Jamia Wilson has been movement building, media making, and storytelling for over a decade. Wilson has previously served as the Executive Director of YTH (Youth Tech Health), the TED Prize Storyteller, the Vice President of Programs at The Women’s Media Center, and the principal for Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s youth outreach program.
A leading next-generation voice on feminism and gender justice, her work and words have appeared in and on outlets such as New York Magazine, The Today Show, CNN, Ms, The Washington Post and more. Recognized as one of the “17 Faces of the Future of Feminism” by Refinery 29, Jamia is a staff writer for Rookie Magazine, an online magazine for teenage girls, and has contributed to several books such as Madonna and Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop, the 40th edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves and I Still Believe Anita Hill.
Passionate about intergenerational partnerships, Jamia’s experiences working with gender justice advocates including Gloria Steinem, Gloria Feldt, and Loretta Ross has informed her view and vision. A spirited speaker, Jamia has taken the stage at Netroots Nation, Facing Race, the Anita Hill 20 Years Later conference, The National Conference on Media Reform and more.
A southerner who grew up in Saudi Arabia, Jamia holds a B.A. in communications from American University and a M.A. in humanities and social thought from New York University. Email Jamia.
Aria J. Velasquez is a budding writer from Atlanta, GA. As a student at the University of Georgia, she realized has a passion for human rights and education, but she’s still trying to figure out how to turn those passions into a career. If all else fails, she thinks she’ll work on transforming herself into the real life April Ludgate. When A.J. isn’t writing down ideas for essays that will probably never be finished, she can be found downloading more podcasts than she’ll ever listen to, cooking, knitting or watching Parks and Rec. Her plans for the future include moving out of the South, going to law school, dyeing her hair bright red, adopting Boston terrier and getting a hug from Joe Biden (but not necessarily in that order). Her feminist icons are Janelle Monae, April Ludgate, Viola Davis and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
A.J. graduated from the University of Georgia with bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and International Affairs and a minor in English. Email Aria.
Isabel Cristo is a rising sophomore at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, studying political science, history, and black studies. She is a writer and longtime feminist with a background in youth organizing, and hopes to pursue journalism in order to tackle issues of representation and visibility in the media. She also aspires to be a mediamaker and will be starting this fall by producing an original podcast on her campus. Isabel is a native of Brooklyn, New York and continues to live there when she is not in school. Email Isabel.
Board of Directors
Tracy Van Slyke (Board President) Tracy Van Slyke is a nationally recognized leader and expert working in the intersection of progressive organizing, strategic communications and independent media. Van Slyke is currently a fellow at The Opportunity Agenda, where she is researching and writing about the the strategic shifts needed to power up social justice culture change work and advance social, gender and racial justice. She is also developing The Culture Lab, a new project of the Citizen Engagement Lab, that will develop the tools, knowledge and support systems needed to increase the sustainability, influence and popularity of social justice creative change work. She writes at www.tracyvanslyke.com.
Van Slyke has been the publisher of a national award winning magazine In These Times, written extensively about the evolution of journalism and how to understand media impact including her book Beyond the Echo Chamber (New Press, 2010), and led The Media Consortium, a national coalition of the country’s leading progressive, independent media. She was also the director of the New Bottom Line, a groundbreaking coalition of grassroots organizing networks and organized campaigns that have directly impacted our country’s politics and policies.
Soraya Chemaly is a feminist media critic and activist whose work focuses on women’s rights, freedom of speech, and the role of gender and violence in politics, religion and pop culture. She is a contributor to Salon, CNN, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Nation, Ms. Magazine, and Time and her work is also regularly published in gender-focused media. She is a founding organizer of the International Feminist Network and a member of the executive board of the Women’s Media Center. She serves on the advisory committees of FORCE: Ending Rape Culture, In The Together Media and Secular Woman. Ms. Chemaly was the 2013 recipient of the Donna Allen Award for Feminist Advocacy and the Secular Woman Award for Activism. Last years, Soraya teamed up with WAM! to organize a successful global social media campaign demanding that Facebook recognize misogynistic content as hate speech. She works regularly with social media companies to address gender-based inequalities. She returned to feminist activism and writing after a fifteen year professional career in strategic planning and business development in the media, data, and technology fields. You can find her on Twitter @schemaly and she blogs personally on her tumblr.
Aminatou Sow is a digital strategist who loves the Internet. As one of the cofounders of the women in technology networking group Tech LadyMafia, Forbes named her to its list of 30 Under 30 in tech. She is a is a frequent speaker on issues of diversity, journalism and Tech. Most recently she keynoted the Online News Association and presented at SXSW. For more about Amina, check out her website.
Deanna Zandt is a media technologist, the co-founder of and partner at Lux Digital, and the author of Share This! How You Will Change the World with Social Networking (Berrett-Koehler 2010). She is a consultant to key media and advocacy organizations, and her clients have included The Ford Foundation, The Daily Beast/Newsweek, and Jim Hightower’s Hightower Lowdown. Zandt is contributor to Forbes.com via her ForbesWoman “Prospect: Tech” blog, and a social media advice contributor NPR’s flagship news program, “All Things Considered.” She has advised the White House on digital strategy and public engagement. Zandt specializes in social media, is a leading expert in women and technology, and is a frequent guest on CNN International, BBC Radio, Fox News and more. In 2012, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America awarded Deanna their first-ever social media Maggie Award for Media Excellence for her work on the Planned Parenthood Saved Me Tumblr blog during the Susan G Komen crisis. In addition to her technology work, Deanna writes and illustrates graphic stories and comics, and volunteers with dog rescue organization Rat Terrier ResQ.
Jaclyn Friedman is the founder of Women, Action & the Media. Friedman is a writer, educator, and activist, and creator of the books Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape and What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex & Safety.
Friedman is a popular speaker on campuses and at conferences across the U.S. and beyond. She has been a guest on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show, the BBC, Democracy Now, To The Contrary, and numerous other radio and television shows, and her commentary has appeared in outlets including CNN, The Washington Post, The Nation, Jezebel, Feministing.com, The American Prospect, and The Huffington Post. She is a SheSource expert, and was named one of 2009’s Top 40 Progressive Leaders Under 40 by the New Leaders Council. Friedman holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College.