Nicole Acevedo is a reproductive and environmental health scientist with expertise on the health risks of everyday exposures to hormone-disrupting chemicals. Dr. Acevedo received her doctorate in Molecular and Integrative Physiology from the University of Michigan and her postdoctoral research at Tufts University School of Medicine focused on the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals on the development of human health disorders and disease. Her academic research formed part of an unprecedented collaboration between government and academic scientists to integrate the strengths of academic and regulatory research approaches to identify best practices for hazard assessment of environmental chemical contaminants. In 2015, she was recruited by a pioneering brand in ‘clean beauty’ to lead and build out their company strategy on ingredient and product safety and sustainability. In 2016, Nicole joined the Board of Directors for The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX), a science-based, non-profit research institute that serves to assure the integrity of the science that supports the endocrine disruption movement and the larger environmental health movement by maintaining and championing the scientific foundations of sound advocacy.
In 2017, Dr. Acevedo launched her own scientific consulting business, Elavo Mundi Solutions, LLC, to provide personal care and household cleaning brands clear solutions for cleaner, more sustainable and high-performing product development. She is also actively involved with international working groups engaged in creating viable business solutions for cleaner, safer, more sustainable product development across different industries. Nicole is deeply driven by a desire to build awareness for science-based approaches to environmental injustice issues that disproportionately affect women, children and minority populations around the world.
Boma is the Director of Consumer Health at Environmental Defense Fund. She has over 15 years’ experience in working with businesses to improve product sustainability. She currently leads EDF’s work to influence companies to eliminate toxic chemicals from consumer products, packaging and food. This includes getting major brands and retailers to set ambitious chemical policies, increase transparency and invest in safer ingredient innovation. Boma also works to end the toxic disparities in products marketed to different consumer segments, primarily calling on beauty brands and retailers to significantly reduce the toxic disparity in beauty products marketed to women of color. Boma has a M.S. in Technology & Policy from MIT and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Yale University.
Cynthia Gutierrez (she/ella) is an award winning first-generation Nicaraguan Salvadoran reproductive justice organizer, full spectrum doula, cultural strategist, writer, and public speaker.
Cynthia was a graduate of the 2021 Rockwood Leadership Institute Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice cohort. Cynthia‘s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Lily, Elle Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Rewire News Group, etc.
She is currently the program manager for the University of California San Francisco Hub of Positive Reproductive and Sexual Health (HIVE) and Team Lily programs. Cynthia is a proud abortion storyteller with We Testify. She is on the Board of Directors for ACCESS Reproductive Justice and the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom. Her work can be found on her website https://www.cynthiaagutierrez.com.
She has a Bachelors in Sociology from the University of CA, Santa Cruz. Cynthia is originally from San Francisco’s Excelsior District and now resides in East Oakland with her husband and son.
Amanda Klasing is an associate director of the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch. Her work focuses on reproductive rights and women’s health, gender-based violence, and economic and social rights. She is a specialist in the rights to water and sanitation.
Amanda has engaged in research and advocacy on a broad range of human rights issues including: the First Nations water crisis in Canada; the rights of women and girls in affected by Zika in Brazil; the relationship between women’s and girls’ human rights and access to good menstrual hygiene management; the rights to water and sanitation in schools in Haiti; and the impact of climate change on the rights to health, food and water.
Amanda published in peer-reviewed journals on the right to water and on human rights and humanitarian response and is a contributing author of an academic book on health and human rights. She has spoken before United Nations human rights bodies.
Amanda holds a master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago, and a law degree from New York University, where she received the Vanderbilt Medal for outstanding contributions to the Law School.
Monica Schrock | Vancourver, WA
Monica Schrock is an introverted copywriter and marketing strategist with over a decade of marketing experience helping brands and people find their voice and create a business that truly speaks to who they are and what they want to accomplish.
Monica’s taught over 200 clients to craft their message and helped them gain the confidence to share it, and themselves, with the world. She’s created marketing campaigns for international nonprofits, including an App that’s been downloaded in over 170 countries. She created over 40 celebrity ads that have been shared thousands of times and created educational content that has reached hundreds of thousands of people.
