The Fat Activism Conference is so grateful for all of the amazing speakers who have brought their unique voices to our conference!
Dianne Bondy is a celebrated yoga teacher, social justice activist and leading voice of the Yoga For All movement. Her inclusive view of yoga asana and philosophy inspires and empowers thousands of followers around the world – regardless of their shape, size, ethnicity, or level of ability.
She applies over 1000 hours of training to help her students find freedom, self-expression and radical self-love in their yoga practice. She shares her message and provides millions of followers with affordable access to online yoga classes, workshops and tutorials at her virtual studio: Yogasteya.com and her personal blog. Dianne contributes to Yoga International, Yoga Journal, Do You Yoga, and Elephant Journal. She is featured and profiled in International media outlets: The Guardian, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, and more. She is a spokesperson for diversity in yoga and yoga for larger bodies, as seen in her work with Pennington’s, Gaiam, and the Yoga & Body Image Coalition. Her work is published in the books: Yoga and Body Image, and Yes Yoga Has Curves
Dr Charlotte Cooper is a psychotherapist, cultural worker and para-academic based in London, UK. She has been involved with fat activism for 30 years. Her latest book is Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement (http://hammeronpress.net) and she blogs about fat at http://obesitytimebomb.blogspot.co.uk Find out more about her at http://www.charlottecooper.net
Caleb Luna is a superfat queer brown femme writer, activist, poet, performer, and first year Ph.D. student in Performance Studies at UC Berkeley. Their work explores the intersections of fatness, desire, fetishism, white supremacy and colonialism from a queer of color lens. You can find more of their writing on Black Girl Dangerous and Facebook and Tumblr under queerandpresentdanger.
Kerry Beake is a Australian nutritionist, lecturer, small business owner and passionate HAES advocate. After a 12 year career in advertising and marketing Kerry ditched that to pursue her passion for health and wellness. As a mature-aged student she started with a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology (minor in Biomedical Science and an emphasis in Genetics) then a post graduate degree in Counselling to achieve stage 1 qualification as a Genetic Counsellor. It was during this time she stumbled on the concept of Health at Every Size from the writings of Jon Robinson, ASDAH, Linda Bacon and others and has never looked back. Eager to learn more reading everything and reaching out to the authors and community was pivotal living in the most isolated city in the world where the idea of anything except weight loss was crazy talk. It was through this community that the reality that weight was only the tip of the iceberg. Body size was intertwined with discrimination against fat bodies, gender, race, disability, poverty, education and so much more.
A natural advocate Kerry recognised that isolation can be an additional challenge for those in marginalised groups, so she started the Facebook Group “Health at Every Size (HAES)” which has grown to an international community of over 3000. This group has not only helped lessen the feeling of isolation, created friendships, strengthened advocacy efforts for Kerry but also those new and not so new to HAES find a safe space to share and discuss the real issues that people face on a day to day basis. Along the way she has developed and delivered public health programs on nutrition, presented to and trained groups and individuals and has established a local nutrition practice. Kerry’s talk will consider the need for and importance of connected communities and how to use technology to create and maintain them regardless of our physical location as the basis for health that is not just physical but also mental and social. How belonging to a community is vital to advocate for ourselves and as part of the greater advocacy efforts to shift the dominant paradigm to one that is inclusive and supportive of all bodies regardless of size, shape, age, race, culture, gender and ability. Kerry is currently completing her Masters Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics.
Bevin Branlandingham is an ultra rad warrior for self-acceptance. She is a writer, performer, healer and cultural producer in Los Angeles, CA who believes that all bodies are good bodies and works to make the world safe for people to love themselves. She blogs at queerfatfemme.com and offers body liberation coaching one on one and through workshops. She provides energy healing through Reiki-infused teas, currently available through her blog and soon at bevinstea.com.
Harriet Brown’s most recent book is BODY OF TRUTH: HOW SCIENCE, HISTORY, AND CULTURE DRIVE OUR OBSESSION WITH WEIGHT—AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT (Da Capo, 2015). She’s an associate professor of magazine journalism at the S.i. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she teaches a class she created called “Fat & Feminism.”
Alysse Dalessandro is a size inclusive designer, fashion and beauty writer, fat positive advocate, plus size fashion blogger, professional speaker, and all-around loudmouth. After graduating from Loyola University Chicago with a double-major in Journalism and Gender Studies, this Cleveland-based entrepreneur is best known as the owner/designer for body positive fashion brand Ready to Stare and its corresponding personal style blog, #StareStyle. Her writing can also be found on Bustle, The Curvy Fashionista, The Body Is Not An Apology, The Lingerie Addict, and On The Plus Side. Alysse hopes her message resonates with the same people that she designs for: those who believe in following their passion, loving themselves and inspiring others to do the same.
Velvet D’Amour (born 1967) is the American model best known via the worldwide media coverage she received after her appearance as a plus-size model in Jean-Paul Gaultier‘s 2007 Spring/Summer prêt-à-porter collection shown in Paris in October 2006. She also made a catwalk appearance in John Galliano‘s prêt-à-porter showing entitled “Everybody is Beautiful” in 2006, and in the associated French Vogue article featuring photography by Nick Knight. She signed with French model agency AGENCE PLUS in 2005 and went on to model for several mainstream high end fashion magazines for photographers such as Daniele Duella/Iango Henzi, Kourtney Roy, and Ellen Von Unwerth.
D’Amour’s appearance on the catwalk was widely regarded as a response by Gaultier to the international model health debate, although D’Amour is quoted in many interviews stating that Gaultier’s intentions were honest. He was in fact, casting his 30 year retrospective and thus he was harkening back to previous collections where he had already incorporated plus size models, which is how she was cast in the first place.
