bamby’s work as a collaborator and a connector through a variety of organizations reflects her skills in crossing various borders and boundaries and working in the intersection of multiple communities as well as the intersections of multiple issues. Bamby has served and participated in many local, national and international organizations and planning groups. This work mediates intersections of race, gender, sexuality, age, social class, HIV+ status, immigration status and more.

Her activist public speaking has ranged from testifying to governmental bodies, human rights and social justice organizations, universities and colleges, demonstrations and rallies, and national and international conferences as featured speaker. Bamby speaks to diverse audiences on many topics and intersecting issues. Bamby has spoken about transgender-related issues, social justice, healthcare, social services, incarceration, immigration and detention as well as professional and economic development for transgender people. Bamby has been invited to participate in several panels at the White House including in 2015 The United State of Woman where she share stage with President Biden at the opening plenary session and in 2015, Transgender Women of Color and Violence and LGBTQ People of Color Summit. Bamby has also participated as the Opening Plenary Speaker at several conferences, including The 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference, The United States Conference on AIDS in 2009 and 2012. She has participated as facilitator with The PanAmerican Health Organization while developing the Blue Print on how to provide competent health care services for transgender people as well as health care for LGBT people and Human Rights in Latin America and The Caribbean.

Her powerful, sobering and inspiring speeches and her warm, down-to-earth presence have provided emotional grounding and perspective for diverse gatherings. She speaks from the heart, as one who has been able to transcend many of her own issues, to truly drop ways of being and coping that no longer served her, issues that have derailed and paralyzed countless lives. Her words and experience evoke both tears and laughter, sobriety and inspiration through the documentary made about her life called TransVisible: Bamby Salcedo’s Story. Bamby has been featured and recognized in multiple media outlets such as People en Español, Latina Magazine, Cosmopolitan, the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, OUT 100 and featured in the HBO documentary The Trans List, among many other. Bamby has also being recognized for her outstanding work by multiple national and local organizations.

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Beverly Ross

she/her • Chicago

Community Advocate, Femme Queen
Transgender Peer Leader at Cook County Health

BEVERLY ROSS is nationally recognized as an advocate for human rights, social justice, health equity, and LGBTQ equality. Beverly has worked for the past 6 years on the local, national and international levels to improve access to treatment and care for transgender people and people living with HIV, and to erase stigma and discrimination through education, policy, advocacy, and visibility. Beverly has worked in the capacity as the facilitator for Project Elevate, a CDC CARS Initiative, that promotes the Sexual Health of Young Women of Color and Young Transgender Women of Color. Beverly, known for her work with the Gilead PrEP 4 Love campaign, where she is was featured on CTA Transit stops, billboards and around the other Public Health Systems in the Midwest. Beverly is committed to Community Engagement for disenfranchised populations and remains a decision-makers at many tables. Beverly is a Beauty Guru, known as “Chicago Mother Beverly West ” in the National Ball Scene, and is known for bringing that same Fashion and Beauty expertise to the floor. She has hosted multiple events for her Community and continues to bring Ambassadorship to a full circle.

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Candi Brings Plenty

they/them • South Dakota

Two Spirit Warrior, Non-Binary Lakota Activist
Indigenous Justice Organizer for ACLU of South Dakota

CANDI BRINGS PLENTY is a Queer Indigenous, non-binary Two Spirit. They are a Water Protector, Land Defender, Protector of the Sacred, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives activist and Mama Bear. Professionally, they are an Indigenous Justice Organizer and lobbyist for the ACLU-SD. They are a tribal enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe from the Očeti Šakowin Territory. They utilize Indigenous traditional methods and Lakota spirituality, infused with their political background and constitutional rights to elevate Indigenous Justice. Candi is also a Two Spirit lobbyist who fight for Indigenous bills and anti-Trans & anti-LGBTQ bills both at our state level and within our local and tribal governments. They also empower and mentor other Two Spirit youth and leaders to embrace their identity while working to mend historical trauma that has attempted to eradicate Two Spirits and Indigenous Queers through systemic oppression, homophobia and transphobia.

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Photographer: Khalif Gillett

Gia Bleu

she/her • KC

Business Owner, Entrepreneur
Owner of Bleu Beauti

GIA BLEU is a 25 year old queer and trans, multiracial Black trans woman and Kansas City native. Recently, she formed her own corporation to build quality, affordable human hair custom wigs and installation, primarily serving other transgender women in the Kansas City region. Gia is a survivor of teenage homelessness and the street economy. She is committed to supporting other transgender women of color build resiliency and life skills while learning how to transform their own hustle into sustainable business practices.

