Blog RSS

Category: Media, WMC, WMC in the News

Announcing WMC Progressive Women’s Voices Class of 2013!

| November 26, 2013

The Women's Media Center congratulates the 20 women accepted into its WMC Progressive Women's Voices class of 2013!

WMC Progressive Women’s Voices is the premier media and leadership training program serving women in our country. These 130+ women reflect diversity visibly absent from the mainstream media within important conversations around national security, health care disparity, immigration, worksite wellness, reproductive rights, criminal justice, and other issues that fill the headlines every day.

"The Women’s Media Center works to make sure that who defines the story, who tells the story, and what the story is about, represents women and men equally.  This group of dynamic women is part of our strategy to expand the media talent pool,” said Julie Burton, President of The Women’s Media Center.  “Our trainees will receive advanced, comprehensive training and tools to position themselves as media spokespersons in their fields and will be promoted through WMC SheSource -- a brain trust of top women experts used by media outlets worldwide.”

Since the inception of WMC Progressive Women’s Voices, we have trained over 130 thought leaders, journalists, and advocates from across the nation. Graduates from our training programs have had their words and works featured in a multitude of diverse outlets including CNN, Al-Jazeera, Blog Her, Boston Globe, El Mundo, Forbes, Glamour, GOOD Magazine, “Good Morning America,” Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The New York Times, BBC, USA Today and more.

“It gives us great pleasure to welcome 20 amazing women from around the country, to join the network of over 130 WMC Progressive Women’s Voices alumnae, who are amplifying women’s voices and directly engaging with media at all levels to ensure that a diverse group of women is present in newsrooms, on air, in print, and online – as sources and subjects,” said Janice Ferebee, Director of Programs for the Women’s Media Center.  “We are equally excited to announce that we will be expanding our media training to women in 2014 with a variety of future opportunities, including educational webinars and one-day media workshops.” For more information about future media trainings sign up for notifications at

Click here to learn more about Progressive Women's Voices.

The Women’s Media Center welcomes the WMC Progressive Women’s Voices Class of 2013:

Lauren Anderson (Brooklyn, NY)

Lauren Anderson, an internationally recognized Consultant and former FBI Executive, is a National Security and Crisis Management expert.  She was one of the first woman selected for an FBI SWAT team and the first woman to lead the FBI’s office in the American Embassy in Paris, France, directing the FBI’s engagement with, and operations in, 24 countries, 22 of which were in Africa.  She worked with Department of Justice attorneys and the State Department to negotiate an unprecedented agreement between the United States and Rwanda to allow for the prosecution, in the US, of Rwandan citizens responsible for acts of terrorism against US and other citizens. Anderson directed all International Terrorism investigations of the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, in the US, Africa, and Western Europe, overseeing the disruption of significant terrorist plots.  She has received numerous awards including from Legal Momentum, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Respect for Law Alliance.   Anderson is a Global Ambassador with Vital Voices Global Partnership and a mentor with Levo League.  She is on the Board of Directors of Women’s Forum, Inc., the NY chapter of the International Women’s Forum (IWF) and on the Executive Advisory Board for Kean University’s College of Business and Public Management.  Deeply passionate about mentoring women, girls and boys, particularly at-risk youth, she is developing a program to “grow” the next generation of law enforcement in countries emerging from conflict.  


Heather Arnet (Pittsburgh, PA)

Heather Arnet is an advocate for women and girls rights locally, nationally, and internationally.  As Chief Executive Officer of the Women and Girls Foundation (based in PA), Arnet works to develop the female leaders of tomorrow while advancing women's rights today. At the Foundation, Arnet helped pass twelve new state laws to advance women's rights. She led the Foundation's successful "Girlcott" against Abercrombie & Fitch, and it's "Zero No More" initiative to increase female representation on corporate boards. She is the Writer/Director of the documentary film “Madame Presidenta: Why Not U.S.?”, premiering on WQED/PBS in 2014. Through the film, Arnet, the great-granddaughter of a suffragette, explores how so many other countries have elected female presidents prior to the U.S. and what Americans can learn from our international sisters. Arnet serves on the Board of Directors of the Ms. Foundation for Women and the International Women's Funding Network, and, is a regular Op-Ed writer for Huffington Post, Daily Beast's Women in the World, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Arnet has appeared on NBC’s "Today Show," CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC and CBS "Nightly News." 


