Speakers

Avis Jones DeWeever
Founding President & CEO, Incite Unlimited, LLC

Dr. Avis A. Jones-DeWeever, Ph.D. is the Founding President & CEO of Incite Unlimited, LLC, a consulting firm devoted to the principle of moving great ideas to effective action. An accomplished scholar, writer, and public speaker, Dr. Jones-DeWeever is an authority on race, gender and the economy, poverty, inequality of educational and economic opportunity, and issues of privilege, power, and policy in the U.S. Her forthcoming book is Black Women Lead: Owning Your Power, Living Your Purpose, Exceptional Leadership in the Boardroom and Beyond. A sought-after political commentator, Dr. Jones-DeWeever’s policy perspectives appear in numerous media outlets including: CNN, PBS, TV One, BET News, ABC News, National Public Radio, Glamour Magazine, Clutch Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, The Grio, and Vital Speeches of the Day. Dr. Jones-DeWeever is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Virginia State University and holds a Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a member of the Black Women’s Roundtable and serves on the Board of Directors of the Voter Participation Center and Women’s Voices. Women Vote Action Fund. She also serves as an Affiliated Scholar with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and the Women of Color Policy Network.

Dara Richardson-Heron
CEO, YWCA

USA Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D. is the CEO of the YWCA USA, leading one of the nation’s oldest and largest multicultural organizations for women and girls. Richardson-Herron oversees the YWCA’s national operations and leads the development and implementation of innovative, value-added supports for the 229 YWCA local associations throughout the country that offer community-based services in over 1,300 locations. She also represents the organization on Capitol Hill, at the White House, and in the media. The YWCA USA is dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women, advocating for women’s economic advancement, racial justice and health equity. The organization is also the largest provider of domestic violence services and women’s shelters in the nation, serving 500,000 women and children annually. Richardson-Heron has been honored with numerous awards, including the YWCA Academy of Women Achievers, Woman of Excellence in Philanthropy and “25 Influential Black Women in Business.” In 2013, she was named one of the “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” by Women’s eNews and was also listed on The Nonprofit Times “Power & Influence Top 50″ list. Richardson-Heron received her Doctorate in Medicine from New York University School of Medicine and her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology at Barnard College of Columbia University. She also completed a Human Resources Executive Program at the University of Michigan.

Janaye Ingram
Acting National Executive Director, National Action Network

Janaye Ingram is the Acting National Executive Director of National Action Network (NAN), whose founder and president is Rev. Al Sharpton. Janaye oversees NAN’s action agenda and legislative advocacy on numerous issues including education, criminal justice, housing, technology, economic development and healthcare. She was a lead organizer of the “National Action to Realize the Dream Rally and March” in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. Janaye is a recognized voice on politics and activism with a weekly blog on Loop21.com, a weekly segment on the syndicated radio show, “Keepin’ It Real with Rev. Al Sharpton” and appearances and features in other media including MSNBC, TVOne’s “Washington Watch with Roland Martin”, The Huffington Post and TheGrio.com. Janaye is a founder of Ambassadors of Hope, a scholarship and involvement campaign, serves on the National Board of the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network and the Editorial Board of emPower Online Magazine (and is a mentor for Brown Girls Lead. Janaye holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Clark Atlanta University and a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from The New School University. She is a graduate of the National Urban Fellows America’s Leaders of Change executive leadership program and a Fellow of the Give1 Project.