She lives in the Pacific Northwest, working from home (like a true introvert!) and helping people achieve their goals through authentic, growth-driven marketing strategies, and implementation. She gets joy out of playing basketball, reading, and hanging with her cats. You can catch her drinking a coffee and reading a comic book at any given moment.
Kyra Naumoff Shields | Boulder, CO
Kyra Naumoff Shields is an environmental health scientist and mother of three kids with over a decade of experience in community engagement and exposure assessment. She is the Bright Cities Program Director at the national non-profit Healthy Babies Bright Futures, and provides funding and technical resources to support city-led strategies to reduce neurotoxic exposures. Previously, Kyra led monitoring and intervention projects in communities suffering from chronic air pollution exposure, both nationally (in Pittsburgh, PA) and internationally (in four states in India). While working at the California Air Resources Board, she worked extensively on a health impact assessment of CA’s cap and trade program and advised small businesses on pragmatic strategies to reduce their carbon footprint. Kyra holds a PhD in environmental health sciences and a MS in environmental science, policy, and management from the University of California Berkeley. She lives in Boulder with her gregarious family, and can’t resist a good donut.
Aimée R. Thorne-Thomsen, MPA, is a long-time reproductive justice activist who focuses on advocating with and for women, communities of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people and young people. She recently launched Guerrera Strategies, LLC, a woman-of-color lead strategic consulting firm with other women of color from progressive movements. Prior to that, she served as the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships of Advocates for Youth, where she oversaw and coordinated the development, implementation and evaluation of Advocates’ strategic partnerships with youth activists and organizations in allied social justice movements. Aimée was also Interim Executive Director of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and Executive Director of the Pro-Choice Public Education Project (PEP). She is the Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective and a member of the Board of Directors for the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program. Aimee has spoken throughout the country in places like the National Abortion Federation Conference, the Women’s Convention, NOW National Conference, Netroots Nation, Center for American Progress and Facing Race, and her writings and blogs have appeared in Women’s e-News, Daily Kos, Feministing, Feministe and Rewire , among others. A proud Boricua, Aimée received her Bachelor of Arts from Yale University and a Master of Public Administration from the City University of New York.
Karen Wang, PhD, MSc, is the Director of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) and the founder and editor-in-chief of Because Health, an environmental health education campaign for millennials. Her responsibilities include leading and managing CHE’s science and education programming, forming and managing partnerships, and development and fundraising. She is also responsible for the content strategy and production of content for Because Health. She is deeply committed to and passionate about sharing science and education on the health effects of toxics and effective toxics reduction. She brings deep knowledge and experience in science communication, statistics, research methods, and data analysis. Karen completed her PhD in Strategic Management, a quantitative social science discipline grounded in applied economics and social psychology, at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. Karen also holds a MSc in Environmental Science and a BA in Economics from Stanford University.
Charmaine Lang (she/they/sista docta) is a Black queer woman from South Central Los Angeles who now resides in North Carolina. As a certified healing centered coach and full-spectrum doula, Charmaine supports clients in accessing the pleasure and joy they desire–in their workplace, career, and personal life. Her experiences with Vipassana Meditation, generative somatics, and bodywork has played an essential role in her personal transformative work.
Somatic tools have been incredibly healing for Charmaine, and she incorporates them into her coaching and consulting practice, often inviting clients to tap into their bodies for connection and guidance. As an organizational development consultant, Charmaine brings her experiences in non-profit leadership and movement work to help organizations create sustainable people-centered operations and cultures of care.
All of Charmaine’s work is grounded in Black Feminist Praxis and Possibilities. Charmaine has been part of the reproductive, economic, and racial justice movements for over a decade as an organizer, trainer, and facilitator. As an interdisciplinary scholar, Charmaine presents on Black women’s well-being and organizing traditions and uses Black Feminism to explore the intimate lives of Black women.
Her dissertation, “Learning to Take the Excess Baggage Off”: An Ethnographic Study of Black Women Activists’ Self-Care Practices, examined how contemporary Black women activists in Milwaukee, Wisconsin use community support and pausing as care strategies. The dissertation centered self-care and the health of Black women as an integral part of the history and future of social activism and liberation work.
