Speakers & Performers

The following will speak and perform during the 2-day Summit gathering and at the Solidarity Night.


Zeena Aljawad is a member of the Orange County chapter of AF3IRM. She is a graduate  of Psychology and Women’s & Gender Studies from California State University, Fullerton. She is currently a Youth Coordinator for the Arab Youth Collective at Access California Services. Her passions lie within the arts, critical thought, challenging the status quo, and attaining justice in the context of community building/organizing.


Also known as Sumaq, Shirley was born in Iquitos, Peru. Over the past 12 years, she has organized in Peru as well as in different states such as New York, Arizona and California on issues relating to violence against women and migrant rights. Shirley is a Communicator with a focus on social development & justice. Her work is driven by her passion and belief in the ability of individual reconstruction with the overall goal of improving social conditions in the community. Shirley is the Communication and Special Events Manager at Peace Over Violence, one of the oldest domestic and sexual violence crisis centers in the nation. She has been with AF3IRM since earlier this year.


Olivia Canlas is the current New York City Coordinator of AF3IRM.  Olivia works in Foreclosure Prevention in the Far Rockaways, an area that was severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy, and is a collective member of the Asia Pacific Forum, a weekly radio hour in New York City. With AF3IRM, her interest lie in education as a means of resistance, creating women-identified led spaces and raising consciousness around the laws, policies, and historical processes that institutionalize violence against the poor, women, and/or communities of color.


Grace Chang is completing a book, Trafficking by Any Other Name: Transnational Feminist, Immigrant and Sex Worker Rights Responses, (The New Press, forthcoming). She is author of Disposable Domestics:  Immigrant Women Workers in the Global Economy (South End Press, 2000), co-editor with Evelyn Nakano Glenn and Linda Forcey of Mothering:  Ideology, Experience and Agency (Routledge, 1994) and co-editor with Nilda Flores-Gonzalez, Anna Romina Guevarra and Maura Toro-Morn of Immigrant Women Workers in the Neoliberal Age (University of Illinois, 2013).  Her articles include “Where’s the Violence?  The Promise and Perils of Women of Color Studies,” in Presumed Incompetent (Utah, 2012) and “Reconceptualizing Approaches to Human Trafficking,” coauthored with Kathleen Kim, in Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (2007).  She served on the National Domestic Workers Alliance research advisory board on a national survey of domestic workers (Ford Foundation, 2012) and worked with Lideres Campesinas, Coastal Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy, the Applied Research Center and DataCenter, on participatory research with immigrant women farmworkers on green jobs and food justice. She is a professor of Feminist studies at UC Santa Barbara.


Thandisizwe Chimurenga is an award-winning, freelance journalist based in Los Angeles, CA. She has been a writer and creator or co-creator of media (newspapers, cable tv, radio) for over 20 years, and her community activism has ranged from electoral organizing; anti-police terror work; freedom for political prisoners and prisoners of war; to organizing against violence against women.  Chimurenga, who uses her writing as political activism, is the author of “No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant,” which is an analysis of the 2010 murder trial of the police officer who killed Oscar Grant, the subject of the hit 2013 film “Fruitvale Station” produced by Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker.

In “No Doubt,” Chimurenga connects the systematic state-sanctioned violence against young Black males nationally through the lens of Oscar Grant’s murder.

She is currently in Ferguson, MO, where a rebellion erupted after the murder of 18 year old Black youth Mike Brown by a white police officer.  She went to Ferguson after being in Detroit, MI, where she covered the trial of Theodore Wafer for the murder of Renisha McBride for Color of Change and Black Agenda Report dot com.


Community organizer, freelance journalist and Hip Hop activist Rosa Clemente ran for Green Party Vice President in the 2008 U.S. election. Along with Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, the pair became the first women of color ticket in American History. Born and raised in South Bronx, NY, Rosa Clemente has been a community organizer and a featured keynote speaker, panelist, and political commentator for over 20 years. She has received numerous awards, grants and fellowships, and has written for Ebony, Clamor Magazine, The Black World Today, The Final Call, The Ave. Magazine, and numerous websites. Rosa Clemente has been the subject of articles in the New York Times, The Nation, The Progressive, The Village Voice, Urban Latino, Essence, Latina, Vibe, The Huffington Post, Alternet, Wiretap, All Hip Hop.com, Black Agenda Report, The Indypendent, Newsone.com, In These Times and The Source.

