Jonathan Lykes is a Black queer artist, activist and academic. His interdisciplinary approach to art, activism and anti-oppression work, merges policy change, artistic expression and activism. Combining these forms of social transformation—and harnessing their synergy—Jonathan works to create awareness, promote personal healing, surmount institutional barriers and generate systemic change. Jonathan’s current position as Founder/Executive Director of Liberation House situates him to merge his multidisciplinary artistic background with public policy reform, community engagement and systems change work to teach liberation praxis by pushing the revolutionary edge of radical transformative movement work. Lykes is also a founding member of Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), a movement of young adults using a Black Queer Feminist lens to advocate for community and institutional change. Jonathan is also the curator of BYP100’s freedom song and chant album, The Black Joy Experience, helping to teach holistic energy through the Black radical tradition. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, where he also received his master’s degree from the School for Social Service Administration.
Tashira led the Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare, a coalition of child welfare stakeholders dedicated to eliminating racial disparities and improving outcomes for children and families of color in the child welfare system; facilitate workgroups, webinars and convenings with stakeholders focused on equity and improved outcomes; produce data analysis, written reports and campaigns highlighting the pressing issues facing families and children of color involved with public systems; co-led the Race Equity Team charged with leading the organizations efforts to becoming anti-racist. Tashira also worked as the deputy director for Homeless Children’s Playtime Project, where she led a team of program managers who supervised trauma-informed play programs at temporary housing programs in Washington, DC; she also served as a thought partner with the Executive Director in executing organizational operations, fundraising, advocacy, community relations and hiring and spoke publicly about family homelessness at DC Council hearings, partner meetings, advocacy events and HCPP trainings. Tashira received her J.D. from Georgetown University.
Twiggy Pucci Garçon
Twiggy has collaborated with artists, filmmakers, academics and policymakers to increase visibility queer and trans people of color in both creative and sociopolitical spaces. In their current role as Senior Program Director at the True Colors United, Twiggy leads the Youth Action and Technical Assistance program areas, aimed at not only elevating youth voices but also creating space for partnerships with young adults to lead the movement to end youth homelessness. Twiggy co-wrote the Sundance-selected documentary KIKI, sits on the Board of Directors for Doc Society, and serves as a consultant and runway choreographer on FX series, POSE, by Ryan Murphy and Steven Canals. Her mission is to elevate the authentic representation of the House|Ballroom Community worldwide.
Jawanza James Williams (He, Him) is a Black, Radical Queer, Abolitionist and Socialist. He is currently the Director of Organizing at VOCAL-NY, a grassroots organization building power among poor and low-income New Yorkers. Williams is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and a founding member of its Afro Socialists and Socialists of Color Caucus and a member of Black Alliance for Peace. He was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas, attended Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas, receiving a BA in 2012. He has a track record of creating strategic initiatives and bringing together networks of elected officials, content creators, grassroots advocates, and consumers to implement those initiatives.