- FORCE is guided by a Leadership Team of individuals from around the country. The team currently includes:
- Amber Melvin (she/her) is a sex educator based in Sacramento, CA. She is striving to create a world where all people especially queer, disabled, fat, and marginalized people have access to the knowledge, education, and resources to pursue joyful and empowering sexual expression if and when they choose. She is the daughter of a survivor and a mom-to-be.
- Alexis Flanagan (she/her) is a queer Black feminist DC girl whose heart pumps to the beat of “the Pocket” that holds down DC go-go music and culture. She is a cultural worker, writer, artist, healer, and organizer working at the intersection of art and activism in the DC Metropolitan Area. For the last 12 years, she has led programs and organizations working to end sexual and intimate partner violence, most recently serving 5 years as the Assistant Director of HopeWorks, a comprehensive sexual assault and domestic violence program in Columbia, MD. Now, Alexis dedicates herself to deepening practice and embodiment of liberation and transformation within communities she loves. She currently collaboratively leads Resonance Network — a network of activists, movement builders, artists and more who want to live in a world where violence isn’t the norm, and who believe this world is possible. Together, participants in the network are boldly reimagining and practicing what is possible and necessary to transform society from a culture of violence to one of interdependent worthiness and thriving.
- Greg Grey Cloud (he/his) is a cofounder of Wica Agli “To Return A Man” a native men against domestic and sexual abuse non profit located on the Rosebud Sioux Tribal nation. Grey Cloud and his team focus on educating young men and boys on traditional roles to helping develop healthy leadership and equal relationships. For the past 5 years, his organization has partnered directly with the local domestic violence shelter White Buffalo Calf Womens Society to help provide and promote healthy dynamics between men and women. Grey Cloud helped develop culturally specific healthy masculinity (CSHM) teachings for boys from grades 6-12 ages 10-18. Also a more in depth (CSHM)in a 26 week course for men above 18 who have been convicted of violent crime tribally, federally, and state courts. Grey Cloud actively promotes the prevention of violence against women and works diligently to end violent crime and work towards gender equality in his community.
- Jacob Simpson (he/his) is a Lutheran Pastor who currently serves at Trinity Lutheran Church in White Plains, NY.
He is originally from Baltimore, MD.
Jacob has been volunteering with FORCE since 2012. He lives with his family in Westchester County, NY.
- Jadelynn Stahl (she/her) is a radical, interdisciplinary organizer, artist and trauma therapist based in Oakland, California. As a queer, biracial, Latinx, cis-femme survivor, she works collaboratively to incite dialogues which envision a world without sexual assault, seeking to uplift the voices of those often forgotten or silenced within the mainstream movement. In addition to her participation on the Leadership Team of the Monument Quilt, Jadelynn’s Bay Area work has included collaboration with multiple social justice organizations, including acting as co-founder and artistic director of DISCLOSE, a queer, Oakland-based collective of artists and educators committed to organizing arts-based community engagement in the struggle to end sexual violence. Fusing durational art, video, ritual and burlesque, her art practice explores somatic and psychological expression in relation to legacies of trauma as well as cultural, racial and sexual identities. Jadelynn’s works have been shown both domestically and internationally, most recently at Pro Arts Gallery (Oakland) which hosted the debut of her exhibition Choreographies of Disclosure: What the Mind Forgets, funded by the 2017 East Bay Fund for Artists Award. This socially engaged, long-form work was developed in collaboration with queer and/or trans multidisciplinary artists who have been impacted by sexual violence. By day – and sometimes night – Jadelynn works as a sex therapist and educator, currently serving as the LGBTQIA+ Program Manager and Clinical Coordinator at BAWAR, the nation’s first rape crisis center.
- JP Przewoznik, MSW (any pronouns respectfully), is a trainer, technical assistance provider, practitioner and program evaluator with over 20 years of experience working with and within LGBTQ+ and women’s communities. She is currently the Director of Prevention and Evaluation at the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCCASA) where she provides training and technical assistance to rape crisis centers and college campuses working on sexual violence prevention efforts, co-chairs the NC Campus Consortium, and is NC’s technical assistance provider for CDC’s Rape Prevention Education (RPE) Program. JP is on the Board of Directors for Safe Schools NC and is also the founder of Switchback Consulting, a firm that supports professional and institutional growth in the areas of program design and evaluation, strategic planning, and LGBTQ+-affirming practice. She lives happily in Durham, NC, with wonderful friends, an incredible partner, and many fur babies. In her spare time you can find JP making vegan versions of her grandma’s Polish food and scheming how to open a senior dog sanctuary.
- Dr. Kalima Young (she/her) is a lecturer in the Department of Electronic Media and Film at Towson University. She received her Ph.D.D in American Studies from the University of Maryland College Park. Her research explores the impact of race and gender-based trauma on Black identity and cultural production. A Baltimore native, videographer, and activist-scholar, Dr. Young has served on the leadership team for FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture’s Monument Quilt Project since 2014.
