Culture Changes Us 2016 Cohort

The Nathan Cummings Foundation

 

Culture Changes Us 2016 Cohort

 
 
ANURAG GUPTA
Founder and CEO, Be More America
 
Anurag Gupta is the co-founder & CEO of Be More America and a Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellow. Anurag is leading the movement to create a world where external appearance does not determine opportunities afforded to people. His work has been profiled in the Huffington Post, the International Institute of Education, #BKLive, and at numerous venues such as Cavendish Global, ACGME, and The Middle Project. Anurag has a JD from NYU School of Law, a master’s from Cambridge, and a bachelor’s in International Relations and Islamic Studies from NYU. Trilingual, Anurag enjoys hiking and teaching mindfulness meditation and yoga. 
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CRISTINA JIMÉNEZ
Founder and Managing Director, United We Dream
 
Cristina Jiménez is co-founder and Director of United We Dream (UWD), the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country. Originally from Ecuador, Cristina came to the U.S. with her family at the age of 13, attending high school and college as an undocumented student. She was part of UWD’s campaign team that led to the historic victory of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012 that protects over one million young immigrants from deportation and the recent administrative program (DAPA) that would protect up to 5 million people from deportation.
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TAMAR KRAFT-STOLAR
Co-Founder and Co-Director, Women and Justice Project
 
Tamar Kraft-Stolar is Co-Director of the Women and Justice Project, an independent project dedicated to ending mass criminalization and mass incarceration of women in the United States.  For 15 years prior to this, Tamar worked at the Correctional Association of New York, directing its Women in Prison Project for 12 years and leading a number of successful campaigns, including for New York State laws banning the barbaric practice of shackling of incarcerated pregnant women and protecting the parental rights of incarcerated mothers and fathers.  She is author of Reproductive Injustice: the State of Reproductive Health Care for Women in New York State Prisons and is honored to be part of the 2011 pilot cohort of the NoVo Foundation’s Move to End Violence initiative.
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NICOLE RODGERS
Founder and Co-Director, Family Story
 
Nicole Sussner Rodgers is the founder and co-director of Family Story, a new communications, research and storytelling organization that is changing the narrative about "good" families by embracing the dignity and value of a wider range of family arrangements and models. Rodgers also founded the culture and gender-roles focused website RoleReboot.org and is a former Vice President at Fenton, a public interest communications firm. Her work has been published at Salon, Alternet, American Prospect, Huffington Post and on the opinion pages of the Washington Post.
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UMI SELAH
Co-Founder and Mission Director, Dream Defenders
 
umi selah (formerly Phillip Agnew) found his voice as a community activist while a student at FAMU, where he served as student body president from 2006-2007. In 2005, he helped to organize students from FAMU, Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College in the creation of the Student Coalition for Justice, which was formed in response to the Martin Lee Anderson case. In 2012, he co-founded the Dream Defenders, an organization committed to shifting the culture through transformational organizing. Celebrated for helping to bring such tragedies as the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases to the public’s attention, the organization is dedicated to building a community of love and reconciliation and training and organizing young people in nonviolent civil disobedience, transformative organizing, and direct action. At only 29, Selah has been dubbed “one of this generation’s leading voices” and recognized by both EBONY magazine and The Root as one of the 100 most influential African Americans in the nation.
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SAKET SONI
 
Saket Soni has crafted and led acclaimed campaigns on critical workers rights and immigrant rights issues that have won far-reaching organizing and policy victories and earned nationwide publicity. Most recently, Saket is the convener and co‐chair of the Future of Work Initiative, an experiment in social policy, grassroots advocacy, and public narrative to find solutions to the new American working majority: contingent workers who are experiencing the changing nature of work.
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FARAH TANIS
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Black Women's Blueprint
 
Farah Tanis is a human rights activist and co-founder, Executive Director of Black Women’s Blueprint working nationally and in NYC at the grassroots to address the spectrum of sexual violence against women, girls and gender-fluid people of African descent.  Her anti-violence work also focuses on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Tanis chairs the first Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the U.S. ever to focus on Black women and their historical and contemporary experiences with sexual violence.  She is founder of the Museum of Women's Resistance, is a NoVo Foundation - Move to End Violence Program/Cohort 3 Movement Maker, and a member of the U.S. Human Rights Task Force on the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
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KABZUAG VAJ
Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, Freedom Inc.
 
Kabzuag Vaj was born in Laos and came to this country as a refugee child with her mother and siblings. She has been working to end violence against women and girls since she was 16 years old. Freedom Inc. engages low- to no-income communities of color in Dane County, WI, to end violence against women and youth and to promote healthier living. They organize around the root causes of violence, creating new definitions and solutions, and empowering all community members as agents of change. Their vision for ending violence is to inspire and empower women and youths through leadership development and community organizing in ways that are language-, gender- and culture-specific to women and youth, in predominantly Hmong, Cambodian, Black and queer families and that bring about deep social, political, cultural, and economic change.
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