Our Team

BIANCA I LAUREANO, PhD h.c., MA, CSE, CSES she/they/Dr.

Bianca I Laureano is an award-wining educator, curriculum writer, and sexologist. She is a foundress of the Women of Color Sexual Health Network (WOCSHN), The LatiNegrxs Project, and hosts LatinoSexuality.com. She has written several curricula that focus on communities of color: What’s the REAL DEAL about Love and Solidarity? (2015) and Communication MixTape: Speak On It Vol 1. (2017) and wrote the sexual and reproductive justice discussion guide for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene published in 2018. Bianca has been on the board of CLAGS, the LGBTQ Center at CUNY, The Black Girl Project, and SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective.

Bianca started ANTE UP! as she noticed the needs of many communities doing justice work and finding limited support in their own growth and development. Pulling from her experiences as an abortion doula, radical educator, sexologist, and dreamer, Bianca imagined a virtual space for collective un / learning and accountability that honors shifts and the ebb and flow of collective webs of knowledge. ANTE UP! is what Bianca needs for herself and her growth, she’s not only the foundress, she’s a certificate participant as well!

She currently resides in Oakland, CA providing private supervision sessions, support, and writing her dreams into curricula and courses. She is the Lead Educator for the Netflix film Crip Camp (2020) and is leading the efforts to create a curriculum that is rooted in disability justice practice, self-determination, and social-emotional learning competences that are aligned to the Common Core State Standard! She will receive an honorary PhD for her work of justice, equity, and inclusion in the US sexuality field May 2020. Find out more about Bianca at her website BiancaLaureano.com.

The individuals listed below have supported and nurtured Bianca’s commitment to growth, evolution, and representation. They are invested in her success and her own accountable in her own unlearning and healing processes. They are her chosen family and intellectual community who want her to BE better, not only do better.

BELOVED FACULTY, COLLABORATORS, AND ADVISORY TEAM

JESSICA M JOHNSON, PhD she/her/Dr.

Jessica Marie Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the Center Africana Studies and Department of History at the Johns Hopkins University. Johnson is a historian of Atlantic slavery and the Atlantic African diaspora.

She is the author of Practicing Freedom: Black Women, Intimacy, and Kinship in New Orleans Atlantic World (University of Pennsylvania Press, under contract). She is co-editor with Dr. Mark Anthony Neal (Duke University) of Black Code: A Special Issue of the Black Scholar (2017). Her work has appeared in Slavery & Abolition, The Black Scholar, Meridians: Feminism, Race and Transnationalism, Debates in the Digital Humanities, Bitch Magazine, Black Perspectives (AAIHS), and #DHPoco: Postcolonial Digital Humanities. She is the recipient of research fellowships and awards from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Gilder-Lehrman Institute, the Richards Civil War Era Center, and the Africana Research Center at the Pennsylvania State University.

As a digital humanist, Johnson explores ways digital and social media disseminate and create historical narratives, in particular, comparative histories of slavery and people of African descent. She is the founder of African Diaspora, Ph.D., co-organizer of the Queering Slavery Working Group with Dr. Vanessa Holden (University of Kentucky), a member of The LatiNegrxs Project, and a Digital Alchemist at the Center for Solutions to Online Violence. Read more about her work here: http://jmjohnso.com. Find her on social media here: @jmjafrx. Jessica and Bianca met when they were both in PhD programs at the University of Maryland in 2004. Jessica is chosen family and has collaborated with Bianca on numerous projects.

CORY SILVERBERG any pronoun

Raised in the 1970s by a children’s librarian and a sex therapist, Cory grew up to be a sex educator and author and queer (not necessarily in that order). Cory spends much of their time reading, writing, talking about, and, to a lesser extent, having, sex. Cory was a founding member of the Come As You Are Co-operativeand worked as a researcher and television consultant in Canada for over 10 years.

