Emily May, Co-Founder and Executive Director
Emily is an international leader in the movement to end harassment — in all its forms. 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 20 cities in 14 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.
Our executive director has also won many awards for her leadership, including the TEDCity 2.0 Prize. In 2014, she was named one of the year’s Mulheres Inspiradoras by Think Olga, and in 2013, one of the Daily Muse’s “50 Fearless Minds Changing the World.” In 2012, she received five awards including one of twelve women to watch in 2012 by the Daily Muse, one of 20 women “leading the way” by the Huffington Post, a “Hero Among Us” in People Magazine, an AOL “Next Maker,” and one of Jezebel’s “25 kick-ass and amazing women we love. In 2011, May was named one of Women’s eNews “21 leaders for the 21st Century”, which was presented by Dan Rather, received the “40 under 40” award from the New Leaders Council, was selected as a Top 10 finalist for the “Young Nonprofit Leaders of the Year” Classy awards, and was named an Ashoka “ChangemakHER” joining such social change makers as Melinda Gates and Fran Drescher. Additionally, and to our utter delight, when feminist icon Gloria Steinem was asked, “What women today inspire you and make you feel that the movement continues?” Her response was, “Emily May of Hollaback! who has empowered women in the street, literally.”
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 and a Prime Movers Fellow.
Jorge’s passion for history, places, and people joined by his ability to plan and execute have allowed him to bring his operational skills to serve in the social justice movement. His background in Operations and in serving marginalized communities has informed his holistic approach to creating processes and systems that consider every aspect of a person’s experience. Jorge has worked on racial justice, LGBTQ+, and arts education initiatives along the East Coast. He hopes to continue contributing to the social justice movement by ensuring all the phenomenal people leading the movement have the tools and resources required to enact real-world changes. Jorge earned his B.A. in American Studies from SUNY College at Old Westbury, and his M.A. in American Studies at The City College of New York.
Coniqua is our Training and Program Coordinator. She has a passion for inclusivity, civic engagement, non-profit capacity building and personal empowerment. This passion has fueled her work in various sectors such as government, sexual reproductive health, and education. It has allowed her to serve in various roles in training, programming, logistics and operations. She hopes to integrate these many experiences and skills across the sectors in her work at Hollaback! Additionally, while merging her lived experience as a black women to the movement to end harassment in all forms. Coniqua has earned a M.S. in Nonprofit Management from the New School alongside a B.S. in Public Policy and Public Affairs from Sage College of Albany.
Asha, “A Week in our shoes” editor
A motivated academic and aspiring diplomat, Asha Nelson is a 24-year-old young woman striving to lend a helping hand to endangered minority groups throughout the world. Having been awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology with Law, Asha opted to pursue a Master of Science in Gender Development. She is currently conducting research on her thesis for her master’s degree, specifically, examining the consideration of gender-related matters in current regional integration and economic policies, or lack thereof, in the Anglophone Caribbean. She hopes that her research will highlight existing gender-related policy issues in the Anglophone Caribbean and will create heightened awareness and sensitivity toward gender as a central and important factor to be considered during policy reformation.
In 2016, Asha worked as a Digital Marketing Intern at the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, an international inter-governmental organization in the Caribbean. In said capacity, she was a creative writer and journalist, reporting specifically on youth in the Caribbean. At the end of her internship, she was recognized as one of the top performers and was selected as the Valedictorian of the group, hereby crediting her for her drive, commitment, and hard work. Following this, in 2017, she gained further experience as a freelance writer for Sporte Avis, a St. Lucian media house, providing coverage on young athletes in the Caribbean.
Gabriela, Communications Fellow
Gabriela is a Salvadoran-American Communications fellow at Hollaback! She is a recent graduate of Fordham University, where she earned a BA in Latin American Studies and International Studies. While earning her degree she studied the politics, history, economics, and films of Latin America, and she also studied worldwide political and economic trends. Her studies culminated in her Senior Thesis, an extensive research paper, where she focused on the deterioration of the Venezuelan State.