D’Amour also featured in the title role of Avida, the 2006 French film directed by Gustave de Kervern and Benoît Delépine, and produced by Matthieu Kassovitz, which was selected for the 2006 Cannes and 2007 Tribeca Film Festivals amongst others and has been purchased by CINEMA EPOCH for US distribution. In 2010, she participated in French TF1 TV show : “La Ferme Célébrités en Afrique” spending 9 weeks in the bush in South Africa and raising 56,000 euros for SOS Enfants Disparu. D’Amour’s primary occupation is as a fashion photographer and she has a website that highlights her work at Velvetography.com.
She has launched a magazine called http://www.volup2.com/ that features her photography, as well as other photographers and artists. As d’Amour experienced success as a plus model, she photographs many plus models for Volup2, such as rising plus model Clementine Desseaux, Denise Bidot, and Hayley Hasselhoff. Her main goal with VOLUP2 is to support genuine Diversity and change how society views beauty, so that it may be more encompassing. Recently she had the honor of acting in Luc Besson’s upcoming film Valerian, due out in July 2017.
Kimberly Dark is a writer, storyteller and speaker who helps audiences discover that we are creating the world, even as it creates us. She’s the author of seven award-winning performance scripts and a number of educational programs regarding the body in culture – how appearances and identities influence our experiences in the world related to gender, race, body type/size, beauty, ability, etc. She uses humor and intimacy to prompt audiences to discover their influences and reclaim their power as social creators.
Dark is a regular contributor to both news and literary outlets like Decolonizing Yoga, Ms magazine, Everyday Feminism, Full Grown People and other print and online publications. She travels the English-speaking world doing performances and keynote presentations at colleges and universities, conferences, theatres and festivals. She has been invited to present her unique blend of performance and presentation, writing and workshops at hundreds of venues and she also coordinates the yoga program at Kalani, one of Hawaii’s largest retreat centers. She lectures in the graduate program in Sociological Practice at California State University, San Marcos.
The Salt Lake Tribune in Utah says “Dark doesn’t shy away from provocative, incendiary statements, but don’t expect a rant. Her shows, leavened with humor, are more likely to explore how small everyday moments can inform the arc of our lives.” The Evening Echo in Cork, Ireland says “the balance between objectivity and intimate analysis certainly gives Dark an edge and has made her a force to be reckoned with on every level. “ The High Plains Reader in Fargo, North Dakota says “Dark’s skill as a storyteller gets to your heart by exposing hers.”
www.kimberlydark.com, @kimberlydark, https://www.facebook.com/kimberly.dark.9
Tiana Dodson is the Fat Health Coach. When she’s not writing about being fat and winning at life by forgoing the old school belief that you have to be thin to live well and be well, she’s coaching amazing women on creating amazing, healthy lives through learning to love their fat bodies. She writes and enjoys the good life as an expat in Europe. You can find her writing on the Fierce, Freethinking Fatties blog, Elephant Journal, and In Human Parts on Medium. For a free gift from Tiana on how to begin winning in your own fabulous fat life check out more at www.tianadodson.com
Lisa DuBreuil, LICSW is a mom, wife, fat activist, and clinical social worker. Since 2003 she has been a psychotherapist doing individual and group work in an outpatient hospital-based clinic, treating people with co-occurring substance use disorders and eating disorders and more recently people with new-onset SUDs and compulsions following weight loss surgery. She also has a private practice in Salem Massachusetts where she treats people diagnosed with binge eating disorder and people dealing with various problems following weight loss surgery.
Daniel S. Goldberg is an attorney, an historian, and a public health ethicist. Trained as an interdisciplinary scholar, he holds a B.A. with honors in philosophy from Wesleyan University, and received his J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Houston Law Center in 2002. He clerked for a state supreme court justice and practiced pharmaceutical, hospital, and insurance litigation for several years before earning his Ph.D. with distinction in the medical humanities from the Institute for the Medical Humanities, University of Texas Medical Branch in 2009.
He focuses on public health ethics and population-level bioethics, and his research on the history of pain leads him to ongoing projects within the history of neurology and disability history. His historical projects center on the rise of somaticism in the 19th c. West (e.g., the rise of pathological anatomy, the Birth of the Clinic, etc.) and modern changes in concepts of objectivity. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Public Health at his university, and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Health from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.
Jane Arlene Herman
I am old and I know a lot. I have been a lecturer, educator, organizer, and activist, since (almost) the beginning of time. I know how to share, how to say what needs to be said (which is not necessarily that which people want to hear…), and how to create tiny shifts in the world. I am also a disability, environmental health, LGBTQ, old, and Jewish activist. In my teaching, I encourage people to understand that if you’re oppressed, your life makes you a political activist; wherever I can, I teach that “the personal is political.” During the 1970s, I was a member of the Los Angeles Radical Feminist Therapy Collective. This group, whose members included the visionary and pioneering fat activists Vivian Mayer (a.k.a. Aldebaran) and Judy Freespirit, birthed the Fat Underground and helped shape the early fat feminist movement. I now live in Sonoma County, California with my lovely and brilliant wife, the disability scholar and fat studies scholar Anna Mollow.
Jennifer Nicole Herman
Jennifer Nicole Herman is a fat activist, a big (fat) dyke, and a hospice nurse. Jennifer is also Jewish, butch, feminist, and a person with multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS). Jennifer is the proud niece of her fabulous fat activist/organizer/writer/scholar aunts, Jane Arlene Herman and Dr. Anna Mollow, who introduced her to fat liberation and have supported, educated, and inspired her over many years as she came to be a fat activist herself. She organizes fat queer social meetups in her community and tweets as @fatpositiveRN. As a nurse, she works to heal the harm done to patients by weight bias and discrimination by providing nurturing, fat-positive healthcare. Jennifer is a student in the Master’s of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program at Sonoma State University. She enjoys volunteering as an RN at the Jewish Community Free Clinic in Santa Rosa, CA.
Jennifer has never recommended weight loss to a single patient, and she never will.
