Residency Awardees

Windcall Residents in 2019

Windcall Residencies and Breathers are a healing (and leadership evolution) process that places full faith in human-beings ability to heal themselves – when we are ready and have conditions that promote well-being and spaciousness.

M Adams (all pronouns) is the Co-Executive Director of Freedom Inc. M loves rap battles, reading, and being a dad. M is a Radical Black Queer Feminist born and raised in Milwaukee. M witnessed state violence first hand and has been dedicated to building Black futures. M’s dad has been incarcerated most of her life and she comes from a community that has been the extreme targets of police violence. In March 2016, M’s mother transitioned after fighting cancer and many forms of violence. As a queer Black person, M has developed and advocated for a strong intersectional approach in numerous important venues. M is a leading figure in the Movement for Black Lives and Take Back the Land. M  presented before the United Nations for the Convention on Eliminating Racial Discrimination and is the co-Author of Forward from Ferguson and a work in progress on Black community control over the police, and author to intersectionality theory in Why Killing Unarmed Black folks is a Queer issue. M provides guidance, support, and development to the Youth Justice Team in their fight for police free schools. 

Carrie-Meghan Quick-Blanco received her BA in international studies from Ohio University and a MS in naturopathy from Clayton College of Natural Health. She has over a decade of experience in business, management, and professional development. Carrie-Meghan has provided professional development on 21st century education, global studies, and STEM topics, helping to found a satellite branch of Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab at Marshall University’s June Harless Center. She is a DONA-certified birth doula and Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC). Carrie-Meghan is passionate about choices in childbirth and providing women with evidenced-based information to make the best choices for themselves and their families. She is the mother to a beautiful and bilingual two-year-old son.

Charlene Carruthers is a strategist, author and a leading organizer in today’s Black liberation movement.  As the founding national director of BYP100 (Black Youth Project 100), she has worked alongside hundreds of young Black activists to build a national base of activist member-led organization of Black 18-35 year olds dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people.

As a Black queer feminist with over a dozen years of experience in racial justice, feminist and youth leadership development movement work, Charlene applies her political commitments and expertise through intellectual, cultural and grassroots organizing labor across today’s movements for collective liberation.  She was recognized as one of the top 10 most influential African Americans in The Root 100, one of Ebony Magazine’s “Woke 100,” an Emerging Power Player in Chicago Magazine and is the 2017 recipient of the YWCA’s Dr. Dorothy I. Height Award. Charlene’s book Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements, was published in 2018 (Beacon).

Carlos Duarte is a Mexican immigrant who has worked on progressive social change for the past 25 years, both in Mexico and the United States. He has led efforts to register, educate and mobilize thousands of voters in Arizona, Texas and Florida. He co-founded the Emerging Latino Leaders program and is Texas State Director for Mi Familia Vota. Carlos is actively organizing to defeat efforts that hinder our democracy including restrictive voter id, gerrymandering that dilutes people of color’s political voice and SB 4 and other anti immigrant legislation as member of several local, state and national coalitions. Carlos has taught at higher education institutions in Mexico and the US and has served in numerous boards and commissions. He is also a recognized leader having received multiple awards.

Carlos holds a Master’s in Social and Industrial Psychology a Bachelor’s in Philosophy and is a PhD candidate in Social and Cultural Anthropology.

Jayeesha Dutta is a tri-coastal, nearly tri-lingual Bengali-American interdisciplinary artist, cultural organizer and pop-ed facilitator. She is a co-founding seed member for Another Gulf Is Possible Collaborative, galvanizing voices and experiences from across the Gulf South to the Global South working towards a just transition for our people and the planet. She is an emiritus member of 826 New Orleans co-founding board of directors, current voting member of Alternate ROOTs, and serves on the national steering committee of the Climate Justice Alliance. Jayeesha is an avid traveler, home chef, live music lover, and adores being near (or in) any body of water. She was born in Mobile, raised in New York, aged in Oakland and is deeply grateful to call New Orleans home.