T.F. Charlton (Medford, MA)

T.F. Charlton (@graceishuman) is a writer, editor, and researcher whose work focuses on the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in American culture. She is the editor of Are Women Human?, which she founded in 2010 to bring an antiracist and queer feminist perspective to critiques of misogyny in U.S. Evangelical Christianity, and give voice to her experiences as a Black, 1.5 generation Nigerian immigrant growing up in predominantly white, conservative, patriarchal churches. She works at WGBH in Boston as a Digital Content Editor, and editorial and social media manager for PBS's News & Then, a history and social justice interactive digital project. She is an Associate Research Fellow at Political Research Associates, tracking pushback from the U.S. Religious and Political Right against racial, gender, and LGBTQ justice. Her writing has been featured in The Guardian, Salon, Religion Dispatches, RH, and other outlets. A graduate of Duke University and former Ph.D. Candidate in Harvard's History of Science program, she lives in the Boston area with her family.


Emma Davidson (Columbia, SC)

Emma Davidson is the Associate Director for Strategic Mobilization at the New Morning Foundation, leading the advocacy efforts to bring responsible reproductive health policies to South Carolina. Her work has been highlighted in the State and Post & Courier, as well as ABC, NBC and FOX. She worked on numerous political campaigns before becoming the Tell Them Program Manager, expanding the online network from 3,000 to 12,000 active members. Emma has studied and worked on 4 continents, and recently returned from hiking Peru’s Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. She volunteers with local groups that empower women of every age, including being an active member of the Junior League of Columbia and serving on the Communications Committee of Girls on the Run Columbia. Emma holds a BA in American History from Illinois Wesleyan University, and a Master’s degree in International Development from the University of Bristol. She is currently pursuing a post-graduate certificate In Nonprofit Management at Johns Hopkins University.


Anna Therese Day (Boise, ID)

Anna Therese Day is an independent journalist and social media researcher, specializing in global civil society organizing. She is a 2013 Fulbright Fellow, a 2012 UN Press Fellow, and was named one of Google Zeitgeist’s top 30 Great Young Minds of Our Time in 2011. On the ground in Bahrain, Brazil, Egypt, India, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mexico, the Palestinian Territories, Syria, and Turkey, her coverage focuses on American foreign policy, women’s issues, and youth organizing. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including CNN International, the BBC, Al Jazeera English, and numerous print outlets, translated into Arabic, English, Hebrew, and Spanish. Day completed her first speaking tour, "Social Media and the Revolution: the Arab Spring and Beyond" in 2012. Day is a founding board member of The Frontline Freelance Register, a representative body for freelance conflict journalists, by freelance conflict journalists. You can follow her on-the-ground at @AnnaOfArabia on Twitter, or at


Emily Douglas (Brooklyn, NY)

Emily Douglas is the senior editor at, where she also blogs. A frequent contributor to the Women’s Review of Books, she has written about politics, culture and the law for The Nation, The American Prospect, The LA Review of Books, and RH Reality Check, and has appeared on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story and the Melissa Harris-Perry Show. She is a contributor to Here Come the Brides: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage (Seal Press, 2012). She is a former associate editor at RH RealityCheck. Before beginning her work in media, Emily worked in legal advocacy and education at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders. Emily is a co-founder and board member of WAM!NYC, the New York City chapter of the national media justice group, Women, Action and the Media. She tweets at @EmilySDouglas.


Julia Drost (Washington, DC)

Julia Drost serves as the Policy & Advocacy Associate for Amnesty International USA's (AIUSA) Women's Human Rights Program in Washington DC. As the principal advocate for AIUSA's women’s rights priorities within Congress, the administration, and amongst coalition partners, Julia utilizes advocacy, issue expertise, public education and membership mobilization to make strides towards ending gender-based violence in the US and globally, securing women's rights to political participation, promoting sexual and reproductive rights, supporting women’s and LGBT human rights defenders, and ensuring US action in support of Afghan women’s rights and security. Julia manages AIUSA's co-leadership of a 200+ member coalition to end gender-based violence globally and with coalition partners, focuses significant efforts on advocating for the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) on Capitol Hill. Julia supported AIUSA's efforts to secure inclusion of Section 1223 on Afghan women's rights and security in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Public Law 112-239, and is presiding over similar efforts this year. Prior to joining AIUSA in May 2012, Julia served as Legislative Assistant and Scheduling Director to U.S. Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) in Washington for nearly four years. Her issue areas included: women’s issues (primarily reproductive rights, health care, and violence against women), public lands, arts & humanities, science, and related appropriations.  Julia began her work on Capitol Hill interning for Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD) following her 2008 graduation from the University of Vermont where she earned B.A.'s in political science and English with a focus on gender studies. 


