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.
Erin B.J. LEE
Erin Lee is the Community Engagement Director at Quilted Health, an organization committed to building and championing a model for equitable access to compassionate, evidence-based, whole-person pregnancy care. She’s a public health practitioner committed to eliminating racial disparities and inequities within healthcare and the early learning sector. Erin holds a Master of Public Health with a special focus in Health Services from the University of Washington with research focused on community-based doula support in WA state. Erin’s current work at Quilted Health focuses on engaging local community-based organizations in their efforts to support laboring individuals across WA state. In previous roles, Erin has supported diverse programming and community partner coordination for non-profits focused on early learning support specifically for unsheltered children and families, and Native and Indigenous communities in King and Pierce counties.
Devan (They/He) is a local Black, Fat, Trans & Queer, Self-Taught Artist. Dev was born and raised in Skyway, and grew up going to schools in South Seattle. They are an Anti-Racist Community Organizer and Prison Abolitionist. Dev’s organizing and art is grounded in Spirit and the Legacy of their Ancestors. Much of his art is about representing Fat, Queer & Trans Black people, experiencing joy, rest, and love. They are a future children’s book illustrator, and a freelance graphic designer. Devan is inspired by Black Queer Youth, the clouds, the ocean, and the rain. In their personal life, you can find Dev playing The Sims, cooking meals for their loved ones, crackin jokes with their friends, hiking, and taking naps. Devan is also a Virgo, and a caretaker to a sweet & mischievous cat, Koda. #NNJY
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 D.C. metropolitan area, by way of Alexandria, Virginia. E 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 in 2019 as a Community Impact Fellow through RVC, and served as Communications & Community Engagement Manager in their initial role at the organization. In 2021 they transitioned to Co-Director. Their other current community involvement includes supporting faith communities in faithfully and equitably discerning land use as a Co-Founder & Community Organizer with the Faith Land Initiative at The Church Council of Greater Seattle.
In moments of play and rest, he enjoys staying embodied through boxing, calisthenics, running, hiking, and biking. He also loves watching psychological thrillers and horror movies, reading social justice literature, and being a “man-about-town” in whatever zip code he's in.
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.
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 calls North Seattle home. They are an anti-racist educator, artist, activist and capoerista, and friend to many!
Our words build power organizer
Josefina Mora-Cheung (she/they) 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.