Rajah Jones, 35 years of age, is multiracial Black, Latinx, Intersex NonBinary Womyn. I am a student at Antioch University of Los Angeles. I am currently on membership as Vice President of Trans Chorus Of Los Angeles, chairperson of Trans*formation Unity which is the Trans ministry at Founders Metropolitan Community Church. I am also a member/facilitator with Gender Justice Los Angeles, spokesperson for the TransformCA campaign. I was a Co-Facilitator and core member of Trans Folx Fighting Eating Disorders which trained health professionals from the ED field to be inclusive to Trans and gender diverse folks who suffers from a ED. I facilitated support groups and workshops pertaining to Eating disorder and body image issues. I am also an activist for the low income, disabled neurodiversity, undocumented, and oppressed communities.
Gloria is the creator of Nalgona Positivity Pride (NPP) a multifaceted Xican@/Brown*/Indigenous body positive project that focuses on raising EDs awareness in communities of color and decolonizing body love. Influenced by anachist-feminism and punx music Gloria commits to keeping NPP as a DIY project that is based in the community. Through NPP, she brings into light that gender, ethnicity, class, and historical & modern day oppression all have a role in the development of eating disorders in communities of color.
Courtney is a New Hampshire-based fat-positive group exercise instructor, personal trainer, and Zumba teacher and Body Positive Fitness Alliance Affiliated Professional. She specializes in designing effective and motivating exercise programs for larger-bodied athletes. Courtney holds a PhD in English and is a former English and Women’s Studies professor; she believes that in order to understand the fitness industry, we must learn how histories of marginalization and exploitation create stories about fat bodies’ capabilities and shape our relationships to exercise, labor, and beauty. For her, the fitness industry is built on narratives championing white supremacy, predatory capitalism, and misogyny, and the gym needs to be continually interrogated. Courtney enjoys a wide variety of sports and activities, including CrossFit, obstacle course racing, powerlifting, pole dancing, tap dance, and triathlons. She does all these activities in a fat-positive way!
In addition to teaching exercise classes, Courtney also writes and teaches about antiracist and feminist fitness. In 2015, Courtney founded Wrong Is Not My Name: Black Feminist Fitness and Jump At The Sun Fitness where her goal is to make fitness inclusive, joyous, and accessible. She brings free community-accountable exercise programs to underserved communities throughout her state and Massachusetts and is most excited about bring Zumba class to incarcerated women in New Hampshire. Courtney has spoken about Black feminist fitness at a number of locations, including California State University, Los Angeles, Agnes Scott College, the University of Southern Maine, the New England Food Summit, the Black New England Conference, and the Massachusetts LGBT Domestic Violence Coalition. She is currently working on two writing projects: Jump At The Sun, a training diary filled with Black feminist quotes, and Ain’t I An Athlete?, a book of essays about her experiences as an unapologetic fat Black female athlete navigating gym culture. She is also co-editing Throwing Our Weight Around, a collection of writings by fat athletes.
Stef Maruch has been involved in fat activist and social justice since the mid-1990s. Ze maintains the Fat Friendly Health Professionals List at http://fatfriendlydocs.org, which has been described as lifesaving.
Stef has lived on Earth for over half a century and identifies as white, superfat, disabled, queer, and non-binary/masculine of center. In zir capacity as a fatshionista, ze keeps a list of US retailers of clothing in superfat sizes. Ze appreciates cats, cephalopods, and working with
beads, paper, and yarn. Stef can be found on Facebook and at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org
Roz “The Diva” Mays
NASM certified Roz “The Diva” Mays has dedicated many late nights at the gym to becoming a stronger and healthier athlete. Pole dancing is her sport of choice, followed by TRX, strength & conditioning and flexibility. Among her finest contributions to the pole world has been creating Dangerous Curves: A Celebration of Plus Size Pole Dancers . Her talents have lead to a SAG membership for professional stunt work in Law and Order: SVU, The Big C and That’s My Boy . She loves to teach obnoxiously loud classes at Body & Pole, IncrediPOLE and Brooklyn Fit Lab in New York City. Recently, she was a featured contestant on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, Season 10. When she isn’t half naked and sweaty, Diva’s usual making pancakes with Beyonce.
Irene McCalphin used to be as ice cold as an Artic breeze on Solstice night until she began encountering a plethora of oppressed fatties like herself. She got heated when she realized how a Eurocentric and sizest society actively creates a cage to deny fatties and PoCs access to healthcare, love, financial stability and humane treatment. As a public speaker, published author, performance artist, producer, model, MC on mainstream burlesque and cabaret stages she literally stands naked at the crossroads of multiple marginalizations in direct confrontation of the desirability dogma. She has zero chill.
Jessica Wilson and Irene will highlight how desire can be used as a weapon, and provide opportunities for listeners to join FQDUP* in the de-weaponization and decolonization of desire!
*FQDUP is pronounced F*cked Up, and comes from the acronyms of Fat Queer and Disabled, rising UP
Artist, Writer, Activist, Catalyst. Passionate about working in ways that help to catalyze social justice movements, Jeanette is following a calling to live and work in communities across the country to support projects creating meaningful change based in human rights. Author of “Dating While Fat: One Fierce Fat Girl’s Experience,” Politics of Size: Perspectives from the Fat Acceptance Movement and other writings; Jeanette is a fierce, fat, feminist, and social justice activist, blogger, writer/artist, and hip hop addict with a penchant for living life boldly. She has presented on topics connected to fat activism and size acceptance at the Popular Culture Association National Conference, The Organization for the Study of Communication, Language & Gender National Conference and as part of a Santa Clara University Women’s Studies’ Lunch Lecture. Jeanette holds an M.A. in English Literature from Portland State University and has an ongoing interest in systems thinking, movement building, gender/identity studies, fat studies/activism, storytelling and education transformation.
