Fall 2018 Fellows


Damien (Sway) Bell, (he, him, his)from the DMV metro area. He attends North Carolina A&T state university in Greensboro, NC. He hopes to learn more organizing tips and tricks this semester to help in future endeavors.




 Sope Kahn (they,them,their) is a student at Appalachian State studying gender studies and art education. They are very excited to be working with Ignite this semester! They hope to work with local youth and help out with election safety in the upcoming election. They love art, reading, and their cat Luca.




Jazlyn Barrett (she, her, hers) is a native of Greenville, NC. She is a senior Mass Communications major, minoring in English at Fayetteville State University. She strives to make a positive change in her community and encourage more of the younger population to get involved in the world around them. Through this fellowship, she hopes to learn and gain skills and understanding about social justice and the issues surrounding all communities on the daily.



Liliana Martínez (she, her, hers) grew up in the small towns of Harmony and Sparta, North Carolina. She is attending Appalachian State University for Elementary Education with a concentration in Mathematics, Science, and Technology. She is excited to learn more about organizing and to help out in the upcoming election.


Korbin Cummings (she, her, hers) is a sophomore at Appalachian State University. She is from Charlotte, NC. She is also currently double majoring in Political Science and Economics. As the President of Appalachian Social Justice Educators, Korbin hopes to find more effective ways to use her voice to advocate for the rights and liberation of all students.




Ivy White (she, her, hers) is a current junior at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She is studying Economics and Spanish. Her hopes for the upcoming semester is to get more acquainted with social justice focusing on the environment and women rights.





Mattie Schaefer (she, her/they, them) is the third year at Guilford College, pursuing a degree in Community & Justice Studies. She is from Atlanta, GA, but is learning to call Greensboro, NC home. She has a deep love for the particular flavor of southern radical organizing and is proud to be joining the ranks of students and young people who have made beautiful trouble with Ignite NC.



 Marissa Mitchell (she, her, hers) is from Greensboro, North Carolina. She is currently a Junior at East Carolina University where she is studying psychology and criminal justice. She has hopes of shaping a better NC through organizing events whose purposes are to spread awareness of many of the major issues currently hindering our state.



Brittany Van Pelt (she, her, hers) is a senior journalism student at NC A&T. She is originally from Charlotte, NC. She is very passionate about social justice work and her talents with social media to achieve and uplift the various communities she is in.



Brittany Mann (she, her, hers) is a second-year transfer student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and she hails from Charlotte, NC. Due to school, Brittany primarily resides in Greensboro where she enjoys supporting the arts and exploring her majors (English and media studies). Her hopes for organizing this semester are influencing the youth in a positive way, reincorporating the elders back into a digitally-driven society, and creating new spaces for sanctuary.

Niya Hwakins (she, her, hers): Hi! I am from PG County, MD I go to NCAT and I live in Greensboro currently. I hope to gain a better understanding of all people so we can find ways for a better future. I also hope to meet new people and increase my network! I really believe that we can make a change and I’m excited to see it with my own eyes.




Elle Green (they, them, theirs) is a student at Appalachian State University, perusing a BFA in Studio Art. Part of their practice in art is centered around community engagement and intentional conversation. They are excited to continue working in the intersection of art and community making.




Carly Springs (she, her, hers) is a recent grad and student organizer from UNC Greensboro. She is currently living in the Glenwood neighborhood adjacent to UNCG and hopes to spend the semester building in the community against gentrification. She is looking forward to base building, having conversations, and trusting in/gaining trust from her community!

David Okoth (he, him, his) is from Raleigh and attends A&T State University. He likes spending time with his family when he can and likes kayaking. He hopes that he gets to expand his network and meet lots of new lifelong friends.




Destiny Blackwell (she, her, hers) is a 2018 graduate of Winston Salem State University where she studied Political Science and minored in Economics. She is a member of the student activism group Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM). Her passion is the freedom and empowerment of black folk and the creation of a just world of freedom and empowerment for all people. “You don’t get all you fight for, but you have to fight for all you get” Destiny is committed to the liberation struggle and building and growing with others in the fight,

Tunde Peters (they, them, their) is Texas-born north Carolinian who attends UNC Greensboro. During this semester they hope to organize around immigration gender and race and create work that allows accessible learning of information surrounding their intersections.

