List of Workshops & Presenter Bios
Birth Strike! New Directions in the Reproductive Rights Fight
Presenters: Jenny Brown(Author), Hazel Levy, Candi Churchill
A panel of three feminists, including the author, will talk about the new book Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight over Women’s Work. Women are facing a crisis when they try to have and raise kids. The media is full of stories about politicians like Paul Ryan who want higher birth rates, but they want them with a minimum of public spending and maximum of unpaid women’s work. Women are refusing, with little access to childcare, family leave, health care, and with insufficient male participation, U.S. women are conducting a spontaneous birth strike.
Ms. Levy is a Research Professor in the Pediatrics Department at University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine. She is the first US-born African American women to have an independent and National Institutes of Health funded research laboratory in the history of the UF College of Medicine. Hazel is also a social justice community organizer, serving as the Vice-Chair of the Women of Color Caucus (WOCC) of National Women’s Liberation Gainesville, Florida Chapter, as well as UF’s faculty mentor to the Black Women in Medicine student organization
Candi is a co-founder and organizer with National Women’s Liberation, the former president of two NOW chapters (UF Campus NOW, Gainesville Area NOW), former chair of the Florida NOW Young Feminist Task Force, and current staff for United Faculty of Florida/FEA.
Housing Crisis Today
Presenter: Cha Cha Davis
Housing is an issue that is impacting women and family’s all over Florida especially after Hurricane Maria. Possible resolution coming out of workshop.
Charlotte Davis (Cha Cha) has been organizing for over a decade from working with the LGBTQ community to stopping the violence in black and brown communities. As Lead organizer in 2016 for the “Sit in For The #49”, a protest for gun control in the wake of the Pulse Night-club Massacre, Charlotte and 9 others were arrested for civil disobedience and trespassing at Senator Marco Rubio’s Office. She has organized rallies and demonstrations advocating for gun control and social justice reform with organizations such as Organize Florida, For Our Future, Black Women’s Round Table, Florida Council for Incarcerated and formerly incarcerated Woman & Girls, National Council. She has fought for felons to have their rights restored with Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Second Chances and the newly passed Amendment 4. She has mentored youth in the juvenile detention centers & jails with let Your Voice Be Heard, worked on policy reform for victims of crime and addressed over- criminalization, local criminal reform and policy changes that protect the LGBTQ. Her passion can only be met by her drive.
Micro Aggression in Everyday Life: Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation
Presenter: Iman Abdurrahman Y. Sykes
This workshop will examine brief, subtle, stunning insults (verbal, non-verbal, and visual); everyday exchanges that send demeaning messages (tones, gestures and dismissive looks or put-downs) directed to certain individuals because of their group membership.
Hailing from North Carolina, Imam Sykes was a lay speaker preparing for a life of Christian ministry. He left the church for a time and spent 6 years in South Africa working to end Apartheid. In 1987 Sykes embraced Islam. He completed his undergraduate degree in Psychology at the Univ. of North Carolina. He served 3 internships in the Oaks Psychiatric Hospital and devoted 3 year as a Guardian ad Litem, advocated for abused children. He received his Master of Religious Service from the Graduate School of Islamic & Social Sciences in Virginia. Imam Sykes is also the president of The Islamic Society Leading American Muslims (ISLAM Inc.) Peace Center. He speaks at colleges, public schools, churches, synagogues, Masajids, civic organizations and corporate America addressing the misconceptions about Islam. Celebrating diversity, he strives to build bridges of peace, dialogue, and understanding whereby all men and women come together on common ground in pursuit of peace, freedom and justice for all. He has served as chaplain at Rollins college since 2012.
Pay Inequity and Her Political Pursuits
Presenters: Keisha Bell, Liv Coleman, Wesley Beggs
An educational/informational presentation on how pay inequity impacts women’s representation, and in turn our active voice, within the political structure. Expanding the conversation on obstacle’s women face running for office, especially when running against a money-machine operation.
