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Angela is the Lead Organizer for the Black Women’s Vote Coalition with The Lighthouse|Black Girl Project. She attended the BSWC Southern Regional Training where she got energized to return to MS with clearer organizing action steps and disciplines that led to this action.  

BSWC fellows from around the South

Inaugural Alabama Fellows

Fellowships for Black Women Organizers: In 2022, BSWC launched the inaugural Alabama Fellowship Program to connect and support Black Women organizers throughout Alabama who are not seen, heard, or attached to a traditional organizing institution. We know that many Black Women organizers are bivocational and spend half their time working for justice while working full-time to support their families, attend school, or establish a non-profit. The infrastructure (Black women) is there but it is not invested in! We are investing in 10 AL Black Women Fellows and 1 Young Adult Black Woman Fellow in partnership with the Foundation of Social Impact. 

  • Onoyemi Williams is the deputy director of Faith in Action Alabama (FIAAL). As deputy director, Onoyemi is a strategic planning advisor for the organization and lead organizer for Faith in Action Alabama's Community Safety campaigns, including the successful campaign that resulted in $5.3 million dollars committed to implementing gun violence intervention programs.  She is a national speaker and has developed content and curricula for FIAAL as well as national organizations such as Everytown for Gun Safety, the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention (the HAVI), and Faith in Action national organizing network.

  • Kameryn Thigpen is a Southern Black girl from Birmingham, Alabama and a human rights advocate. She has been an advocate since 2016 when she attended Anytown Alabama. She attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham and graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a double minor in African American Studies and Human Rights. She is currently obtaining her Master’s Degree in Public Administration at UAB. She is the creator of a social justice project called Hipped Interests. 

  • Dr. Adia McClellan Winfrey (also known as “Dr. Dia”) is the mother of 4 children, a community organizer, and an esteemed Doctor of Psychology. In 2020, Winfrey made history as the first Black female Congressional Nominee in Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District. Branded as “The Hip Hop Congressional Candidate,” her campaign received national attention for her use of Hip Hop culture as a tool of political mobilization. After garnering a vote count of over 104,000, Winfrey formed Transform Alabama, a nonprofit committed to increasing civic engagement and amplifying the voting rights activism of Alabamians. 

  • Cara McClure is a community activist and organizer.  She's the Founder of Faith and Works Statewide Civic Engagement Collective and Faith and Works Electoral Justice Project.  Former Regional Political Director Alabama Democratic Party and Former Black Voters Matter State Coordinator for Alabama.  Currently, she is a lead on the organizing table and electoral justice table with the Movement for Black Lives. For many years, Cara has been working to expand poll access, gain early voting, resist voter ID laws, and restore voting rights to individuals. 

  • Celida Soto Garcia is Arise’s hunger policy advocate. She is a Birmingham resident and graduated from Rutgers University with a dual degree in administration of justice and sociology. Celida grew up as a Jersey girl speaking Spanish first, and she has participated in movements related to economic injustice, women’s rights, food sovereignty, public safety, and criminal justice reform. She came to Arise in 2019 with a long and diverse work experience, ranging from child welfare services to disaster recovery assistance to fostering community engagement as an educational liaison with the UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center. 

  • Monica Denise Riley, a proud native of Monroeville, AL, is an electoral organizer, lobbyist, and policy strategist for the ACLU of Alabama. Her training in field strategy & rural grassroots organizing offers a unique perspective that has allowed her to work on advocacy & political campaigns on the state and federal levels. She has spent the past 3 years working collaboratively with lawmakers, progressives, and partner organizations to use tactical and strategic organizing and integrated advocacy to advance bold and impactful policy change in Alabama. She currently lobbies in the AL legislature to preserve and protect voting rights, free speech, LGBTQ+ rights, & reproductive rights.

  • Teumbay Barnes, a passionate community activist and advocate for childcare and sexual assault prevention, manages programming for Southern Partners Fund (SPF), a public foundation based in Atlanta, GA. Bringing 15+ years of experience in community organizing, policy, leadership development, journalism, and higher education to her role, Barnes has spent her career working to change the narrative and create safe and sacred spaces for those experiencing any form of injustice. In 2019, Barnes envisioned and implemented the group’s inaugural “Alabama Women of Color Conference,” which convened 250+ women from seven states to Montgomery, AL to learn more about providing direct services and preventing Intimate Partner Violence in communities of Color. 

  • Khadidah Stone is a native of Montgomery, Alabama where she currently works as Data and Training Manager for Alabama Forward. She is a graduate of Troy University with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and American Sign Language with a minor in International Relations. Khadidah has worked in nonprofit, advocacy, and political spaces through entities such as the Alabama House of Representatives, Feminist Majority Foundation, Alabama Institute for Social Justice, Nashville International Center for Empowerment, and numerous political campaigns. Khadidah is passionate about any effort that moves communities towards collective liberation and pushes for justice and equity in every space she enters. From 2021-2022 she served as a  Community Redistricting Organizations Working for Democracy (CROWD) Fellow for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. In this fellowship, she educated communities about redistricting across the Black Belt of Alabama. 

  • Shalela Dowdy is a native of Mobile Alabama. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in American Legal Studies (Pre Law) from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2012 and a Master of Arts in Leadership Studies from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2017. Currently she is a first year part-time law student. She served 6 years in the United States Army on active duty as an Air Defense Artillery Officer and Human Resource Officer. She is currently in the Army Reserves where she holds the rank of Captain and the position of Military Academy Liaison Officer where she supports the Directorate of Admissions at United States Military Academy at West Point. After her time on Active Duty in the Army she worked as a Consultant for Deloitte. She spent the second half of 2020 working as a Field Organizer for the Alabama Democratic Party and with numerous other political campaigns on a local, Congressional, and Senatorial level. She spent the past year as a CROWD Fellow with the Southern Coalition of Social Justice working on redistricting and community engagement in Lower Alabama. 

  • Dee Reed is a seasoned organizer and political operative. She specializes in voter engagement, mobilization, and grassroots organizing. Dee has worked in various media outlets in the Birmingham and Tuscaloosa area. Not long after graduating from Miles College with a B.A. in PR & Journalism, she became Marketing/Promotions Director for 95.7 Jamz and 105.1 Jamz where she used her platform in radio to support and advocate for young people, families and seniors in our communities. Having served as the Program Director for Woke Vote, she successfully contributed to influencing over 2.5 million people to vote in their respective state elections through intense mobilization efforts nationwide. Most recently, she planned and organized efforts for the Black Mama Bailout through Faith & Works and The National Bail Out. She has managed four local municipal races and is currently working to help put an end to the gun violence public health epidemic primarily impacting underserved communities of color through the creation of Peace In The Streets. 

  • Angela D. Curry is the founder and volunteer executive director of United Women of Color, whose vision is to create an inclusive community by building relationships and facilitating authentic connections to address our community’s changing needs. Angela is also a configuration management analyst with more than 11 years of technical writing and process improvement experience. Angela is passionate on purpose regarding empowering women, girls, and their families, unity, and human rights. Angela is the subject matter expert in her full-time employment role with Aerojet Rocketdyne. She has recently been awarded the UAH 2021 Alumni of Achievement award for the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences as a result of her work with United Women of Color. Angela also received the Rosa Parks Catalyst of Change Award for her community organizing efforts advocating for transformative local police reform with the Citizens Coalition for Justice Reform, United Women of Color’s advocacy initiative.

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