The 2018 United State of Women Ambassadors
We’re thrilled to announce our inaugural cohort of United State of Women Ambassadors! This one-year organizing program for community leaders and advocates is part of our broader effort to connect, convene and amplify voices in the movement for full gender equality. The 2018 Ambassadors, who represent 20 cities across the U.S., will take action to galvanize their local gender equality movement and build more equitable communities. And USOW will be there every step of the way to ensure that Ambassadors have the tools and support they need to make a difference.
Meet the 2018 USOW Ambassadors:
Nikesha is a M.O.M., an advocate and an entrepreneur. She is on a mission to transform the world by developing leaders at all levels. She believes women must put themselves in leadership positions, so they can influence decisions and ensure their voices are heard. She believes that economic empowerment is the key to breaking down barriers and shifting the narrative for women.
Nikesha is dedicated to being a voice for youth, and advocates for issues such as dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, promoting youth entrepreneurship, and equitable access to education. She is the founder of an organization called Mothers of Moguls (M.O.M.), which provides resources and support for mothers to develop leadership skills within themselves and their children.
Join the USOW Montgomery Facebook Group here!
AKISSI NAOMI HILL
Akissi Naomi Hill is passionate about teaching and empowering girls be full of love, confidence, worth and all that God created them to be. She is a Certified Life Coach and the Founder of Ambitious Girls, Inc., a non-profit organization that has served girls for 10 years through mentoring, scholarships and initiatives.
Akissi is also passionate about advocacy. She has served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in Foster Care for 7 years and looks forward to serving as a USOW ambassador because Gender Equality matters to her.
Join the USOW Little Rock Facebook Group here!
Molly is the program manager for Shared Vision Sacramento, a collaboration serving survivors of interpersonal and sexual violence who are blind or low vision. Molly has also served as a sexual assault advocate, long-term counselor, and Speakers Bureau member at the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, and a public policy intern for Girls Inc. in Washington D.C.
In addition, Molly served as an advisor at UC Santa Barbara, where she worked with the Disabled Students Program and served on the university’s Trans Task Force and Eucalyptus LGBTQ Committees. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing, throwing clay, and trail running!
Join the USOW Sacramento Facebook Group here!
Lindsey Alvarezzo is a writer & artist from Los Angeles, California. Born and raised in the city of Angels, Lindsey has been a lifelong advocate of educational opportunity, healthy communities, and safe public spaces.
She is committed to civic engagement, serving as a volunteer with Peace Over Violence, Women’s March, and Feminist Majority’s campaign ‘She Wins, We Win’. A graduate from UCLA, Lindsey loves spending her free time with her Husband, reading social justice narratives, and flying with her aerial yoga practice. Her future goal is to attend USC with a clear focus on journalism & communication, examining the representation of women, race & gender in news, media, and entertainment.
Join the USOW Los Angeles Facebook Group here!
Dalana Brand is a seasoned corporate executive with significant global leadership experience. She is currently Vice President, Global Total Rewards for Electronic Arts, Inc. Dalana is a fierce workplace equality advocate and expert on gender pay equity. She is also an international speaker on diversity and inclusion and other women’s empowerment topics. Dalana passionately acts as a career coach and salary strategist for women seeking to advance their careers. In addition, she is always involved within her community and is currently a board member for Enterprise for Youth and the African Library Project. In her spare time, she enjoys all things adventure, traveling, and reading and writing.
Join the USOW Contra Costa Facebook Group here!
Jenni Prisk founded award-winning Prisk Communication to provide public speaking and communication skills throughout the US and internationally. Additionally she is a Commissioner on the SD County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (Chair 2015-2017), President of the Association of California Commissions on the Status of Women (ACCW) and Advisory Committee member for the Women Peacemakers’ Program at the Institute for Peace & Justice at USD. She is a founding Steering Committee member of the Workplace Equity Initiative, spearheaded by San Diego City Council President Pro Tem, Barbara Bry. Jenni is a theatre critic, loves gardening, the gym and travel.
Join the USOW San Diego Facebook Group here!
Seon-Hye grew up in San Francisco as the only child to working class Korean parents. Through generosity of mentors and luck, she was able to attend college at Columbia University. Through her childhood, professional life, and motherhood, she has become acutely aware of gendered inequities that women face in families, workplaces, and cultures. Many questions and a growing despair inspired her towards graduate school. Her training as an Ethnic Studies scholar at SF State has taught her the universality of gendered inequities but also the economic and social structures they serve. Her work aims to directly address who, what, and how inequities can be rectified.
