Steering Committee

 

Cory Roroya, Nashville TN

Cory Roroya is a Nashville native and mother to 2-year old Beatrice, who keeps Cory on her toes. Cory began her journey in reproductive justice and education in the Fiji Islands during 2.5 yr Peace Corps service. She realized that there was still work to be done at home in America and made it a personal mission to help liberate Black women, Indigenous women, and other women of color in their sexuality. Sexuality and reproduction rights should be seen as intersectional, as it helps shift the narrative on how women will seek, receive, and maintain their personal health care. Cory started with Planned Parenthood in the Greater Memphis Region and later moved back home to Nashville. At Nashville CARES, Cory identifies and links People Living with HIV (PLWH) to primary HIV medical care and helps them to address any barriers they may encounter. In addition, Cory also leads the SEXperts workshop at Nashville CARES, ensuring the community has access to comprehensive reproductive education and a safe space to express their sexualities and identities. She works every day to educate others on inclusivity, systemic racism, equity and intersectionality. Cory hopes her work moves us closer to a day when Black women will no longer be at rates as high as 59% of known HIV diagnoses among women.

Jordan Scruggs, Chattanooga TN

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Born and raised in Tennessee, Jordan Scruggs is a communicator and activist that specializes in reproductive justice and progressing LGBTQ rights. The passion of their community activism comes from being raised by a plethora of Black women and men who stressed the importance of change through community actions. Through this passion, Jordan has been an activist for progressing LGBTQ rights in Tennessee since advocating for anti-bullying rights for LGBTQ youth in schools to state politicians. Their hard work resulted in being given MTV’s Logo Youth Trailblazer Award and becoming a board member for Nooga Diversity Center. Recently their activism was highlighted by Organizing for Action which led to introducing the President of The United States, Barack Obama in 2015. Today Jordan focuses on writing with Echoing Ida to include the necessity of action for comprehensive reproductive education and justice in Tennessee.

Max Carwile, Knoxville TN

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Max Carwile has lived in East Tennessee for her entire life and received her B.A. in Women's Studies from East Tennessee State University in 2015. Through being the co-creator of the Knoxville Abortion Doula Collective she aims to decrease abortion stigma and increase abortion access. She works at Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee as the Tennessee Stories Project Coordinator and East Tennessee Organizer. Max realized what she wanted to do with her life through campus organizing around sex education, reproductive health access, sexual assault prevention and healing, suicide prevention, and everything and anything to do with abortion. She spends her free time playing with many cats, watching too much television, trying not to hit her head on things, and being a member of the Knoxville Feminist Action Brigade.


Kristine Hoang, Nashville TN

Kristine Hoang grew up in Houma, Louisiana and received a B.S in Marketing from Tulane University. Three years ago, she moved to Nashville, TN to pursue a PharmD degree at Lipscomb University. Since entering the healthcare profession, she has been committed to serving so-called vulnerable populations. However, she has realized that developing an equitable healthcare system goes beyond the clinic, and must involve community organizing and policy work. Kristine has worked with the Nashville Prevention Partnership to create a naloxone training program at the Drug Dependency OB Clinic, and has been a part of a student Hotspotting team at Vanderbilt that addresses patients’ social determinants of health. Additionally, she is a member of Middle Tennessee Democratic Socialists of America and helps lead their Medicare for All efforts. Her passions include harm reduction and reproductive health.

Sherrie Lemons, Memphis TN

Sherrie Lemons is the Communications Director for the Memphis Full Spectrum Doula Collective. Sherrie is an abortion doula and trainer, and serves as the Clinic Liaison between the Collective and Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi. Sherrie is committed to eradicating abortion stigma in the South and beyond.

 

 

Elise Krews, Nashville TN

Elise grew up in Shreveport, LA, where she completed a B.S. in Biology at Centenary College in 2014. After 2 years of working within the healthcare system and witnessing the impact of systemic inequality on people’s bodies and lives, Elise moved toNashville in 2016 to pursue her M.Ed. in Community Development & Action at Vanderbilt University. Her experience navigating abortion access in Louisiana and passion for health equity prompted her to focus on community-based work in reproductive health. During this time, Elise collaborated with Planned Parenthood in Nashville and the Tennessee Stories Project on research and advocacy work related to reducing abortion stigma, comprehensive sex education, and access to reproductive health care. Elise continues to build upon this through her role on Healthy and Free Tennessee’s Steering Committee, and is committed to developing and supporting policies and practices that advance reproductive freedom in Tennessee. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Staff



Briana Perry, State Co-Director

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Briana is a native Memphian. She moved to Nashville in 2009 to attend college at Vanderbilt where she majored in Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies. She obtained her Master of Education in Learning, Diversity, and Urban Studies from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in 2016. Before completing her master’s degree, Briana taught in Memphis for two years. It was during this time period that she began her work with HFTN around the Fetal Assault Law and the Vote No on 1 Campaign. Briana is able to bring her interest in Black feminism to the work, especially her salient interest in issues that affect Black mothers. Briana serves on the coordinating committee for the Official Black Lives Matter Memphis Chapter. Previously, Briana was a Program Coordinator at the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center at Vanderbilt. Contact: briana@healthyandfreetn.org.

 

Anna Carella, State Co-Director

anna_carella.pngAnna has been proud to call Tennessee home since 2009. She’s a Ph.D. candidate at Vanderbilt in Political Science with a Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. She became interested in community organizing while working overseas, inspired by international human rights activists who connect local advocacy to global justice and vice versa. She has lived and worked in France, Senegal, Bangladesh, Rwanda, and Afghanistan. She began working on reproductive freedom in Tennessee during the Vote No on 1 campaign in 2014 and has been involved with feminist organizing ever since, including the fight against the Fetal Assault law with HFTN. She led successful lobbying efforts for Advocates for Women's and Kids’ Equality (AWAKE) reducing sentences for HIV+ sex workers and strengthening legal protections for victims of domestic violence. She was a founding member of the Nashville chapter of Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) and the Nashville Feminist Collective. Contact: anna@healthyandfreetn.org.

Nina Gurak, Policy Fellow, If/When/How RJ Fellow

Nina is an organizer, educator, and policy nerd. Originally from outside of Philadelphia, PA, she has worked in policy at local, state, federal, and international levels. Nina got her formal organizing start at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England where she was a Generation Action intern and member of the Youth Leadership Advisory Council. Most recently, Nina earned her J.D. from Drexel University School of Law. In law school, she served as a legal intern for the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania and the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women and volunteered with Project Safe, a harm reduction collective focused on the needs of street-based sex workers and substance users in Philadelphia. In 2016, Nina earned her B.A. in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Government from Wesleyan University. Contact: nina@healthyandfreetn.org.     

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