Gabriela enjoys volunteering, and through New York Cares she has volunteered at the Annual NYCares Coat Drive warehouse, and knitting Blankets of Love in Greenwich Village. Her first time volunteering was with Occupy Sandy during Hurricane Sandy recovery, and it was that experience that prompted her interest in NYC non-profit work.
In her free time, she can be found listening to audiobooks while knitting, writing, and engaging in collaborative storytelling (playing dungeons and dragons).
RALPH FERNANDEZ, COMMUNICATIONS FELLOW
Ralph is our Communications fellow. He’s a recent graduate of SUNY Purchase where he earned a BA in Communications. His Senior paper was focused on the benefits of organizations for community building. During this time he was also president of an organization on campus called Students of Caribbean Ancestry. He focused on putting up events that would bring the campus community together as well as educating the students about Caribbean culture. Part of his work there was to also combine his new knowledge from his internship (Leadership in Bystander intervention) to educate members on how to be good bystanders at parties where harassment was becoming a concern.
In his spare time Ralph enjoys writing short stories/plays, creating/editing videos, and cooking.
JILL DIMOND PHD, CHIEF TECH DEVELOPER
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.
Inspired by the belief that everyone has an innate ability to communicate powerfully and purposefully, Jackie launched Bespoken in 2014 to provide individuals and teams with dynamic, interactive, and customized communication and presentation skills training that teaches people how to make powerful verbal and physical choices in order to communicate successfully at work. Jackie also joins Hollaback! with 15 years’ experience as a director and curator of arts and culture programming across New York City, most recently as Associate Director of Only Make Believe, a non-profit that creates and performs interactive theatre for children in hospitals, care facilities, and special education programs throughout the New York and Washington DC metropolitan areas, free of charge to every site, family, and child. Even though her experiences are greatly varied, they have shown Jackie that regardless of one’s age or professional affiliation, the desire to speak with purpose is a universal one – and one she’s proud to help many different people achieve. She holds a B.F.A. in Performance and M.A. in Arts and Public Policy, both from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Nicole Stapleton is a graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study where she studied ‘Female Narrative’: The intersections of gender, storytelling, and sociology. While at Gallatin, Nicole 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 VESSELS Dance Company, Sage Horsey & Co. and in her own choreography which she performs in and around NYC.
Kelly is a learning and development architect with a focus on creating people-centric training experiences where learning sticks! She has developed and delivered training on sexual harassment prevention, hostage negotiation, post traumatic stress disorder, crisis prevention and intervention, motive-based communication, facilitation, change and transition, project management, and personal and professional resilience. She is an experienced facilitator of train the trainer programs and effectively coaches trainers to first, be aware of themselves, and then to ‘get over themselves’ to create valuable learning experiences for their students. Kelly is an active vermiculturist, forever an herbal gardener, and adores pretty much all animals (especially horses… but don’t tell that to her two dogs). Primely, Kelly promotes equality, strives to honor the journeys of others, and claims that life… is full of wonder.
Jane Ochs is the Owner of Jane Social Media Marketing. She holds a degree in Accounting from the prestigious Philippine School of Business Administration. After years of pursuing an accounting career, she rediscovered her passion for teaching and began teaching English online to mostly Asian students. She was later engaged as a Virtual Assistant by several firms in the U.S. and Canada, where she handled many responsibilities including website management, social media management and digital marketing. Jane has extensive experience consulting in marketing and administration for community websites and a law firm.
Board of Directors
Chair: Allison Sesso, Executive Director of the Human Services Council (full bio)
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)
Kelsey Thompson, Former Vice President of Human Resources for a global, public company (full bio)
Hillary Sobel, Senior Counsel, Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling
Kater Gordon, Emmy Award-Winning Writer (full bio)
Liza Maharjan, Consultant at the World Bank (full bio)
Shelley Atwell-Vasko, Founder and Chief Principal Consultant of Projects, Incorporated (full bio)
Laura Somoggi, Womanity Award Programme Manager, The Womanity Foundation (full bio)
Rose Pierre-Louis, Chief Operation Officer, NYU McSilver Institute
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
Raina Kumra, Co-founder at Mavin, Inc. (full bio)
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)
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].