Pramila Jayapal
Co-Chair, We Belong Together

Pramila Jayapal is a leading national advocate for immigrant, civil and human rights. Born in India and raised in India, Indonesia and Singapore, Pramila has worked for over 20 years in international and domestic social justice. In May 2013, Pramila was recognized by President Barack Obama as a White House Champion of Change. Pramila is the founder and former Executive Director of OneAmerica, Washington state’s largest immigrant advocacy organization. She has led a successful nationwide class action against the Federal government to prevent the deportation of 5,000 Somalis, led the largest voter registration of new citizens in Washington state, and built coalitions that include business, labor unions, faith, government and law enforcement organizations. In 2012 she left OneAmerica to become co-chair of We Belong Together, a national campaign to engage women in immigration reform. Pramila believes in connecting grassroots organizing to policy change with an ultimate goal of building power amongst immigrant communities and people of color who are often not represented fully in our democracy. Pramila is a sought-after speaker, has appeared on television and radio, and writes regularly for publications including Reuters, The Nation and Crosscut. She is a Distinguished Taconic Fellow at the Center for Community Change and a Distinguished Fellow at the University of Washington Law School.

Kimberley Inez McGuire
Director of Public Affairs, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

Kimberly serves as the Director of Public Affairs at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, where she directs the communications activities of NLIRH and advocates for salud, dignidad, y justicia (health, dignity, and justice) for the nation’s more than 26 million Latinas, their families and communities. Kimberly is a reproductive justice leader and queer Latina with nearly a decade of experience in government relations, movement building, and strategic communications. Kimberly develops and implements intersectional policy change and culture shift campaigns focused on restoring insurance coverage for abortion, reproductive health equity, and promoting health and human rights for immigrant women. Previously, she held a position as Senior Associate for Programs and Policy at the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, where she coordinated groundbreaking research on Latino attitudes on abortion and served on the Oral Contraceptives Over-the-Counter Working Group. A frequent writer, presenter, and spokesperson on reproductive health and justice, Kimberly has been featured and quoted in national media, including The Washington Post, NBC Latino, Fox News Latino, Color Lines, Dissent, and ThinkProgress. Kimberly earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampshire College and is studying to become a birth doula. Follow Kimberly on Twitter

Monica Simpson
Interim Executive Director, SisterSong

Monica Raye Simpson is a native of North Carolina, and a proud graduate of Johnson C. Smith University, one of the country’s historical black universities. Her decision to come out as a same-gender loving woman while attending college led her to become deeply involved in LGBT organizing on and off campus. Upon graduation, she was hired as the first person of color at the Lesbian & Gay Community Center in Charlotte. She has served in various capacities at SisterSong since 2010 and is currently its Interim Executive Director. Before joining SisterSong, Monica was the Ujamaa Coordinator for Grassroots Leadership where she trained young African Americans in philanthropy, fundraising, and activism. Monica is a nationally sought-after facilitator and organizer. She has been featured in numerous publications and has written articles on LGBT issues, philanthropy and activism. Monica is a founder of Charlotte’s first Black Gay Pride Celebration, and Charlotte’s African American Giving Circle. She also sits on the board of Resource Generation and the Fund for Southern Communities. Living by the Paul Robeson quote “If the artist does not create, the world suffers,” Monica uses her talents of song and spoken word in the community, for example in the Atlanta production of “For Colored Girls.” Her first solo album is “All About LOVE.”

Miriam Yeung
Executive Director, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum

Miriam W. Yeung, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), guides the country’s only national, multi-issue, progressive organization dedicated to social justice and human rights for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls. With chapters in 13 cities, NAPAWF’s priorities include winning rights for immigrant women, reproductive justice, and conducting community-based participatory research with young AAPI women. NAPAWF leads coalitions such as We Belong Together (with the National Domestic Workers’ Alliance) organizing women for common sense immigration policy reform, as well as a broad coalition of groups educating the public about the racist underpinnings of so-called “sex selection” abortion restrictions. Miriam is a sought after public speaker and is published on new media including Huffington Post and RH Reality Check, and in print in Medical Issues, The Shriver Report, and A New Queer Agenda. Miriam has received recognition from the National Council for Research on Women, the New York City Council, and ChoiceUSA. Born in Hong Kong and raised in the projects of Brooklyn, Miriam is a proud queer Asian-American immigrant committed to social justice and raising her two young daughters to be fearless. Miriam holds a master’s degree in public administration from Baruch College and a bachelor’s degree from New York University.