LEAP (Leadership Education and Advancement for Professionals) Cohort 7
Tobi has worked for the last 20+ years within non-profit, community-based and governmental offices as well as two state coalitions in Pennsylvania and New York. She has spent those years working with victims of violent crimes including sexual assault and domestic violence. Most notably, she has had the honor of working with and serving families of murder victims for almost 15 years. Tobi has had the opportunity to co-lead a state coalition in NY, becoming one of the first Black women to do so in the state. Upon her return to Philadelphia, in response to an alarming increase in domestic violence related and intimate partner homicides in the city in 2018, she organized and facilitated a workshop and planning discussion to lay the groundwork for creating an Intimate Partner Fatality Review Team in Philadelphia. She also helped lead the rollout and early implementation of a citywide outreach, intervention and crisis response program for families of murder victims in Philadelphia into early 2020. She has participated on statewide task forces and other committees in Pennsylvania and New York. Currently, she sits on the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health’s Women and Girls of Color Political Leadership Workgroup.
Tobi completed her undergraduate studies at Temple University and Graduate level coursework in Public Administration, Business Administration and Human Services Management at Penn State, Eastern University and Chestnut Hill College. Tobi is a 2019 graduate of the Urban League’s distinguished Philadelphia African American Leadership Forum.
Tobi lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two adult children. She co-hosts a podcast A Changed Mind Pod, which features transparent conversations about faith, healing, loss, recovery, domestic violence, incarceration and more. Tobi is also working on the launch of her own podcast A Dialogue with Tobi: Finding Uses for a Righteous Rage. Inspired by the iconic dialogue between James Baldwin and Nikki Giovani the podcast will feature thoughtful and brave discussions that explore the body politic through a social justice lens. Topics will range from public policy and politics to current events, pop culture, and sports.
Adrienne Simpkins is a domestic violence advocate and Licensed Professional Counselor from Willingboro, New Jersey. She began her work in the movement to end domestic violence in 2012 as a counseling intern, then working in case management at a shelter program, which led to a role as the primary Clinician at her local domestic program. Seeing the needs of survivors due to systemic barriers, Adrienne shifted her focus to social justice work within the movement. She is currently the Director of Outreach and Capacity Building at the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence (NJCEDV), where she collaborates with various domestic violence and social service providers to shift culture and policies within domestic violence programs and systems serving survivors. Adrienne’s priority is to center and amplify the needs of those in need of access to safety and healing, particularly those impacted most by various forms of oppression, racism, and marginalization. She is also the co-Chair of the NJCEDV’s Women of Color Task Force and a representative on the New Jersey Women’s Reentry Commission.
Additionally, Adrienne has worked in the substance abuse field. She is also the owner of Embodied Healing, a healing practice designed to foster authenticity, wholeness, and freedom for women of color. Adrienne is an HBCU graduate of Morgan State University and received her Master’s degree from Rider University. She is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, a mother to 16-year-old Ilana, and dog mom to a chihuahua, Batman.
Tia Payne is the visionary behind Legacy31 founded on the scripture Proverbs 31:25. At Legacy31 Tia has the unique privilege of offering faith-based crisis intervention services to victims of intimate partner violence, facilitate support groups and offer trainings and workshops to your agency or church on how to properly respond to disclosure. Tia works with the Summit County Victims Assistance Program at their Summit Victim Assistance Academy as part of the Expert Training Team providing education on trauma response to the professional community. Tia is a member of the Ohio Domestic Violence Network board of directors on the finance committee and and DEI committee. Tia is a published Author of “reflections of a PK” where she shares her story of growing up in a home where her pastor father was also an abuser. In March of 2021 Tia began the She Survived Movement offering female survivors a way to share their stories loudly and with no shame, for more info visit www.Legacy31.org. Tia brings 15yrs of advocating on behalf of victims. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alicia has worked in the non-profit sector for over 25 years to further social justice for people living in poverty and surviving violence. Alicia is the Director of Training for the Ohio Domestic Violence Network. In her role, she ensures coordination and implementation of local, regional, and statewide trainings on domestic violence related topics. She assists with developing and providing training for program staff, executive directors, volunteer board members and allied professionals. Alicia oversees the research, development, and dissemination of promising practice models, policies, procedures in the areas of programs and services, agency development and marginalized populations.
