Spring 2016 IGNITE NC FELLOWS
Desmera Gatewood (Eastern Field) – has deep roots in grassroots and community organizing in Durham NC. She is a graduate of North Carolina Central University. While in school she was the Executive Director of Political Affairs for the Student Government Association and treasurer of the NAACP chapter on campus. During this time she implemented voter registration drives and chaired a political action committee. She was a legislative aid in the NC General Assembly for Senator Doug Berger and a Congressional Aid for David Price (US House of Representatives) in Washington D.C.
Kim Hoang (Triangle Field) – is a senior at UNC Chapel Hill majoring in psychology and women’s & gender studies. She was previously an IgniteNC fellow fall 2014 and has also organized with Democracy NC. She helps lead interpersonal violence prevention trainings, and is part of RadAsians. She is interested in the intersections of mental health and social justice. In her free time, she enjoys visiting the mountains, cooking, and making art.
Femi Shittu (Triad Field) – is a student organizer at UNCG who seeks liberation. She is majoring in Psychology and African-American and African Diaspora Studies and works with numerous social justice organizations in Central North Carolina. As an artist she advocates for the power of the arts in the revolution.
Tamika Lewis (Charlotte Field) is a local organizer in Charlotte, NC whose primary focus is advancing QPOC (Queer People of Color) and marginalized communities through education and social reform. Currently she is working on implement restorative justice practices within Charlotte Mecklenburg School district and developing an ant-gentrification plan for the West Charlotte Corridor with The Tribe.
Rachel Clay (Western Field) – is from Raleigh, North Carolina and is currently a senior at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. She is double majoring in Political Science and Women’s Studies and double minoring in Girls’ Studies and LGBT Studies. Rachel is a leader with Appalachian Social Justice Educators and the App State Chapter of NC Student Power.
Holden Cession (Communication) is a magical Southern queer black-indigenous transbeing, time traveler, and trouble maker. They are passionate about black liberation and the liberation of all oppressed peoples. They enjoy making art, music, and merriment.
Campus and Community Fellows:
Mary Lyons is studying Art-Education and Nonprofit Management at Appalachian State University. She is a leader in her local NAACP, Student Government, and Appalachian Social Justic Educators. Within her predominantly white campus and community she strives to raise the voice and the power of the marginalized.
Victor Moore – is a senior graphic design student at Appalachian State University. He is passionate about shedding light on the black experience and the fight for black liberation through his art. Once he graduates, and continue the fight for liberation in the big city. Victor is 22 years old.
Anne Dugger – is from Asheville, NC and is currently a senior at Appalachian State University. She is an Interdisciplinary Studies Major concentrating in Social Sustainability and is a double minor in Studio Art and Africana Studies. She is most passionate about empowering the youth through creative modes of expression and highly values the importance of education and its accessibility to all people regardless of their identity or background.
Juliet Flam-Ross – is from Carrboro, North Carolina and is currently studying political science and sociology at UNC-Asheville. At school, Juliet is the president of TEDxUNCAsheville and also attends meetings for Students United for Reproductive Justice, and Speak Up. Juliet is passionate about working to solve injustices in her community such as police brutality, hunger, and reproductive issues. In her free time, Juliet enjoys watching TED talks, cooking healthy meals, and shopping at thrift stores.
Ashley Williams -is a queer black organizer and artist working in Charlotte, NC. They attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to study dance and philosophy in 2011. Ashley is currently a Master’s Candidate in a program for Ethics and Applied Philosophy at UNCC. They have been an active participant around Black Lives Matter, Black-Palestinian Solidarity, and ending police violence in Charlotte. Ashley’s interests include intersectionality, women’s gender and sexuality studies, and black liberation.
Christian Pridgen – is a senior at UNC Charlotte perusing a degree in sociology with minors in philosophy and urban youth and communities. She aspires to go to law school and become a family juvenile lawyer for the bases of developing a non-profit aiding juvenile in not being victims or dependents of society. She is from Kinston, NC.