Professionally, Jeanette has worked as an office administrator for several public and private universities in Oregon and California, as Director of Operations for a national nonprofit and received a co-authored grant to support engagement in a youth program based in Jackson, MS designed to interrupt the “school to prison pipeline,” through practices based in democratic education, restorative justice, and the development of emotional intelligence. She’s also recently served as Board President for Body Love 4 All, an organization with a “mission to empower everyBODY to discover and celebrate themselves, develop confidence, and create positive and supportive communities.”
Jeanette currently lives and works in Houston, TX while she completes her MS in Natural Resources with a concentration in Leadership for Sustainability from the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School and is preparing to embark on a year-long story-sharing project in the hopes of creating a public platform to generate insight, compassion and critical dialogue around the common threads that connect our humanity, with the collection and adaptation of stories shared through visual art, about how we move through the world in our bodies. You can connect with Jeanette on social media (twitter/instagram)@Wr1terGurl and visit her blog at www.Wr1terGurl.com
Naomi Ortiz is a writer, poet and visual artist who cracks apart common beliefs and spills out beauty. Her art is like dirt, hundreds of pieces coming together growing nourishment. In her activist work, Naomi is a nationally known speaker and trainer on self-care for activists, disability justice, and intersectionality. She has conducted hundreds of workshops and trainings on a wide range of areas, including: conflict resolution projects in prisons, organizational development for non-profits, youth leadership, disability justice, disability pride, practices and rituals for self-care and intersectionality, using art and poetry to build bridges within. Naomi has published articles, manuals and poems. She is a Disabled, Mestiza (Latina) living in the U.S./Mexico borderlands and her current project is a book exploring self-care for social justice activists and their communities. Naomi’s blog can be found at: www.selfcareforsocialjustice.com
Corbett Joan OToole
Corbett Joan OToole is a long time disability rights activist, fiber artist, mother, historian and all-round fat queer badass. Her most recent book, Fading Scars: My Queer Disability History is a finalist for the 2016 Lambda Literary Awards in LGBT Nonfiction.
A longtime innovator, she’s co-organized many historic events including the 2002 Queer Disability Conference; the U.S. disabled women’s contingent to the United Nations Fourth International Conference on Women in Beijing, China; the first all women’s team for the US Power Soccer Association; and the Conversations and Connections Across Race, Disability and Identity Symposium.
By the mid-1980s she burned out educating dominant culture people who didn’t want to change and she began to work exclusively inside social justice communities. She provides mentorship and leadership to interested individuals, consults with social justice leaders, and writes about what she is learning.
Now in her 60s she focuses on documenting the movements and people she’s been privileged to know. For the Fat Activist Conference she is sharing publicly for the first time her thinking about the intersections of being fat and disabled. She is grateful to the longtime work of the fat activist community in challenging the myths about health. With alot of support, she is in early recovery from a Binge Eating Disorder – a journey that’s brought many unexpected gifts of new people and ideas. Corbett is thrilled to be participating as a speaker in this year’s Fat Activist Conference.
Cat Pausé is the lead editor of Queering Fat Embodiment. A Senior Lecturer in Human Development and Fat Studies Researcher at Massey University, her research focuses on the effects of spoiled identities on the health and well-being of fat individuals. She has published in top journals such as Human Development, Feminist Review, HERDSA, and Narrative Inquiries in Bioethics. Cat hosted Fat Studies: Reflective Intersections in New Zealand in 2012, and is hosting Fat Studies: Identity, Agency, and Embodiment in June of 2016. Her fat positive radio show, Friend of Marilyn, is travelling the world this year – make sure your city is on the stop!
Amy Pence-Brown is a fat feminist mother who believes in opening her mouth and her heart. From both of these places she tells a powerful story of vulnerability, courage, and body positivity and the importance of taking a stand for something you believe in. As a body image activist, Pence-Brown became famous in 2015 for her radical stand for self-love in a black bikini and a blindfold in Boise, Idaho, which was documented in a blog post, photographs and a video viewed over 150 million times. Her message about the value of all bodies, no matter their size, has been covered by numerous media outlets, including CNN, USA Today, Cosmopolitan, People, TODAY, Huffington Post, Upworthy, HLN, WGN Morning News Chicago, SHAPE, the Dr. Oz show, MSN and NPR.
For more information on Amy’s activism, writing, art and press links, visit her website: www.amypencebrown.com
You can also watch her TED talk, The Stand For Self-Love, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnTLFlQ419s
Julia Rogers is a Scholar-Activist currently residing in San Diego. She is a Doctoral Candidate in Sociology and Science Studies at University of California, San Diego. Her dissertation uses situational analysis to map the emerging controversy of the “obesity paradox” and the attempted paradigm shift to a weight neutral paradigm. Her work has been presented at multiple international conferences and she is a student affiliate of the Center for Research on Gender in STEMM. In her free time Julia does Yoga and sings with the UCSD Gospel Choir.
Eileen Rosensteel is a bodacious Bohemian committed to embodying sacredness. Her portfolio includes a show about circus fat ladies, dancing in a non-normative body and poetry about what it’s like being a fat woman in today’s society. Connect with her on facebook!
Andrea Shaw Nevins
Andrea Shaw Nevins is chair of the Department of History and Political Science and professor of English at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale. She is a creative writer and a scholar of Caribbean and African Diaspora studies and author of The Embodiment of Disobedience: Fat Black Women’s Unruly Political Bodies. Her forthcoming book tentatively titled “Working Juju: Representations of the Caribbean Fantastic” is under contract from the University of Georgia Press for publication in 2017. Her creative and scholarly writing have been published in numerous journals, including Small Axe, World Literature Today, MaComére, The Caribbean Writer, Crab Orchard Review, Feminist Media Studies, and Social Semiotics. She graduated from the University of Miami with a Ph.D. in English and from Florida International University with an M.F.A in creative writing.