Clemente is a frequent contributor on CNN, C-SPAN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, Free Speech TV, On the Real with Chuck D, Street Soldiers, Pacifica Radio, Grit TV with Laura Flanders, teleSUR, Hard Knock Radio, The Truth With Jeff Johnson (BET), The Bev Smith Show, The Warren Ballentine Show, Make it Plain with Mark Thompson, WPFW with Dr. Jared Ball, and Democracy Now!. She is currently a doctoral student in the W.E.B. Dubois department of UMASS-Amherst and is at work on her first book: When a Puerto Rican Woman Ran for Vice President and Nobody Knew Her Name.


Iris de Anda is a writer, activist, and practitioner of the healing arts. A womyn of color of Mexican and Salvadorean descent. A native of Los Angeles she believes in the power of spoken word, poetry, storytelling, and dreams. She has been published in Mujeres de Maiz Zine, Loudmouth Zine: Cal State LA, OCCUPY SF poems from the movement, Seeds of Resistance, In the Words of Women, Twenty: In Memoriam and online at La Bloga. She is an active contributor to Poets Responding to SB 1070. She performs at community venues and events throughout the Los Angeles area & Southern California. She hosted The Writers Underground Open Mic 2012 at Mazatlan Theatre and 100,000 Poets for Change 2012 and 2013 at the Eastside Cafe. She currently hosts The Writers Underground Open Mic every Third Thursday of the month at the Eastside Cafe. Author of CODESWITCH: Fires From Mi Corazon.


Myra-Gissel Durán is the Policy Coordinator for California Latinas for Reproductive Justice. Myra graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Women’s Studies with a concentration in Women of Color Feminism and a minor in Labor and Workplace Studies. Myra also served on the Young Women’s Leadership Council for the Pro-Choice Public Education Project (PEP) to ensure that the interests and voices of young women, transgender & gender non-conforming young people were included. She is a strong advocate for passionate politics where love is at the center of the work and believes in the power people can co-cultivate in order to achieve full liberation from oppressive systems. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging with her familia back in her hood of Pomona, reading, and organizing in the community for the past 5 years with her militant sisters from AF3IRM Los Angeles.

“Born in East LA raised in Guanatos, allowed me to document a life between two worlds through music, poetry and HipHop. Spanglish was my everyday vernacular and Eye readily accept that I set out to make my music for everyone, regardless of who spoke the language. The music is the language. It is universal, it is global, it is magnetic and liberating and that is what eye work to achieve in my music. I write, rhyme, sing and engage in sound so that my music can speak for itself, for my people, for our struggles and most importantly for our testament of resilience. Music is my weapon of love & liberation.”

Saludos! I have been a part of AF3IRM Orange County for 9 months and have loved every minute of it. I joined because I wanted to make a positive difference for the women in my community. After months of studying transnational theory and participating in direct action organizing, I know that the work of every woman in this organization contributes to a global, progressive fight for women around the globe. I am proud to be an AF3IRM sister. My poetry is my story. Thank you for letting me share it with you.


Ashley Hernandez is a young Latina Feminist with Mujeres Unidas, a Chicana-Latina, grass-roots collective bringing awareness for both safe and sacred spaces, womyn’s dialogue, and celebrating the victories and beautiful struggles of Womyn of Color today. A  former Youth for Environmental Justice member while in high school and  now the Youth Organizer in Wilmington working for Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), Ashley educates our communities’ youth on the negative impacts of living in a highly industrialized area surrounded by toxic pollution while advocating for Environmental Justice in low-income communities of color.


