May 6 – Addressing the Femicide: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Panelists
Dr. Christina M. Castro
Dr. Castro (Taos Pueblo/Jemez Pueblo/Xicana) was born in Southern California. She currently resides in O’gha P’ogeh, Santa Fe, NM within her traditional homelands. She is a mother, writer, scholar, educator, community organizer, multidimensional artist, public speaker and more.
In 2017, Dr. Castro co-founded Three Sisters Collective (3SC), an Indigenous-women centered grassroots organization devoted to art, activism, education, and community building. Dr. Castro received her Doctorate from the Pueblo PhD Program at Arizona State University’s School of Social Transformation and Justice Studies in 2018 and is an independent consultant with Castro Consulting, LLC.
In 2017, Dr. Castro co-founded Three Sisters Collective (3SC), an Indigenous-women centered grassroots organization devoted to art, activism, education, and community building. Dr. Castro received her Doctorate from the Pueblo PhD Program at Arizona State
Kristen Herring, President of Austin N.O.W
Kristen Herring is the daughter of a Welsh/Dutch Father and a Lumbee/Scottish Mother, who grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago for 20 years before moving to Austin, Texas. She first became an advocate in early childhood when she was taught of the discrimination her Mother and other family members faced for being Lumbee and having brown skin in America. When Kristen was diagnosed with a “pre existing condition” before middle school and had no guarantee of insurance, she decided her purpose in life would be to heal, not only the trauma in her family, but also of Turtle Island and Mother Earth. Having been discouraged from becoming an activist, Kristen instead used her Indigenous culture to connect to others by telling stories. After 10 years of advocacy, she has since then become an activist and uses her social media platform to share Native stories that are ignored and erased in mainstream media and in the education system.
After the first year of living in Austin, Kristen experienced an unhealthy pregnancy and found out just how difficult it is for Texans with a uterus to have full access to their bodily autonomy. She went through almost every anti abortion law in the state, despite the fact she was using abortion care to save her life, costing her $2,700 with only 4 days to pay (out of pocket). With the help of her family, she was able to get the care she needed, and since then has partnered with pro abortion care groups who share abortion care stories.
Kristen has been a caretaker for over 15 years, from working with infants and children to dementia care, and has been volunteering for Texas N.O.W for a year and a half. With the collected help of her team, Vice President Alexia Emuze, and a few Board Members, Kristen was able to successfully convene a new chapter in Texas called Austin N.O.W. As President, Kristen is leading her chapter more progressively with the focus on decolonization, which ultimately means coexisting and respecting Sovereign Nations and Treaties while intersectionality fighting for liberty, equity, & protection for all People and Mother Earth.
Kristen enjoys writing screenplays and children’s books, acting, dancing, and enjoys spending time with her family, her People, and friends.”
Obeja Negra is an AFROnteriza rapper, artivist, feminist, migrant, and cultural promoter, supporter and defender from the borderland of Ciudad Juárez Chihuahua Mexico. She is a member of various collectives that focus on combating femicides.
*fronteriza is a feminine identity we use in the Borderland to embrace both sides of the U.S. and Mexico border. She comes from African ancestors so she added the “afro” to fronteriza.
Jolene Holgate is a Diné (Navajo) woman intent on creating social change in Indigenous communities with hopes to address challenges and develop pathways toward solutions to protect women and children. For nearly six years Jolene worked with elected Navajo leadership engaging in policy advocacy to address areas of human trafficking, sexual and domestic violence, cyberbullying, and protecting Navajo children. After her time with the Navajo Nation, she transitioned to community organizing to take a community-based approach to the missing and murdered crisis in Dinétah with the goal of elevating the voices of survivors and families, recovering missing relatives, and calling for justice. Jolene is also the co-founder of the Missing & Murdered Diné Relatives task force. She remains committed to supporting Indigenous community healing, empowerment, and awareness in her role at CSVANW.