The Institute For Gender And Cultural Competence

meet the faculty

 
 
Farah Tanis 
(Brooklyn, New York)

Farah Tanis is Lead Faculty for the Institute for Gender and Cultural Competence. Tanis is co-founder, Executive Director of Black Women’s Blueprint working at the grassroots and institutional levels to address the spectrum of gender violence against women and girls in Black/African American and other communities of color. Tanis’ work includes the development curricula, policy development, technical assistance and training focused on an intersection of social justice issues facing women and LGBTQ communities of color on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as well as mainstream campuses and communities.  Tanis is founder and is lead curator at the Museum of Women's Resistance (MoWRe), which in 2013 became internationally recognized as a Site of Conscience. Tanis created Mother Tongue Monologues, a theatrical and multimedia art vehicle for teaching Black and Queer sexual politics in communities across the nation. Tanis is a 2012 U.S. Human Rights Institute Fellow (USHRN) and is a member of the Task Force on the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Tanis is a 2014 Feminist Majority Foundation "Ms. Wonder" Honoree for her work to address gender-violence on the nation's college campuses. Tanis is a graduate of Columbia University's School of Business, Institute for Executive Management, possesses a B.A. in Science from NYU, an M.A. in Social Work from Fordham University. 


                 

Nikki Patin

(Chicago, Illinois)

Nikki Patin is the Director of Training and Cultural Programs for the Black Women’s Blueprint. Working in the non-profit field since 2007, Patin has presented nationally on topics related to dynamics of sexual and domestic violence, victims’ services, performance poetry, body image, rape culture and LGBTQ issues. Prior to her work at Black Women’s Blueprint, Nikki Patin worked as an educator and workshop facilitator on sexual assault prevention for Rape Victim Advocates and as a case manager/program coordinator for the Center on Halsted. Patin has performed, taught and spoken at elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities such as Francis Parker, University of Chicago, Adler School of Psychology, Northwestern University, Nancy B. Jefferson High School (located within the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center), University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin-Madison and –Stevens Point and many others. As a vocalist, Patin has been in seven bands and opened for Jill Scott at the Metro in 2000. She was also a member of Chicago’s 2001 Mental Graffiti National Poetry Slam team. In 2006, Patin was voted one of 30 under 30 most influential LGBTQ people in Chicago by Windy City Times and took the gold medal in the Gay Games International LGBT poetry slam.


 

Ashley J. Hobbs 

  (New Jersey)

Ashley J. Hobbs is the Communications & Campus Programs Coordinator at Black Women's Blueprint. Ashley creates and curates content that best reflects the in-depth analyses and passion of Black Women's Blueprint through the organization's social media and blog. She works to engage college students in thoughtful discussion, political education and action around ending violence against Black women and girls, systemic oppression, Black feminist theory, and community organizing. Ashley is an educator, having taught developmental English at the community college level, and a writer, contributing to sites such as For Harriet, Madame Noire, and Urban Cusp. She has interviewed such change agents as poet, Gina Loring; actress, Kendyl Joi, and singer, Brave. She holds a B.A. in Communications and an MBA, as well as a certificate from The Center For Neighborhood Leadership's Effective Community Organizing Institute. Ashley is also a member of the Campus Advocates and Prevention Professionals Association.

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Sevonna Brown
 
( Brooklyn, New York) 

 

 

Sevonna Brown is the Human Rights Project Manager at Black Women’s Blueprint. She is a Reproductive Justice Advocate for women of color, as well as a full-spectrum doula and birthworker through Ancient Song Doula Services and the Doula Project. Sevonna, a recent graduate of Williams College, dedicates her work to the survival strategies Black women build from rituals, sacred truths, and the ways they honor the intergenerational narratives of their bodies and reproductive herstories. Her organizational affiliations include Spirit of a Woman Leadership Development Institute and Standing in Our Power, a Women of Color Transformative Leadership Institute. Most recently she received the ELLA Fellowship through the Sadie Nash Leadership Programs where she will conduct a workshop series on reproductive justice for young women of color through grassroots organizing. As a survivor she seeks to bridge the connections between reproductive justice and anti-sexual violence advocacy through her cultural work, human rights lens, and womanist frameworks. She believes in every community’s right to holistically healing, radically freeing, and unconditionally loving themselves. 