Cory received a master’s degree in education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.  Since 1997 they have developed and facilitated workshops for hundreds of agencies and organizations serving both youth and adults across North America on a range of topics including gender expression and identity, sexuality and disability, sexual pleasure, sexual communication, technology, and access + inclusion. Cory has delivered keynotes for national conferences in Canada and the U.S. and is a frequent guest lecturer and speaker at colleges and universities. Cory regularly gives book talks and speaks to parent and educator groups about how to make education more inclusive, especially in terms of sex and gender identity and disability.

They are the co-author of three books, most recently the ALA Stonewall Honor Book Sex Is a Funny Word, with Fiona Smyth.

SHANE’A THOMAS, LICSW, M.Ed. she/he

Shane’a Thomas, LICSW, M.Ed. (he/she pronouns) is a seasoned scholar practitioner with more than 11 years of unwavering service in the Washington D.C. metro area. His main commitment is training and educating social workers, educators and service providers around building safer therapeutic, service, and educational spaces for clients and students, especially those working in communities who are underserved, Black and people of color and/or LGBTQI folks. Thomas’ work has been featured on Slate’s Working series, as well as a guest writer for Posture Magazine, Huffington Post, Tagg Magazine, and a past Thought Leader for the Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians.

For the past six years, she has dedicated her time to as a Senior Lecturer for the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work’s Virtual Academic Center. Thomas also volunteers and commits time toward supporting LGBTQI youth and those affected by HIV/AIDS through Whitman-Walker Health and the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing in Washington, DC. She is proud alumna of Virginia Tech, Howard University, and Widener University holding a Bachelors of Science in Psychology, a Masters of Social Work degree with a concentration of Direct Services (Families and Children), and a Masters in Education with a concentration in Human Sexuality Studies, respectively. She is currently working towards his EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership through the University of Southern California. Thomas’ overall goal in therapeutic treatment is to show all people that they have the right to love and be loved, without pain or persecution. Shane’a has been Bianca’s death doula during her grieving and mourning.

AIESHA TURMAN, MA, PhD she/her/Dr.

Aiesha is an educator. Her Interdisciplinary PhD from Union Institute and University include cultural production as a way to mediate inter-generational trauma and historical grief among African Diasporan women; founder of Super Hussy Media (SHM) producer/director of The Black Girl Project documentary, and Executive Director of The Black Girl Project organization (BGP).

When not doing the work of The Black Girl Project or Super Hussy Media, teaching, coordinating a trans-Atlantic multi-media project between teens in Brooklyn and Dakar, Senegal, or leading a youth researched and curated exhibition, or being mama to her awesome daughter, she can be found napping.

Aiesha is also a contributor to Legacy Letters, an anthology of women writers advising their teen-aged selves and she likes long walks on the beach, freshly prepared juice, and has been known to bust a move while waiting on a subway platform. Find out more about Aiesha and her work at her website. Aiesha is Bianca’s homegirl and chosen family who trained her in Emancipation Circles.

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.JADELYNN ST DRE, MA, LMFT she/her/hers

Jadelynn is a facilitator, trauma therapist and interdisciplinary performance artist, based out of Durham, NC and the Bay Area, CA. She has worked within the antiviolence movement for over a decade, seeking to uplift the voices of those often forgotten or silenced within the mainstream movement. After obtaining her MA, Jadelynn worked within nonprofit antiviolence agencies and shelters providing clinical services, consultation and program development. Currently, Jadelynn is in private practice, specializing in sexual and intimate partner assault, intergenerational trauma and sex therapy. In addition, she is a guest lecturer at CIIS, UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley and is adjunct faculty at Lesley University (Massachusetts).

Jadelynn’s original and collaborative artistic work has been shown nationally, internationally and in print, most recently in the anthology This is Not A Gun. Her multidisciplinary artistic project, Choreographies of Disclosure, premiered at Pro Arts Gallery (Oakland) in January of 2019, funded by the East Bay Fund for Artists Award. Through all of the above, Jadelynn has rooted her heart in community organizing. She was the founder and lead coordinator of DISCLOSE, a queer collective of artists and educators committed to organizing arts-based community engagement in the eradication of sexual violence. Nationally, she organized as part of the Leadership Team of The Monument Quilt, a crowd-sourced collection of thousands of stories from survivors of rape and abuse, which was displayed on the National Mall in the Spring of 2019. She currently sits on the board of FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture (Baltimore). More information about Jadelynn’s work can be found on her website at www.jadelynnstdre.com

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CLARISSA “SERENITY” FRANCIS, PHD, CSE (She/Her/Serenity/Dr.)