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Jade Careaga

she/her • Seattle

Nursing Student & Makeup Artist

JADE CAREAGA is a multriacial White, Filipino, Puerto Rican, and Mexican woman of trans experience who is an accomplished makeup artist and stylist based in Seattle, Washington. Prior to Covid, she was often working with amazing clients who celebrated Jade for her positive attitude, friendliness, and guidance in all things cosmetic related. On December 16, 2020, Jade became a victim of gun violence from a client and almost died. During her intensive rehabilitation where she underwent four different major reconstructive surgeries within three months to save her life. During this time, Jade became very familiar with the medical system and realized she wanted to go into healthcare so she too may be able to help others that have gone through similar experiences as herself. She is proud to share that recently, she enrolled in college and is pursuing a Bachelors of Nursing. Jade is excited to be part of this summit, to lend her voice and experience to help raise awareness to the violence that many trans women of color experience.

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Joelle Bayaa-Uzuri Espeut

she/her • Houston

Community Advocate, Fashion Designer
Program Coordinator, Normal Anomaly Initiative

While new to the social advocacy world, JOELLE BAYAA-UZURI ESPEUT is not new to social activism and leadership. An army brat (born in Wurtzburg, Germany) from Los Angeles, Joelle’s life has always been defined by showing up and showing out in spaces where she was not represented. Her professional career began fashion design/apparel-manufacturing. After majoring in fashion design, she went on to work in fashion and apparel-manufacturing for over 10 years, working for such companies as Baby Phat Clothing and American Apparel. Beginning on the design side, Joelle transitioned over to the Production/Planning side of apparel. While Joelle enjoyed working on the corporate side of the apparel industry, she quickly hit the glass ceiling of how far she could advance. She also saw a lack of diversity and representation. In 2013, she left working in corporate to pursue a freelance fashion career; one that afforded her the opportunity to take a more nuanced career path that allowed her to not only work more with companies and projects that aligned with her own truths. Throughout this time, Joelle strived to not only help build smaller brands, but also provide more black trans representation in the L.A. underground performance art scene. During this period, Joelle started her own T-shirt line, Ten90Two, LLC, styled music videos, and performed around L.A. under the stage name ‘Miss Honey Bee’. In November, 2018, Joelle began to work with the Mahogany Project, Inc., a Houston-based non-profit organization focusing on black and brown TLGBQ+ communities. Coming on as the CAB president, and then moving onto the Communications Manager, Joelle helped build the social media brand identity, as well as planning social media posts. Joelle also helped with planning various Mahogany Project events and programming. In February 2021, Joelle joined the Normal Anomaly Initiative team as a program coordinator, where she ran the organization’s social media, as well as helping write programming and facilitate trainings and webinars.

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Joseline "Josie" Price

she/her • Kansas & Atlanta

Performer, Activist, Community Leader

JOSELINE “JOSIE” PRICE was born and raised in the flatlands of Kansas. While growing up, becoming a drag entertainer, beginning her outward transition at age 19, and diving into the field of sex work, she battled racism, transphobia, and fatphobia in an area of the country that is known as being ‘behind the curve’ on celebrating many personal freedoms and walks of life. Throughout those struggles and over the years, she leaned on the shared experiences of other trans women around her, especially those of color. She still values her friends and those continued conversations above almost anything, and is open to sharing her own story as often as possible to those who need and want to hear. She now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, aspiring to find a career behind-the-scenes in the entertainment industry, all the while continuing to wow audiences doing drag on her own journey to growth, success, and finding the love within.

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Dr. Meredith Gray, MD

she/her • KC

Associate Professor, Medical Director at The University of Kansas Health System Gender Diversity Clinic

DR. MEREDITH GRAY, MD is an associate professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center and the medical director of The University of Kansas Health System gender diversity clinic. Dr. Gray started a transgender medicine program at the University of South Florida before moving to Kansas. Here in Kansas City, Dr. Gray launched a robust gender-affirming surgery program – quickly becoming the most advanced, comprehensive program within 500 miles. The team focuses on providing world class multidisciplinary care, as well as training the next generation of physicians to improve access and visibility of gender services. She has published multiple articles on gender care in peer reviewed journals. Most recently, she was the guest editor on a special section about gender-affirming surgery in the Journal of Gynecologic Surgery. Every article in this series includes authors who identify as transgender or gender nonconforming to make sure members of the community are at the forefront of the academic discussion and innovation.