Kristen Jackson is an African diasporic woman, mother, daughter, and sister, born and reared in the heart of Los Angeles, CA. Kristen obtained degrees in both Ethnic and Women’s Studies and Apparel Merchandising and Management from California State University, Pomona. In previous roles, she has worked as a tutor, behaviorist, mentor, and advisor for youth-aged population.  As a lifelong activist and advocate for the marginalized and disenfranchised, Kristen was drawn to AF3IRM due to the organization’s unique,  theoretical, anti-oppressive, woman-centric stance.

Kristen seeks to bring about a better, safer world for her daughter and future generations to reside. Love, healing, justice, and true equality are at the heart  of all her endeavors. A lover of beauty, culture, and creative expression, she especially enjoys music, healing arts, spirituality, dance, fashion, and environmentalism.


The Chicana From Down Under.

Born in La Paz, Mexico to a Mexican Father and Turkish Mother, Maya grew up in Sydney, Australia. It was in Sydney’s Western Suburbs where she first fell in love with Hip Hop. Maya’s love of writing rhymes helped her express her fear, pain, joy and hope as a teenager and later on she realized the power music held in using it as a tool to make a positive difference in her community. This has been the underlying purpose of her life’s work. It is with this ideal that she co-founded Artivist Entertainment, an entertainment company committed to creating and supporting art and music that inspires positive social change alongside Quetzal Flores, Veronica Gonzales, Alberto Lopez and Aloe Blacc.

Maya has release two solo albums, the latest created with Quetzal Flores and Martha Gonzalez of Grammy Award winning, EastLos rock band Quetzal and her husband, singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc.  Maya’s first album ‘Today’ debuted in 2003 on Mother Tongues, the first label dedicated solely to women in hip-hop.

Maya’s Artivism began in her early twenties when she facilitated Hip Hop workshops with at-risk youth in Sydney’s south and west, teaching young people how to write, record and perform songs. In 2012 she was an official Ambassador for ‘The Line campaign,’ an Australian government anti-violence initiative. In Los Angeles she volunteered as a mentor with Peace Over Violence’s Youth Over Violence Summer Institute, facilitating a song writing and recording internship around songs that discussed healthy relationships.


Jollene Levid is the National Chairperson of AF3IRM, an anti-imperialist transnational feminist women’s organization that combats trafficking, militarism, and fights for im/migrant women’s rights. She has been a part of the organization for 13 years, previously serving as the Secretary-General, Organizing Director & coordinator of the Orange County chapter. She received her BA in Political Science with a minor in Asian American Studies at UC Irvine and got her Masters in Social Work from USC. She is currently a union organizer and contract negotiator for public sector nurses in Los Angeles County. She recently returned from organizing in the disaster areas in the Philippines. In her free time, she competes in marathons and triathlons, reads fiction, eats too much chocolate, and tries to live by AF3IRM’s belief: A woman’s place is at the head of the struggle for the liberation of all humanity!


Mare Advertencia Lirika is a Zapotec woman and rapper born in Oaxaca, Mexico. She is the founder of the rap group “Advertencia Lirika.”

Mare uses rap as a tool to raise awareness and to strengthen networks within the Oaxacan social movement as well as social movements elsewhere. Her work seeks to eradicate gender inequalities within society, an objective that has led her to work with diverse collectives and organizations nationally and internationally.

In 2011, she participated in the 1st Female Hip Hop Festival in the city of Guatemala. In May 2012, her work and her life was featured in a documentary titled, “When A Woman Moves” produced by Manovuelta, under the direction of Simon Sedillo. In the very same year, she was selected by NPR as the “Best Latin Alternative Music of the Year in the United States and has toured over 25 cities in 6 states in the country.

In March 2013, she was recognized as “María Sabina” for her work on behalf of the vindication of the rights of women through music. In April of this same year, she made ​​a second tour to the United States, working with groups mostly composed of the Latina immigrant and Chicana comunities in 3 states and about 12 cities. Mare also shared and contributed her experience of being a woman and rapper in a book published in April of 2013 by Lauren Shaw called “Song and Social Change in Latin America.”