Noreen Farrell (San Francisco, CA)

Noreen Farrell is the Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates (ERA), a national non-profit legal advocacy organization fighting for the civil rights of women and girls.  Honored as one of the Top Women Lawyers and Top Employment Lawyers in California, Noreen has led ERA’s impact litigation efforts representing clients who have faced sex discrimination and other unfair treatment at school and work in numerous individual and class actions.  They include Dukes v. Wal-Mart (pending in the US District Court), Medina v. Station Casinos (which resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement on behalf of a sexual harassment and wage and hour class), Mansourian v. Regents of the University of California (which resulted in a Title IX trial win and $1,350,000 settlement) and Bojorquez v. ABM (which recently resulted in a $812,000 jury verdict in the plaintiff’s favor and an award of over $2.5 million for attorney’s fees and costs).   Noreen plays a leadership role in state and national coalitions advocating for the development of policy and legislation to assist working families and expand workplace fairness, including the Equal Pay Today! Campaign. She speaks and writes extensively on women’s rights issues, including a report entitled Expecting A Baby, Not A Lay-Off:  Why Federal Law Should Require the Reasonable Accommodation of Pregnant Workers (May 2012), a book chapter entitled Wal-Mart v. Dukes and Class Certification in Its Aftermath, Civil Rights Litigation and Attorney Fees Annual Handbook, (Thomson Reuters 2012), a presentation and article entitled Family Responsibilities Discrimination: The Interplay of Title VII, FMLA, and the ADA (National Employment Lawyer Association, October 2010), and a law review article entitled Old Problem, New Tactic:  Making the Case for Legislation to Combat Employment Discrimination Based on Family Caregiving Status, 59 Hastings Law Journal 1463 (June 2008).  Noreen is a graduate of Yale University and the University of California Hastings College of the Law (Class of 1997), where she was the Editor-in-Chief of the Women’s Law Journal.


Debbie Hines (Washington, DC)

Debbie Hines is a trial lawyer who maintains a boutique law practice in Washington, DC, where she focuses on representing clients in civil and criminal litigation.  She has represented hundreds of clients in federal and state courtrooms across the country. She is a former Baltimore, Maryland prosecutor where she prosecuted felonies, including sex offense and domestic violence crimes committed against women and girls. In 2009, Debbie launched Legal, a progressive legal and political blog where she a addresses issues on gender and race.   She has appeared as a legal analyst on BET, C-Span, RT America, Canadian Broadcast Corp. (“CBC”), and, the Washington, DC local affiliates for Fox, CBS and ABC.  Her written works have appeared in the Huffington Post, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Afro American. She has been quoted online in NPR, The Washington Times online, on CNN and in syndicated newspaper articles through the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service (“NNPA”). Follow her on Twitter @legalspeaks.


Viviana Hurtado (Washington, DC)

Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D., is a bilingual media, communications, and Hispanic market strategist. Through innovative and high quality strategic consulting services, she helps brands, nonprofits, political campaigns, and individuals reach and engage coveted stakeholders, consumers, and audiences with the right messaging.  Considered a top Latina thought leader, Dr. Hurtado is an authority on media, communications, and the Hispanic demographic growth’s impact on business and politics. Quoted in Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, and the Washington Post, Dr. Hurtado's insight is frequently sought out by MSNBC and NPR where she is a regular analyst, as well as Univision, Telemundo, and CNN.  Dr. Hurtado is also the founder of the women-empowering and award-winning The Wise Latina Club website and co-founder of the education and literacy organization Latinas for Latino Lit (L4LL), home of the Latino Children’s Summer Reading Program, powered by Google. A recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious South by Southwest (SXSW) New Americano award, she serves as a spokesperson, as well as a keynote speaker and facilitator at schools, non-profit organizations, businesses, and the White House.


Phronie Jackson (Washington, DC)

Phronie Jackson, MPH, is the Project Coordinator of the Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI) at the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW). She earned her Bachelors degree in Human Services from Spelman College and received her Masters of Public Health from Walden University. She applies lessons learned from more than 17-years of public health experience to develop community and worksite wellness programs and women's health programs nationwide. She is currently working toward a Ph.D. in public health. Her most recent entrepreneurial project, LADY Phronie MPH, involves using social media and the LADY Model to develop an on-line, on-going dialogue around women's health concerns.  Her most important project is family and working with her husband of 20 years to raise their three wonderful children. 