Keisha Bell is an Attorney, as well as, a Consultant for a Family Literacy Initiative aimed at increasing the literacy rates of struggling youth in Pinellas County, Florida. Bell received her BA from the University of Central Florida, and her JD from Florida State University. She has authored a young adult, fictional book entitled “Emerging Free” and writes a weekly column for the Weekly Challenger in which she uniquely applies the lives of historical African American women to social challenges women face today. Bell lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida and ran for Florida State House in 2018. FL-NOW endorsed her candidacy.
Liv Coleman is Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Tampa. She received her BA from Smith College, and her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She worked as an Advanced Research Fellow with the Harvard Program on US-Japan Relations. She is part of the Mansfield Foundation’s US-Japan Network for the Future. She lives in Bradenton, Florida, and ran for Florida State House in 2018.
A native Floridian, Wesley Beggs graduated from New College of Florida with a B.A. in Political Science. Her time there was focused on studying world politics and conflict resolution, which ultimately led to her senior thesis on the role of foreign direct investment in conflicts within Myanmar. Since graduation she has gone on to found her own marketing and media business. An avid community activist, Wesley also ran for Sarasota County Commissioner in the 2018 midterms.
Radical Sexuality: Addressing Regressive Gender Ideology in “Progressive” Sexual Politics
Presenter: Prof. Sharon Woodill
The rise of the #Metoo movement has opened new avenues of conversation in regard to the history of the pervasiveness and tacit acceptance of oppressive sexual politics, with public shaming exacting harsh penalties on the offenders. The new conversations, however, continue to espouse beliefs and understanding about sexuality that are rooted in a traditional and oppressive gender ideology. We will examine several recent cases that highlight these ideas, and try to move the conversation into a truly progressive framework.
Sharon Woodill is an interdisciplinary scholar with an eclectic academic background. She holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She holds an MA in Gender and Women’s Studies from Saint Mary’s University and Mount Saint Vincent University (joint program) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a BA (honours) in Music (jazz piano) from Saint Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. She currently teaches in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program at the University of Central Florida.
Sexual Abuse, Human Trafficking & Survivor Initiatives
Presenter: Shanika Ampah and Linda Guillotti
Bringing awareness to human trafficking in South Florida and surrounding areas, presenters will share personal experience’s and also some examples of cases in professional fields. Area’s of discussion will include; Human Trafficking: Sex trafficking and labor trafficking, Victims and Vulnerabilities, Survivors and Resources, and, Overcoming and Sustaining. The Workshop will better equip the audience in identifying victims and assist with a victim centered/trauma informed approach. The audience will be able to locate and collaborate with local resource partners to better aide survivors, or have an idea of the gaps in established services.
“For I have overcame now I know my strength and purpose”. – Shanika Ampah
Shanika Ampah is a mother, nurse, advocate, and survivor. Having once being the victim of childhood sexual abuse and human trafficking she has a testimony of resilience. Her life’s experience has cultivated a mission to empower and change the world. With all that she does for the community one of her greatest services is a mother to her children and community children as well. Shanika has found her voice and that is what she uses to shed light into the lives of others. She speaks publicly to bring awareness, change, and hope. Ms. Ampah credits education and her medical career to sustaining a positive pathway as a survivor. With nineteen years in the medical field Shanika Ampah seeks to continue her endeavors. Currently employed as a Licensed Practical Nurse for Vitas Hospice, an Outreach Coordinator at the University of Miami T.H.R.I.V.E Clinic, and Kristi House as a Survivor Leader she dedicates her work to serve the most vulnerable populations. Shanika Ampah is the Founder and Director of a 501c non-profit, Guiding Light Outreach Inc. which serves the community as a beacon of light against human trafficking and sexual assault. As a survivor leader and advocate works alongside many community stakeholders to bring awareness about this darkness that she has overcome. Ms. Ampah is an alumni of the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center (NHTTAC) in which she was a fellow of the Human Trafficking Leadership Academy. As a keynote speaker of many amazing platforms, Shanika still finds her passion in speaking at high schools, college events, and assisting in training our local professional about human trafficking. Shanika Shay Shay Ampah states she is no longer a vulnerable, voiceless victim, what she survived has equipped her to help others, and now that she is an overcomer she has the strength and purpose to shine light into darkness.
