Along with Ilana Alazzeh and Renleigh Stone, WMDSC Board Chair Nai Damato spoke last Monday on Gender-Based Violence and Marginalized Populations at American University as part of a panel presentation moderated by Sara Yzaguirre for Domestic Violence Awareness Month :
Meet a panelist: Renleigh Stone
Student, Georgetown University
Co-chair GU QPOC
Renleigh, a genderfluid junior at Georgetown University, is a Justice and Peace Studies major with a concentration in Gender & Justice. Renleigh seeks to help bring awareness of trans/nonbinary narratives to the queer dialectic. Renleigh has survived sexual and domestic violence as well as abuse; these instances of trauma manifested a call to advocacy to be answered. Renleigh has been a US student ambassador and is the co-founder of a student club at Georgetown, QPOC, pronounced “KYU-pock.” This student club was created out of a need to build community for queer people of color on their campus and to create positive spaces where real conversations can take place without the responsibility to cater to white homonormative standards. Renleigh can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by Facebook under Renleigh Stone
Meet a panelist: Ilana Alazzeh
Alumnae, Harvard Kennedy School
Pronouns: She/her/hers and They/them/their
Producer, video-editor and writer for the Service Employees International Union. Radical interfaith feminist multiracial Muslim involved with Occupy, founder of Muslims Against Homophobia and LGBT Hate, Immigrant Stories and Ask An American Muslim. Has been invited to the White House and State Department several times. Featured in Washington Post,NPR, State Department Blog, RT America and frequent guest on Huffington Post Live.
She has given lectures at Georgetown University, Mt. Holyoke College, Smith College, Gettysburg College, Rhode Island College, American University, Deerfield Academy and UMASS Amherst on Islam, interfaith activism, community organizing, religion and science, and gender and sexuality.
Alumnae of Smith College, Harvard Kennedy School, Central University of Tibetan Studies in India and Ewha Womans University in South Korea.
Meet a panelist: Nai Damato
ASL Interpreter and Assistive Technology Specialist
Pronouns: They, them, theirs or any non-binary set (ze/hir, xe/xyr, ey/em, etc.)
Nai loves life, languages, music, acupuncture, and “being the change”. Nai is a survivor of domestic violence, sexual violence, abuse, and neglect in both childhood and adulthood. Nai’s lived experience as a non-binary female-designated-at-birth multiply-disabled transnational adoptee has fueled their passion for intersectional social justice. Their experiences of DV and SV have guided them to their professions of ASL interpreting and training deaf-blind adults and blind children on braille computer technology. Nai co-founded the Washington Metro Disabled Students Collective with Lydia Brown, with the goal of building truly inclusive and welcoming communities for multiply-marginalized people in an anti-oppression framework. Nai believes in the healing power of transforming fear into knowledge and pain into perception, thereby freeing us from cycles of abuse and creating upward spirals of love.
Meet the moderator: Sara Yzaguirre
Coordinator for Victim Advocacy Services
The Wellness Center
Pronouns: She, her, hers
Sara Yzaguirre joined American University in November of 2014. Born and raised in the DC-Metro area, Sara is a proud product of the Arlington County public school system. Sara received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia, where she focused on gender and minority politics. After several years in the private sector, Sara returned to school to earn her Master’s of Social Work at the Catholic University of America. Sara has practiced clinical social work in homeless shelters, clinics, rape crisis, and campus settings. She is especially passionate about trauma treatment and sexual violence prevention programming.
BA in Government and Sociology, University of Virginia; MSW, Clinical Concentration, Catholic University of America.