Shivana Jorawar (Washington, DC)

Shivana Jorawar is a lawyer and policy advocate who currently directs reproductive justice priorities for the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF), the country's only national organization dedicated to social justice and human rights for Asian American and Pacific Islander women and girls. She is a co-founder of Jahajee Sisters, a grassroots organization based in New York City creating a safer and more equitable society for Indo-Caribbean women through dialogue, arts, leadership development and grassroots organizing. She is passionate about uplifting the status of marginalized communities, especially women of color, and has a background in legal advocacy and community education around issues of gender-based inequity and violence. Her experience includes working with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a legal clerk, working with the anti-domestic violence organization Sakhi for South Asian Women, and co-chairing a chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice. Originally from New York, Shivana now lives and works in Washington, D.C.  Shivana holds a B.A. in Political Science from Fordham University and a J.D. from Emory University School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in New York State.


Shanelle Matthews (Oakland, CA)

Shanelle Matthews is a journalist, blogger and all-around digital enthusiast. She is the Communications Strategist at the ACLU of Northern California where she is tasked with creating visibility for the legal and programmatic work happening on the ground. Shanelle writes on the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality and has been published in a wide variety of magazines and newspapers including Women’s eNews, The Root, Feministing, RH RealityCheck and The Frisky. She studied new and online media at the Manship School of Mass Communications and is on the board of directors of the National Network of Abortion Funds. She is also co-editor of Birthing Justice — Saving Our Lives, an anthology of critical essays and personal testimonies exploring childbirth from a radical social justice perspective, slated for print in the fall 2015.


Vanessa Pérez (New York, NY)

Dr. Vanessa Pérez is an author and professor of Latino Studies at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. Her book, Becoming Julia de Burgos: Feminism, Transnationalism, Diaspora (University of Illinois Press 2014), departs from the prevailing emphasis on Puerto Rican writer Julia de Burgos’s enduring legacy as a nationalist writer to focus instead on her contributions to the development of New York Latina/o literary and visual culture. Currently, Vanessa serves as an Associate Investigator on the City University of New York-New York State Initiative on Emergent Bilinguals (CUNY-NYSIEB), a collaborative project of the Research Institute for the Study of Language in Urban Society (RISLUS) and the Ph.D. Program in Urban Education at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She blogs on politics and culture for Huffington Post’s Latino Voices. You can follow her on twitter @VanessaYPerez


Gael Sylvia Pullen (Seal Beach, CA)

Gael Sylvia Pullen is a pioneering businesswoman, prolific speaker, and ardent philanthropist resulting in her membership in Women Moving Millions.  Her life’s goal is to empower and inspire all to see the good that is around us. Acting out of her core values, she is the founder Sylvia Global Media Network, a global broadcasting digital platform, which serves as a sphere of influence for women and girls around the world. Channeling quality, trustworthy content, Sylvia Global Media Network is a referral source of amazing women and enlightened men.  She is also the founder of Girls Fly! Former owner of Ghail Media Group –the largest Spanish-radio broadcast in northeastern Ohio, Charis Real Estate – the largest minority-owned (revenue generated) commercial real estate brokerage firm in southern California during the mid-80’s, and as a recently retired award-winning McDonald’s franchisee, “I have always wanted to create a place of influence that would amplify the diverse voices of women and girls and the incredible work being done by image activists globally, and, by women’s funding networks from donors to grantees.”


Debjani Roy (New York, NY)

Debjani Roy has been an advocate for women’s rights and equality in the US and UK for ten years. Before joining Hollaback! as the Deputy Director, she was the Program and Development Manager at Manavi, an organization working to end violence against South Asian women in the United States. Her international experience includes serving at The National Alliance of Women's Organizations, Widows’ Rights International, Ashiana Network and Women and Girls Network in various capacities including program management, direct service provision, development, training and technical assistance, communications, research, and policy advocacy. She has worked on issues including domestic violence, sexual assault, forced marriage, 'honor' based violence, sexual trafficking/forced prostitution, widows’ rights and immigrant rights. She has also edited books in the fields of Gender and Cultural Studies for the politically progressive publishing house, Pluto Press. Debjani's interest and passion for women's rights and equality began as an undergraduate at New York University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the Stern School of Business, with a minor in Gender Studies from the College of Arts and Science. She received her Master's of Arts Degree in Cultural Studies with a focus on Gender Theory from the University of London, Goldsmiths. Her publications include An Employer, Union, and Service Provider’s Guide to Ending Street Harassment, South Asian Battered Women's Use of Force Against Intimate Male Partners in the Violence Against Women Sage Journal, and, An Introduction to Forced Marriage in the South Asian Community in the United States, published by Manavi under the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. 