Jose Mujica – is a Ecuadorian native who immigrated to the US at 4 years old. He lived in NJ shortly before his parent’s jobs were moved to NC. His lifelong interest in politics, history and economics led to a passion for labor/workers rights, immigrant rights and racial/social justice. “Once I decided to stop merely reading and thinking about these issues and began fighting for them, I feel like I’ve found my life’s calling.”
Jasmine Wright – Jasmine is a recent graduate of Johnson C Smith University. While in school, Jasmine was a leader in several campus organizations. She has interned with Democracy NC. As an organizer, and activist who is originally a native of Rock Hill, SC she now calls Charlotte home.
Che Curtis – is a native of New Jersey that is passionate about Politics, Education, and Social Justice. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she traveled throughout the US, leading and organizing the political campaigns of some of the nation’s most progressive leaders. She now resides in Charlotte and seeks opportunities to create an socially equal, possibility-driven community for future generations.
Brandy Hamilton – lives in Charlotte where she works as an organizer with The Tribe-Charlotte and an Early Childhood teacher. Brandy is the mother of two canine kids, Honey & Fluff. Her hobbies are working in her garden, hiking and singing.
Amanda Tucker – is a 23 year old college student at Salem College. She studies Political Science with a focus in International Relations. She will also graduate this May and is extremely excited to start working with everyone at Ignite NC!
Nhawndie Smith – is a Political Science student at North Carolina A&T State University. In order to form a more peaceful, equitable world they continuously work to ensure that groups they are involved with, such as Campus Pride and Major Motives. Their blackness and queerness kindle their dedication and love towards the movement, it is necessary for their liberation.
Keyanna Morrow – is a Junior and majoring in Mass communication at North Carolina A&T. She is social media savvy and hair coloring maniac. She is super excited to use her creative skills for a bigger purpose!
Vashti Hinton – is a junior Political Science student at North Carolina A&T State University. Originally born in Baltimore, MD, she now resides in Greensboro, NC with her family. She is the first vice-president of the YCD NC NAACP, as well as an intern for Ignite NC. While being very active on her campus, she holds a position as the Political Action chair for the Black History Club at her school. With all these positive involvements, she has made the conscious decision to devote her time and life to the movement and her family.
Lucia Sedda – was born in Panama and now lives in Greensboro, NC. She’s a freshman at UNCG studying Political Science and Women and Gender studies. She’s a campus organizer that is passionate about liberating all oppressed people.
Jonathan Green (They, Them, And Theirs) is a communication major at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Jonathan is devoted to campus peer education, outreach, and advocacy regarding issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, and social justice, and liberation for all people of color. Jonathan is a public speaker who has advocated for issues such as LGBT homelessness drawing on both involvement and personal experience. Jonathan is currently the President of The Queer Student Union, an organization devoted to creating a more safe, inclusive campus at UNCG while being committed to dismantling all forms of oppression.
Azuree Bateman – is a college student from Philadelphia, PA. She currently attends Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC, where her major is Journalism and Media Studies. She has previously served as class publicist her freshman year. Now serves in the capacity of Social Justice reporter for Belle; the campus wide magazine.
Alyzza May – is a common pedestrian, of and by the streets walked, the buses ridden, and the people met. Alyzza works with the Greensboro Mural Project to reclaim the commons one mural at a time, trying to help tell the many stories of Greensboro. Alyzza is committed to our collective liberation and the decolonization of Turtle Island and is actively involved with Black Lives Matter Gate City.
Najha Zigbi-Johnson, is from Harlem, NY and is currently a junior at Guilford College, where she is majoring in Religious Studies and minoring in Community, Justice and Policy Studies. For the past year, Najha has volunteered at the Beloved Community Center, where she has been involved in voter registration work and the planning of various #Blacklivesmatter marches in Greensboro, NC. In an effort to better understand the intersections of oppressive issues, Najha strives to partake in spaces of radical love and change, where the status quo is questioned and black and brown lives are affirmed and uplifted.
James Welch – is a community organizer from Greensboro, N.C. He is the operational manager for Melanin, LLC and chief editor for strartup Realtalk Magazine. Currently, he is in school for Computer Technology Integration at Guilford Tech Community College and cutting hair at Cutters Barbershop. He is very ambitious and loves serving community how ever that may look like.