Jasmine Goodson (she, her, hers) Originally from San Diego, she moved to Greenville, North Carolina to start her college career at East Carolina University. She hopes to stress the importance of mental health to students, specifically to queer POC. She also wants to organize around bringing better mental health services to ECU’s campus and the surrounding community.


Haya Mujali (sher,her,hers) is a junior at Guilford College, majoring in Sociology/ Anthropology with a minor in religious studies. She is a strong advocate for creating safer spaces and expanding sanctuary in the community. Haya was raised in Palestine but currently resides in High Point, NC. This semester, she hopes to achieve her goal on actually making change happen.


Bailey Hanagan (he/him/his) is a junior at Appalachian State University studying social work and sociology. His ambition is to educate others and advocate for fundamental human rights. He is happy to be involved with Ignite NC and work with other young activists.



Alicia Turner (sher/her/hers) is originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is currently a junior at UNC Asheville studying Spanish (Teacher Licensure). Throughout this semester she hopes to spark an interest and create change within her community by cultivating mutual respect and understanding between all people.



Liam Waller (he/they) is a Social Work student at Appalachian State University. He is passionate about intersectional activism, trans liberation, gender justice, deconstructing white supremacy, and empowering marginalized leaders. He is excited to learn new organizing skills and to build a network of activists here in North Carolina.


Christina Jones 

Jessie Rios-Benitez (she,her,hers) is a current sophomore at Appalachian State University and is from Greensboro, North Carolina. She is a international criminal justice and political science major. She hopes to help make the voices of NC youth heard and make changes needed for a brighter future for future generations.


Cidney Michale Holliday (they,them,their) is a North Carolina transplant by way of the Midwest. They attended Davidson College and received a B.A. in Africana Studies. They are currently a candidate for a Master’s of Law in Health Law and Public Policy at Wake Forest University School of Law, with wishes to use their classroom knowledge in needed organizing spaces. Their hopes for the term are to establish deeper connections through the community in their area and creating physical spaces for Blk trans & GNC/NB voices to be heard.

Kayla Taylor (she,her,hers) is from Raleigh, NC and currently attends the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She is a senior and is currently majoring in Political Science and International Studies and minoring in Africana Studies and History. Speaking truth to power is what moves her to do the work she undertakes every day.



Jay Edwards (he/him/his) is a third year from Appalachian State University. He is double-majoring in Political Science and Sociology with a minor in Leadership Studies and Communications. Jay wishes to provide resources to marginalized students in the hopes of giving them better access to higher education.


Camille Herring (she,her,hers) is a graduate student at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. This semester she is looking forward to empowering people to the polls in the upcoming election. She also is ready to learn from and collaborate with other organizers to keep engaging with the movement for black lives.



Tyokia Harrison (she,her,hers) is a passionate Africana Studies major at Winston-Salem State University. Raised in Capitol Heights, Maryland she grew to understand that violence and trauma plague the self-determination and mental health of Black communities greatly. She understands that there is a disparity in historical, political and cultural education among Black communities and hopes that her organizing and activism will bridge that disparity. She hopes to evolve in her organizing skills to create spaces of education, healing, liberation. She is the director of a mental health initiative called “The SMiLE Campaign”, she has a radical love for Womanism, the Black Radical Tradition, Black mental health awareness and liberation for all Afro-descended peoples.

This is Nora Khalifa (she,her,hers) and she is from Greensboro, NC. She is currently attending North Carolina State University. She hopes to gain awareness and organize a campus event about higher education.





 Ashley Buffa (she, her, hers) is from Greensboro, North Carolina. She is a student at UNCG, studying Vocal Performance and Arts Administration. Through Ignite, she hopes to have a positive impact in this coming election cycle and beyond, helping to educate and get people involved.




Shelby Holloman (she, her, hers) resides in Fayetteville, NC attending Fayetteville State University with a major in Political Science and minor in English. Her main objective is to use the in-depth training in organizing skills to better execute her passion for reviving political involvement on the college campus. Shelby aspires to rid the notion of having no voice or power in the political process and helping people to actualize the change they wish to see. She is passionate about increasing millennial voter turnout, equal educational opportunities, advocacy for marginalized peoples, and sustainability efforts.

Keondre Williams (he, him, his) is a 20-year-old from Fayetteville North Carolina who graduated with a bachelors in Communications. He is an ambitiously vigorous leaner who loves researching, reading & writing. Figure out a way to implement an event for high schoolers to attend college for a day experiencing the benefits of continuing education. Also, I want to build awareness of the importance of midterms elections on a college campus.