Emily 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, program manager
Mikaela (pronounced meh-KY-el-ahl) is a Two Spirit Community Healer, activist and creator, with over a decade of experience grassroot organizing in the Trans & Queer community. 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.
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.
Mary, Online harassment FELLOW
Maryam was originally prompted to study at a criminal justice institution after attending a panel voicing the story of a wrongfully convicted individual. As an honors student, she had the unique opportunity to study incredibly focused classes around incarceration. This past summer she interned with New York City Council, where as an intern, she worked on Participatory Budgeting—a civic exercise where community members design, vote, and implement projects. Now as the Online Harassment Fellow, Maryam merges her experience of individual expression and community response. The HeartMob platform draws on the constantly-changing world of policy around software as well as the personal journey of receiving or responding with support.
As soon as she’s free, she finds her pup, Rory!
Nicole, 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!
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).
Luiza, graphic designs Fellow
A pixel-perfect (vector-perfect doesn’t sound as cool) person who takes great pride in creating visually stunning designs. Luiza is an Albanian-American female with a Bachelors degree in Computer Science; and a minor in Studio Art. Through collegiate and personal exposure to the expansive history and various disciplines of visual art, Luiza continues to reach and build across her chosen passion: design. Now armed with her previous background in studio art, programming, and mastering other aspects of tech, Luiza is ready to dive into the field she’s always dreamed of. After starting this new chapter of her life, Luiza hopes to continue being part of organizations that work towards the betterment of society.
On her free time Luiza enjoys traveling, drinking wine, and doodling on any and every flat surface she encounters.
Erika, legislative & development Fellow
Erika is a senior at Hunter College pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Women’s and Gender Studies and Human Rights. After leaving her career in contemporary dance she spent time in Cochabamba, Bolivia doing volunteer work with the Villa Infantil Nueva Esperanza orphanage, as well as traveling extensively throughout South America and teaching English in Santiago, Chile. She interned with the NGO Commission on the Status of Women, a women’s organization that works with the UN. Erika volunteers with Coalition of the Homeless as a Shelter Monitor and with Girls on the Run, as a volunteer coach to a team of 3rd-grade girls in East Harlem. Erika is a passionate individual devoted to the defense and fortification of Women’s Human Rights. Her main interests are labor and employment issues, women’s international economic development, and the support of women artists.
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.
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.
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
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].