Interview with a Nonprofit Partner: Youth N Action

Nonprofit organizations work in conjunction with many other programs. We rely on community partnerships because “we build on the synergy.” By working together we ensure the needs of our community are met to the fullest potential possible. One amazing partner, Youth N Action, represents that ideal. I have the opportunity to work alongside a program organized, led, structured, and directed by young people, teenagers to young adults 24. So I wanted to sit down with some of the key members of Youth N Action. (Key to me because I see the members most often doing what leaders do.) Continue reading

Kavita Ramdas: An Extraordinary Leader

It’s not every day that you get the chance to meet someone who is an inspiration to turn your life upside down and chase your dreams of making the world a better place. Several months ago, I did just that when I was virtually introduced to Kavita Ramdas by her cousin, who’s a close friend of mine. Kavita is a scholar, mother, advocate, and innovator. She is an international leader in the struggle for women’s rights and social change who has been on the front lines for the whole of her professional career with a passion for feminism since childhood.

Continue reading

Persephone Pioneers: Yasmine Surovec

Cat ladies get a bad rap. We are often portrayed as atypical “crazy” loner spinsters who have somehow become victimized by shunned hetero male attention, thus leading us to the sad fate of gathering acceptance from the most fickle of beasts. But as most of you know, being a cat lady is amazing, and frankly, cats are like the best partner I’ve ever had. I’m not alone in this either: Yasmine Surovec, creator of the comic strip Cat Versus Human, is making a case for it as well. Continue reading

Persephone Pioneers: Audacia Ray

Audacia Ray is a woman I’ve admired from afar for a few years now. The writer, activist, and sex worker rights advocate first caught my attention with her top-notch book, Naked On The Internet: Hookups, Downloads, and Cashing In On Internet Sexploration, which explored women using the internet as a sexual space. I finally worked up the courage to speak to her, as well as attend her monthly storytelling series, The Red Umbrella Diaries, where “people who’ve tangled with the sex industry tell personal stories about the complications that arise when you mix sex and money.” A former editor at $pread Magazine, as well as the program officer at the International Women’s Health Coalition, Audacia now runs the Red Umbrella Project, aiming to make the voices of current and former sex workers heard. It’s a humbling privilege to have been able to interview her. Persephone Magazine, please welcome Audacia Ray. Continue reading

Persephone Pioneers: Andrea Gibson

Andrea Gibson is a poet-provocateur extraordinaire, a speaker of truths that aren’t always gentle or easy to swallow. The spoken word artist touches on everything across the spectrum from gender and race, to privilege and class, to war and love. She was the the first winner of the Women’s World Poetry Slam and has appeared on C-SPAN, Free Speech TV, BBC, and Air America, as well as performing across numerous campuses across the United States. She’s just released her newest album, FLOWER BOY, half rally cry and half rebirth, speaking truth to power of just how personal the political can be. Continue reading

Persephone Pioneers: Patricia Adler

Patricia Adler regularly studies what many shy away from: deviance, drug use, and labor in a rapidly globalizing world. She is Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, as well an author, and the winner of the 2010 George Herbert Mead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. Her work has been published by Cornell University Press, The Sociological Quarterly, and New York University Press. Her most recent book, which she co-wrote with her partner Peter Adler, is called The Tender Cut: Inside The Hidden World of Self-Injury. The Tender Cut examines physical acts of self-destruction and self-injury, like cutting and burning, as well as the history behind self-injury, and how it has changed within the current cultural context. It’s an honor to have spoken with her and to have her on our site. Persephone Magazine, please welcome Patricia Adler.

Continue reading

Persephone Pioneers: Sho Sho Esquiro

Sho Sho Esquiro’s clothes are as radiant as she is. A fashion designer, artist, and youth worker, Sho Sho’s work combines her Native American roots with her love of hip hop and intoxicating color. Born and raised in Yukon, Canada, and taking inspiration everywhere from her grandmother to her interest in recycled materials, to call Sho Sho just a fashion designer would only be getting at the tip of the iceberg. Her work has been featured on SWAGG news,,  and Indian Country Today and is bound to be making its way to your closet soon. Persephone Magazine, please welcome the innumerably talented and amazing, Sho Sho Esquiro!

Continue reading