- Kate Bishop (she/her) is a professional development educator and social justice advocate with expertise in working with LGBTQ populations, sexual and reproductive wellness, intimate partner violence, and sexual trauma. As a secondary survivor, she offers compassion, humor, ritual, hot tea, and peace cranes, holding sacred space to explore and heal the ways we are all impacted and implicated by rape culture. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies from Hiram College and a Masters in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University.
- Leigh Ann Sham (she/her) has been part of the Monument Quilt Leadership Team since the team first formed in 2014. As part of the fundraising team, she coordinated a $15,000 material donation to the Monument Quilt, has written hundreds of social media posts and emails, and was part of the team that came up with the original idea for Hike for Healing. Outside of FORCE, Leigh Ann works in fundraising for Georgetown University Law School. She is also a mom to two adorable tuxedo cats, a runner and an avid coffee drinker.
- Liz Ensz (they, them) is a sculptor, textile artist and educator inspired by commemorative textiles, public monuments, and the history of quilting and other collaborative textiles as a starting point for gathering, skill-sharing, and conversation. They are a maker and repairer of many things and view these acts as inherently hopeful and empowering. Art has been a meaningful and cathartic outlet and tool for communication, expression, and protest in their personal work and as an educator. As a survivor, they were drawn to volunteer with sewing production of The Monument Quilt since 2014, and have led and organized dozens of quilt-making workshops for survivors across the country.
- Lorena Kourousias (she/her) is a Director of Economic Justice and Survival Programs at The Violence Intervention Program. Lorena is also an alumni of Immigrant Civic Leadership Program 2017. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Hunter College. As many immigrant professionals, Lorena represents the struggle and perseverance that comes with the immigration process and the various barriers that professional immigrants have to face in the United States in search of the American Dream. Regardless of her advanced education (she holds two Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology), Lorena had to overcome a long process of revalidating her credential from Mexico, learning a new language, assimilating a new culture, overcome the physiological trauma that comes with the immigration process of re-starting her professional career. She has a strong track record of serving underprivileged communities and a deep knowledge and understanding of challenges relating to immigration status, culture, customs, class, and race. She is a Leadership member of The Monument Quilt since 2014. In May 2014, she was honored with four community service awards by Queens Borough President, Elmhurst Hospital and New York City Council member. Finally, on September 2017, she received a recognition of her outstanding dedication and work with the Latinx survivors of sexual violence.
- Norwood Johnson (he/his) is a Force Board Member and serves on the Monument Quilt Leadership team He also serves on Force’s Gather Together Baltimore based grassroots collective of people who encountered and survived domestic and sexual violence. Norwood is a survivor of intimate partner violence and spousal abuse from a female offender. For years, he kept this inside and from friends and family. Actually, Norwood thought the best way to handle the abuse was by “taking it like a man.” He finally had a light bulb moment and took a leap of faith to leave the situation and sought help from the House of Ruth to heal. Norwood confidently shares his journey as a survivor of intimate partner violence. Out of gratitude from help received, Norwood also volunteers for multiple organizations fighting against human trafficking, and rape and sexual assault such as Arimenta Freedom Initiative, TurnAround, Inc. and others. In addition he volunteers for the Baltimore County Department of Aging providing services to the elderly and disabled. Norwood loves to freely give of himself and gain happiness in helping others. A simple smile and or “thank you,” satisfy Norwood. Norwood has a Bachelor of Science degree from Morgan State University. He also holds a Certificate in Public Leadership from Brookings Institution, a social and political policy “think tank.”
- Rachel Gilmer (she/her) is currently Chief of Strategy for Dream Defenders. She previously served as the Associate Director for the African American Policy Forum, helping develop and execute the organization’s strategic agenda for advancing racial and gender justice. Rachel served as the Leadership Academy Director for the Portland African American Leadership Forum, a local organization connected to a network of organizations nationally, focused on bringing together leaders from across the community to develop and advance a common advocacy strategy. In this role, she oversaw the organization’s policy and research agenda, including leading a community-driven campaign focused on re-addressing the systemic displacement of Portland’s historic Black neighborhoods. While in this role, Rachel also founded a year-long leadership development program focused on creating a generative leadership pipeline and supporting young Black people in becoming transformative leaders who hold a lifelong commitment to fighting for racial justice and creating lasting change in their community. Rachel graduated from Vassar College in 2010 with a degree in American Culture and Africana Studies. In addition, Rachel is a graduate of the Politicorps fellowship, an intensive political leadership program, the Western Institute for Leadership Development and Emerge, a national program designed to prepare women to run for elected office. Through her work in community organizing, public policy and leadership development, Rachel has demonstrated her commitment and innovative approach to advancing racial justice and equity at all levels.
- Winter Miller (she/her or they/them) is an award-winning playwright and founding member of the collective 13Playwrights. Her play In Darfur premiered in a sold-out run at New York City’s Public Theater and toured nationally. No One Is Forgotten, The Penetration Play, and Spare Rib, which The New Yorker called a “quasi comic abortion drama,” are among her plays. A former journalist, she wrote dozens of articles for The New York Times. Winter lives in Brooklyn and travels when she has the chance. Eartha Kitt once held her hand for five minutes.