Alicia is currently the Co-Chair for the Ohio Women of Color Caucus and is driven to cultivate wellness for BIPOC women. Alicia attended Youngstown State University where she received a Master in Social Work and is currently a professor in their social work department. Most recently, Alicia received an recognition award from Representative Emilia Sykes for playing a critical role in ensuring safety for Ohio’s most vulnerable population.
Trigger warning: mention of domestic violence; fatal abuse
April Barbosa is an advocate, co-founder, and executive director of Justice for Rosaura. April and her husband Joe Barbosa founded Justice for Rosaura in memory of their 18-year-old daughter Rosaura Magdalena Barbosa. Tragically their daughter Rosaura was murdered in 2018 by her ex-boyfriend and it opened their eyes to the dangers of breaking up with someone, even when in a relationship not plagued with domestic abuse. April found her daughter’s body after the murder, and this caused her to suffer not only grief but also PTSD.
April became a member of NAMI (National alliance on mental illness) and is now a certified peer to peer specialist, she is also a presenter for the “In our own voice” program. The “In our own voice” program shares stories of the challenges a person with mental illness faces and how they overcome these challenges. During this time, she began hosting podcasts titled “Through the eyes of a grieving mother” and “Through the eyes of a grieving family”. April is a published author and motivational speaker. April is also a part of the 29th street coalition in Tucson Arizona. 29th street is one of the areas in Tucson with the highest crime rate. The coalition works side by side with law enforcement officers to help the residents of this area and to deter crime. April Barbosa received her GED in 2001 and hopes to someday be a licensed counselor for victims of abuse.
When April is not working, she is spending time with her family, reading or writing. She believes family time and memories are the foundation of a happy life. In memory of her daughter, she strives to bring light and happiness to those around her in everything she does.
Arcelia Sención is Standing Together to End Sexual Assault’s associate director. She brings over 28 years of nonprofit experience from working on a policy level to improve access to safety net government programs, collaborating with community partners to develop initiatives to addressing the prevention of childhood trauma and abuse. Arcelia knows grants administration from program development to budgets. She can write a solid grant proposal and loves looking at data to make a point that there are needs in our community. She looks at the BIG picture! Strives to break away from silos and make friends and partnerships that can help move an issue forward. She can get in the trenches to get things done but also thrives in planning and decision-making spaces. Her daughters keep Arcelia current with social justice issues from gender violence, housing to the criminal justice system. Outside of her work life, she volunteers in various community groups. She is a founding member of INCLUSION SYY and the Santa Barbara Latino Giving Circle. Arcelia serves as a liaison to the Latino Community Foundation’s Latino Giving Circle Network. Sención previously served as a board member for the Fund for Santa Barbara and was appointed to the First 5 Advisory Committee. Most recently Sención was appointed to the Commission for Women in Santa Barbara County.
Ms. Artika Chevelle Roller is a native of Saint Paul, Minnesota’s Rondo Community, her community was rich with activists, women role models and educators. Their commitment to changing systems that were harmful to the community’s well-being motivated her to become a social worker. Artika earned her Bachelor of Social Work degree from Metropolitan State University, a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Minnesota, with a concentration of organizational leadership, advocacy and system change. In addition, she is a graduate of the Alliance for Children and Families Executive Leadership Institute from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Schools of Business and Social Work.
Artika’s professional experience spans the fields of government, business, education, and nonprofit. She has over fifteen years of leadership experience in the areas of domestic violence, sex trafficking and sexual assault and nearly twenty years of direct service experience. Artika is the Executive Director for the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA), she is the first African-American Women to lead a victim service coalition in the state of Minnesota. As the program director for two historical non-profit agencies, Women’s Advocates Inc. and The Family Partnership. Artika is credited with starting an internship program for women with criminal backgrounds, eliminating a critical barrier for completing college requirements. She established a food shelf and clothing closet that provides women with hygiene products and enough work and school clothing for an entire week.