Mirna Valerio is an ultramarathoner, cross country coach, equity and inclusion educator, blogger at Fat Girl Running, and contributor to Women’s Running Magazine. In 2015 her running and fitness journey was featured in the Wall Street Journal, Runner’s World Magazine, and NBC Nightly News, helping to broaden the conversation about plus-sized athletes and participation in the traditionally “aspirational body only” world of sports. Mirna is a fierce proponent of the idea of athletic pursuit as a way of engaging in self-love, body-positivity and body-acceptance. She is currently working on a running memoir due to be published in the fall of 2017.
Saucye West began modeling in August 2010. She started as a model for Full Figure Entertainment as a promotional model. That opportunity introduced her to doing runway. After becoming a mother she continued modeling as a hobby. But the loss of her daughter’s father catapulted her into modeling in a more professional way. She began doing more runway and crossing over into doing print modeling where she has now been published in over a dozen print and online magazines as well as featured in the Huffington Post and Wear Your Voice Magazine.
Saucye has taken her role into the size activism world and uses her social media presence to help uplift and inspire women of all sizes to love themselves no matter what size they are. Her goal is to use this platform to change the standard of beauty in the fashion industry as well as society. And promote size acceptance among the masses.
For Booking inquires firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook www.facebook.com/saucyewest
Model Mayhem www.modelmayhem.com/3415224 Blog www.saucyewest.com
Official Website www.saucyewestplusmodel.com
Yolanda Williams is the Founder and CEO of Just Curves Activewear. As a plus size woman who has struggled with body acceptance and self-love, Yolanda understands the importantance feeling comfortable and confident in your clothes is to keeping women motivated to work out. She wanted to create high-quality active apparel that was not only fashionable but functional and most importantly designed with curves in mind. Just Curves is a physical manifestation of Yolanda’s mission to empower women to live happier and healthier lives now by accepting our bodies as they are and daring to love ourselves no matter our dress size. Check out Just Curves at: http://justcurves.net
Jessica Wilson was bored, very bored, with the conversations she was having about body politics. She decided to build a movement that uses direct action to disrupt body appraisal and surveillance; FQDUP*! The movement is in its infancy, but is fierce and growing. It holds the experiences and voices of PoC at the center of the movement. As a sick person, Jessica is especially interested in the Performance of Good Health in Western society, and the many ways that bodies of color are pathologized because so often Health equals whiteness in the US. As a queer, black woman, she’s experienced how the politics of desire have shaped her body’s appraisal.
Jessica Wilson and Irene McCalphinwill highlight how desire can be used as a weapon, and provide opportunities for listeners to join FQDUP in the de-weaponization and decolonization of desire!
*FQDUP is pronounced F*cked Up, and comes from the acronyms of Fat Queer and Disabled, rising UP
2015 Keynote Speakers
Yoseñio V. Lewis
Yoseñio V. Lewis is a Latino of African Descent female to male transsexual who has been a social justice activist since he was 13 years old. A health educator, speaker, writer, performer, trainer, facilitator and spiritual hugger, Yoseñio is a Board Member of TASHRA—The Alternative Sexualities Health Research Alliance. Yoseñio is on the faculty for the Sex Justice Track of the Creating Change Conference. Yoseñio is a Trans Patient Educator at Stanford University. He is also a frequent speaker at the medical schools of the University of California at San Francisco and Stanford University. For several years he served on the National Advisory Board for the UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health. Yoseñio was an organizer of and Keynote Speaker for the OPEN-SF Conference (Open, Polyamorous, Ethically Non-Monogamous), as well as a panelist at the Transcending Boundaries Conference, the Good Vibrations Sex Summit and the Catalyst Conferences East and West. Yoseñio was featured as one of the inaugural honorees of The Trans 100 list.
Keeping to his mantra that “There can be no art without activism and no activism without art” Yoseñio is the founder of Written In The Flesh Performances (an on-stage opportunity for the lifting up of People of Color voices in Erotica and Sexual Liberation), co-founder of the TransAms Barbershop Quartet and co-founder of Big Boys’ Ink™ Productions, a theatrical writing and performing company. Yoseñio was an organizer of and Key Volunteer for the TrannyFest TransGenre Film Festival, the first Trans film festival in the U.S. All of these artistic entities are devoted to increasing the visibility of the Trans and People of Color communities as well as to address the significant concerns of those communities.
Yoseñio has been featured in several documentaries, most recently “Diagnosing Difference,” a full-length documentary about the impact and implications of the Gender Identity Disorder (GID) on the lives and communities of those on the gender spectrum. Other documentaries include Christopher Lee’s “Trappings of Transhood;” the television channel A&E’s “Transgender Revolution;” “The Believers,” a documentary about the Transcendence Gospel Choir and “Transforming Healthcare,” a short highlighting the issues that Trans people face when accessing healthcare.
Irene McCalphin is a Bay Area writer, performance artist and eater of food in public. She blends modern movement and words with neoburlesque to create socially conscious art pieces that add voice to marginalized communities and celebrates the human body. Irene has danced on stages throughout the country with the award winning and internationally traveled troupe Rubenesque Burlesque as Magnoliah Black from 2010 to early 2015. As a solo performer her work continues to reflect body positivity, visibility and self possession beyond the static sizest and often racist Eurocentric beauty myth.
A published author and public speaker Irene draws attention to the ever evolving intersections of fat, feminism, kink, spirituality and human sexuality. As proud member of Santa Clara County Leather Association since 2013, Associate Producer of the country’s longest running queer burlesque & cabaret show Red Hots Burlesque, contributing co-founder & editor of asovereignembodiement.com/ and Certified Massage Therapist she accesses several diverse communities with the intent to facilitate radical acceptance and inclusion.
Connect to her on social media via facebook, twitter and instagram or follow her at her sorely mismanaged blog misadventuresofanungratefulfatbitch.com. You can also catch her in the upcoming feature film Fattitude being released in 2016.
