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.


Judith Clerjeune, Nashville TN

Judith 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.


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.


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. 


Kelly Walsh, Nashville TN

Kelly was born and raised in New York and has been working in the nonprofit and social justice fields for 15 years. She has a background in program implementation, facilitation, systems thinking, and staff development. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Mary Washington College, a Masters of Arts in Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice from Antioch University New England, and is a graduate of the Snelling Center for Government's Vermont Leadership Institute. Kelly serves as Senior Operating Officer for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) in Nashville, TN. She is passionate about working in accountable relationships with those who are directly impacted to challenge systems that threaten our communities.


Becca Thomas, Nashville TN

Becca is an experienced legislative advocate and community outreach specialist with a demonstrated history of working with human rights organizations. Skilled in legal research and writing, grassroots organizing, event management, and fundraising. She hails from the Texas Gulf Coast and has made Nashville her home since 2009. When not conspiring for justice she enjoys cooking and refurbishing antiques.


Staff



Briana Perry, Co-Executive 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: [email protected]


Anna Carella, Co-Executive Director 

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Anna has been proud to call Tennessee home since 2009 and has served as Co-Director of Healthy and Free Tennessee since 2017. 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 living and working overseas in France, Senegal, Bangladesh, Rwanda, and Afghanistan. She got involved in the reproductive freedom movement in Tennessee in 2014 during the No on 1 campaign and has been involved with local organizing ever since, especially around issues of racial justice, abolition, and food sovereignty. Contact: [email protected]


Nina Gurak, Policy Manager 

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: [email protected]    


Heather Allison, If/When/How RJ Policy Fellow

Heather recently received her J.D. and Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas. As a law student and after graduating, she worked with Avow Texas and Jane's Due Process in Austin advocating against restrictive state-level abortion policies. She has also served for years as a hotline and textline volunteer with Jane's Due Process, helping young people navigate parental consent laws on abortion and birth control. As a lifelong Texan, she has developed a passion for reproductive justice in the South, and could not be more excited to join the Healthy and Free Tennessee team to support reproductive freedom for Tennesseans. Contact: [email protected]

 

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