(Reverse alphabetical by last name)
1. Whitney Washington (pronouns: she, her hers) General Council on Finance and Administration for the United Methodist Church (Staff); WDYO radio station (Volunteer); University of Montevallo (Alumni)
2. Nancy Villegas (pronouns: she, her hers) Cane Ridge High School (Senior); Students of Stonewall at the Oasis Center
3. Marisa Richmond (she, her, hers) Middle Tennessee State University (Professor: Department of History, Women’s & Gender Studies Program); Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (Volunteer); Davidson County Democratic Party (Regional Vice Chair); Davidson County Democratic Women (Past President, 2013)
4. Rosa Ponce (pronouns: she, her, hers) Austin Peay State University (Alumni); Workers’ Dignity (Volunteer); CAPE Coalition Advocating for Public ED (Volunteer); UCW United Campus Workers (Volunteer); Kids’ Justice School (Co-facilitator)
5. Briana Perry (pronouns: she, her, hers) Vanderbilt University (Graduate Student); Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center; Healthy and Free Tennessee; Black Lives Matter
6. Doris Palomino (pronouns: she, her, hers) Migrant Women’s Committee at Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition TIRRC (Member): State of Tennessee (Staff); Vanderbilt University (Alumni)
7. Juli Hishida (pronouns: she, her, hers) National Health Care for the Homeless Council (Staff); Family and Children’s Service Nashville (Crisis Specialist); National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum – Nashville Chapter (Leadership); Lipscomb University (Alumni); Tennessee State University (Alumni)
8. Sarah Grove (pronouns: she, her hers) Pastoral Counseling Centers of Tennessee (Staff Therapist); MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience at Vanderbilt (Staff); Nashville Sexual Assault Center (Volunteer); Nashville’s LGBT+ Community; Vanderbilt Divinity School (Alumni)
9. Sarah Flowers (pronouns: she, her, hers) Sewanee: University of the South (Alumni); Centerstone of Tennessee (Staff)
10. Alex Chambers (pronouns: she, her, hers) Vanderbilt (Graduate Student); Feminisms in a Prison Nation Reading Group; Healthy and Free Tennessee; Democracy Nashville; Well Inside + Out
11. Anna Carella (pronouns: she, her, hers) Vanderbilt (Graduate Student); SURJ Showing Up For Racial Justice Nashville (Steering Committee); Healthy and Free Tennessee; Nashville Sexual Assault Center (Volunteer); Advocates for Women’s and Kids’ Equality AWAKE
12. Leah Broderick (pronouns: she, her, hers) Belmont University (Undergraduate Student); Vote No on 1 (Volunteer); Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee (Volunteer)
Members of the feminist discernment group put out a call for feminist leadership nominations in September. Thank you to all who nominated yourself or others! There were 36 people in total who were nominated. All 36 were contacted by email. A value that had been articulated by the discernment group was that the feminist leadership should be majority people of color. The 12 leaders were selected based on our value of diversity and nominees’ willingness to lead and responsiveness to communication.
The leadership set the intention of meeting twice a month. Thus far we have met four times: October 22nd, November 5th, November 19th, and December 3rd. Our first two meetings we spent getting to know each other. Many of us had never met before our first meeting. Starting with the third meeting we began working through Achieving Transformative Feminist Leadership: A Toolkit for Organisations and Movements, published by CREA, a feminist human rights organization based in New Delhi, India and one of the few international women’s rights organizations based in the global South. The toolkit is designed to help us all understand how our conscious and unconscious relationship to power impacts our relationships with one another and our leadership of the feminist collective. We encourage members to read the toolkit, along with the other publication it references Feminist Leadership for Social Transformation: Clearing the Conceptual Cloud.
We follow the advice of the toolkit by starting each meeting with a check-in and mindfulness activity. On November 19th, we all read the first chapter/module, reviewed it together, took a personality test, and shared our results with each other. On December 3rd, we completed exercise 1.a “Personal History with Power” (p. 83 of the toolkit) by writing our responses and sharing some of our reflections with each other, whatever felt comfortable. Our next meeting is December 17th.
We encourage feminist collective members to reach out to our new leadership with any questions you might have about who we are, what our processes are (some of these we are still working out), and ideas about the collective’s future. We want to be as transparent as possible and are open to new ideas (and critiques) from membership about how we are doing business.
We intend to hold membership meetings again at some point, but for now we ask for your patience while we get to know one another and begin to feel comfortable sharing power and leading collectively. We hope this initial investment in relationship building will set us up to work better together and with all our members.
We look forward to what lies ahead!