Dietitian Lucy Aphramor R.D. Ph.D. pioneered the size equitable approach HAES® in the UK National Health Service and is internationally recognised for her contribution to advancing compassionate and socially-just nutrition narratives and practice. She is a founder member of Critical Dietetics and a Visiting Research Fellow at Chester University, U.K., with extensive publication across disciplines. Her two weight science articles have combined hits over 160,000 and her most recent publication, Body Respect, co- authored with Linda Bacon, builds on this research to envision a radical reorientation of public health.
Lucy is also a poet, as evident in the creativity, personal voice and relationality that are hallmarks of her practice.
2014 Keynote Speakers
Tigress Osborn is the creator of Full Figure Entertainment in Oakland, CA. FFE hosts nightclub events for people of size in Oakland and San Francisco. In addition to nightlife, the FFE team hosts fashion events and participates in size acceptance activism in the Bay Area and online. Tigress is a contributor to Hot and Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion and has been featured on local, French and British television. By day, she is a lifelong educator who has worked with Bay Area teens as a college counselor, creative writing teacher and high school diversity educator. Photo by: Jah Puba Photography
(aka Lynn Mabel-Lois)
A member of the infamous Fat Underground in the mid-1970s, Lynn’s journey has taken her from physical confrontations with the medical establishment, to “crashing” medical-governmental meetings that affect fat people, to an invited guest at NIH “think tanks” on obesity, to a member of an FTC committee that attempted to negotiate directly with diet industry representatives, to a voting member of an FDA Advisory Committee on diet drugs. Lynn has changed her ways of working for fat people, but not her life’s work of trying to make life better for all people of size.
Virgie Tovar, MA is an author, activist and one of the nation’s leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, November 2012). She holds a Master’s degree in Human Sexuality with a focus on the intersections of body size, race and gender. After teaching “Female Sexuality” at the University of California at Berkeley, where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 2005, she went onto host “The Virgie Show” (CBS Radio) in San Francisco. She is certified as a sex educator and was voted Best Sex Writer by the Bay Area Guardian in 2008 for her first book. Virgie has been featured by MTV, Al Jazeera, the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Huffington Post, Bust Magazine, Jezebel, 7×7 Magazine, XOJane, and SF Weekly as well as on Women’s Entertainment Television and The Ricki Lake Show. Her most recent speaking engagements have included University of Washington, Earlham College, Hollins University, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Davis, California College of the Arts, Sonoma State University, and Humboldt State University. She lives in San Francisco and offers workshops and lectures nationwide. Find her online at www.virgietovar.com
2015 Speakers and Panelists
Lindsey Averill is many things – a film producer, an academic, a writer, an activist, an aspiring novelist, a sake and sushi lover, a notorious trashy television watcher, an odd beauty secret keeper, an amazing dancer… really, the list is endless. Lindsey completed her M.F.A in Writing from Emerson College and is A.B.D in the Comparative Studies Ph.D. Program at Florida Atlantic University. The focus of Lindsey’s research is feminism, fat civil rights and the representation of fat bodies in popular culture. Since 2005 Lindsey has worked as a college professor teaching women’s studies, literature and writing courses. She was also the chair of the English and Communications department at Keiser University from 2009 – 2011, where she supervised and evaluated the entire English and Communications Faculty and designed extensive student programming related to social justice. Lindsey is a capable leader – so much so that the Orlando Chamber of Commerce honored her for designing, implementing, and fundraising for programming that exemplified the realities of classism for over 2000 participants. Lindsey is dedicated to ending the hateful relationships people have with their bodies and hopes to change the national conversation about body image so that it focuses not only on self love but also on injustice and civil rights.
Jes is internationally recognized for her writing on her blog, The Militant Baker, and for the “Attractive and Fat” campaign, a response to Abercrombie and Fitch’s controversial branding efforts. Her extensive body advocacy work has continued to garner attention from hundreds of national and international media networks.
When not blogging, Jes spends her time promoting her upcoming book Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls, speaking at universities, taking pictures in her underwear, writing for several online publications, working with clothing companies to promote more plus size fashion, and trying to convince her cats that they like to wear sweaters and bow ties. Learn more about Jes at TheMilitantBaker.com.
Writer, Motivator, Educator, Yoga Teacher, and A Leading Voice in the Diversity in Yoga and Yoga of Inclusion Movement. With over 1000 hours of yoga training in diverse modalities such as yoga therapeutics, restorative yoga, meditation, and Anusara Yoga – Dianne truly believes that yoga is for all!
She is passionate about creating a morediverse playing field in the yoga community and is a highly recognized voice in the Diversity in Yoga and Yoga of Inclusion movements – where all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds are recognized, celebrated and embraced both on and off the mat.
Dianne Bondy is an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance, with extensive training in yoga therapy and yoga for larger bodies. She is a regular columnist for Yoga International, Do You Yoga, and Elephant Journal and has been featured in Yoga Journal magazine. She has appeared as a guest author in the books: Yoga and Body Image, and Yes Yoga Has Curves.
She is the founder and Managing Director of Yogasteya online yoga studio that specializes in creating an inclusive safe space for students of all shapes, sizes, and abilities to practice yoga. The goal of Yogasteya is to empower people through the practice yoga.
Dianne has developed Yoga For All Teacher Trainings which seeks to educate and empower teachers on how to teach to different body types, abilities and ethnicities. Dianne facilitates inspiring and empowering retreats and workshops internationally. She is one of the founding board members of the Yoga & Body Image Coalition.
