Natalie Bamdad first stumbled into femex as a participant in fall 2014. She fell in love with the femex community for helping create a world she wants to live in. Since then she has been involved with the organization as a facilitator and mentor, and supported the development of organization’s most recent strategic plan. During the day, Natalie works at MAG where she helps social justice organizations and movement networks work towards love, dignity and justice and a world where power and resources are shared in just ways. She is also a trainer for IfNotNow -- a movement of Jews seeking to end the occupation of Israel. If you can’t find Natalie, she’s probably in her garden shooing squirrels, eating pickles, or trucking uphill on her bike.
Natalie has volunteered with femex for the past five years in various capacities, ranging from facilitating to mentoring to organizational development. Leadership, bicycle commuting, personal growth, and exploring DC empower Natalie. In her day job, Natalie manages software development projects for nonprofits.
Morgan McRory, Co-Program Director
Morgan is a self-proclaimed womanist, hailing from AtL, an educator by trade and currently working to get her MSW to become a clinical social worker. She currently works at a bomb consulting firm centered on unconscious bias in the workplace. Morgan reluctantly took femex per the suggestion of a friend and has truly found a place of support and affirmation in the femex community. She took the class in 2014, has facilitated a handful of times, been a member of the Alumni team, and now serves a co-Program Director with Sarah Beth. She enjoys Bikram Yoga, travelling writing/reading, trying new food spots in dc,and all things femex. She enjoys being challenged, expanding, and spreading light and love.
Rachel Okun-Kozlowicki, Curriculum Team
Rachel is a native New Englander with a wondering spirit. She first moved to DC eight years ago and has been in and out of the District ever since.Rachel has a lifelong love/ fascination with all things gender-related and holds a post-graduate degree in gender and social transformation for which she wrote a 40 page dissertation on feminist masculinities. She is passionate about social justice from local to international levels. Rachel works in affordable housing and volunteers on a rape crisis hotline. She enjoys cycling, bike wrenching, gardening, cooking, entertaining, and dancing.
Cari Ross, Mentor, Curriculum
Cari serendipitously stumbled into femex on a chill fall day in 2014, two years after moving to DC from her native Detroit. She is so happy to have since found a thriving community of awesome people in DC with which to engage in discussions that matter. Outside of femex, Cari works to support women's health care and choice at the national association for ob-gyns, and has a passion for collaboration and work that is mission-driven. In her spare time, Cari enjoys nurturing relationships, exploring cities and wooded places of all kinds, curating playlists, people watching, bookstores, and a good cup of coffee.
Jess Agüero, Facilitator
Jess is a curious, compassionate web designer and artist who is driven by her love for human beings. She is likely to be washing the dishes at other people’s houses, advocating design for social good, and/or losing her mind to good reggaeton. Jess loves Femex because it provides her a beautiful, safe space to grow her mind by listening to other people’s stories (which is her favorite thing) while validating her own. Her dream is to use visual storytelling to amplify the voices of people whose identities are underrepresented in visual culture.
Allison Waters, Mentor
Ally is overwhelmed with gratitude for the existence and vibrance the FemEx community. Hailing from the land of obstinate independence and bygone anthropomorphized rock formations, she's found her perspective on and experience of life in DC positively transformed by FemEx. As much as she misses the green hills of the 'Shire, Ally has found many a thing to love about DC (in addition to FemEx), including biking, trail running, and communing with her pup. What empowers Ally? Family, the woods, caffeinated tea, sincerity, and thoughtful conversation.
Kay Ericson, CFO, Mentor and Facilitator
Kay originally hails from Seattle, and likes to think she brings some hippie chill to the east coast. She feels incredibly lucky to have found the Femex community in DC. In her regular life she works to raise money for good causes and help volunteers engage in fundraising. She lives with her lovely fiancé near eastern market, where you can find her enjoying crocheting, watching sci fi shows and football, and writing an occasional short story.
Maureen Mikhail, Mentor
Maurine was introduced to femex when her and a high-school friend connected at a happy hour in DC. Maurine loves walking around DC, tea, and eating as many donuts as possible. Maurine feels strongly about community and she is always down to meet over tea or ice cream and talk about community, friendships and everything else that femex has blessed her with! What empowers Maurine? self love, meditation, curly hair and soul-sister conversations
Caroline Craigin, Curriculum Lead, Leadership Team Member
Caroline likes talking about rollerblading, llamas, and wearing cool earrings. She enjoys supporting folks in building relationships, knowledge, and power through open & inclusive conversations whether in her work as a mediator in Maryland and DC or as a facilitator, trainer, and mentor with femex. When she's not mediating or talking about femex, she's probably napping or trying to convince one of her roommates to get a dog.
