Convening Speakers and Bios 2019

Coya White Hat-Artichoker (she/her) was born and raised on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota; she is a proud enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Coya has been doing activist work in various communities and movements since the age of 15. She is a founding member of the First Nations Two Spirit Collective; they are a Collective working to building a stronger political presence for Two Spirit people within the national dialogue of queer rights.  She was an Advisory Committee member for the Host HomeProgram, working to provide safe homes for homeless queer youth. She or her writing has appeared in: After Stonewall, (After Stonewall Productions) a film; The Advocate; “40 under 40” LGBT Leaders in the United States for 2010; “Sharing Our Stories of Survival” (Altamira Press 2007), the blogs the Bilerico Project; and The Huffington Post. 

[Image Description for image to the right: Coya White Hat-Artichoker looking at the camera from a downward angle, smiling. She has on glasses and is wearing a blue and white plaid shirt.]


Alexandra Chambers (she/her) is a Ph.D. candidate in Religion and Ethics at Vanderbilt and a founding member of Free Hearts. Her research looks at the moral and theological justifications behind the incarceration of women and the relationship between intimate partner and state gender violence, including reproductive coercion. Her organizing is centered on community defense and support for criminalized survivors of gender violence and people criminalized for their pregnancy outcomes along with related legislative policy change efforts in TN.  

[Image Description for image to the right: Alex Chambers looking at the camera, smiling. She has on glasses and is wearing a dark green shirt. In the background is a building, grass, and a pathway.] 



Judith Clerjeune (she/her) is from Fond-des-Blanc, Haiti, and immigrated with her family to the United States in 2004. She holds a B.A. in History from Williams College and a Masters of Divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School. Judith is fluent in Haitian Creole and conversational in French. Prior to joining TIRRC staff, she worked at the Healing Trust Foundation and the Jean Crowe Advocacy Center. She also interned as a Policy Intern with TiRRC in 2014, and she came on staff as a Policy Officer May 2018. As Policy Officer, she monitors the legislative process for potential impact on the immigrant community and building coalitions to support immigrants and refugees in TN. 

[Image Description for image to the right: Judith Clerjeune looking at the camera, smiling. She has on a yellow shirt. In the background is a tree full of flowers.] 


Feroza Freeland (she/her) is a Policy Associate in A Better Balance’s Southern Office in Nashville, where she engages in advocacy and coalition-building work to advance policies that support working women and families in the South, including paid family & medical leave, pregnancy accommodations, and lactation rights. Feroza is a proud native of Memphis, and she is passionate about pursuing more just and equitable public policies in the South. She has worked on legislative and electoral campaigns across Tennessee and has engaged in organizing and policy advocacy on issues including workers’ rights, equity in public education, and healthcare access. Feroza graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in political science and Hispanic studies. 

[Image Description for image to the right: Feroza Freeland looking at the camera, smiling. She has on a white shirt and is standing in front of a tree full of flowers.]


Dr. Cynthia Greenlee (she/her) is a historian, writer, and editor based in North Carolina. She earned her PhD in African-American and Southern legal history from Duke University, and a master's degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina. She has worked in reproductive health and rights on the national and global stage, with stints at Ipas, FHI 360 and others. A former senior editor at Rewire.News, she is an editor with and member of Echoing Ida, a Forward Together program that cultivates the writing talents of Black women and nonbinary people with interests in reproductive and social justice. Greenlee's own writing has appeared in publications as diverse as American Prospect, Bon Appetit, Elle,, Literary Hub, Longreads, Narratively, Smithsonian, Vice, Vox, and the Washington Post. For the 2019-2020 year, she is an Open Society Foundations Media Justice Fellow, working on a project about the historical and contemporary criminalization of reproductive health. Visit her website at and follow her on Twitter @CynthiaGreenlee. 

[Image Description for image to the right: Cynthia Greenlee looking at the camera, smiling. The picture is in black and white and she is standing near a plant/flower.]


Aimi Hamraie (they/them) is assistant professor of medicine, health, & society at Vanderbilt University and co-founder of the Nashville Disability Justice Collective. Their book, Building Access: Universal Design and the Politics of Disability (University of Minnesota Press, 2017) chronicles the efforts of disabled people to design a more accessible world. 

[Image Description for image to the right: Aimi Hamraie, a person with dark curly hair and glasses, wears a blue shirt and plaid jacket. They are surrounded by blurry green trees and smile at the camera.]


Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson (she/her) is a 33 year old, Affrilachian (Black Appalachian), working-class woman, born and raised in Southeast Tennessee. She is the Co-Executive Director of the Highlander Research & Education Center in New Market, TN. She has served as president of the Black Affairs Association at East Tennessee State University and the Rho Upsilon Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is a long-time activist working around issues of mountaintop removal mining, and environmental racism in central and southern Appalachia, and has served on the National Council of the Student Environmental Action Coalition. She is an active participant in the Movement for Black Lives and is on the governance council of the Southern Movement Assembly. 

[Image Description for image to the right: Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson looking at the camera, smiling. She has on glasses and is wearing a pink shirt with a brown jacket.] 


