Spring 2018 Fellows

Asha Coutrier is a Brooklyn born Political Science and International Studies double major at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a penchant for words and people. They hope to gain greater experience with interpreting deeply nuanced political issues into palatable summaries for the community. She also plans to create a cohesive organizing network within her home campus, and eventually, the greater University community.

Kyla Hartsfield  is from Raleigh, NC, but has made a home out of Durham, NC.






 Doha Medani is a senior at North Carolina State University, studying Nutrition Science and Middle Eastern Studies. Doha is also a student researcher who has focused her work on food and wellness policy implementation. She has a passion for nutrition, public health, wellness, poverty alleviation, civic engagement and creating brave intersectional spaces. She is a co-founder of Muslim Women For, a women-led social justice organization that fosters and nurtures vibrant societies that create positive social change and uplift their communities through service, advocacy, and spiritual growth. Through this fellowship, Doha is hoping to create new partnerships, be challenged, and expand her ideas of liberation and organizing.

Shacobie Mcpherson is a Freshman Criminal Justice student who plans to concentrate in Forensic Science at North Carolina A&T State University. She is from Charlotte NC and hopes to sharpen her communication and networking skills through Ignite NC workshops and training. With this fellowship she hopes to build a sense of community and bring about solutions to the problems facing the global community (gender equality, human rights, voter suppression, gerrymandering, higher education). She feels that by having a group of like-minded individuals who are striving for change can empower the rest who may feel weak or who are apathetic.

Rakaya Nasir-Phillips is a History Education student at North Carolina A&T originally from Baltimore, Maryland. Though this will be their first year officially organizing with communities; their desire for liberation transcends all binaries, borders, and boxes.

Adie Ramirez is a New Jersey native, raised in Monroe, NC and is currently living in Chapel Hill, NC. She is third year at UNC-Chapel Hill studying Biology and Global Studies with a minor in Latina/o Studies. Her aspirations in life are to become a medical physician and work with marginalized communities. With Ignite, she hopes to gain skills for organizing and expand efforts for sanctuary communities and the rights of immigrants.

Reva Kreeger is a student at Guilford College in Greensboro majoring in History with a minor in Community Studies. She spent her childhood in Oxford, Mississippi and her teenage years in Silver Spring, Maryland. She is very excited to be a part of Ignite NC and can’t wait to learn and grow within southern organizing. Reva is passionate about community, history, education and how they intersect and impact movement building.

 Terri Daniels is from Washington, D.C. and attends Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her hopes for organizing this semester is to become a better facilitator pertaining the intersections of gender, race, and class. She is also interested in understanding the oppression of differently-able folks.

Avery Walter is a current fourth year student at Appalachian State with a double major in Sociology and Psychology and a minor in Women’s Studies. They are from Cary, NC, but currently live in Durham. They hope to continue the momentum that past Ignite fellows have created in Boone and find new ways to mobilize the community.

   Kaleia Martin is a North Carolina transplant by way of Goose Creek, South Carolina. After graduating from UNC- Greensboro with her Bachelor of Social Work degree and UNC- Chapel Hill with her MSW, she moved back to Charlotte where she now works with a non-profit that aims to empower youth, in partnership with adults, to create community change. She lives to build relationships, read and engage in dialogue regarding anything racial equity and social justice. She hopes that this fellowship will provide her with a new community to engage with as well as equip her with the skills and knowledge needed in order to be an effective grassroots organizer.

Nifemi Ogunro is of Nigerian descent and immigrated to the United States when she was 4 years old. She has spent most of her life in Charlotte. She looks forward to organizing events in her community and raising the voices of marginalized individuals.




Sanjidah Ahmed is junior at Duke University majoring in Migration, Human Rights, and Citizenship. Sanjidah hopes to build a coalition to support the well-being, rights, safety, and self-determination of different immigrant communities. Sanjidah hopes to bring first, second, and third generation immigrants of various ethnic, racial, and class backgrounds as well as allies together to form a collective consciousness that envisions and works towards a society that protects, includes, respects, and uplifts immigrants and their families regardless of their citizenship status.