Anusha Ravi, Facilitator
Anusha Ravi was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She completed the dc femex course in fall of 2015, and wanted to help craft a supportive and welcoming community for others by being a facilitator. She enjoys feminism, coffee, and sunshine.
Amber Banks, Executive Director, Mentor, Trainer
Amber's interest in empowering women started young and blossomed while studying Government at the University of Virginia. A Virginia native, Amber is passionate about Virginia history and politics, reproductive justice, political participation and, of course, femex! More at home in the kitchen than anywhere else, she can often be found feeding those around her. Amber enjoys curling up with a good book and her Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, impromptu dance parties, movie nights with friends, collecting recipes, and drinking massive amounts of tea. What empowers Amber? Laughter, political and social movements, and potlucks!.
Silvana Maria Rueda
Silvana is -- in so few words -- a huge goofball. Born in Costa Rica and raised in upstate New York, she's been questioning gender norms and exploring her racial & immigrant identity for as long as she can remember. She discovered femex by accident in early 2012 and has never once looked back. To Silvana, femex has been a life-affirming space of compassionate, inspiring (not to mention bad-ass) individuals who always challenge her to love and embrace all of her many selves. By day, she runs a college and career readiness afterschool program with local high-schoolers of color. When she isn't working with her students or preaching thefemex gospel, Silvana can be found rummaging through clothes at Goodwill, making green smoothies in her kitchen, accidentally butchering the French language, or wandering off the beaten track in a small corner of the world. She also makes a mean plate of gallo pinto (Costa Rican rice and beans), will talk your ear off about low-budget travel, and aspires to write anti-racist children's books one day. What empowers Silvana? Laughing at herself at every turn, unapologetically loving her body, writing stories about her childhood, and radical acts of self-acceptance. Oh, and wearing big-ass, colorful earrings.
Bailey Leuschen, Alumni Engagement
Bailey is incredibly thankful for the dynamic women and welcoming community she’s encountered in femex since first taking the class in 2014. Originally from a small island town in Florida, Bailey strives for balance between exploring the world and building local community. She is inspired by kindness, adventure, empathy, growth, languages, delicious foods, and impromptu dance parties. When not investing in femex, Bailey enjoys spending time with loved ones, traveling, and making new connections. What empowers Bailey? Kindness, opportunities for learning and growth, empathy, friendship, dance and social justice.
Nikki is a deep-thinker, organizational guru, singer and leader. She thrives on supporting people and communities by providing quality management and administration of programs, events, social media, volunteer and fundraising efforts. Her passion for empowering female-identified people brought her to femex in 2011. Since then, she has facilitated classes and trainings, organized events, led recruitment efforts, and mentored Fac's. What Empowers Nikki? Spending time with friends, music, practicing yoga, and baking tasty treats!
Sarah Beth Alcabes, Co-Program Director
Sarah Beth was born and raised in the Bay Area where she first experienced the magic of fem(s)ex. While her heart remains on the west coast she is so grateful for incredible community she has found in DC, and appreciates the opportunity to experience all four seasons. Sarah Beth is a second grade teacher at Two Rivers elementary school, and is also involved in community organizing with IfNotNow and Jews United for Justice. She enjoys biking, reading and cuddling, and her favorite color is lavender.
Ola Wadibia, Leadership Team
Ola learned about femex with a, "I haven't told you about this yet? It would be right up your alley!" The 30 minute conversation that followed had her hooked. How could she resist the opportunity to revel in a space focused on communing with other members of the sisterhood, sharing stories about life's ups and downs and challenging her perceptions of self?! When Ola isn't talking about femex, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, late night conversations on her sofa and the burn after a spin class. Ola is passionate about living and promoting a positive body image in people of all age groups and broadening the definition of beauty beyond the physical, conventional standard. What empowers Ola? Busting a move on the dance floor and open dialogue with strangers and friends.
Babs Ellenbass, Facilitator
Babs learned about femex by talking to a total stranger on the street one serendipitous day in 2014. In her day job, Babs writes and edits professionally. In her night job, she watches shows about witches and/or paleoanthropology, obsesses over her houseplants, and beats everyone at strategic board games. Babs has one simple wish: to fundamentally change the way humans engage with each other by spreading relentless, radical kindness one relationship at a time.
Raychel Whyte, Facilitator
Raychel is a introverted extrovert who spends a lot of time trying not to trip over the raised bricks in the sidewalks of DC. They became involved in the wonderful world of Femex in the fall of 2016 as a participant. When they are not Femex-ing, Raychel enjoys daydreaming about having a dog, laughing until it hurts, and organizing resistance with friends.