Tyler Wallington – Tyler is an organizer and native of Greensboro NC. Tyler is passionate about social justice and building a movement for all people.
Farah Raymond – is from Charlotte, NC and is currently obtaining a Master’s degree in Public Administration. She has a passion to serve the African American community and finding ways to empower and build the community. She enjoys watching documentaries,practicing yoga and art. Farah is an advocate for education because it is the most powerful weapon anyone can have.
Amanda Holmes – is a junior Political Science major at North Carolina Central University. She is involved in many organizations both on campus and in the community. She is a Judicial Board member for NCCU’s Students’ Rights and Responsibilities, a Resident Assistant for McLean Residence Hall, an Opinions columnist for NCCU’s Campus Echo newspaper, and has interned for many organizations including the NC General Assembly and the North Carolina Community Development Initiative.
Ajamu Dilahunt – is a Freshman at North Carolina Central University double majoring in POlitical Science and istory. He is a student organizer with Ignite NC, and previously worked with NC H.E.A.T and Legal Aid of NC. Ajamu along with Dignity in Schools met with White House officials to discuss educaiton excellence for African Americans. He is also a member of Black workers for Justice.
Taela Dudley – Is a junior at Duke University and has been involved in advocacy work and civil service since her first-year at Duke. On campus, she is a member of the a Capella group Deja Blue, as well as an intern at the Duke Student Wellness Center.
June Beshea – attends UNC-Chapel Hill where they are a lead organizer with The Real Silent Sam Coalition. They believe in community building and nurturing as a vital form of protest and organizing. They have organized vigils and marches to bring the Chapel Hill community together. Most days they can be found under a tree writing poetry.
Ebony Ford – Ebony Ford is a senior psychology major and artist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has a passion for social justice and black liberation.
Yuman Wang – is a recent grad of UNC Chapel Hill. She’s been active in RadAsians, a group that actively politicizes the Asian identity. In her spare time, she likes to spice up her cooking, read rad books and make art.
Zakyree Wallace – is from Raeford, North Carolina and is currently a senior at UNC Chapel Hill. She’s interested in radical black love, community healing, and liberation on all fronts. After graduation, she plans to leave Chapel Hill and move to wherever racism doesn’t live.
Jasmine Cannon – is a New Jersey native and is a senior at NC State University, majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies, minoring in Anthropology. During her tenure at NC State, she has served on various executive boards for student organizations, as a peer mentor for Raleigh opportunity youth and new first year students, as a counselor for the Symposium for Multicultural Scholars, and held several other employed and volunteer positions to make her campus a more inclusive place for all. Post-graduation, she plans to pursue a career in Public Health with a focus on standardized public-school health education advocacy and access to holistic healthcare in marginalized communities.
Taliesha Homes – is a a student at Shaw University. She is from Fayetteville, NC. She is in numerous organizations, such as , National Council of Negro Women, Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee, Honors College, and My Black is Beautiful.
Ajanae Willis – is a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Growing up in American Society with traditional African beliefs, Ajanae naturally opposed what was seen as “traditional American values” due to obvious suppression and loopholes within society. Ajanae currently attends Elizabeth City State University and is majoring in History (Concentrating in Black Studies) with a minor in secondary education. She has committed her life to infusing education with truth about America and their impacts on it’s citizen’s and the world.
Anthony Dyer – was born and raised in Jacksonville, NC. After moving to Greenville to attend East Carolina University, Anthony became increasingly interested in activism; and began attending demonstrations. As a senior, Anthony is now seeking ways to make activism a permanent part of his life and career.
Elisabete Golden – is a Portuguese-born Senior at ECSU. She is majoring in Aviation Science, with a minor in Public Administration. She is a Presidential Member of Sigma Alpha Pi, President of the Northeastern NC Chapter of Women in Aviation, Intl., the ECSU Campus Liaison for UNC ASG, and an active volunteer in her community. Elise believes in empowering women, ending sexual violence, and assisting those who have been oppressed by society.