To learn more about Dianne, check out her website http://www.diannebondyyoga.comand connect with her at Dianne Bondy Yoga on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
As a singer, songwriter, rabbi, and voice teacher I use the tools of singing and songwriting to help people bring more of their inherent wholeness into the world. My fat activism began in 1989 when, as a 16 year old, I decided to give up dieting. Once I began connecting with the larger world of fat activism and fat feminism I brought what I was learning into my singing and songwriting (as exemplified in The Bathing Suit Song). My approach to voice teaching is deeply body positive and infused with knowing singing as an inherently integrative practice that brings together body, heart, mind, and soul. My fat Torah draws on the understanding that every human being is created in the image of the Divine and that every unique body is thus deserving of kavod (respect and honor) just as it is. I live in Jerusalem with my husband, Alan (who is also a rabbi as well as a supervisor of Clinical Pastoral Education — he teaches people to be better spiritual caregivers). I am inspired in my work by this verse from the Song of Songs: “Let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet!” Indeed, the world is listening for your voice, your unique contribution to the weave of creation. You can learn more about my work at minnabromberg.com.” with the linkhttp://minnabromberg.com
Ragen Chastain is a trained researcher, three-time National Champion dancer, and marathoner who speaks and writes full-time about body image, health and wellness. Ragen has spoken at venues from Google Headquarters, to Darmouth and CalTech, to the We Are Girls conference. She is the author of the blogs DancesWithFat and IronFat, and the book Fat: The Owner’s Manual. She is the editor of The Politics of Size – Perspectives from the Fat Acceptance Movement, published by Praeger, and co-editor of the work in progress “Throwing Our Weight Around: Real Stories of Fat People in the Fitness World” and a movie about her time as a fat competitive danceris currently in active development. Ragen lives in Los Angeles with her partner Julianne and their adorable rescue dogs Bu and ChadShannel, and in her free time she is training for her second marathon and her first IRONMAN Triathlon.
TaMeicka L. Clear, who prefers to be called Meicka, is a big bodied Black dyke from Texas, residing in Oakland,CA. Meicka is a Body Positive Coach, Spiritual Coach, and Community Educator. She is a wellness practitioner using hood alchemy, African Diasporic spiritual medicines, emotional intelligence, formal education and training, and various spiritual arts, to foster transformative and healing spaces for Black people living at varying intersections. Meicka’s loves are vibrant high top tennis shoes, ginormous earrings, and beloved community/family.
Jeanette DePatie (A.K.A. The Fat Chick) is a plus-sized, certified fitness instructor and personal trainer who has helped thousands of people who haven’t worked out in a while (or ever) learn to love their bodies and love exercise again. She is author of the best-selling book and DVD, “The Fat Chick Works Out!” and she offers training program and shares her workouts live on her website at www.thefatchick.com. Ms. DePatie has held certifications from the YMCA, ACE and AFAA for Aerobics Instruction and Personal Training. Jeanette is co-creator of the forum atwww.fitfatties.com with Ragen Chastain. She also co-created The Hot Flash Mob movement with Dr. Eve Agee which recently featured a simultaneous bi-coastal Hot Flash Mob in New York City and San Francisco in honor of National Menopause Awareness Month.
I am a 50 year old superfat woman living in Michigan. I am energized by the work of fat activists and in particular fat artists. I moderate several fat-focused groups on Facebook and am committed to an intersectional analysis and activism.
Rachel Dwight is a radical self-love advocate and the founder of Validity – the first body-inclusive sex-gear store. Through Validity Rachel creates access to sex education, sex gear, and resources for people of all sizes, physical abilities, ages and anatomies to have great sex. She is a fat, queer, disabled, cisgender, white woman and sees her intersectionality as a foundation for being both an advocate for herself and an ally to others. Rachel is also a sexologist with a M.Ed. in Human Sexuality Education. She is currently putting together a crowd funding campaign to establish the first physical location of Validity – a space where all bodies are accommodated, respected, and supported. Check out her campaign at RespectOurSex.com
Outside of doing sex education and advocacy for all bodies, Rachel is the Access Support Coordinator for Coaching for Social Change. She lives in the SF East Bay with her dog, Gabby. She loves experiencing and creating music, having authentic connections with others, and swimming unapologetically in her fatkini.
Amanda A Evans
Amanda A. Evans has been active in the fat liberation movement since before she had a name for it. At age 9, she looked around the hospital conference room full of healthy-looking kids – of whom she was by FAR the largest – and wondered what was wrong with the world that their parents were putting them all on a diet!
Throughout her life, Amanda has consistently been the fattest gal in the room, and so she has a special place in her heart for superfat community. More recently, she’s learning to own her emerging mobility challenges and navigating what it means to be superfat and disabled in this oh-so-fat-hating world. She strives to be conscious of her privilege where she has it, and to continually educate herself so that she can be as intersectionally aware as possible. She is committed to fighting racism, transphobia, heterosexism, ableism, sexism and all oppressions — in and out of the fat liberation movement.
In her everyday life, Amanda works in a support role with at-risk youth in the South Bay Area, California, and enjoys attending board game conventions and knitting or crocheting at her monthly Craft Club gatherings. She strives to take every opportunity to insert moments of fat lib into her work and personal lives. Just this fall, she finally got brave enough to declare the school office (with its with candy jar and frequent staff-donated baked goods) a “should-free zone.” It’s gone surprisingly well!
Philippe Leonard Fradet
Philippe Leonard Fradet is a mixed-race writer, fat activist, and aspiring fat studies researcher and educator currently living in New Orleans. Philippe has a Master’s degree in Sexuality Studies from SFSU and writes on body positivity, masculinity and gender, and race for The Body Is Not an Apology. He has given lectures on fat sexuality, queer theory, and sex education, and was a co-panelist with fat activist and writer Virgie Tovar on a panel titled “Fat Shame: The Politics of Body Image, Gender & Reclamation.”