Clara Mora, Programming Team Operations
Clara was a participant in the fall of 2016 and instantly realized she needed to forever surround herself by such a beautiful community. Clara enjoys cooking food, practicing yoga, writing, reading, and eating pizza. And cats but she's never owned one
hc Cather, Programming Team Events
hc was a participant in fall 2016, and at the end of the class, she couldn't bear to imagine not being involved with femex. So, she joined the program team as the events coordinator. hc is a Southern woman from Tennessee, and she strongly believes in the power of communing around a dining room table. If she's not in the kitchen, she's probably talking to strangers or ripping up magazines for collages or making zines.
Rachel Miller, Facilitator
Rachel has lived in DC for almost 11 years and likes to spend her time uncovering new experiences around the city (like femex!). She works for a book publisher and is obsessed with recommending books to her friends. When she's not thinking about books, feminism, or femex, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen, fantasizing about travel, and hanging out with her cat Willow in Petworth.
Miranda Strong, Facilitator
Miranda was introduced to FemEx in Fall of 2016 and became increasingly excited to contribute to the growing DC community. She is native to the district area and graduated from an HBCU in RVA, where she wrote a dissertation on the expansion of the literary canon to include voices from diverse backgrounds. She went on to complete her Master's in Investigative Journalism at American University. Miranda works in academic databases during the day and hangs out with her cat in her spare time. Miranda also enjoys reading, writing, finding mucic spaces, cycling and eating all the food things within riding distance.
Justyna Maslowska, Facilitator
Justyna found femex in Fall 2016 and hasn't shut up about it ever since. She's passionate about refugee issues, LGBTQ students, and educational equity. When she's not working at her day job in international education, she's usually busy running, cooking/baking/eating, planning her next trip/tattoo, or spooning her dog.
As a fairly recent transplant to DC, Lydia appreciates having the femex space and community to learn about and share experiences through honest intergroup dialogue. In the confines of 9-5, she can be found advising students for their upcoming study abroad program, and day dreaming about her next opportunity to waltz throughout Asia and South America.
Christina is a DMV native from Prince George’s County, MD. By day (and some nights), she’s a visual journalist for a local newspaper. When Christina isn’t working, she can be found out and about the city for live music, good vibes, and opportunities to talk about postmodern art. Christina completed the Femex course in Fall 2016 and has returned as a facilitator with a focus on intersectionality and community building. She suffers from resting goof face.
B participated in femex in fall 2015 hoping to find community; they found it and so much more. When B’s not femex-ing they can be found raising money for a rad org, biking around battling potholes, planning their next creative endeavor, dodging birds, and seeking out fancy sodas and balance.
Liz joined Femex as a way to build a like-minded community when she moved to DC in the Fall of 2016. She tries to bring a justice lens to her love of pop culture, sports, and "bomb food." You're most likely to find her brunching or binging on reality TV.
Katie is a fan of cats, closing the race and gender pay gap, and rock climbing (in no particular order). She is a proud lady in STEM and moved to DC last year to fulfill her longtime childhood dream of becoming a federal contractor. She is very much looking forward to fall in DC, where SWEATer weather becomes sweater weather. Katie is always looking for ways to curate and participate in spaces that look to validate experience and expertise and see strength in diversity of thought and communication styles. FEMEX is all that and more, and she is so happy to be facilitating this fall!
Kirsten hails from the witchy swamps of Florida. She joined Femex in the Spring of 2017 as a participant and her participation has significantly shaped her DC experience. Kirsten enjoys building community, bicycle commuting, exploring nature in and around DC, hopping through museums, and talking about feelings. She studied Educational Psychology and is passionate about mental health and education.
Mariestella first joined femex as a fall 2011 participant and since then believes that femex is yet another way to actively participate in positive social change. Over the years, she's continued to reflect on her experience, the lessons learned, areas for additional self-exploration, and the opportunity to give back to this growing, dynamic community. Mariestella is excited to return as a 2017 facilitator with new lessons to learn and new connections to make. She appreciates the warm, inclusive nature of this group, and the overall radical empowerment that fuels femexery. Hailing from the tropics, Mariestella yearns for longer summers (in a breezy, beachy kind of way), and regularly enjoys observing everyday life while touring out and about with her camera.
Sophia is a Virginia native who loves creating and sharing positive energy with others. Her favorite topics are health/wellness, self care, black history, love in all forms, and anything Florida State! You can catch her at any ballet, play, concert, or museum in the city —her form of self care.