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Mica Cole

she/her • Chicago

Theatre Artist & Producer,
Changemaker, Racial Equity Consultant

MICA COLE identifies as a Black cisgender woman and is a theatre artist, arts administrator, independent producer, and changemaker with a passion for transformative justice. Over the past 20 years, she has collaborated with a diverse range of artists and arts institutions across the nation. Most recently, she served eight seasons as the Repertory Producer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival where she was the head producer for three mainstage venues. Mica produced over 80 shows, including a dozen transfers and national co-productions of new plays. Prior to OSF, she worked in Chicago as the Executive Director of Free Street Theater for five seasons. Mica is a consultant with artEquity, most recently co-leading the BIPOC Surviving Predominantly White Institutions Series and the BIPOC Leadership Circle. She regularly consults with large scale institutions providing executive coaching to arts leaders and helping institutions develop antiracist leadership paradigms. She is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University located on the ancestral land of the Council of Three Fires (also known as Chicago).

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Sahara Chanté Miller

she/her • Indianapolis

Community Advocate, Femme Queen Voguer
Transgender Program Coordinator, S.O.U.L,

SAHARA CHANTÉ MILLER is the transgender program coordinator of S.O.U.L which stands for safety, opulence, unity, leadership program at BU Wellness Network located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Sa’hara studied at Vincennes University, where she was a part of the Theater/Dance advanced program. After college, Sa’hara launched her career where she began volunteer services in youth mental health. That eventually led to snatching the job position at BU Wellness Network as a Counseling, testing and Referral specialist. Once entering the doors of one of the few African American AIDS Service Organizations in Indiana, she knew that this was her time to make a difference in the community. Outside of Sahara’s occupation, she dedicates her time to Pageantry, and Ballroom where she just released her title as “Miss Circle City” and vogues for the iconic “House of Gorgeous Gucci”. Her platform for every pageant is Ending the Epidemic and what is the state of black health. She brings a wealth of knowledge, education, and experience in navigating real life circumstances, not only for the Trans community, but in changing how society relates, identifies, and accepts the Trans experience in all its beauty, power, and sophistication.

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Tabytha Gonzalez

she/her • NYC

Community Advocate
Outreach Specialist, Housing Works

TABYTHA GONZALEZ is the Outreach Specialist at Housing Works in New York City, where she provides prevention services to Trans and MSM people of color. She also serves as the both the President of the PGH-LGBTQ Coalition, an advocacy group with a vision to develop outreach strategies and educational programs, and the Director of Black Trans Services for the Zepp Wellness Center a Black & queer-led non-profit mental health organization. Tabytha is the co-founding member of The Trans Equity Coalition, which raised a historical 1.8 million dollars in City Council Funding for trans specific initiatives. She is featured in Trans New York, a book by Peter Bussian. It delves into the lives of various trans people. Tabytha served on The Network Advisory Body as a Co-Chair of the TGNC Advocacy Committee and joined the NYC Census Campaign to encourage marginalized communities to take the Census. She has worked with the deaf and hearing-impaired community and is fluent in American Sign Language.

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Tatyana Moaton

she/her • Chicago

Community Advocate
US Armed Forces Veteran
Midwest Overall Godmother of House of Chanel

TATYANA MOATON has extensive experience working in human resources, championing strategic initiatives geared toward diversity and inclusion. She is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, and served honorably as a Human Intelligence Officer (HUMINT). Attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Developmental Psychology and her Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources Management. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Business. She is a staunch advocate for the transgender community and consults with various public and private entities.

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Treshawn Roberts

she/her • KC

Showgirl, Community Advocate
Overall Mother of House of Ambrosia

TRESHAWN ROBERTS, also known as Treshawn Seymour in the entertainment industry, dedicated and committed herself to the art of female impersonation at the young age of 14. Her leadership and content transcended her into the state to state premier entertainer we know today. Having embodied the true title of queen mother, Treshawn has opened her heart, home, and resources to anyone she sees in need; for those actions in 2018 the Kansas City Ballroom community deemed her overall mother for the house of Ambrosia. Also, being a hairstylist, seamstress, and MUA, Treshawn helps the next generation of drag and trans women with mentoring. Like most having been affected by the pandemic Treshawn decided to return to academia focused on marketing while working for the internal revenue services (IRS) and running a small online fashion business. Treshawn gives all credit to God she says ”None of this would be possible without Him.”