Serenity feels called to develop safe spaces for Black women to participate in unrestricted dialogue unpacking and celebrating their bodies and diverse sexualities. She is trained in massage therapy, reiki healing, and conscious erotic touch. She currently sits on the AASECT’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee and the Leadership Collective of Women of Color Sexual Health Network (WoCSHN). She developed the Let Freedom C.U.M. Sexuality Workshop Series to equip Black sexuality professionals, and the aspiring sexually liberated, to recognize and utilize multi-disciplinary approaches to discussing Pleasure Activism as a tool for Black Sexual Liberation. Her goal is to infiltrate multi-oppressive systems to secure safe spaces for Black women to unpack intergenerational trauma, reclaim bodily autonomy, and Say Yes to (their own) Serenity! 

Dr. Francis offers workshops, training, and event planning consultation on Black sexual liberation, peer education, pleasure, and various topics concerning the Africana Diaspora and sexualities. She looks forward to collaborating with scholars, practitioners, and activists on future publications, interventions, and advocacy efforts! More information about Dr. Francis’s work can be found on her website SayYesToSerenity.com.

Natasha Singh

Natasha Singh has been an educator and youth advocate for over 20 years. Natasha consults, teaches, and speaks widely on topics including gender/sexual literacy, racial equity, sexual ethics, porn literacy, preventing sexual harms, and creating just relationships.

An activist with roots in community organizing, Natasha’s ongoing social justice work includes serving on a number of Boards including Center for Domestic Peace, an organization committed to ending domestic violence and promoting healthy relationships in Marin County; FreedomFwd, a San Francisco based organization that attempts to reduce youth vulnerability to commercial sexual exploitation by addressing systems-based harms; the Gaines Jones Education Foundation, which provides mentoring, scholarships, and educational opportunities to African American youth. Natasha is also the Co-founder and Co-Executive Director of Asha Rising, a nonprofit that provides permanent housing for elderly women who have experienced stigma, poverty, homelessness, and gender-based violence after aging out of the sex industry in India. 

Natasha’s writing has appeared in several publications including The Atlantic, The New York Times, and the South Asian Review.

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Hilary North-Ellasante they/them

Hilary North-Ellasante has over two decades of experience working for social change and developing initiatives for equity and inclusion in school communities. Their work is rooted in both an awareness that systemic oppression impacts all aspects of life in this society, and a commitment to Liberation for all people. Hilary’s approach to working with individual clients and groups is relational, experiential, and often includes elements of emergent design. They are trained in circle keeping and believe in the inherent wisdom of groups to surface wounds and then take part in healing them. Hilary is currently working on an intersectional anti-racist graphic novel for young people.

2021 INTERNS

Mx. Chelsey Morgan they / them

Chelsey is an Afro-Latinx, pansexual, polyamorous, and non-binary writer, sex educator and media maker. They practice trauma-informed sex education with focuses on Mental Health Awareness, BDSM and Kink, LGBTQ+ populations, Non-monogamy and Media Literacy. Chelsey will be supporting the update and revisioning of our Accountability course.

They currently hold a B.A. in Media Arts Production from Emerson College and are studying Holistic Sex Education at the Institute for Sexuality Education and Enlightenment. For the past decade, they have held a diverse career in media, with work ranging from cable television, documentary film and theatrical productions to modern dance, ballet and circus.

They have spent their career working to uplift the stories of the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities and are currently on the path to certification as an Intimacy Coordinator for Film and Television, where they will continue to spend their career advocating for accurate, consensual, and inclusive representations of sexuality in the media. To learn more about their work you can find them on Instagram at MxCMorgan or their website at www.mxcmorgan.com.

2020 Interns

CADY S. MOORE she/her/hers