Jihan Gearon is Diné and Black. She is Tódích’ií’nii (Bitter Water) clan, and her maternal grandfather is Tł’ashchí’í (Red Bottom People) clan. Jihan is from the community of Old Sawmill and she grew up in Fort Defiance, AZ. She is a graduate of Stanford University with a Bachelors of Science in Earth Systems and a focus in Energy Science and Technology. Jihan recently stepped down from her role as the Executive Director of the Black Mesa Water Coalition. She serves on the boards of Sustainable Nations Development Project and the Groundswell Fund, and on the advisory committee of the Radical Imagination Family Fund. Jihan is a skilled and creative facilitator, fundraiser, manager, popular educator, movement-builder, writer, and painter. Her paintings were recently featured at the Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival in a show entitled Gateways & Guardians. She also writes a blog Jihan’s other organizational affiliations include the Indigenous Environmental Network, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, World March of Women, Climate Justice Alliance, and the Center for Story-based Strategy. Jihan is a movement leader and her experience and expertise includes work on Indigenous Peoples rights, environmental justice, climate justice, just transition, Indigenous feminism, and decolonization.

A national speaker, trainer, and advocate, Naina Khanna has worked in the HIV field since 2005, following her HIV diagnosis in 2002. She is the Executive Director of Positive Women’s Network-USA, a national membership body of cis and trans women living with HIV. Naina currently serves on the Board of Directors for AIDS United, the National Steering Committee for the US People Living with HIV Caucus, as a member of the Women’s HIV Research Initiative, and served on President Obama’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) from 2010 – 2014.  Prior to working in HIV, Naina co-founded and served as National Field Director for the League of Pissed Off Voters, a progressive national organization working to expand participation of young people and communities of color in electoral politics. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Medical Sociology at the University of California – San Francisco.

Erin Matson is co-founder and co-director of Reproaction, a national group using bold action to increase access to abortion and advance reproductive justice. A nationally sought speaker, Erin has appeared frequently on television, including MSNBC, CSPAN, Al-Jazeera English, ABC World News, BBC World News, and PBS’ To the Contrary. Prior to Reproaction, Erin served as action vice president for the National Organization for Women, and at age 23 she was elected to be the youngest NOW state president in the country. She also served as an editor at large for Rewire. Her writings have appeared in a variety of publications, including Rolling Stone, Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo, and three books. From her first state of Minnesota to her current state of Virginia to the national stage, Erin has always taken a provocative, leading role in demanding public officials do right for reproductive rights as well as for women, and organizing the power to make that happen. Erin currently serves on the NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Foundation board of directors and writes on her personal blog at   

La’Tasha D. Mayes, MSPPM is a nationally recognized
leader in the field of Reproductive Justice, Human Rights
and leadership development for Black women and girls.
La’Tasha is the Founder and Executive Director of New
Voices for Reproductive Justice, a multi-state
organization in Pennsylvania and Ohio dedicated to the
health and well-being of Black women, femmes and girls
headquartered in Pittsburgh with offices in Cleveland and
Philadelphia. La’Tasha is a graduate of the University of
Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science in Business
Administration and she earned a Master of Science in
Public Policy and Management at the Heinz School of
Carnegie Mellon University. La’Tasha serves on the
Board of Directors of the Groundswell Fund – the largest
funder of Reproductive Justice and women of color – and she was appointed to a second term on the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs. La’Tasha is past National Board Chair of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective La’Tasha is a passionate Reproductive Justice activist, native of West Philadelphia and believes in the indefatigable spirit of women.

Karen Ann McDaniel is Co-Founder and ED at The Place4Grace, based in Southern California. Place4Grace restores and advocates for families impacted by incarceration. It operates 22 programs in 16 California prisons throughout the state, plus a Youth Facility that reach thousands of system-impacted families annually. Karen has more than 25 years of experience in education and criminal justice reform. She has a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology, from California State University, Northridge and was a Professor of Child Development and Education for more than a decade in the Inland Empire. Her expertise focuses on children impacted by trauma and multicultural/anti-bias education. She has been recognized with a 2018 UCLA Justice Work Group Beyond the Bars Fellowship, a 2018 Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from U.S.
Representative Pete Aguilar, and most recently, the 2018 UnCommon Hero Award given by UnCommon Law for her work on family reunification throughout California.

Aisha Truss-Miller is a Chicago native dedicated to the creation and sustainability of safe spaces for social-emotional learning, leadership development, and political education for Black folks and people of color. She currently works with Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO) as Development Manager and for 3 years served as the agency’s Affordable Housing Preservation Program’s Community Organizer.  She is a graduate of CPS, Harold Washington City College, and UIC. Aisha served as a member of Inner Faith Peace Builders’ African Heritage Delegation to Palestine/Israel, is Fellow Alum of Cultivate: Women of Color in Non-Profit Leadership, and a Diversity Scholar with the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Aisha is a loving mother and wife dedicated to “changing systems designed to oppress my communities and profit from our plight”.  She accredits her growth and achievements to family, friends, mentors, “the block”, and everyday people modeling positive leadership and provide her with insight, inspiration, debate, hope, support, accountability, laughs, and love.