She has shared the stage with nationally and internationally recognized rap groups like Golden Ganga, DJ Aztek 732, La Tremenda Korte, Krudas Cubensi, Alika, Delinquent Habits, Cihuatll Ce, Guerrilla Queens, Guerrillerokulto, Lengualerta to name a few. In addition, she has had the opportunity to take her talent and message to various parts of the planet, and to each of the 8 regions of her native Oaxaca.

She is currently still working on her solo rap project and supporting community based initiatives by offering dance, rap, and hip hop culture workshops. In addition, she continuously supports other musical projects including Revolution Sound System and the Oaxacan musical group Los Molcajete.


Cathy Mendonça has been active in the San Diego Community for over 4 years. In her career, she has worked in the capacity as a Domestic Violence and emergency hotline counselor and Sexual Assault Response Team Advocate, She has advocated for and mentored  individuals who are disabled, foster and former foster youth and refugees who have newly resettled to the U.S. In the field of social justice, Cathy is active in demanding law enforcement accountability through intersectional education and direct action as co-founder of United Against Police Terror, has established the San Diego chapter of Black and Pink, an organization supporting LGBTQ prisoners impacted by the prison industrial complex. and promoting awareness of disabilities, police and prisons issues, domestic violence as well as the exploitation of labor and sex trafficking locally and globally through a transnational feminist lens of the San Diego Chapter of AF3IRM.


Maureen Ivy Quicho is the current National Organizing Director of AF3IRM and is rooted in LA. She is the former LA Chapter Coordinator and has been a member for over 10 years. Ivy received her undergraduate degree in Business Administration, Marketing from UCR in 2004 and later received her Masters in Social Work from USC in 2009. She worked as a youth organizer for 3 years training young women in direct action organizing. Ivy was a Co-Founder and former Executive Director for the Mariposa Center for Change, a transnational feminist non-profit in LA for women and children. She has worked in the labor movement for over 7 years in various capacities including the first woman of color National Organizing Director for a resident physician union, CIR. Ivy now works for SEIU Local 721 organizing public sector nurses at Los Angeles County + USC. She is a marathon runner, a bargain fashionista, an art/music appreciator, a pig collector, and is obsessed with all things Halloween. She continues to be active in AF3IRM because she enjoys being part of a theoretically rooted, praxis oriented, anti-imperialist group of badass women organizing for the genuine liberation of womankind.


Nicolette Asa Refuerzo, aka Asa Lianess, is a member of an all female hip hop soul crew called EARTHSTONEZ. In addition to being a fiercely talented emcee and doting mother, she is also a coordinator of SEDARVP Ghana’s Womens Empowerment Program and the founder of Henna for a Cause. She is presently finishing her album Above the Water and immersed in Global Oneness Humanitarian work.


Ninotchka Rosca is a multi-awarded writer and journalist, whose work revolves around the twin issues of women’s liberation and class liberation. She has authored/co-authored 9 books and about 700 by-lined articles. Imprisoned during the Marcos Dictatorship, she continues to help in the quest for justice and resolution for those whose human rights were violated. She was elected chair of GabNet at its founding on Sept. 4, 1989 and has remained steadfast on the road of women’s organizing, advocacy and theory-building. For many women in her ethnic community, she laid the foundations of both theory and practice for uncompromising feminism. She continues to work with AF3IRM.


“Hi hello yes I’m a volunteer intern at Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa and part of People of Color Queer Asexual/Allies Trans* (POCQAT). I’m a queer in the headlights. My hijab scares old white people and old white people sometimes scare me, so that works out pretty well. They/them are my preferred pronouns. OKAY COOL LET’S GO SMASH THE SYSTEMS OF OPPRESSION WITH THOR’S HAMMER NOW.”


Katrina Socco has been with AF3IRM since 2003. She began leading the SF Bay Area as Chapter Coordinator in 2004, notably directing our first production of Export Quality: True Mail Order Bride Monologues written by our Kataga Writers Collective. She is a healer living in Pacifica, CA with her daughter Tala.


Irene Suico Soriano is a Filipina American poet, independent literary and film/video curator, and Shelter/Animal Rights advocate.