A Forever Echoing Ida Writer, find Charmaine on the dance floor, traveling, or writing about queer and pleasurable things.
Click here to view ARTIVISM PROJECTS by WVE’s Fellow.
Umyeena Bashir has recently graduated with her MS in Chemistry from University of San Francisco and also has a BS in Applied Mathematics from Southern Methodist University. She is passionate about helping the community understand chemicals that are used in period products and how they impact the vaginal microbiome. She has done extensive research in the field of medicinal chemistry and drug development. Outside of chemical research, she has done also a lot of advocacy work in reproductive health. She is currently on the PCRHP team at UCSF, which aims to better the patient experience at the hospital setting for those going in for reproductive reasons. In addition to this, she is also the CEO, Founder of spotBOX LLC, a holistic period care company that is working on developing a period tracking app that will include a subscription service that helps users correlate their menstrual symptoms to the exact period product that will alleviate them. Outside of her career, Umyeena loves hot yoga, cats, and coffee!
Keana Davis is a graduate student at the University of San Francisco studying Chemistry. Her research project is in bioinorganic chemistry, focusing on metal-binding interactions of the antimicrobial peptide Holothuroidin-2 by investigating which metals bind to it and how the binding of one metal affects the binding of a different metal to the same peptide. With potential uses to combat difficult-to-treat infections caused by biofilms, her project reflects her passion to support the discovery of innovative therapies through research work. In 2016, she earned her Bachelors of Arts in Biochemistry at the University of Iowa with her first year of undergraduate spent at Loyola University Chicago (LUC). It was at LUC that Keana was first involved in advocacy work related to reproductive justice, joining an organization of students collaborating to create spaces for and provide resources for individuals of all gender identities who menstruate and who required access to safe reproductive health care. Though rough around the edges, this organization did help put a name to the education and advocacy work that was a growing passion for her at the time. With WVE, Keana hopes to assist in furthering their mission and work to support communities disproportionately affected by menstrual inequity.
Amber Garcia was born in Denver and raised in Boulder, Colorado. They studied Ethnic Studies and Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD). Their passion for human rights and justice has shaped their adult career and defines their purpose. Amber’s political home is in the Reproductive Justice (RJ) movement where they have been fighting for bodily autonomy and liberation for over a decade. Prior to joining Women’s Voices for the Earth as Executive Director, Amber ran COLOR’s (Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights) grassroots voter engagement and community advocacy work through a reproductive justice framework to mobilize the Latinx community in Denver and secure wins at both the legislature and the ballot box. Their work in the broader social justice movement includes working with community partners on policies to provide drivers licenses for undocumented folx and increasing the minimum wage for all Coloradoans. An organizer at their core, Amber is a dedicated movement builder at state and national levels through interconnected networks of individuals, organizations, and coalitions. They are a part of the North Star Network, an alum of the Rockwood Reproductive Rights, Health, and Justice fellowship program, a student of somatic healing, and a 2021 Transformative Leadership for Change (TLC) fellow. They envision a world where we have liberation for all people and that each one of us is able to fully embody and use our power to build a sustainable and collective future.
As Strategic Director for the Cancer Free Economy Network, Debra serves as lead staff for a multi-sector network collaborating to promote healthy environments where no one gets sick because of toxic chemicals where they live, learn, work, and play. Prior to joining CFE in 2018, Debra consulted on network best practices; developed a coalition-building guide to combat anti-Semitism and hate crimes for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); served as National Field Coordinator for the 2017 Peoples Climate March; and designed a strategy for an environmental health approach to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. As Director of State Affairs at Justice at Stake, she oversaw advocacy for fair and impartial state courts and to promote diversity on the bench. As Midwest Regional Director for Amnesty International USA, Debra led human rights efforts in 13 states, representing the organization on successful collaborative campaigns to abolish the death penalty in Illinois and shut down a notorious Supermax prison. She has also worked as Organizing Director for Rainforest Action Network and Director of Affiliate Development for NARAL Pro-Choice America. She holds a J.D. from George Washington University National Law Center and a Master’s degree in Public Policy (M.P.P.) and Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Michigan.