Join the USOW San Mateo Facebook Group here!
Brittney L. Yancy is an Assistant Professor of Humanities at Goodwin College and a doctoral candidate in U.S. History at the University of Connecticut. She also works with the UCONN Collaborative to Advance Equity Through Research on Women and Girls of Color.
Yancy is an intersectional feminist and has engaged in community and campus activism for over a decade. She has worked with and supported social justice organizations, including anti-racist, feminist, and criminal justice groups. She has an abiding interest in gender equity and political empowerment of women, with a particular focus on women and girls of color.
Join the USOW Greater Hartford Facebook Group here!
Tyah-Amoy Roberts is an up-and-coming activist and current student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. She co-founded the group STORM (Students Tactically Organizing Revolutionary Movements), which focuses on tangible solutions to gun violence that are both effective and intersectional. She is also on the executive council of Team Enough, a collective of young activists from all over the country, backed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
She has delivered speeches to crowds with thousands in attendance, including at Dr. Bernice King’s #MLK50Forward event in April of 2018 and the United States of Women’s Summit in May of 2018. She has been honored by the Fort Lauderdale Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. for her fearless pioneering and trailblazing activism.
Join the USOW Parkland Facebook Group here!
Alexandria Washington is an award-winning health advocate in Tallahassee, FL. She is the CEO of Change The Narrative, LLC, a health promotion company that galvanizes communities to reclaim their narrative and create generational health. An engaging facilitator, she travels throughout the United States helping communities recognize the power in their collective voice.
Additionally, Alexandria is dedicated to community service and has served as Miss Black Florida USAM, a White House HBCU All-Star, and a Young People For Fellow. Her dedication to community service and advocacy has resulted in Alexandria being named one of Tallahassee’s 25 Women You Need to Know.
Join the USOW Tallahassee Facebook Group here!
An American-born Haitian, I am native to Miami, Florida. Currently, I serve as the Community Organizer for the Black Girls Matter Miami Coalition as well as a local elementary school teacher. I have served my community alongside several local organizations in an effort to seek social justice, especially with youth. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Human and Social Development from the University of Miami where I am also currently a Master’s candidate in Community and Social Change. Leisurely, I enjoy volunteering, exercising, reading, spending time with family and friends, and most of all trying new foods!
Join the USOW Miami Facebook Group here!
Laura is a Business Administration and Marketing professional specializing in coaching and leadership. She is originally from Colombia and based now in Miami, Florida. Laura leads a youth movement called “The Butterfly Generation,” which focuses on empowering teenage girls. She is also the author of the conferences, “6 Secrets of Happy and Successful Women” and “Challenge Yourself and Achieve Your Goals.” She dedicates her spare time to her book club of women, horseback riding and crossfit.
Join the USOW Miami Facebook Group here!
Venkayla Haynes is an organizer, Regional Advisor for It’s On Us, an organizer with Know Your IX, and a member of the Biden Foundation Advisory Council to End Violence Against Women. Her work around sexual violence began in November 2015 by serving on It’s On Us’ inaugural Student Advisory Committee. In November of 2015, Venkayla helped facilitate a program which brought in Vice President Joe Biden to talk to students and faculty about issues surrounding sexual assault and how to get involved.
Venkayla continues her activism by informing students of their Title IX rights, having events on consent, helping other college students host events, working directly with school administration, protesting against bills such as HB51, public speaking, working with many national organizations, and directly working with survivors. Venkayla’s work focuses on centering the experiences of marginalized groups such as Black women, trans men and women, undocumented survivors, queer survivors, and those with disabilities. She loves talking about basketball just as much as community organizing.
Join the USOW Atlanta Facebook Group here!
A first-generation immigrant from Guyana, Simone has always been passionately driven to be the change she wants to see in her community. She has built her career around helping marginalized individuals through counseling, employment and advocacy. Simone currently works towards criminal justice reform at the intersection of the legal system and mental illness as a Mental Health Counselor with the Georgia Department of Community Supervision, while pursuing her MSW at the University of Georgia. Simone’s self-care includes quality time with her soul mate, family, friends, traveling, culinary creativity, DIYing and supporting the Georgia Bulldogs and Brazilian soccer player Neymar.
Join the USOW Athens Facebook Group here!
