The HEAL Project Advisory Board is a diverse group of people who identify as survivors of CSA and or sexual assault/violence. They serve as an accountability mechanism, for overall support and help in community outreach.
Sheltreese McCoy is a native of Ohio and currently residing in Wisconsin. She is a student affairs professional and a doctoral candidate. She also is the founder of Change the Field, LLC a QTPOC strategic development firm. Sheltreese is a Black, fat, queer, disabled, cis gender, survivor social justice educator and QTPOC strategist. She believes that we are at our best when we are dreaming and working towards a liberated future.
Hari Ziyad is Black non-binary artist and writer whose work centers on creating through the arts alternative ways of living outside of systems of oppression. They received their BFA from New York University, where they concentrated on Film and Television and Psychology.
Their work is informed by their passion for storytelling and wrestling with identity as a Black, non-binary child of Muslim and Hindu parents. Hari deals primarily with identity, race, gender and sexuality, ally politics and the arts.
They are the Editor-in-Chief of RaceBaitR, and their work has been featured on Gawker, Out, Ebony, Mic, The Guardian, Colorlines, Paste Magazine, Black Girl Dangerous, Young Colored and Angry, The Feminist Wire and The Each Other Project. They are also an assistant editor for Vinyl Poetry & Prose and contributing writer for Everyday Feminism.
Elías Cosenza Krell is a musician, actor, researcher, and writer currently based in the Hudson Valley, New York. They joined the Women Studies Program at Vassar College as Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow in 2014. Krell received a Ph.D. in Performance Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Gender & Sexuality Studies from Northwestern University in 2014 under the direction of E. Patrick Johnson. Their current book project, Trans/forming Voices: Musical Activisms in the Americas, is an ethnography of the singing voice in the context of the performance practices and daily lives of independent musicians in Canada, the U.S., Venezuela, and Argentina who identify as transgender or travesti. Krell has published widely in scholarly and nonscholarly venues, is an active performer and composer, and is currently recording their fourth record of original music. More at www.eliaskrell.com.
Originally from Cleveland, OH, Vita E has obtained her bachelor’s degree in Percussion Performance from Baldwin Wallace University, and has been playing percussion for 12 years, as well as teaching percussion at multiple age groups, from Pre-K to University level.
She is the founder of TWOC Poetry, a brand/YouTube channel she created to increase proper media representation and knowledge for marginalized groups, focusing primarily on experiences as a trans woman of color. Her series, “Tea (T)ime,” touches on subjects from racism to respectability politics, and everything between and outside. Vita E’s talents have taken her across the country in a very short span of time, performing at Campus Pride in North Carolina, competing as a finalist in “Capturing Fire Queer Poetry Slam” in DC, and doing work with Black Lives Matter in the Midwest. She has recently formed a duo with J Mase III, known as #BlackTransMagick. When she is not performing, she spends a great deal of her time as the Social Media/Communications Coordinator for awQward Talent Agency, the first agency of its kind to specifically uplift the work of trans and queer artists of color.
“I’m Walter Castaneda, age 27, and I live in San Diego, California. I am an El Salvadorian-American, Latino, bisexual, and community organizer. I’ve worked on the Board of Directors of an HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness organization and am currently working on organizing a support group for gay, bisexual, and transgender male sexual violence survivors in my community. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and rape, it is extremely important to me that we protect the lives of innocent children, encourage survivors to thrive in their healing journey, and shift society’s narrative of sexual violence against men.”
Hyunhee is a queer survivor of child sexual abuse, family violence, and sexual assault. As a person with psychiatric disabilities and the child of working class, Korean immigrant parents in rural Pennsylvania, Hyunhee brings to this work her personal experiences of violence in the context of intersecting issues of race, class, immigration, gender, sexual identity, and disability.
Hyunhee is the Operations and Development Manager at Common Justice in Brooklyn, NY. Prior to joining Common Justice, she worked in philanthropy at the Just Beginnings Collaborative and the Ms. Foundation for Women, supporting grantmaking and capacity building initiatives in the area of child sexual abuse. She is also a member of the Young Women’s Advisory Council in New York City and sits on the Anti-Violence and Criminal Justice Working Group. Hyunhee received her B.A. in Philosophy and Russian Literature and Language from Barnard College, where she worked as a bartender, greenhouse assistant, and media archivist. She assists her mother from time to time with their family business running a flea market stand in Pennsylvania.
J’aime M. Grant is a lesbian writer/activist who has been active in LGBTQ, feminist and racial justice movements for more than 30 years. Jaime survived queer disownment, anti-lesbian workplace harassment and sexual assault as a young person coming out in the 70s. As part of the Heal Project, she is re-evaluating her story and building a community of healer activists.