Jackie Vaughn attended Eastern Washington University where she received her B.A. in Race and Culture Studies. At EWU Jackie began her organizing with Moviemento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlan (MEChA). Since college she has worked in non-profits for most of her career and witnessed how they exploit, underserve, and oppress communities who are most impacted. For this reason, she is committed to organizing with anti-racist principals that center the power of Black and Brown communities.
Senait Brown is an anti-racist organizer, educator and curator of Black power and pleasure spaces who is active in the movement for Black liberation. She has served as director and co-chair of multiple organizations/collectives including, BlackOut Washington, (the group formerly known as) Youth Undoing Institutional Racism, Ending the Prison Industrial Complex and the No New Youth Jail Campaign.
Senait organizes nationally as a Core Trainer with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond and works as a consultant with a focus on Black power movement building, transformative organizational development and combating systemic anti-Black racism.
Débora comes to Surge Reproductive Justice via the RVC Fellowship. As the inaugural Resource Organizer she will be maintaining, building, and cultivating donor relationships, assisting in grant applications using Wealth Reclamation Academy of Practioners (WRAP) principles.
In their daily liberation practice, their commitment is to be a weaver of resources and networks, learning along the way and in reciprocity with the abundance that is present within our communities.
Débora is originally from Brasil, but now Tacoma home. They are an anti-racist educator, artist, activist and capoerista, and friend to many!
Our Words Build Power Organizer
Josefina Mora-Cheung has over four years of experience in the sexual health and reproductive justice field, as a former manager of WinkWink Boutique in Bellingham, and most recently as a Community Educator for Planned Parenthood. Josefina is excited to bring together their passion for reproductive justice and life-long love for organizing for community liberation as the Our Words Build Power Organizer for Surge Reproductive Justice.
Josefina is a born and raised Seattleite, graduated from Western Washington University, and has grown up in community-based movement spaces that informed her anti-racist, intersectional and community-first oriented organizing framework.
Outside of the workplace, Josefina is an active volunteer grant writer for La Resistencia, an undocumented-led group working to end deportation and detention of undocumented immigrants, as well as an active roller derby player and active member of Rat City Roller Derby.
Decriminalize WA Organizer
Elle is an active members of the PNW BIPOC community and serves as several organizations, including SRJ, Lavender Rights Project, and is a member of The Royal House of Noir (one of Seattle's premiere ballroom houses). A born and raised Texan, she moved to Washington after graduation from the University of North Texas. Upon landing in Seattle, Elle fell in love with the Black queer community, and its rich cultural solidarity. It's this solidarity that has aided shaping her into the Black trans woman she is today.
Elle is our Decriminalize WA Organizer. She will be working with our policy table partners on building a powerful campaign to decriminalize sex work statewide.
Elle thinks of herself as spontaneous, fun, and bright in social spaces. In her free time she can be found hunting for the next spectacular place to eat, or out supporting queer nightlife.
Mo Pannier is excited to bring her commitment to working in abundance and joy to the Operations Lead role at Surge. With years of reproductive rights and youth-led organizing work behind her, it has been her dream to bring a human centered and anti-racist perspective to how teams are able to use and understand operations and HR systems.
Mo is honored to be joining an organization that commits not only to working toward justice and Black liberation, but also to centering the joy and relationships that are so vital to the process of true change.
Outside of work, you can find her seeking out a new favorite restaurant, cuddling with her cat Moss, and nerding out about cozy video games!
Birth Justice Organizer
Andi Garcia brown she/her
Andi comes to Surge after completing her master’s degree in Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University where she focused on understanding how nonprofits work and how best to support organizations that support doulas. She became a birth doula in 2018 and a postpartum doula in 2019, through Chicago and through Chicago Volunteer Doulas. During 2020, she had the opportunity to dive deeper into what it means to support communities during transition and especially families as they grow during uncertain times. Birth work led her into liberation work within herself and leaning into practicing love in her work and personal life. She brings bell hooks' quote that “love is a combination of care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect, and trust”, into her life and all of her projects.
Coming into the birth justice organizer position, she is excited to support and learn from community members as she grows into this role. She will be working and collaborating on the Black Perinatal Health Campaign and the Doula for All Campaign.
Outside of the workplace, she is on a path of self discovery and finding activities that she enjoys doing. Currently she is on a kickball team appropriately named the Diamond Dogs as we practice healthy relationships through sports. She is also a big pop culture person and loves finding new shows and films that make her think differently and see new perspectives. She is always looking for recommendations for new food places and books so please do not hesitate to share your favorite places!
Vai Palesoo, also known as Sefina Essence, Founder and Mother to The House of Essence in the Kiki Ballroom Scene. She is a Visual Artist and Mentor who has 3 years of brand development, photography, and editing. Vai has over 5 years in personal development and empowerment, centering her work for Trans Women of Color as a House Mother. Vai made her name by organizing community events for QTBIPOC folks, creating spaces for the free expression of art. She's known for her unique visual style and has maintained community by promoting resources, hosting events, mentoring up-and-coming community members and artists, and sharing her own lived experience.
Whether she’s organizing and hosting 300+ person events, winning
awards like the Angels in Seattles Arts Advocacy Award in 2021, or working on House of Essence LLC, the business she founded in 2022, Sefina is always pushing herself to grow and achieve more, keeping her community at the forefront of her work. She is excited to offer support in her role to uplift the mission and message where all people can make powerful choices for their bodies, families, and communities.
Outside of work you can find her at a Kiki Ball, spending time with her chosen family, or refining her skills in Visual Arts.