Jalessah Jackson (she/they) is a Black queer mother, interdisciplinary scholar-activist whose research and teaching explores the connections between critical theories of race, gender, class, sexualities, and social inequity. She has been an educator in both community-based and formal settings and is the Co-Founder of Jackson & Marshall Consulting Group LLC, an anti-oppression and educational equity consulting firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. Jalessah is also a Lecturer of Gender and Women's Studies and African and African Diaspora Studies at Kennesaw State University. 

[Image Description for image to the right: Jalessah Jackson looking at the camera, smiling. She has on glasses and is wearing a black shirt.]


Robin Marty (she/her) is a freelance reporter and the author of "Handbook for a Post-Roe America," a guide for what to do if and when Roe is overturned and states make abortion illegal, and the co-author of "The End of Roe v. Wade: Inside the Right's Plan to Destroy Legal Abortion." Robin specializes in abortion rights and access and the anti-abortion movement and figures, and has been covering the state based actions to limit reproductive health access since 2009. Her work is frequently published in Cosmopolitan, NBC, The Guardian, Politico and other news outlets. 

[Image Description for image to the right: Robin Marty looking at the camera, smiling. She has on glasses and is wearing a multicolored short sleeved shirt.]


Cecilia Olusola Tribble (she/her) is an arts and culture educator and racial equity coach. She has almost 20 years of arts education, artistic and liturgical consultation experience. She has made art of various mediums and consulted for artists, culture makers, and organizations all over the Mid-South, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, the U.K., Australia, Mexico, and Argentina. Tribble has recently resigned as the Community and Organizational Development Coordinator for Metro Arts, Nashville’s Office of Arts and Culture. She led the Racial Equity in Arts Leadership (REAL) program in partnership with the Curb Center of Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University and the Restorative Justice and the Arts partnership with the Juvenile Court of Metropolitan Nashville/Davidson County and the Oasis Center. She has a Bachelor of Music Education from The University of Memphis – where her concentration was double bass, a Master of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt University Divinity School, and a Master of Arts in Performance Studies from New York University (Tisch School of the Arts). In her spare time, Tribble loves to blow bubbles and jam to music with her son. 

[Image Description for image to the right: Cecilia Olusola Tribble looking at the camera, smiling. She has on a short sleeved black top and is wearing gold earrings.]


Dr. Fallon Wilson (she/her) is the  CEO of Black in Tech Nashville and Research Director of Black Tech Mecca which seeks to build a national black tech ecosystem. She’s 2019 TEDx Speaker (e.g. Stop Ignoring Black Women and Hear of Our Tech Prophecies). She’s a Board Member of the State of Tennessee’s Future of Work Taskforce and Co-Chairs Nashville’s smart city plan. Given her tech activism, she’s a 2017 recipient of the ISTE Digital Equity Award. Dr. Wilson’s research on first generation black college students’ alternative tech pathways and tech ecosystems has garnered notable research grants from Kapor Center for Social Impact & Kauffman Foundation. She’s a Board Member for Tennessee Higher Education Commission's HBCU Success Board. Dr. Wilson has a BA from Spelman College and MA/PhD from the University of Chicago. As a public interest technologist, she discusses race, gender, faith, and civic tech issues. She’s on twitter @SistahWilson 

[Image Description for image to the right: Fallon Wilson looking at the camera, smiling. Her hair is braided and up in a bun and she is wearing an orange necklace with a gray jacket.] 


Syrita Steib-Martin (she/her) co-founded Operation Restoration (OR) in 2016 and serves as the Executive Director. OR specializes in creating opportunities for formerly incarcerated women through college courses, a women first clinic, clothing supply closet, case management services, advocacy programs and more. At the age of 19, Syrita was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison. After serving nearly 10 years in prison, she was released into a community vastly different than the one she left. Cell phones and computers had evolved beyond recognition and even personal dress and social norms passed her by while she was incarcerated. Other formerly incarcerated women helped her to re-adjust to the world she left behind. In 2017, Syrita wrote and successfully passed Louisiana Act 276 which prohibits public post-secondary institutions in Louisiana from asking questions relating to criminal history for purposes of admissions, making Louisiana the first state to pass this type of legislation. Syrita regularly speaks at conferences across the nation about the experiences of incarcerated women. 

[Image Description for image to the right: Syrita Steib looking at the camera, smiling. She is wearing a burgundy top with a silver necklace and earrings.]

Laurie Bertram Roberts (she/her) is a low income, black, queer, disabled grassroots reproductive justice activist, freelance writer, doula, prospective midwife, and mother. She is the co-founder and current Executive Director of the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund; Mississippi's only reproductive justice organization that provides direct funding and practical support for abortion access, emergency contraception, birth control, community based sex education, parenting and no strings/stigma pregnancy support regardless of pregnancy outcome. Ms. Bertram Roberts work is firmly centered in reproductive justice, anti-racism and decolonization of everyday spaces as well as movement space. She has been protesting, advocating and engaging in social justice and political work since her teens. She has previously been the regional director and national board representative for the Mid-South region of the National Organization for Women and president of the Mississippi National Organization for Women. She has appeared in many local, national and international media outlets discussing abortion access, birth justice, LGBTQ and gender justice issues in Mississippi, the US south and national trends. When not writing or dismantling the patriarchy she is likely spending time with her chosen family and seven kids doing something black and geeky. 

[Image Description for image to the right: Laurie Bertram Roberts looking at the camera, smiling. She is wearing a black shirt that reads: we are the grrrls your mothers warned you about.]



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