Director of Science and Research
Alexandra Scranton is the Director of Science and Research at Women’s Voices for the Earth. Alex authors WVE’s scientific reports and provides scientific review for the organization’s programs. Prior to working at WVE, she worked in the epidemiology and statistics unit at the American Lung Association headquarters in New York. She currently sits on the Research Advisory Committee for the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and on the Institutional Biosafety Committee for Rocky Mountain Laboratories (a National Institutes of Health facility). She has a master’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and a B.A. from Amherst College. Alex lives and works from Cheyenne, WY, with her husband and two beautiful daughters.
Organizing & Network Manager
Trennie Burch is a member of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, was raised and grew up on the Southern Ute Indian reservation and is a part of the LGBTQ2S+ community.
Burch is a co-founder of the organization Ignacio Out and Equal Alliance that is rooted on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation which emphasis education, awareness and support of the youth, their families and the local LGBTQ2S+ community.
As an Indigenous woman, Burch has started working around social justice in the hopes to bring BIPOC voices to the forefront of communities that directly impact Native Country and vice versa. As a ‘boots on the ground’ organizer, Burch co-founded Four Corners Mutual Aid Network and Ignacio Mutual Aid during COVID-19, and Four Corners Food Coalition and thoroughly understands the importance of being with and in community. As a member of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Task Force of Colorado, Trennie focuses on representation and stands against violence and the erasure that perpetuates deeply impacted communities and fuels the MMIR epidemic.
Movement building and systems change can look a lot of ways but to Trennie it always involves Indigenous voices and perspectives. A 2021 Transformative Leadership for Change (TLC) fellow, Trennie enjoys taking risks to help further her knowledge and cultivation to the land and her ancestors.
Currently based in Denver, Colorado, the ancestral homelands of the Ute and Cheyenne and Arapaho. Trennie spends her downtime hanging out with her wife and their two dogs, Timber and Rue, she enjoys astrology, she is a Leo, and watching scary movies.
Elizabeth Marie Taveras is a strategic communications and digital media professional with a strong history in community organizing. She is Cuban-Dominican and a Miami, FL native. Her work in Miami includes organizing alongside community-based organizations to support building movement spaces statewide. She was a Kairos Fellow which focused on addressing the racial disparity that exists within the digital movement while uplifting digital campaigners of color.
Elizabeth has been involved in building power on campaigns from climate justice, prison divestment, justice for Palestine, immigrant justice, confronting school-to-prison pipeline and police brutality, and ecofeminism, and always in the struggle towards the liberation of Black and brown communities. Upon her arrival to Colorado, she began her work with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 105 and worked alongside Denver janitors, healthcare workers, and airport workers. She continued her work in Colorado as the digital Organizing Manager at the Colorado organization for Latina opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR Latina). She attends Graduate school at Colorado State University.
Natasha Piette Basheer is an Afro-Euro-SWANA-Brit third-culture kid with a deeply rooted passion for environmental health and gender equity movements. With a decade of international experience, she specializes in diversifying fundraising streams and organizing impactful campaigns. Prior to joining WVE, Natasha managed fundraising at Tahirih Justice Center in the San Francisco Bay Area, a legal aid organization supporting immigrant survivors of gender-based violence.
From 2017-2021, Natasha led the reactivation of the Environmenstrual Campaign at Wen (Women’s Environmental Network) in the UK. She built a coalition of 60+ organizations, co-founded Environmenstrual Week, and secured successful grants and partnerships to advocate for safer period products.
Natasha has worked with organizations like GADN, Plan International USA, Endometriosis UK, and Tea Leaf Trust, focusing on gender equity, donor engagement, and menstrual health advocacy. She launched a successful Change.org petition addressing harmful chemicals in hair treatments linked to cancer, highlighting the disproportionate impact on Black women.
Natasha holds a bachelor’s in International Development from the University of Essex (UK) and a master’s in Anthropology: Development & Rights from Goldsmiths, University of London. She has volunteered with Amnesty International and conducted dissertation research on the social impacts of menstrual health in rural Sri Lanka.