Irene obtained a B.A. in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Poetry and a minor in Playwriting from Loyola Marymount University and was a recipient of two LMU Graduate Poetry Awards. In 1990, she received a 1990 American College Theater Achievement Award for Isang Anak (One Child) in University of California, Santa Barbara’s New Play Festival. In 2000, she received the PEN Center USA West Emerging Voices Rosenthal Fellowship to complete her poetry manuscript “A Second Sky.”

Her poetry has appeared in, among others, the Los Angeles Times; Philippines Free Press; Solidarity Journal; Flippin’: Filipinos on America (AAWW); Babaylan: An Anthology of Filipina and Filipina American Writers (Aunt Lute); Short Fuse: The Global Anthology of New Fusion Poetry (Rattapallax Press); and The LA Telephone Book, Vol. 1 | 2011-12 (arras.net). Disorient Journalzine, as part of their “Emerging Writers Chapbook Series” published her first collection of poetry, SAFEHOUSES, in 1998.

Irene founded and coordinated the reading series Wrestling Tigers: Asian Pacific American Writers Speak at the Japanese American National Museum and was literary curator for the LA Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture from 1994-2000. She was featured in the Los Angeles Times for her curatorial participation in the groundbreaking NEA funded World Beyond Poetry Festival that featured over 100+ poets from the diverse communities of Los Angeles. She also co-produced, as part of the LA Enkanto Art Collective, the IN OUR BLOOD: Filipina/o American Poetry & Spoken Word from Los Angeles CD.

Irene lives in DTLA with her three rescued dogs, Cadi, Papoo & Maxon. She is active in the Los Angeles animal rescue community and is the founder of the Bark & Purr Alliance Fund, an advocacy group that provides resources to aid the rescue of senior and special needs dogs and cats that enter LA’s city and county shelter system.


Twitter: @anatijoux

Ana Tijoux was born in the French city of Lille. She is the daughter of two Chilean exiles who fled from Chile to France after the 1973 Chilean coup d’état. It was not until 1983 that Ana traveled to Chile and met her grandparents and extended family who stayed in the country despite the coup.

Tijoux moved back to Chile after the return of civil power in 1993. She began her music career in 1997 as part of the group Makiza, with which she released three albums. In 2006, Tijoux collaborated with Julieta Venegas on the track “Eres Para Mi” which had mainstream radio success. In 2007, the GRAMMY nominated artist began her solo career, and has released four albums. She has thrilled audiences internationally with her politically hard-hitting lyrics and signature flow, earning the title of “South America’s answer to Lauryn Hill” (New York Times).  Tijoux was part of a campaign in 2012 called “30 Songs/ 30 Days” to support Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.  She was ranked No. 1 for “Best New Female Emcees Dominating Mics Everywhere” by MTV Iggy.

This year she has traveled throughout the US—performing at Austin City Limits and SXSW, among others, while making time for interviews on programs such as Democracy Now!—in support of her latest album, Vengo (2014).


“My name is Alkrizzia Villapando and I am 22 years young.  I was raised in the cities of La Mesa and Santee in San Diego County, California. Growing up, I was, more often than not, the only Pilipina-American in the classroom. However, I spent the past four years in Los Angeles pursuing a B.S. in Psychobiology at UCLA. At UCLA, I was incredibly surprised to discover that there were significantly more than a handful of Pilipina/o students. I became an active member of Samahang Pilipino where I first experienced what it is like to truly be a part of a Pilipina/o community. Throughout my college career, I grew more and more committed to serving and advocating for the needs of my community on campus but also beyond the perimeters of our campus bubble. Last year, I became a member of Kabataang maka-Bayan (KmB) Pro-People Youth and helped facilitate a Pilipino club at Carson High School. I cultivated relationships with the students and had the pleasure of getting to know their personal experiences and stories, encouraging them to share these stories. Having graduated this past June, I have since recently relocated to Long Beach. I am overjoyed to be in the South Bay where I can continue to help organize Pilipina/o youth. Apart from my passion in community work, I am also very passionate about music. I am a singer and a musician. Piano and guitar are my primary instruments, but I also dabble in banjo, mandolin, ukelele, and harmonica.”

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