Danielle moved to New York in 2015 from her native New Orleans, where she served as Incubator Manager at Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation, a non-profit that helps launch businesses solving social and environmental challenges in the Greater New Orleans area. At Propeller, Danielle led operations for the Propeller Incubator, a shared office, event space and local hub for social entrepreneurship, home to 60+ inspiring organizations. Danielle graduated from Tulane University with a BA in International Development and Anthropology and spent her summers traveling, both abroad and across the US by bicycle.
Stephen Steim is an activist and filmmaker with more than a decade of experience working in the human rights movement. As the executive director of NMAP, he leads the organization’s work to bolster human rights litigation, advocacy and legal empowerment through creative uses of storytelling. He previously served as NMAP’s Creative & Technical Director. Prior to joining NMAP, Steve worked in a senior role at Human Rights Watch. In his eight years there, he established the organization’s Chicago office, oversaw a number of advocacy and development initiatives in Chicago and New York, participated in the launch of HRW’s global fundraising campaign, and shot and edited videos as a member of the multimedia team. Born and raised in Chicago, Steve began his career as a consultant for the 2004 Obama for US Senate Campaign. He provided a range of public affairs services to the AFL/CIO, the United States Library of Congress, and Teach for America, among many other clients. In 2007, he launched The Detainees Speak, a series of performances by internationally renowned musicians and actors including Riz Ahmed, Alana Arenas and David Kelly. Artists read poems written by Guantanamo Bay detainees and raised funds for their legal representation. In 2008, Steve co-founded Homeroom, an independent, non-profit resource for creative Chicagoans. Steve holds a liberal arts degree from St. John’s College and a master’s degree in digital media from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Sory Ibrahima Monekata
Sory Ibrahima Monekata has been working in international development for more than a decade in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining NMAP, Sory was the Managing Director of a Strategic Grant of AmplifyChange, a high-level advocacy and influence initiative, with an important capacity-building component of Civil Society Organizations in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Guinea and activities such as studies, exchanges and learning visits in Malawi, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. From April 2014 to February 2020, Sory has served on the Board of Trustees of the Forum of International Non-Governmental Organizations in Mali, with the mandate to review the Governance and Leadership systems and processes of the Forum. He has been the Executive Secretary, and the Advisor to the new Executive Secretary of the Forum, aiming at maximizing synergy and to promote efficiency of development and humanitarian assistance in Mali. Sory’s prior experiences include Country Director role for the United Nations Association International Service for Mali, Burkina and Malawi between 2014 and 2017, and Chief Executive Officer and Training Director of Ebenezer International between 2008 and 2014, coordinating the civil society organization’s capacity building initiatives of the organization in West Africa (Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin, Niger, Nigeria, Ghana). He holds a master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from ISPRIC and is pursuing a PHD in Sustainable Development and Diplomacy with EUCLID University.
Appalachia Reframed Project Coordinator
Abi Taylor is an activist located in West Virginia. She recently graduated with a degree in anthropology and psychology from Marshall University, where she also led the Sustainability Club. Her senior capstone project focused on researching the ways in which the coal and petrochemical industries have become dominating forces in her state despite their threats to the environment and public health. Her career aspirations lie in activist work in her community to seek a more just and sustainable future for Central Appalachians while also working to protect the environment. Abi is co-leading our Appalachia Reframed project, which supports BIPOC and LGBTQIA storytellers in Central Appalachia as they create stories that lift up their communities and lay out a new, community-led narrative for the future of the region.
Tilt Editor and Content Curator
Virginia is a feminist writer, editor, narrative investigator and poet. She writes about social justice and feminism, questioning the paradigms currently in place through an approach centered on the emotional and spiritual as well as in the political and logical. She is the content curator and main writer on The Tilt, our Medium magazine, where she is weaving narratives, questioning narratives and discovering alternative paths with the help of other awesome writers and creatives around the world.
Mentor, Appalachia Reframed
Erika Lawson (she/her) is an artist based in Huntington, West Virginia. Erika makes music as ‘Buni Muni’, her PopStar alter ego. She is also a fashion designer making costumes for various music video clients. Her Appalachian street wear brand Loved By Erika is handcrafted and recently became available at the Tamarack heritage market. Erika’s experience teaching various digital media courses as an adjunct professor at Marshall University make her well suited for the role of project mentor. She has a BFA in theater with a focus on costuming & directing from Marshall University and a MFA from Loyola Marymount University with a focus on Writing and Producing for Television. Erika enjoyed her years of working in the Los Angeles entertainment industry but is glad to be back in West Virginia where creating new arts opportunities is a major motivation for community involvement.
Zoe is a narrative strategist at the intersection of storytelling and advocacy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies with a concentration in Comparative Race & Ethnicity from Tufts University. Zoe brings a multifaceted communications background to NMAP, having worked across the arts, on the campaign trail, and within nonprofits to transform access and power for BIPOC and marginalized communities. Over the last decade, she guided narrative strategies for mission-driven organizations, including New Era Colorado, where she shaped creative campaigns to drive cultural norm change and mobilize voters. Previously, Zoe also worked in electoral politics at the Warren for President campaign, designing and leading educational programs to support community members in producing stories that move us towards a just vision for the future. She is deeply committed to shifting dominant narratives and building movements that amplify the voices of those historically left out of the conversation.
Olesya Dovgalyuk’s work focuses on issues of transparency, accountability and human rights in the context of international development projects. Olesya has conducted research — as well as designed and facilitated experiential learning programs — with non-profits in Europe and Asia, including United Nations University (UNU-CRIS), International Institute of Humanitarian Law and SCOLAR Network. Olesya has also worked on consulting projects supporting trade and business connectivity between the EU and Southeast Asia, and China and Central Asia, with Development Solutions Europe and Shanghe House, respectively. Olesya holds a BSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Bristol, a Master of Laws from Peking University, and is pursuing an MA in Political Science from Central European University in Vienna. She is interested in all elements of multimedia content production and has experience hosting podcasts.