WOCN, Inc. is nationally regarded as a women of color-led initiative because:
- WOCN leadership, staff, and WOCN Advisors are made up exclusively of women of color.
- WOCN programming and issue areas are generated and inspired directly from its women of color constituency as a part of continuous dialogues, surveys, and programming conducted around the country.
WOCN, Inc. Staff:
WOCN, Inc. is currently comprised of seven dedicated staff members and several nationally recognized women of color consultants.
Aleese has over 15 years of leadership experience in family violence advocacy, 20-years of experience in Pastoral leadership and Women’s Spiritual Direction. Aleese’s specialization has been in equipping communities and advocates with the tools and knowledge they need to address the religious and cultural issues related to violence against women and child and youth exposure to domestic and sexual violence. Aleese has been published in many faith-based publications and is the Editor of, You Are Not Alone, Book of Prayers & Meditations for Women, Editor, 2007 AVA Publication of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC). As the WOCN System Training Program Director, Aleese oversees the consultation, coaching, training and program development to increase the capacity and effectiveness of federally funded state and local programs working with marginalized communities. She directs the development and implementation of systems training provided to STOP Administrators, FVPSA Administrators, and other systems. In addition to systems programming, Aleese participates on the Program Team and provides input and participates in other WOCN, Inc. programs, including the Economic Policy and Leadership Program and the National Call to Action Program. As one of the Program Directors, she also participates in the overall capacity building of WOCN by identifying and building new program strategies, identifying partnership, contractual and grant opportunities, and assisting with grant writing. Dr. Aleese is located in the Southern Region.
Lina is a social and human rights activist with over 20 years working to end violence against all women and girls. In her role as Senior Director of Programs she is responsible for the development and implementation WOCN. Inc.’s programs as well as the oversight of all support staff and consultants. She describes herself as a community organizer and builder. She has expertise in developing new programs, maintaining core services and creating organizational multicultural alliances. Lina has a diverse and rich background in victim/survivor advocacy, health care, leadership development, succession planning and executive transitions. As a mentor for women of color she provided leadership and assistance to Advocates of Color. Under her leadership, Advocates of Color established the Wisconsin Women of Color Leadership Network to create opportunities for co-mentoring, support, training and leadership development. Lina received the Living Legend Award for community organizing and her work against racism. She also received the Voices of Courage Award for her advocacy and leadership with clergy sexual assault survivors. Most recently she received the Unsung Heroes award for her commitment, service and leadership in the Latino community in Wisconsin. She is the proud mother of 8 beautiful children. Lina was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and is located in the Midwest Region.
Rebecca has dedicated seventeen years of service to the anti-violence movement in various capacities. She has been published in various national human rights and social justice publications for her work in Tribal Nations. Her responsibilities include providing advanced outreach and executing anti-oppression initiatives within communities of color, coordinating the development of WOCN publications and WOCN information technology, and helping to steer and support membership activities. Rebecca specializes in Technical Assistance addressing issues within Tribal and Sovereign Nations related to domestic and sexual violence and implements national organizing around young women of color and leadership. Rebecca is located in the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Sumayya is a steadfast peaceful warrior from the South has served for 20 plus years in various capacities as an advocate for all women, children, families and communities to heal from domestic violence. Her leadership has helped to develop strong and diverse mentorship and broad outreach in many communities nationally. Her approaches with national and statewide coalitions, community and faith-based organizations as well as local programs on cultural competency, racism and oppressions has been to make pathways for women of color leadership. Her vast experiences and lessons learned from consulting opportunities, years of outreach, national and grassroots organizing, and now through social media, inspire her powerful mission to end violence against women. She is a writer and talk-show host, has a strong interest in creative fund development for organizing and educating communities of color . She has a Bachelor degree in Administration and Management, has taken courses in non-profit, project management, and social work. She is a fellow of the Maryland Nonprofit Association Advocacy Leadership Program. Sumayya is located in the DC/Capital Region.
Zoë’s career began in Atlanta, Georgia where she served as the Public Awareness/Training and Membership Coordinator for the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. After years of service, she accepted the role of Prevention Education Coordinator at the California Partnership To End Domestic Violence before moving on to serve as Director of Training and Technical Assistance at The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Director of Prevention at the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She has appeared on National Public Radio, works nationally and has spoken internationally on the issue of domestic violence. Additionally, she is a holistic healer that provides self-care retreats to advocates and is a teaching artist, poet and playwright. Her poetry can be found in anthologies such as; Stand Our Ground; Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander, Dear Sister, Letters From Survivors of Sexual Assault, several online journals and is the author of Dirty Laundry: Women of Color Speak up about Dating & Domestic Violence. Along with creativity and her dedication to wellness, Zoë brings 13 years of advocacy, project management, primary prevention and anti-oppression expertise, training development and facilitation to her role as Program Manager. Zoë manages WOCN’s programs, social media presence, trainings, and provides support for WOCN constituents and community partners. Zoe is located in the Northeastern Region.