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Valaree Love

she/her • Kansas & Atlanta

Celebrity Makeup & Hair Artist, Community Advocate
Personal Stylist for Todrick Hall

VALAREE LOVE is a Black woman of trans experience who is originally from Junction City, Kansas. She currently works professionally as a celebrity makeup and hair artist, and her most notable client is Todrick Hall. Valaree has supported him on tour with him in his recent projects, including the 2019 Todrick’s Haus Party World Tour, which is scheduled to complete in 2022. Valaree has been performing as a showgirl and in the drag pageantry scene for the past eleven years and is known for her beauty, high energy performances and chic styling. She finds personal happiness in collecting dolls, has a very large collection from over the years, is the biggest lasagna fan and enjoys evenings at home watching horror and thriller movies. Valaree is passionate about racial justice and trans rights, and is a vocal advocate of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the violence facing Black trans woman. She currently resides in Atlanta, GA.

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Zahara Bassett

she/her • Chicago

Community Advocate
Founder & CEO of Life is Work

ZAHARA BASSETT is recognized locally as an advocate for Transgender human rights, social justice, health equity, and LGBTQAI equality. Zahara has worked for the last ten years on the local, state, and national levels to improve access to treatment and care for Transgender Non-binary Communities and people living with HIV and erase stigma and discrimination through education, policy, Advocacy and visibility. Zahara Is the Founder/CEO of Life Is Work, a Black & Brown trans-led social services organization local to Chicago’s Westside.

Box 512 Podcast

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Bryanna A. Jenkins, Esq. 

she/her • DC

Civil Rights Attorney, Community Advocate
Co-Host of Box No. 512 Podcast

BRYANNA A. JENKINS, ESQ. is a civil rights attorney. She is the current 2020-2021 George N. Lindsay Legal Fellow at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, DC where she works in the Educational Opportunities Project. She works on high profile impact litigation cases that touch the areas of affirmative action, disproportionate school discipline, disability rights, and student speech rights with a focus on racial justice. Before law school, Bryanna founded and led the Baltimore Transgender Alliance to serve the political interests of transgender people in the Baltimore metropolitan area. She organized the first Baltimore Trans March of Resilience in 2015. As a proud Black transgender woman, she is a fierce advocate for the liberation transgender people of color. She also co-hosts Box No. 512 Podcast: Grown Black Trans Women Talk, a weekly podcast and multimedia platform that centers Black trans feminine experiences.

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Simaya Charlize-Theresa Turner

she/her • South Carolina

Thought Leader, Social Justice Fighter
Co-Host of Box No. 512 Podcast

SIMAYA CHARLIZE-THERESA TURNER is a well respected thought leader and social justice activist. She started her own podcast series, The Lioness Still Lives, which produces online content that follows the life of herself (The Lioness) - a beautiful, busty, black, trans woman, as she navigates being a wife, a sister, and a trans-community advocate in Atlanta, GA. The Lioness is as elegant as she is refined, but she also has a big mouth, big opinions on everything, and a big ole cry-baby heart. Simaya identifies as a wife, sister, daughter, and friend. I am a feminist, a fighter for social justice & a South Carolina gal.

Performance By

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Drayla Vanrachack

she/her • Tucson

Poet, Sex Worker Activist, Chef

DRAYLA VANRACHACK is a non-binary trans femme originally from the SF Bay Area (Bay Miwok land). She currently resides in Tucson, AZ (Tohono O’odham land) where she centers her work in healing and transformative justice. Whether as a cook, poet, sex worker, her hustle is always based in healing. Find this Cancer Sun/Venus’s poetry book, “A Nurture Learned” on sprawlmag.com

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Lila Star Escada

she/her • Chicago

Rapper, Showgirl
Overall Mother of House of Escada

LILA STAR ESCADA is a Black and Puerto Rican woman of trans experience who is based in Chicago, Illinois. She is known professionally as an artist under the name, Lila Star Escada, and is an actress, cosmetologist, recording artist, pageant competitor, and performer. She is also known for being "the world's first transsexual Latina rapper." Lila is the Overall Mother of the ballroom House of Escada and former Miss Latina Continental.

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P. Nykole

she/her • KC

Rapper, Artist, Cosmetics Line Designer

P. NYKOLE , otherwise known in her personal life as Paris, is a Black woman of trans experience who’s also got a dash of Bitch blood in her. She is a Kansas City native, but moved away as a young adult to attend college at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, where she received a Bachelors in Fashion Marketing in 2014. She has worked as an intern for Oscar de la Renta, where she was the first Black woman of trans experience to ever work for their fashion house. P. Nykole has lived and traveled all over the country, including Atlanta, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Tampa and San Diego. Recently, she started her own P. Nykole cosmetics line in 2019, her own non for profit “Trans Artist Collective” for trans artists, and is the first trans rapper of color to open up for a national recording artist, Young Ma, in Missouri or Kansas. P. Nykole is proud to serve as a mother figure to many of Kansas City’s most influential women of trans experience and is a well respected community leader and socialite.

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