Valeriana Chikoti-Bandua is a former refugee from the country of Angola. She is indigenous to the Ovimbundu tribe in the southern region of Angola. Born in the neighboring country of Zambia due to a bitter civil war, at the age of three Valeriana’s family fled the country of Zambia and found refuge in the country of Papua New Guinea where she was subsequently raised. In 2007 she moved to the USA as an international student, and as life would have it in her quest to just obtain her bachelor’s degree the United States has become her second home. Valeriana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems, a minor in American studies, and a Masters Degree in Global Governance with a concentration in International Security. Valeriana has served as a Human Rights Diplomat for the country of Angola in the Human Rights Committee, she is a TEDx speaker of the talk titled “Protect the Girl Child.”
She has served in a variety of leadership capacities to interrupt anti-Blackness, and end sexual violence in Black and Immigrant communities for over 12 years. As the founder of Necessary Interruptions LLC, Valeriana is an Abolitionist on an active quest to lead as a Human Rights Racial Equity Advisor for businesses, agencies, and organizations that are actively centering a Black liberation lens, that serves to center Black joy, Black contributions, and audacious wellness practices that are anti-oppressive lens and build safer spaces for Black communities to thrive despite the constant threat of anti-Black violence. In addition, Valeriana is a newly wed, a Tacoma resident, and a recent green card holder after a 13+ year long journey of navigating the labyrinth of the US immigration system.
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.
E.N. West, affectionately known as "E", proudly hails from the DC metropolitan area, by way of Alexandria, Virginia. They graduated from William & Mary with dual degrees in American Studies and Government. E deeply believes "we are uninhibited when we know our power" and is committed to co-creating a world where everyone intimately knows how powerful they are and directs that power toward collective liberation.
They came to SRJ as a Community Impact Fellow with RVC. Other community involvement includes working as a Faith Land Organizer with The Church Council of Greater Seattle.
In their moments of play and rest, E enjoys reading social justice literature, listening to podcasts of all kinds (especially those featuring QTPOC) & being the queer jock of their own dreams (boxing, practicing calesthenics, running, and enjoying the great outdoors).
Débora (she/they) 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 calls North Seattle home. They are an anti-racist educator, artist, activist and capoerista, and friend to many!
Karla Erandy Gutierrez
leadership development organizer
Karla (she/her) is our Leadership Development Organizer. She is a recent bachelor's degree graduate from the University of Washington's Social Work program. However, she envisions a world where there are no schools for social work as there is no need for social workers. She re-joins us after serving as our BSW Practicum Student.
In her new role at SRJ, she will continue learning to organize strategically, centering Black women, women of color, and queer & trans people of color, while supporting the leadership development of all community members entering into this organizing strategy. As a new organizer, she is committed to helping bring others into the movement with the same critical love she has been brought in with.
To decompress, Karla loves to dance, listen to podcasts, and write (to decipher thoughts and cope with her constant curiosity). Karla also really loves oatmeal and crunchy peanut butter.
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. She also holds leadership positions with the People’s Youth Agenda, the Black Power Epicenter Cooperative and Nurturing Roots Farm.