About Our Team


Emily MayEmily May, Co-Founder and Executive Director

Emily is an international leader in the gender justice movement. In 2005, at the age of 24, she co-founded Hollaback! in New York City, and in 2010 she became its first full-time executive director.

Under her leadership, the organization has scaled to over 50 cities in 25 countries, and launched HeartMob, Hollaback!’s platform designed to support people being harassed online, and  The People’s Supper, a collaboration to designed to bring people together to repair the fissures in our relationships, heal, and bridge difference. Emily believes that by having each others backs in deep and meaningful ways, we can disrupt cycles of hate and create a world where everyone has the right to feel safe and confident.  

Prior to running Hollaback!, Emily worked in the anti-poverty world as a case manager, political action coordinator, director of development, and most recently, a one-woman research and development team. She has also worked on four political campaigns. Emily has a Master’s Degree in Social Policy from the London School of Economics, is an Ashoka Fellow, a Prime Movers Fellow, and has won over ten awards for her work including the TEDCity 2.0 Prize.


Mikaela Xochitl, program manager

Mikaela Xochitl (pronounced meh-KY-el-ah soh-CHEE-dtol) is a Two Spirit Community Healer, activist and creator, with over a decade of experience grassroot organizing in the Trans & Queer community. In 2015, Mikaela created Ihiyotl, a decolonized community healing practice centering the emotional needs of Trans & Queer People of Color and survivors of sexual trauma. Mikaela’s work at Ihiyotl is rooted in their belief: liberation is only possible when the entirety of the Self is honored and engaged in decolonized healing. To that point, in 2017 Mikaela founded the Trans is Magick Collective, with a mission of building Trans resilience & visibility through art and PoC community leadership.

Mikaela earned their Bachelor of Arts in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Cum Laude, with a concentration on feminist aesthetics and cultural studies, from California State University, Long Beach. As a self-care practice, they write poetry investigating Queer survival at the intersections of Trans identity and melanation. They reside in occupied Lenape territory, commonly known as New York City.


26167253_1625278330863182_5360079342378135551_nTiffany ketant, communications AND administrative associate

Tiffany is a multi-dimensional and passionate change-maker fighting against global inequalities and institutional oppression that permeates marginalized communities. Graduating from American University with a Bachelors in Public Health, she has worked with organizations, after-school programs, and institutions specifically geared toward challenging and eliminating these issues. As a game player in the non-profit sector, her current focus is to gain experience and new skillsets hoping to become the next game changer in how we tackle health and social justice; the criminalization of Black and Brown communities; women of color empowerment; and racial and gender equity and equality.

Tiffany continues to find ways to combine her vision for health and social justice with her passion for documentary photography. Whether it be through her field research or community narratives in Brazil, Cuba, and her home country of Haiti, she only hopes to create pieces that gives voices to the communities these systems and inequalities have abused and neglected. In her free time, she enjoys reading and re-reading books by her favorite authors, traveling, dancing, and being around children in their happiest moments.



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MaDeja holds a Bachelor of Arts in Science as a graduate of New Jersey City University. As an English major with a concentration in Journalism, MaDeja participated in the Capstone Seminar (long-form journalism course) where she spearheaded an extensive investigation that focused on the uneven distribution of resources in local government; here, she also illustrated the impact that “gentrification” has on impoverished communities of color. During her investigative reporting, she interviewed local and state level politicians, activists, theorists, reporters, and members of the community. At New Jersey City University, she was also the Feature editor of the school’s newspaper, The Gothic Times.

MaDeja’s passion is to elevate marginalized voices through authentic storytelling.


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Nicole Stapleton, People’s Supper Fellow

Nicole Stapleton is an undergraduate student at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study where she is studying ‘Female Narrative’: The intersections of gender, storytelling, and sociology. While at Gallatin, Nicole has had the privilege of learning about social justice from many amazing change-makers and educators. She was able to spend a semester facilitating art workshops with the youth incarcerated on Rikers Island in Lyrics on Lockdown taught by Piper Anderson; this is also where she gained her love for facilitation and a deeper understanding of storytelling as the heart of justice.

Nicole incorporates her interests in social justice and gender equality into her career as a movement artist, storyteller, and professional dancer for JKing Dance Company, Nadine Bommer Dance Company, and in projects at the 92nd street Y. In her free time, she stage manages for Accomplice The Show and sometimes sleeps!


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Vy Truong, Online Harassment Fellow

Vy holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and served as a leader in the Asian-American community at Binghamton University. With the goal of raising awareness and acceptance of Vietnamese culture, she hosted events and workshops to promote cultural tolerance throughout her campus. She has a strong background in genetics and public health by way of courses in Genes and Heredity, Psychology, and Human Development. There, she fostered her aspiration of becoming a genetic counselor. In between classes, she is often found gaming where she became tired of the toxic culture. Wanting to bridge her interest in public health and to end the online abuse, is what brought her to HeartMob at Hollaback!.

Vy is currently a medical scribe at a Breast Surgery clinic where she assists providers with documenting patient consultations and observes outpatient flow. In her free time, she loves to discover new restaurants, travel, and munch on snacks (in moderation).