Linda Guillotti is the President of NOW at Florida International University and of Student Alliance Fighting Exploitation. As a survivor leader, Linda has created sexual assault and bystander prevention events at Florida International Univ., that are very unique and insightful. She has shared her personal story of experiences, recovery and transformation and is excited about the somewhat controversial yet powerful SlutWalk that NOW at FIU has been doing for the last seven consecutive years. Watch for her remarkable stance in a documentary in the near future about reproductive rights and the need for legal and safe abortions in this country. She was awarded the 2019 Student Leader of the Year Award by the Council for Student Organizations and has been selected to be in the Alumni Spotlight section of the Florida International University Center for Women’s and Gender Studies Annual Report 2019-2020, both a great honor for her educational accomplishments.
Taking on the Colonial Patriarchy!
Presenter: Robin Harris, Global Activist, Writer, African History Enthusiast, Tourist
A sharing of truths from a Global Activist about the destructive patterns that stop even the most well meaning white women from being effective allies for more marginalized communities. Some of these truths may be painful for those with rooted white privilege to understand, but are essential to hear for anyone who advocates for real change. Come take a look into how ignoring these truths is part of what keeps the painful white colonial repressive forces baring down on all women, especially otherwise marginalized women. It will take courage to listen, to understand, and break down barriers for women to unite to defeat the Colonial Patriarchy. From Man-splaining to White-splaining, this session is a gift for anyone ready to Revolutionary change!
Robin is a social justice Activist, writer, poet and Public Speaker. Texas Native, Robin currently lives in Florida where she fights alongside other activists in Organize Florida. Approximately one month after the horrific shooting at Pulse night club in Orlando, Robin along with 9 others were arrested at Marco Rubio’s office. Robin and 23 other activist received arrest in Tampa during a protest for economic and wage rights! She was proudly arrested in Washington D.C. in front of the White house as a means protest against the Trump’s Healthcare policy. Robin is Co-Co Chair of the Green Party of Central Florida Green Party & Council Member State/Nat’l. She also Co-chair’s the Green Party Black Caucus, Observer on GP International Committee & Diversity Committee. Robin has lobbied in Washington and Tallahassee. Robin ran for County Commissioner Dist. 5 In Orlando receiving 25% of a multi- candidate race. She has recently launched All Things Revolutionary Co-op Space: A concept to build community and empower individuals to be self-determined.
Transgender Dynamics in Society Today
Presenter: Gina Duncan, Director of Transgender Equality, Equality FL Institute, Inc
A discussion of how gender diversity is impacting all aspects of our evolving society. As the rapidly emerging transgender and gender non-conforming community grows, so does the need for awareness, education, and inclusion. Gender diversity is impacting our societal norms in our schools, board rooms, corporations, media, law enforcement, and health care. And, in doing so, impacting the need for inclusive public policy where everyone is treated equally under the law. Developing policy, protocol, and practices to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for all will be a lynchpin in the growth of tomorrow’s progressive society.
Transgender: Issues and Politics, and the threat of TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists)
Presenter: Melina Rayna Svanhild Farley-Barratt
Exploring some of the questions surrounding transgender athletes, prisoners, homeless, youth, and why TERFs are dangerous, who they are, what they say, how to recognize them, and what to do when you encounter one. We will be talking about a variety of transgender issues, the politics, objections and arguments involved, and how TERFs keep getting involved in them, with the intent of arming you with the knowledge to be able to effectively respond directly. TERFs support anti trans legislation, object to trans women in women only spaces, harass and share names/phone/addresses of trans folk, and sometimes their family, publicly online and otherwise make life difficult for trans women.
Melina Rayna Svanhild Farley-Barratt is a chapter leader of Gainesville Area NOW, leader of Trans Rights Action Committee (TRAC), Transwoman and activist.