Shreya Singh graduated from the University of Michigan in 2013 and is pursuing her MBA at the University of Chicago. As an analyst at J.P. Morgan, she worked with institutional investors in the insurance and endowments & foundations sectors to manage their assets. Since 2016, at JVM Realty, she oversees the acquisitions and dispositions of multi-family assets. In her free time, Shreya enjoys reading – her personal favorite is The Alchemist – and volunteering with organizations dedicated to different social issues. She has also worked with United Way and Teachers Supporting Teachers.
Join the USOW Chicago Facebook Group here!
Aaisha graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Marketing. Since then, she has worked at Amazon in multiple roles with the most recent being an Account Executive in advertising sales. She leads the Women@Amazon Chicago chapter with the coolest girl gang and volunteers with high school students through Step Up. In the past, Aaisha has organized TEDxPSU events through building partnerships among local colleges and organizations, tutored international adults through the Mid-State Literacy Council and organized workshops that focused on communicating political views through artistic expression. She is a strong advocate for utilizing dialogue in resolving conflict.
Join the USOW Chicago Facebook Group here!
Elizabeth Zalanga is a STEP-UP Program Assistant with the City of Minneapolis – Community Planning and Economic Development. She actively volunteers in her community through serving as a youth leader on the Board and Committees of several nonprofit organizations. Elizabeth also serves as the Minnesota Fellow for the nonpartisan 501c3 IGNITE and was selected to be the United States Delegate for both the Youth 20 Summit and G(irls)20 Summit, that will take place in Argentina this year. Elizabeth graduated with distinction with an Associate’s Degree – Emphasis in Social Science/Public Affairs from Saint Paul College.
Join the USOW St. Paul Facebook Group here!
Alana Belle is an activist and writer from Cleveland, Ohio. Currently serving as a Patient Advocate for Preterm, she will continue her dedication to serving others. Alana has delved into youth arts education, economic justice, racial justice, and reproductive justice work. She used her knowledge of community organizing and political structures to help people — predominantly Black women and girls — navigate social barriers to achieve success. As a queer, Black woman and community builder, Alana understands the importance of intersectionality when striving towards freedom from all, for all.
Join the USOW Cleveland Facebook Group here!
Desiré Bennett is the Advocacy Manager for YWCA Greater Cincinnati. She serves on the City of Cincinnati’s Gender Equity Taskforce, the Women’s Fund’s Leadership Council, the Hamilton County Commission on Women & Girls, and received an Alumnx Award for her “…dedicated professional and activist work on behalf of women and girls in the Cincinnati metropolitan region.” Desiré speaks about women’s issues, often sharing her climb from teenaged single-mother and high school dropout to completing a postgraduate degree and working as a Social Justice Advocate. She’s a community connector, passionate about racial justice, women’s empowerment, and women’s economic self-sufficiency.
Join the USOW Cincinnati Facebook Group here!
Kaydian Comer is a vision builder, wife, explorer of possibilities, and positivity sprinkler. She was born in Jamaica along with her three sisters. Kaydian is the founder and CEO of The Promise Box, a safe and global community equipping women to transform setbacks into dream launchpads. She is passionate about smashing barriers that hold women back. Kaydian previously served as a YWCA USA Board Director, which focused on eliminating racism, violence prevention and empowering women. Her work as a WELD National Board Director involved strengthening economic prosperity for women. She is a Zora’s House Ambassador and YWCA Columbus volunteer.
Join the USOW Columbus Facebook Group here!
Monique Navarro grew up in El Paso, Texas, where she began volunteering at the age of seventeen. Since then, she has worked on a number of political campaigns, from local races to congressional and presidential campaigns.
She recently founded Women’s March El Paso, which has quickly become a formidable progressive organization that unifies the community and raises funds for important causes. Monique’s focus is on empowering and creating opportunities for women to truly have a voice in the decision-making processes that directly impact them. She believes that women hold the power to change the world.
Join the USOW El Paso Facebook Group here!
JACQUELINE “JACKIE” GLASS
Jacqueline “Jackie” Glass is the Chief Ecosystems Officer and owner of Learnch LLC. She is a Chicagoland native with 11 years of naval service. Jackie is the co-host of the podcast Your Neighbor’s Hood. She encourages women to go hard for their success through her Ladywood Movement. She speaks on parental leadership, triumph after trauma and self-care.
Jackie also spent nine years as a sexual assault victim advocate. She, her amazingly patient husband and two little citizens call Norfolk, VA their home. She recently ran for office, loves cowgirl boots, has a rock collection, and isn’t great at tying shoelaces.
Join the USOW Norfolk Facebook Group here!