LaDawn Best is the Interim Los Angeles Executive Director of Peer Health Exchange, a national organization empowering teens to make healthy decisions. She is proud to live in the city of Long Beach, where she serves as the President and Chair of the Board of Directors for the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach. She has a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a Master of Arts in Education, with an emphasis on Leadership and Change, from Antioch University Los Angeles.
Dr. Treva Ellison is Assistant Professor of Geography and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Dartmouth College. Treva’s research focuses on criminalization, carceral geographies, and social movements in the United States, with an emphasis on gender and sexuality. Their writing appears in places such as Transgender Studies Quarterly, Feminist Wire, and Scholar and Feminist Online. Treva earned their doctorate in American Studies and Ethnicity from the University of Southern California in 2015.
Emi Koyama is a multi-issue social justice activist and writer synthesizing feminist, Asian, survivor, queer, sex worker, intersex, genderqueer, and disabled politics, as these factors, while not a complete descriptor of who she is, all impacted her life. She has given over a hundred invited lectures and trainings across the country, including keynotes at numerous conferences on domestic and sexual violence, survivor activism, LGBT issues, and other topics. You can learn more about her work at: www.eminism.org
Luna Merbruja is a Mexican-Athabaskan healer and artist. They are the author of Trauma Queen and Heal Your Love. This city-raised, small town-loving writer is also a video gamer, aspiring therapist, and book editor at Biyuti Publishing. You can follow them on Twitter @LunaMerbruja.
Sri Panchalam is a staff attorney with Disability Rights California, and a singer/songwriter who splits her time as an Indian-American punk with the band Doctors & Engineers and as a folk singer with the musical trio Smithfield Bargain. She holds a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School.
Ashlee Marie Preston is a Diversity Speaker, Media Advocate and Trans Activist originally from Louisville, Kentucky. She shares her journey of youth homelessness, sexual abuse, survival sex work and drug abuse as a means of empowerment and community building. Ashlee Marie is the Secretary, Chair of Communications, and an Executive Committee member for the Transgender Service Provider Network. She is also a board member with the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, the Imperial Court of Hollywood/Los Angeles, and is Chair of Communications and Chair of Media Sponsorship for LA Pride/CSW. Committed to utilizing media as a vehicle in which to implement change and social awareness, Ashlee Marie produces documentary films that speak to the narrative of underserved communities and is a regular feature in BuzzFeed’s LGBT video content. She works in PR/Communications professionally and is currently one of the ambassadors in the FDA’s “This Free Life” campaign which addresses tobacco-related deaths in LGBT youth. Ashlee Marie is on the board for The Stonewall Democratic Club as Chair of Special Events & Vice-Chair on Trans Issues, and is the Dinner Gala Table-Captain Co-Chair for the Human Rights Campaign. She is working closely with other LGBTQ+ leaders to push for legislation that protects LGBTQ+ interests nationally, and is invested in the creation of spaces that specifically address the needs of marginalized communities.
Bamby Salcedo is President and CEO of The TransLatin@ Coalition, a national advocacy organization addressing the needs of transgender Latin@ individuals in the United States. She is a nationally and internationally recognized activist and public speaker, who served as a keynote speaker at the White House State of Women Summit in 2016 along with Vice President Joe Biden. Bamby has overcome much adversity on her path to becoming a community leader, including growing up in a poor home in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she faced sexual abuse from her stepfather. She has been able to transform her experiences as a formerly incarcerated, formerly addicted, homeless sex worker into opportunities to create positive social change. Bamby holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chican@/Latin@ Studies from California State University Los Angeles and is currently working on her Master’s degree in Chican@/Latin@ Studies. She has received multiple accolades and has participated in several documentaries including People En Español Magazine, The Out 100, being named one of nine women who are changing Los Angeles by Los Angeles Magazine, and The Trans List among others. Her life story was the centerpiece of the award-winning 2014 documentary TransVisible.