Aza Nedhari has more than 15 years of experience in community organizing, reproductive health education, program management, and curriculum design. She is a Certified Professional Midwife, Family Counselor, and the Founding Executive Director of Mamatoto Village, a perinatal family support organization in Washington DC that utilizes a three-generation model that integrates a holistic approach to care delivery and extends support toward family stability. Aza is fiercely dedicated to her beliefs that by promoting health equity, the reduction of barriers in maternal and child health begins to dissipate; giving rise to healthy individuals, healthy families, and healthy communities. Aza is pursuing her Doctorate in Human Services with a concentration in Organizational Leadership and Management with an eye towards moving organizations from passion to sustainability and cultivating innovative models of perinatal care delivery in high needs communities. Aza is a mother to three spirited and gentle children and partner to an amazing artist.

Monique Tu Nguyen is a passionate change-maker on the leading edge of women’s rights. Since becoming the Executive Director of Matahari in 2012, under her leadership, Matahari has become a vibrant, political community organization making strides in advancing the rights and protections for domestic workers, women, immigrants and their families. Monique help founded the Massachusetts Coalition for Domestic Workers that successfully spearheaded the passage of the Massachusetts Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2014. Monique’s drive for social justice is rooted in her own personal experience as a former undocumented immigrant and daughter of Vietnam War refugees and deep belief that all people deserve dignity. She loves to cook, dance, hike, and dream and scheme about community building. She currently serves on the board of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and in the past served on the board of United for a Fair Economy and the Student Immigrant Movement. She is based in Boston, MA and also calls Vancouver, Canada and Houston, TX her other homes.

Rapheal Randall is the Executive Director of Youth United for Change (YUC), a youth-led, democratic organization with a membership of working-class and communities of color, who organize “people” power to improve Philadelphia public schools. He has both a BS in Design and a Master of City and Regional Planning. Before taking the helm at YUC in 2014, he worked as a product designer for Michael Graves Design Group and later as an urban planner with Interface Studio, developing community plans for nonprofits and neighborhood groups throughout North Philadelphia. He used his skills as a community planner to join fights for local anti-displacement and minimum wage organizing campaigns. His goal at YUC is to help young people of color develop their own approaches to social justice leadership and embrace their roles as change agents through organizing campaigns rooted in their own needs and experiences.

Amanda Ream is the Strategic Campaigns Director for the United Domestic Workers Union (UDW), California’s homecare workers’ union representing more than 100,000 caregivers who work with seniors and people with disabilities.  She leads the union’s Care Agenda campaign, an effort to create affordable, accessible long term care for all who need it and union employment for immigrant workers. She got her start in the labor movement as a founding staff member of New York Jobs with Justice. Before coming to UDW she led Interpreting for California, a campaign for language access in healthcare with the union AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. She helped found a post 9/11 workers’ center in New York City with the union UNITE HERE, and is a former Revson Fellow on the Future of New York at Columbia University. She got her start in the labor movement as a founding staff member of New York Jobs with Justice.  She is on the board of the East Bay Meditation Center and is a teacher-in-training with Generative Somatics. She lives in Oakland and is from Santa Ana, California.

Branden Snyder was born and raised on Detroit’s East Side, and is the founding Executive Director of Detroit Action. He has been involved in electoral and community organizing projects throughout the United States for 10 years. Previously, Branden was the Deputy Campaign Manager for the groundbreaking Gilchrist for Detroit City Clerk campaign and the Deputy Organizing Director in charge of Youth Voting for the Hillary For Michigan 2016 presidential campaign. Prior to that, Branden was the Statewide Organizing Director for Michigan United -a coalition of faith, labor & civic organizations in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. Branden’s commitment to democracy, racial and economic justice is fueled in great part by his experiences as a Detroiter and that of other Detroiters who have endured poverty and the criminal justice system. He believes in the power of bringing our communities together and challenging leaders to go from victims to victors by engaging the systems and policies that impact our lives. Branden is a graduate of the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor with a degree in Political Science and Afro-American studies with a minor in Urban Community Studies. He also attended the Ford School of Public Policy, earning a Master’s in Public Policy with a concentration in Urban Policy.

Windcall Alumni