In addition, Artika played a key role in developing the legislative protocols for the Safe Harbor “No Wrong Door,” a service model for victims of sex trafficking and the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth Act in 2011, a law that ensures young people who are sexually exploited are treated as victims and survivors, not criminals. Artika volunteered as a board member for Violence Free Minnesota, Community Empowerment Through Black Men Healing Conference and The Sons of Bransford Community Awards Furthermore, she mentors women with the goal of centering and up lifting the voices, experiences and leadership of African-American women and girls. Artika is respected by her peers, staff and clients for her non-judgmental and holistic approach to leadership and advocacy.
Debra “Debbie” Campbell
Debbie’s core mission is to be of service to others while providing for the needs of her family. Debbie has been a valuable employee with Battered Women’s Shelter of Summit & Medina Counties for fourteen years having spent the last seven years as the Program Manager of the Steps II Independence Rapid Re-Housing Program where she and her team work with property owners in their community assist families who have survived Domestic Violence secure and maintain safe and stable housing.
Working toward racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace is a passion of Debbie’s and as such has been voted Chairperson of the newly formed Racial Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Committee (READI) at BWS. Debbie currently attends the University of Akron working toward her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Supervision. A few of Debbie’s accomplishments include being a certified Mental Health First Aid Responder (Adult & Children); being a certified SAMHSA SOAR Works! specialist for both adults and children and being a Registered Advocate with Senior Standing with the State of Ohio.
Elida J. Martinez has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Currently, she serves as the Office Manager at Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (STESA), formerly Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center. Elida has contributed to STESA’s efforts to end sexual violence through her various roles at STESA including serving STESA’s 24-hour hotline as an advocate and volunteer. As a volunteer, Elida demonstrated to be responsible, reliable, and a team-player and she later joined STESA’s staff as a receptionist and hotline assistant.
Elida is a bilingual, Guatemalan-American and woman of color who emigrated to the US seeking to accomplish her career and educational goals. Elida understands the process of assimilation and acculturation, and has experience working with diverse populations. Elida strives to advance her career and become a professional and leader to make an impact in the underserved communities.
In 2020, Elida completed a certificate in Human Resources Management from the Professional and Continuing Education Extension program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Through this certificate, Elida attained knowledge regarding legal aspects of employment and best employment practices. Through the Leadership, Education and Advancement for Professionals (LEAP), Elida joins a group of inspiring women of color working together to enhance their leadership and management skills.
Raven is the Advocacy Coordinator with the Rape Crisis and Anti-Human Trafficking Division of Crime Victim Services. Raven is a Licensed Social Worker who holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Louisville as well as a Bachelor Degree in Social Work and a Bachelor in Criminal Justice from Wright State University. Raven is also a Registered Advocate in the State of Ohio. Raven is on the Executive Committee of the Northwest Ohio Rescue & Restore Coalition and the Chair of the Tri County Area Chapter of the Northwest Ohio Rescue & Restore Coalition. Raven has years of experience working in law enforcement, children’s services, juvenile probation and victim services. Raven’s passion is to raise awareness around social injustices and the inequalities of underprivileged populations in addition to violence affecting all populations.
Jizelle Rae Curameng
Jizelle (she/her/hers) was born and raised in the Bay Area, California. She graduated from California State University, East Bay in May 2020 with her B.S. in Health Sciences. At CSUEB, she was a peer health educator and found her passion in the movement against violence. She spread awareness of violence prevention through outreach events and presentations. She became certified as a Sexual Assault Counselor with Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR), and volunteered on the Crisis Hotline to advocate for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Jizelle has been the Rape Crisis Center Manager at Tri-Valley Haven in Livermore, California since July 2020. She coordinates the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) services supporting survivors at Santa Rita Jail, the Prevention projects providing education to youth and community members, the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) plan advocating for survivors in crisis at hospitals and police departments, and the Volunteer Training program. Her values drive her work toward equity, inclusivity, sustainability, and leadership. She embraces her fellowship with LEAP to create valuable connections, share her experiences, and learn from other inspiring women of color to intentionally contribute to the movement against violence.