Diann Rust-Tierney (Washington, DC)

Diann Rust-Tierney became the Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty in 2004. She is an experienced non-profit manager with thirty years of public policy and litigation advocacy. She manages the operations of the organization and directs programs for the organization and its 100 Affiliates seeking to change public policy on the death penalty. Previously, Rust-Tierney served as the Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Capital Punishment Project. Before that, she served as the Chief Legislative Counsel, and Associate Director of the Washington Office of the American Civil Liberties Union. There, she supervised six senior legislative counsel and lobbyists and managed the civil rights and civil liberties legislative program. During her tenure at the ACLU, she was the lead advocate on capital punishment on Capitol Hill, coordinating a coalition of national organizations on the issue. She was also the lead lobbyist on a broad portfolio of issues ranging from criminal justice policy, women’s rights, civil rights, and legislation to enhance and protect individual rights regardless of sexual orientation.  Prior to joining the staff at the ACLU, she engaged in litigation and public policy advocacy to advance the rights of women and girls at the National Women’s Law Center. Rust-Tierney received her undergraduate degree in political science from the College of Wooster in Ohio and her law degree from the University Of Maryland School Of Law.


Sarinya Srisakul (New York, NY)

Sarinya Srisakul has been serving NYC as a firefighter since 2005. She is the first and is still the only woman firefighter of Asian descent in the FDNY. She has been a dedicated member of the United Women Firefighters since the beginning of her career and has held the positions of Secretary, Borough Representative and Vice President before her current presidency.  As a lifelong activist, she is continuing her mission in creating social justice and gender equality through her work with the United Women Firefighters.


Wagatwe Sara Wanjuki (Cranford, NJ)

Wagatwe Wanjuki is a survivor, activist, and writer who first learned the power of new media to raise the voices of the most marginalized while campaigning to reform the sexual assault policy as a student at Tufts University. Since then, she’s used her experience to advocate for a world free of sexual violence and highlight challenges survivors face at the intersections of race, gender, and violence.  She also has organized around various social issue campaigns, including asking corporations to end their membership with ALEC campaign at ColorOfChange, demanding an Oklahoma school to end its racist dress code policy, and educating students about their civil rights under Title IX through Know Your IX. She blogs at F Yeah Feminists, one of the first and most popular feminist blogs on Tumblr, and her writing has appeared on various outlets, including Feministing, PolicyMic, and ESSENCE magazine. She has appeared on “The Daily Show” and “Katie.” Currently based in New Jersey, she serves as the Online Community Manager at RH RealityCheck and studies sociology at Rutgers University.


Maysoon Zayid (Cliffside Park, NJ)

Maysoon Zayid is an actress, professional standup comedian, and writer. She received a BA in Acting from Arizona State University. She is the co-founder and co-executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival ( Maysoon was a full-time On Air Contributor to Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and has most recently appeared on “The Melissa Harris-Perry Show” and Huffington Post Live. She is currently a writer at The Daily Beast. Maysoon has also appeared on Comedy Central's The Watch List, PBS's America at a Crossroads: Muslim Comics Stand Up, CNN, HBO, “As The World Turns,” “Law & Order,” MTV, “20/20,” BBC's “The Doha Debates,” and had a feature role in Adam Sandler's “You Don't Mess With the Zohan.” As a professional comedian, Maysoon has performed in top New York clubs, and has toured extensively at home and abroad. She is a headliner on the Arabs Gone Wild Comedy Tour and The Muslims Are Coming Tour. Her screenplay, LAW, was chosen for the Sundance Middle Eastern Screenwriters Lab.  Maysoon represented NJ as a delegate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and was delighted to be a 2013 honoree of United Cerebral Palsy NYC's Women Who Care Awards. She is the founder of Maysoon's Kids, a scholarship and wellness program for disabled and wounded refugee children,