Kaitlyn Newman
 
(Houston, Texas)

strategies Black women build from rituals, sacred truths, and the ways they honor 

the intergenerational narratives of their bodies and reproductive herstories.
 
Kaitlyn Newman is the Director of Strategic Development at Black Women's Blueprint. Kaitlyn recently completed her Master of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies program at the University of Texas at Austin, where she specialized in feminist geopolitics and the study of social movements against urban displacement, and worked as a teaching artist for the Performing Justice Project at Eastside Memorial High School. Prior to moving to Texas, Kaitlyn lived in Brooklyn, NY where she honed her technical expertise in community organizing, curriculum development, workshop facilitation, strategic planning and political communications. Kaitlyn has consulted for the American Civil Liberties Union with digital strategy firm Purpose, organized independent workers against wage theft at Freelancers Union, and mobilized survivors of intimate partner violence for housing justice at the Voices of Women Organizing Project. Kaitlyn serves on the Steering Committee and Board of Directors for a female-driven automotive technician worker collective called WHEELS (Women's Hands Establishing Entrepreneurial Leadership Skills) and is a hotline volunteer to increase abortion access at the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity. Kaitlyn grew up on the Connecticut shoreline in the shadow of the world's two largest casinos, where she gained a dual Bachelor degrees in Political Science and Peace Studies from the University of Connecticut, and a healthy hatred for white supremacist heteropatriarchal capitalist exploitation of labor. She tries to meditate at least once a day on the words of Spanish anarchist Buenaventura Durruti: we carry a new world here, in our hearts.
 
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Chardonnay Madkins
 
(Paris, France) 
 
 
Chardonnay is a Faculty Member for the Institute for Gender and Cultural Competence. A 2014 alum of Occidental College, Chardonnay Madkins, is a black feminist and activist. She received a Double Bachelor's of Arts degree in Psychology and Urban & Environmental Policy and has been active in community organizing for the Los Angeles area. As one of the few black women leaders on Occidental's campus, Chardonnay Madkins played a prominent role in the institution's Black Student Alliance and held several executive board positions. She also co-founded the Oxy Sexual Assault Coalition (OSAC) at her alma mater, which mobilizes students and faculty to demand that administrators appropriately handle sexual assault cases. Madkins has been dedicated to changing policies around sexual assault and advocating for survivors for the past several years. She continuously dedicates her time towards advocating specifically for Black survivors while providing assistance of filing Title IX complaints against higher education institutions. In addition, Chardonnay educates students about their Title IX rights and studies the rates of sexual assault against Black women. Upon graduating, Madkins received a two year teaching assistantship with CEIP of France and is currently teaching English to elementary school aged children in Versailles. Madkins aspires to continue her education of human rights and black feminist politics while growing and developing into a well-rounded individual. She maintains a passion for continuous knowledge within the human and social rights fields in order to give voice to the voiceless. When not dismantling white male patriarchy, Madkins enjoys learning different languages, traveling, and food & wine tasting.
 
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Ahmad Greene-Hayes is a writer, scholar-activist and a community organizer who works

the intersection of criminal justice and sexual violence prevention. He is the Human Rights 

and Emerging Sons Campaign Manager at Black Women's Blueprint, and works on the role 

of Black men in combatting issues of rape, sexual assault, incest, and domestic violence in 

Black communities. Born in Newark, New Jersey to a courageous, single Black mother and 

a praying Black grandmother, Ahmad acquired a keen understanding of recognizing and 

mobilizing around Black women's trauma. He is the founder of #BlackChurchSex on Twitter, 

a minister, and he works tirelessly to eradicate all forms of violence in our communities. He 

is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared onEbony.com, NewBlackMan (In 

Exile), and The Feminist Wire, and he speaks across the country on issues of race, gender, 

and religion, most recently at the Apollo Theater, New York University, Middle Collegiate 

Church, Princeton Theological Seminary, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and in a host 

 
Ahmad Greene-Hayes
 
(Newark, New Jersey) 
 
Ahmad Greene-Hayes is a writer, scholar-activist and a community organizer who works at the intersection of criminal justice and sexual violence prevention. He is the Human Rights and Emerging Sons Campaign Manager at Black Women's Blueprint, and works on the role of Black men combatting issues of rape, sexual assault, incest, and domestic violence in Black communities. Born in Newark, New Jersey to a single, Black mother and a praying Black grandmother Ahmad acquired a keen understanding of recognizing and mobilizing around Black women's trauma. He is the founder of #BlackChurchSex on Twitter, a minister, and he works tirelessly to eradicate all forms of violence in our communities. He is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on Ebony.com, New Black Man (In Exile), and The Feminist Wire and he speaks across the country on issues of race, gender, and religion, most recently appearing at The Apollo Theater, New York University, Middle Collegiate Church, Princeton Theological Seminary, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and a host of other community-oriented spaces.