For self-care, Jizelle loves to travel, read, exercise (swim, do yoga, weight lift, box), and spend time with her parakeet Jaycie. Feel free to contact her at email@example.com.
MaiBao Yang (she/her) is a dedicated advocate with 12+ years’ experience providing support for survivors of gender-based violence and mobilizing the community through a culturally responsive, trauma-informed, and survivor-centered framework. Her passion lies with advocating for the underserved and unserved communities. MaiBao is one of the co-founders of California Hmong Advocates Network (CHAN).
Formed in 2013, CHAN is dedicated to supporting Hmong advocates’ leadership in beloved community while forging bold vision and facilitating nuanced discussions on gender-based violence to shift the narrative around providing support. In 2019, CHAN partnered with Building Our Future, a community campaign to address abusive international marriages, to create California Hmong Advocates Network – Building Our Future for Peace Collaborative (CHAN-BOF), where MaiBao was a Program Specialist from 2019 to early 2021.
Under MaiBao’s co-management, CHAN-BOF grew to a network of 25+ actively committed Hmong advocates, leaders, and community members working to address and prevent gender-based violence in Hmong communities in Sacramento, Merced, and Fresno counties through cultural transformation work. CHAN-BOF envisions a Hmong community where the collective leadership of youth, women, and LGBTQIA folks builds strong families free from violence and thrives from generation to generation.
Today, MaiBao continues to volunteer with CHAN-BOF. In her free time, MaiBao enjoys reading fantasy adventure novels, hiking through California’s scenic places, and attempting to grow a small vegetable garden in her backyard. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Natchawi “Nat” Wadman
Natchawi or Nat Wadman, MSW is Community Program Director for Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF) based in Los Angeles, California. She was hired in 2019 and have been leading the overall strategy of community program, its implementation and monitoring, learning, and evaluating its outcomes and impact to build healthy and safe communities by addressing the root causes and consequences of family violence and violence against women in AAPI communities. She previously worked in international development sector for over a decade in different capacity and wide range of work in positive youth development and youth leadership, program development in education, livelihood, and health programs to enhance social accountability, social inclusion and build resilience in Asia Pacific and Africa. Nat also championed in education reform of life skill learning and development in Thai education system and restorative justice practices in Juvenile Justice system in Thailand. Nat is the first-generation Thai immigrant and a woman of color. Through her participation with LEAP Cohort 7, she is hoping to enhance skills in bringing collective voices, building allies, strengthening social capitals to challenge dominant paradigm that caused the imbalance of power.
Nat’s philosophy in an adaptive and inclusive leader is to strengthen the connection with the team members through nurturing, acceptance, and the empathetic connection. Inclusive leaders use the “power-with” in shared leadership to guide as an equal partner in delivering tasks, assignment, support and teach staff and team members; to encourage them to have power-within discover their own potentials, recognize their strengths and maximize their potential to lead and use the power-to achieve the agreed goals. She enjoys trying different kind of food, traveling and exploring the world, binge watching Korean and Chinese dramas, and would go for a game or two of tennis match.
Sarah Bariya Aduaka
Sarah was born (August 28) in Jen, Nigeria where she received an LLB Degree from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. She also received her license to practice law in Nigeria before relocating to Washington D.C.
Between 1996 and 2006, she worked as a contractor for various law firms and was a contractor with the Department of Justice for six years before taking ten years to raise her now 20-year-old spectacular daughter.
During her stay at home period, she continued working as a volunteer for the court system of the Eastern Pan Handle as a Court Appointed Special Advocate and it was at that time that she fell in love with and shifted her focus to advocacy.
She moved to California with her family in 2013 and continued working as a volunteer for various nonprofits before joining Tri-Valley Haven in 2015 where she worked as a case manager, legal advocate, crisis line coordinator and shelter manager. She is currently the interim Director of Domestic Violence Services.
Sarah is passionate about women and children advocacy, gender equality, the environment, climate change and racial equity/justice. Her extracurricular interests include travel, dancing and meeting new people. She is on her way to making big changes in the world!