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LaWanda Holland Thompson, Management Consultant

LaWanda is the Founder and President of Sustainable Outcomes, LLC, a coaching, business consulting, leadership development, and healing arts organization. Her background as a Ph.D. scientist, business leader in a Fortune 100 company, and Master Somatic Leadership Coach has uniquely shaped LaWanda’s professional career. She combines her expertise in executive management, biomedical sciences, traumatic stress studies, somatics/holistic practices, and action-oriented communication skills to help individuals and organizations to make long-lasting, sustainable differences in the world. Her areas of business expertise include: Executive Management; Regulatory Compliance; Strategic Planning; Operational Excellence; Talent Management; Employee Engagement/Empowerment; Diversity & Inclusion; Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (Social & Environmental). LaWanda has a B.A. in Chemistry and Biology from Talladega College and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Pathology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She also holds numerous certifications and is currently a MBA Candidate (2018). She is the recipient of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association’s 2014 Rising Star Award in recognition of her exemplary leadership.


Screen Shot 2018-04-18 at 5.17.42 PMChrista Orth, fundraising consultant

As a seasoned fundraising and communications veteran, Christa has served in the non-profit trenches since the Riot grrrl era. She is a whip-smart strategist, teacher and coach, who delights in transforming organizations by creating and sustaining a culture of giving. Having come of age at the dawn of the Internet, Christa has deep expertise in effective written and digital communications, ensuring that our clients take advantage of the latest ways to attract and upgrade donors. She is a patient and persistent leader, recruiting even the most reluctant staff and board members to join the army of fundraisers.

Christa earned a BA in Women’s and Gender Studies at Western Washington University and an MA in American History at the University of Oregon. She is also an accomplished filmmaker, putting compelling stories on the big screen, including her upcoming feature documentary, North Pole, NY.


Screen Shot 2018-04-18 at 5.19.25 PMMaddie Legg, fundraising consultant

Maddie is a recent graduate of a Jesuit education at Fordham University, where she discovered complementary passions for social justice and fashion. Her experience with internships at GLAAD and multiple fashion industry companies taught her that taking action can be rewarding and glamorous. Maddie’s academic concentration on communications and political science has been enriched by her lifelong real-life commitment to service as the Creative Director of Mode Magazine at Fordham, where she worked to highlight the women, LGBT students, and students of color on campus. Additionally she worked as a volunteer for Relay for Life, Autism Speaks and Glenmary Home Missioners, where she helped combat rural poverty in Rutledge, TN. Hailing from a small town in upstate New York herself, Maddie is a champion for the underdog, and she works tirelessly to provide top-notch support for our clients, doing a lot with a little. In her free time Maddie enjoys scouring thrift stores, going to the theatre and sharing memes that will make you laugh.



Jill is a worker-owner of Sassafras Tech Collective—a tech research, design, and development shop based in Ann Arbor, Michigan specializing in custom web and mobile applications for social change, academics, artists, and others. She completed a PhD in 2012 from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Human Centered Computing. Her research expertise is at the intersection of social computing, social justice, and the learning sciences. She has published many academic papers in these areas and has received numerous awards including a NSF Graduate Fellowship and Google Anita Borg Scholarship. Jill has a bachelor’s in Computer Science from the University of Michigan and has worked for Google and Blink UX. In her spare time, Jill enjoys the play between low and high tech and can be found pickling garlic scapes, making tinctures for a local free apothecary, and reconnecting with her roots in Detroit.


Board of Directors

Chair: Allison Sesso, Executive Director of the Human Services Council (full bio)

Vice-Chair: Rita Pasarell, employment lawyer

Treasurer: Esther Pang, Business Manager at major finance firm

Secretary: Courtney Young, Popular culture and politics writer; founder of Think Young Media Group (full bio)

Jon Atkins, Former Managing Director at KCG Holdings

Nicolai Bezsonoff, Managing Director of Security Services at Neustar, Inc. (full bio)

Jenny Dills, Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Expert

Amy O’Donnell, ICT in Programme Lead at Oxfam (full bio)

Raina Kumra, co-founder at Mavin, Inc. (full bio)


Advisory Board

W. Kamau Bell, comedian (full bio)

Samuel Carter, Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation and Hollaback! co-founder (full bio)

Sandra Fluke, attorney and women’s rights activist (full bio)

Sally Kohn, CNN contributor and columnist for The Daily Beast (full bio)

Yetta Kurland, partner and civil rights attorney at “The Kurland Group,” educator, radio host, small business owner and community activist (full bio)

Samhita Mukhopadhyay, senior strategist at Purpose and author of Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining Your Love Life (full bio)

Thao Nguyen, Web Producer at Viacom Media Networks and inspiration for Hollaback! (full bio)

Ai-Jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and co-director of the Caring Across Generations campaign (full bio)

Cameron Russell, fashion model and founder and executive director of Space-Made (full bio)

Esta Soler, founder and president of Futures without Violence, expert on violence against women and children (full bio)

Erin Weed, founder of Girls Fight Back and Evoso (full bio)

Jamia Wilson, executive director of YTH: Youth Tech Health (full bio)


If you are interested in applying to be a member of our board of directors, please send a letter of interest and resume to [email protected].