Our Team & Volunteers

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Our Team & Volunteers

Founding Director of Reclaim UGLY, Vanessa Rochelle Lewis, smiling at the camera.
Image Description: Founding Director of Reclaim UGLY, Vanessa Rochelle Lewis – a fat, Black, brightly dressed woman in her thirties – smiling at the camera.

Vanessa Rochelle Lewis (MFA)

Vanessa Rochelle Lewis (MFA)

Founding Director,
Reclaim UGLY
PleasureNess Literary Academy

Born and raised in South Central and Adulting in Oakland, Vanessa Rochelle Lewis (MFA) is a Queer, Fat, Black, Femme performer, facilitator, educator, writer, activist, healer, joyful weirdo, and Faerie Princess Mermaid Gangsta for The Revolution. Vanessa has danced across many professional and creative stages….

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A photo of Amira Aro
Image description: A photo of Amira, a light skinned Black person with a curly side ponytail, big black cat eye glasses, black lipstick, and a black shirt with a white spider web design all over looks calmly at the camera.

Amira Aro (they/them)

Amira Aro (they/them) Amira Aro is a disabled, exogender Black person. Born and raised in Cherokee/Iroquois/Shawnee land (Louisville, KY) currently living on Lenape land (Philly). They’ve been a community organizer since 2017 to protect Black trans people however they can. From rallies and protests, securing housing, and curating reparations, finding any and all ways to…

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Black and white image of Saada with glasses on and blurred lines to the left
Image description: On the right, there is a black and white headshot of Saada with glasses on barely smiling. To the left of the image, there are several small, blurred horizontal lines in the middle of two thick brush strokes.

SaadaResists (they/them)

SaadaResists (they/them) Saada is a cultural worker, writer, youth development practitioner, and freedom dreamer who advocates for systemic changes, challenges injustices, and believes in the power of harnessing our radical imaginations to contribute to sustainable paradigm shifts.

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Axel on carousel horse
Image Description: a photo of Axel, a transgender, nonbinary brown person in their 30’s, with curly brown hair, grinning happily while riding a beautiful white carousel horse.

Axel Valles (they/them)

Axel Valles (they/them) Axel Valles is a transgender, nonbinary, mixed race activist, deviant, abolitionist, artist, carpenter, and childcare work pony.

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Caleb Luna

Caleb Luna Caleb Luna is a fat queer (of color) critical theorist, artist, and performance scholar. As a Ph.D. candidate in Performance Studies at UC Berkeley, their research focuses on performances of eating, and historicizing cultural representations of fat embodiment within the ongoing settler colonization of North America. As an activist political thinker, they are…

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Image description: Lauren (a white tomboy femme person) sits wide legged on a tree trunk that’s on the ground, smiling broadly straight on to the camera. There are trees and grass all around her and she wears a shirt that says “flexibility love & trust”.

Lauren Smith (She / They)

Lauren Smith (She / They) Ancestor led tomboy femme. Cat lady. Geek. Bookworm. Yogi. Card reader. Feminist. Witch. Singer. Leo sun. Aquarius moon. Libra rising. Virgo ruled. Learning, growing, trying to do good in the world. You can find me on Instagram @thejadedhippy.

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person smiling at the camera
Image description: a femme Chinese person wearing a brown dress and navy coat smiles at the camera. they have a red bandana in their short hair and a yellow sunflower pin on their coat.

Amanda Zhang (they/them)

Amanda Zhang (they/them)

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person smiling at the camera
Image description: Taylor, a white enby with short blond hair and grey glasses, smiles at the camera. They are wearing a rainbow button up shirt and there are flowers in the background.

Taylor Garrison (they/them)

Taylor Garrison (they/them) My name is Taylor Garrison, I use they/them pronouns and I am passionate about fat liberation and the power of pleasure! I’m a recent graduate of UCSC who’s excited to start building more connections in the Bay Area activism world. I’m a dancer, and my latest piece, Embodied, allowed me to explore & feel how gender…

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Arianna Zoraida Cruz-Sellu (she/her/hers)

Arianna Zoraida Cruz-Sellu (she/her/hers) Arianna is a Black femme orphan queerdo artist and activist from the West Coast. As a Sierra Leonean and Puerto Rican, Arianna is passionate about Black unity across diasporic identities. Additionally as a survivor of lifelong displacement due to gentrification she is incredibly focused on creation and reclamation of Black space. She has been…

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Image description: A head shot of Encian, a white person in their mid 30’s with short brown hair that is graying and slightly curly on top, and long stubble. They are gazing directly at the camera and smiling with their lips closed, and wearing a black band-neck button-up shirt with subtle embroidery on the chest, and a bright red cravat, in front of a bright and blurry living room window.

