LEAP (Leadership Education and Advancement for Professionals) Cohort 3
Maria SuarezMaria Suarez Foundation
Kristelyn BerryCalifornia Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Kristelyn Berry is the Training and Technical Assistance Specialist for Intervention. In her current role with CALCASA, Kristelyn supports the Intervention and Advocacy Team to support Rape Crisis Centers, develops tools and trainings, and provides critical technical assistance to stakeholders and advocates. Prior to joining CALCASA, Kristelyn worked at the National Network to End Domestic Violence as the Senior Safety Net Coordinator managing national conference logistics and providing technical assistance on technology safety to survivors of domestic violence. In her spare time, she loves to travel.
Kristelyn received her B.S. in Human Services from Old Dominion University, and completed her Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in Social Change from George Mason University.
Vilma Gonzalez CastroCoordinadora Paz para la Mujer
Vilma is currently the General Coordinator of the Puerto Rico Coalition against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Coordinadora Paz para las Mujeres and has been with the coalition for the past 15 years.
For over 28 years, Vilma has worked in different scenarios on the issue of domestic violence and sexual assault in her native Puerto Rico and San Francisco, California. Her work experiences include, coordinated programs for women and children survivors of domestic violence, serving as an advocate for immigrant women, worked with women in prenatal programs, coordinated and developed many conferences on issues of violence and gender.
Vilma holds an MA in Community Social Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico, is a Founding member of Brujeres, a feminist student organization that sought to denounce sexual assault on campus.
Vilma Gonzalez Castro. Woman, Puerto Rican and mother of a 22 year old young woman. Passionate and fervent advocate of perpetual aspiration for women to live in peace, equity and justice.
Valerie EkueSouth Carolina Coalition Against DV and SA
Dr. Valerie Ekue serves as the Director of Member Support and Community Justice for the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. She provides expert training and technical assistance to 23 member organizations, statewide organizations and community partners.
She is a member of Richland County Fatality Review Team, Trauma Development Team, Workforce Training Collaborative and USC’s Women and Genders Study Partnership Council. Dr. Ekue also partakes in the Domestic Violence Coordinating Councils in Richland and Rock Hill Counties.
Dr. Ekue is very passionate about educating domestic violence service providers on the intersections of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault as well as increasing the capacity for member organizations to provide effective intervention and prevention programs while increasing advocacy and outreach to marginalized and unserved communities throughout South Carolina. Dr. Ekue believes “domestic violence and sexual assault only thrives in silence”; therefore having a community collaborative response to this public health phenomenon is vital in eradicating all forms of domestic violence and sexual assault in South Carolina.Director of Member Support and Community JusticeDirector of Member Support and Community Justice.
Tiffany FlowersAmani Community Services
Joyce KylesWalking Into A New Life, Inc.
Joyce is the Executive Director of Walking Into A New Life, Inc. She hosts “Boots on the Ground”, a blog talk radio show addressing the intersections of domestic violence as well as other social & economical points of interest to our communities.
Joyce Kyles is a nationally credentialed speaker, author, trainer and survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault. Known for her transparent and passionate approach, she combines more than 20 years of professional training and personal experiences to provide her audiences with realistic expectations and increased awareness, while challenging action and accountability.
She published her first book, entitled Restoring the Whole in My Soul in July, 2015. She is married to Jason Kyles and has three beautiful children.
Rev. Marguerite LeeBeauty for Ashes Ministry, Inc.
“Rev. Marguerite Lee is the Founding Executive Director of Beauty for Ashes Ministry, Inc., a faith-based organization.
She is a retired public school educator, Board Certified Christian Counselor, ordained Minister, trained Stephens Ministry Leader, Prepare and Enrich Marriage Facilitator, member of Mecklenburg County Domestic Violence Advocacy Council, speaker for Mecklenburg County Community Services Speakers Bureau and a 2016 LEAP Fellow of Cohort 3.
Marguerite is the mother of one adult son. She is a native of Danville,Virginia and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.”
Kandee LewisThe Positive Results Corporation
Kandee is the Executive Director of The Positive Results Corporation, a non-profit whose Mission is to address Bullying, Interpersonal Violence and Sexual Assault in Youth and Communities of Color. A Masterful Trainer, Facilitator and Certified Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Advocate, Kandee specializes in Bullying, Teen Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, Abuse, Healthy Relationships and Leadership Development.
She is Founding Board Member for the South Los Angeles Homeless TAY (Transitional Ages Youth) and Foster Care Collaborative. Kandee also serves on Compton’s Policing & Education Task Force, and Los Angeles City Attorney’s Domestic Violence Round Table. She collaborates, partners and conducts workshops with various groups, organizations, companies, sororities, fraternities, programs and services throughout California, and across the United States.
From 2014 to 2016, Kandee received the following honors: Woman of Distinction Award from TeenShop L.A; Johnnie L. Cochran Award for youth violence prevention from the Cochran Law Firm & Los Angeles High School; Woman of the Year Award from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Alpha Psi Zeta Chapter; the 64th District Community Leadership Award from Assembly member Mike Gipson; Humanitarian Award from National Action Network, Community Advocate from the Historic Eastside Boys and Girls Club, and the National Trends and Service Award from the Harbor Area, CA Chapter of The Links, Inc.
Kandee previously served on Harbor Area Planning Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles, on the Harbor Gateway North Neighborhood Council, and was the Vice President of Sales and Interim President of a Technology company.
Kandee has been married for 34 years, and lives in Los Angeles. She and her husband have 3 amazing adult children and a Pit Bull named Chassee.
Mehriban MammadovaAzerbaijan Community Center
Mehriban is the Executive Director of Azerbaijan Community Center, Inc. Her role consists of managing, developing, and coordinating the activities of the center to serve refugees and immigrants from Azerbaijan and other countries helping them integrate into American society.
Mehriban was born in Azerbaijan, one of the former Soviet Union countries. She lives and works in San Jose, California.
Chee YangValley Crisis Center
Sa’idah SudanBaitul Hemyah, Inc.
Sandy MonroyCalifornia Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Manna TeclemarianAfrican Community Health Institute (ACHI)
Manna is the Executive Director/President of African Community Health Institute (ACHI), serving immigrant families towards healthy settlement emphasizing in domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse programs through creative cultural and linguistic sensitive programming.
She also serves as the Director and is a Founder of the Eritrean Orphan Children program with International Child Resources Institute (ICRI) that required traveling to Eritrea to complete a comprehensive needs assessment research that led to a complation of program development. Additionally, Manna is the Leader of the Eritrean Women and Children program,
Manna is a Public Health Educator and has been working in public health for twenty five years.