the intersection of criminal justice and sexual violence prevention. He is the Human Rights 

and Emerging Sons Campaign Manager at Black Women's
Ahmad Greene-Hayes is a writer, scholar-activist and a community organizer who works

the intersection of criminal justice and sexual violence prevention. He is the Human Rights 

and Emerging Sons Campaign Manager at Black Women's Blueprint, and works on the role 

of Black men in combatting issues of rape, sexual assault, incest, and domestic violence in 

Black communities. Born in Newark, New Jersey to a courageous, single Black mother and 

a praying Black grandmother, Ahmad acquired a keen understanding of recognizing and 

mobilizing around Black women's trauma. He is the founder of #BlackChurchSex on Twitter, 

a minister, and he works tirelessly to eradicate all forms of violence in our communities. He 

is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared onEbony.com, NewBlackMan (In 

Exile), and The Feminist Wire, and he speaks across the country on issues of race, gender, 

and religion, most recently at the Apollo Theater, New York University, Middle Collegiate 

Church, Princeton Theological Seminary, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and in a host 

Ahmad Greene-Hayes is a writer, scholar-activist and a community organizer who works

the intersection of criminal justice and sexual violence prevention. He is the Human Rights 

and Emerging Sons Campaign Manager at Black Women's Blueprint, and works on the role 

of Black men in combatting issues of rape, sexual assault, incest, and domestic violence in 

Black communities. Born in Newark, New Jersey to a courageous, single Black mother and 

a praying Black grandmother, Ahmad acquired a keen understanding of recognizing and 

mobilizing around Black women's trauma. He is the founder of #BlackChurchSex on Twitter, 

a minister, and he works tirelessly to eradicate all forms of violence in our communities. He 

is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared onEbony.com, NewBlackMan (In 

Exile), and The Feminist Wire, and he speaks across the country on issues of race, gender, 

and religion, most recently at the Apollo Theater, New York University, Middle Collegiate 

Church, Princeton Theological Seminary, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and in a host 

of other community-oriented spaces
Sevonna Brown is the Human Rights Project Manager at Black Women’s Blueprint. 

She is a Reproductive Justice Advocate for women of color, as well as a full-spectrum 

doula and birthworker through Ancient Song Doula Services and the Doula Project. 

Sevonna, a recent graduate of Williams College, dedicates her work to the survival 

strategies Black women build from rituals, sacred truths, and the ways they honor 

the intergenerational narratives of their bodies and reproductive herstories. Her 

organizational affiliations include Spirit of a Woman Leadership Development 

Institute and Standing in Our Power, a Women of Color Transformative Leadership 

Institute. Most recently she received the ELLA Fellowship through the Sadie Nash 

Leadership Programs where she will conduct a workshop series on reproductive 

justice for young women of color through grassroots organizing. As a survivor she 

seeks to bridge the connections between reproductive justice and anti-sexual 

violence advocacy through her cultural work, human rights lens, and womanist 

frameworks. She believes in every community’s right to holistically healing, 

radically freeing, and unconditionally loving the
She is a Reproductive Justice Advocate for women of color, as well as a full-spectrum 

doula and birthworker through Ancient Song Doula Services and the Doula Project. 

Sevonna, a recent graduate of Williams College, dedicates her work to the survival 

strategies Black women build from rituals, sacred truths, and the ways they honor 

the intergenerational narratives of their bodies and reproductive herstories. Her 

organizational affiliations include Spirit of a Woman Leadership Development 

Institute and Standing in Our Power, a Women of Color Transformative Leadership 

Institute. Most recently she received the ELLA Fellowship through the Sadie Nash 

Leadership Programs where she will conduct a workshop series on reproductive 

justice for young women of color through grassroots organizing. As a survivor she 

seeks to bridge the connections between reproductive justice and anti-sexual 

violence advocacy through her cultural work, human rights lens, and womanist 

frameworks. She believes in every community’s right to holistically healing, 

radically freeing, and unconditionally loving themselves.