Insaaf Mohamed is a political science major at UNC-Chapel Hill from Fairfax, VA. She transferred from Northern Virginia Community College, and will be completing her degree in May. She hopes to learn more about facilitating teach-ins on campus and giving people the tools to be able to create change with accessible knowledge.

Nikolai Mather is a freshman at UNC Charlotte. His hometown is Pittsboro, North Carolina. This year, he plans to unite and ignite queer folks from all over the state through activism, service, and the power of groovy vibes.

Page Nevel is a local of Western North Carolina. They are a senior at UNC-Asheville studying Sociology with a concentration in racial justice. They are passionate about fighting white supremacy and gentrification in Asheville and building communal revolution. Page hopes to organize coalition-based, community-oriented, sustainable interventions for fighting injustice by working with Ignite NC this semester.



Portia Taylor is a native of Durham, NC. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she studied psychology, Africana studies, and women’s and gender studies. During her time at Action NC, Portia was an integral organizer of the Stand with Women and Families campaign. Portia aspires to acquire the tools to consistenly and thoughtfully extend her talents to the social, political, and economic movements of all oppressed North Carolinians, upon the completion of the Ignite NC Fellowship.

Nada Merghani is a junior at UNCC and growing as an activist, friend, and person through radical organizing.

Joe Wilkes is a senior marketing major at Appalachian State University from Mooresville, NC. His passion for politics is displayed through the work he does within his student organizations. Joe wants to utilize his abilities to help organize media campaigns, press releases, and other forms of communication that will attract the attention of those in our communities and encourage them to involve themselves in the world of politics.

Akelo Agingu is freshman at North Carolina Central University studying Political Science. She looks forward to raising awareness in higher education among underrepresented communities. Akelo hopes to become a civil rights lawyer one day.

Kendrick Cunningham hails from Charlotte, NC and is a senior political science major at Saint Augustine’s University. A passionate activist for human rights, Kendrick is an individual who understands holding societal leaders accountable for their actions. His mission is to lead initiatives that unify the human race along lines they have divided themselves among. Kendrick hopes to inspire high school and college students around the state to become engaged and active citizens through his involvement with Ignite NC.

Kaliah Corbett is from Raleigh, NC. She attends North Carolina A&T State University. Kaliah hopes to organize her community through civic and political engagement by providing educational resources to the community. Kaliah also plans to assist Black and Brown families by organizing community food pantries to combat the food injustice in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Carly Springs is a recent graduate from UNCG who is now working to bridge the student / community divide of this college town. Grounded in black feminism, Carly hopes to see change this semester in all of our well-being, and wants to get there the best way we know how- by caring for each other.

L.A. Davis-Durante is from Durham and a college senior at UNCG studying Psychology & Social Work. His goals for this semester are to the improve his skills as an organizer by taking on more of a leadership role (something he is not used to doing)

Nikolaus B. Knight is a Junior Political Science student at North Carolina A&T State University. He is from Sumter, SC but currently lives in Greensboro, NC. In his spare time Nikolaus enjoys reading, playing piano, singing and laughing. His hopes in organizing this semester is to build upon student solidarity across the 6 different campuses in Greensboro.

 Diego Vergara was born in Bogotá, Colombia, but has lived most of his life in NC. He graduated from UNCG in 2017, majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies, and Studio Fine Arts. Diego is interested in the role of art in organizing/ activism/education, and hopes to bring awareness and change to racialized and gendered surveillance on campus.

Zamiyah Benisrael was born and raised in Brooklyn New York. She now attends Johnson C Smith university in Charlotte NC, for the most part the transition has been great. Zamiyah hopes for organizing this semester is all about bringing forth awareness to the J.C.S.U brand.

Chanae Wilson