Encian Pastel (he and they)

Encian Pastel (he and they) Encian Pastel (he and they) is a white transgender preschool teacher and childcare activist who believes strongly in the magical powers of play, curiousity, and storytelling in personal and collective healing and growth. Encian is a transplant from the east coast and descendent of European settlers, and currently lives, loves…

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Yasmeen Ahmed Taranissi

Yasmeen Ahmed Taranissi Howdy! My name is Yasmeen Ahmed Taranissi, and I am a college student studying accounting and economics. I am passionate about social justice and liberation for all peoples. In the short term, my goal is to graduate despite getting into some good trouble. In the long run, my goal is to pave…

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Person stands with arms out in the wind in front of green field and sky
Image description: A white person with long hair looks towards the sun with a joyful smile on her face. Her arms are spread wide, and her clothes and hair are blowing in the wind. She is wearing a red tank top, a light blue jeans jacket, a black choker, and sunglasses on top of her head. She is standing in front of a green field with a bare tree in the foreground and blue sky in the background.

Anna Flurry (she/her) πŸ§œπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸŒ€πŸŒˆβœ¨

Anna Flurry (she/her) πŸ§œπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸŒ€πŸŒˆβœ¨ Anna Flurry is an educator, organizer, and immigrant rights advocate living on occupied Ohlone land, also known as Oakland, CA. She is a student of joy and healing, and is learning to let the deep knowledges of the body and the earth lead her in this journey to grow a better…

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A black and white photo of Colleen Weaver.
Image description: A photo of Colleen, a white femme in their 30’s, looking off into the distance with a smirk, they have short, wavy, platinum hair, big wire-frame glasses, they are wearing a hand-crocheted scarf, holding the scarf with tattooed fingers. On the wall in the background is a crocheted tapestry of a woman’s face with a third eye. The photo is in black and white and is very high-contrast.

Colleen Weaver aka MoonPumpkin (She/They)

Colleen Weaver aka MoonPumpkin (She/They) Colleen Weaver aka MoonPumpkin (She/They) is a radical, queer, punk, healer and activist. They currently live on Canarsie land, also known as Brooklyn, NY. They create divination tools to encourage others to correspond to the nature of their own songs, to celebrate individuality, self love/advocacy and to share love with…

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Emily smiling
Image description: Emily smiles in front of a sunny background and wears a black, off-the-shoulder romper. She has long, brown hair and is wearing copper eyeshadow.

Emily Ultan (She/Her/Hers)

Emily Ultan (She/Her/Hers) Emily Ultan (She/Her/Hers) is a theatre artist and administrator currently based in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. She is on a journey of eating disorder recovery and is passionate about the elimination of diet culture and unlearning the unrealistic expectations put on bodies today. In her spare time, you can find Emily doing crossword puzzles,…

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A Black person with a beard and a pink head-wrap sitting in front of an outer space background, with a serious expression.
Image Description: A Black person sitting in front of an outer space background, looking forward with a serious expression. They have a beard and are wearing a black shirt, a pink wrap on their head, dangly earrings, a nose ring, and their fingernails are painted deep red.

MATEO

MATEO MATEO, is a dancer, choreographer, and Burlesque performer. MATEO performs monthly in QTPOC spaces in Oakland and San Francisco. Their work serves body positivity to community building and discovery. Trusting in their process, MatΓ©o is allowing themselves to be guided to where their energies belong, excited to bring bountiful heart and spirit to their…

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A picture of Francesca standing next to a deer.
Image description: A photo of Francesca, a white femme in her mid 20’s, taken in a park with lots of trees. She has short dark brown hair and is wearing a mustard yellow beanie, a dark green sweater, high waist wide leg jeans, white and orange stripped socks, and red mary janes. She smiling and looking down at a deer that is standing next to her. Her arm is raised as if she is about to pet the deer. The photo has visible film grain.

Francesca Enzler (Frankie) (she/her)

Francesca Enzler (Frankie) (she/her) Francesca Enzler is an artist living on Yokut land, also known as the Central Valley of California. She is fascinated by language, spirituality, animation, interbeing, and magic. Often she can be found gardening, sewing, playing music, drawing, writing, or pondering.

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photo of a Chinese-American in her 20's, smiling, in an office setting
Image description: a photo of a Chinese-American in her 20’s, smiling, with long black hair that goes behind their shoulders, wearing a dark blue crew neck with a dark gray hoodie, in an office setting

Lauren Chinn (Lali) (any pronouns)

Lauren Chinn (Lali) (any pronouns) Lauren Chinn, also known as Lali, is an expert hat wearer. She has worn the Sports Fanatic Baseball Cap. The Piano and Math Teacher Beanie. The Devout Christian Top Hat. The Web and Mobile App Developer SnapBack. And she’s currently sporting the Social Justice Liberation Fedora. At Reclaim UGLY, she’s…

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Donate today to support Black Healers, Black Healing,
and our collective liberation! Every $10 gets you a raffle ticket!

Donate with PayPal