Cassandra (Cassy) Jones-McBryde
Cassandra (Cassy) Jones-McBryde is a social entrepreneur who has a long-standing commitment to the empowerment and positive development of women and girls of every size, internationally and specifically in Detroit. Her passion for helping women, specifically plus-size women, see their beauty from the inside out, led to Cassandra becoming the founder and C.E.O. of LaFaye Consulting that specialized in event planning, plus fashion show production and plus wardrobe styling. In 2008, she became the Executive Producer of the International Fuller Women Expo in the US and recently expanded the expo to Nigeria. She is responsible for bringing together a number of outstanding local and international speakers, celebrities and fashion designers while providing empowerment seminars and workshops. This event is hosted annually in Detroit and attracts attendees, sponsors, vendors and exhibitors throughout the world. The Expo is dedicated to empowering women to believe in their self worth, to bring to light issues that effect them and introduce them to a broader community that embraces and values them.
The concept of community support was the impetus for the formation of International Fuller Woman Network, of which Cassandra is the Founder. Every woman who joins is welcomed “with arms that support each member“, especially with the Network’s online presence via its Facebook fanpage. The Fuller Woman Network is truly connecting curves around the world. It has been an honor for her to be able to share with global readers her perspective as it relates to the many facets of the plus community. To that end, Cassandra serves as the Features Editor for Daily Venus Diva. She is tasked with creating content that provides news and information that affects all women.
Cassandra’s dedication to making sure that the next generation of Detroit-area women feel loved and valued was part of the driving force behind the creation of the nonprofit organization, Pretty Girl Project where she is the co-founder and C.E.O. It aims to help girls realize their inner and outer beauty during their critical stages of development. This is achieved through initiatives like the Pretty Prom Princess Event that gifts prom dresses, accessories,career counseling, etiquette training and age-appropriate make up classes to Detroit-area teens in need. Cassandra has assisted numerous organizations centered on women’s issues and rights. She is currently the Executive Board Chair of Sisters Acquiring Financial Empowerment (SAFE), a non-profit organization that helps women achieve financial stability while transitioning from lives affected by domestic violence. Additionally, she is a Steering Committee Member of Transformation Detroit. which is a project comprised of multi-disciplinary agencies designed to be a catalyst to enhancing the ability of community partners in providing battered women in Detroit, who have mental health and trauma challenges, culturally relevant and appropriate services, support and resources that increase their resiliency and empower them to overcome the impact of the violence.
Cassandra has dedicated her life to helping women overcome adversity, improve their self-image and build a community of positive support. Although her reach has expanded beyond Detroit, she has an ever-present focus on the needs of the women of her beloved city.
Juicy D. Light
Mycroft Masada is a faith leader who moved to the Washington DC area from hir lifelong home of Boston MA a year and a half ago. Zie is a Community Engagement Adviser at TransFaith, a member of TransEpiscopal, and maintains the online presence of the Interfaith Coalition for Trans Equality. Mycroft is called to fat justice, and is a writer and artist; hir piece “Good News: A Sermon On Fat Justice” appears in the current issue of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society (the Special Issue on Religion and Fat). Zie is partnered with Julia McCrossin, the Fat Studies scholar, and their dogter Ursula is named after the flabulous Little Mermaid character. More at http://MasadArts.blogspot.com/.
Anna Mollow is a disabled Jewish lesbian feminist activist, scholar, and writer. She recently received her Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley; her dissertation addresses intersections of disability, queerness, fatness, and race in literature and culture. Anna lives in Sonoma County, California, where she is supported and inspired by her wife, Jane Arlene Herman, an organizer of the fat activist movement of the 1970s, and their niece, Jennifer Nicole Herman, who is also a fabulous fat activist. Anna is the coeditor, with Robert McRuer, of Sex and Disability (Duke UP, 2012) and the coeditor, with Merri Lisa Johnson, of DSM-CRIP (Social Text Online, 2013). Anna’s articles on disability and fatness have appeared in Bitch Magazine, Huffington Post, Autostraddle, Hypatia: Journal of Feminist Philosophy, The Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies,WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, and The Disability Studies Reader.
Tigress Osborn created Full Figure Entertainment in 2008. Since then, FFE has hosted nightlife events for full bodied ladies and their friends and fans of all sizes and genders in Oakland, San Francisco, Irvine, Phoenix and Las Vegas. Tigress is a body love activist and fat model who has been featured in the Adipositivity project and Virgie Tovar’s Hot and Heavy anthology. She performs annually as a guest dancer at the Big Moves dance show in Oakland, CA. She has appeared in local, national and international television projects and will be featured in the upcoming PlusLifeTV series following longtime supporters of Curvy Girl Lingerie in Campbell, CA. She is also the newest member of the Board of Directors for the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. Tigress was a keynote speaker at last year’s Fat Activism Conference, and she also participated in the Women of Color Panel. For more information on Tigress’s other projects, visitwww.iofthetigress.com and follow her @iofthetigress on Instagram
Rev. Gina Pond
Rev. Gina was initiated into an Alexandrian-type coven in 1999, and received her Third Degree on Beltane of 2010 as co-founder, along with her wife Sarah Thompson, of the Circle of Cerridwen (http://st4r.org). In November 2013, she was approved for ordination in the Progressive Christian Alliance, and had her ordination ceremony on March 15, 2014. She graduated from Pacific School of Religion with a Masters of Divinity in May 2014. Rev. Gina also served on the Minister’s Board at City of Refuge, UCC, which is a radically inclusive Christian congregation, until the summer of 2015.
Rev. Gina is the host of the This Week In Heresy podcast (http://www.thisweekinheresy.com). This Week In Heresy is a weekly interview podcast where Rev. Gina interviews those who are exploring the boundaries of progressive thought, religion, and social justice. She is also a writer, yarn spinner, soaper, tech geek, and volunteer for her local Democratic party.
Eileen Rosensteel is a bodacious Bohemian committed to embodying sacredness. Her portfolio includes a show about circus fat ladies, dancing in a non-normative body and poetry about what it’s like being a fat woman in today’s society. Connect with her on facebook!
Jessamyn Stanley is a yoga teacher, body positivity advocate, and writer based in Durham, North Carolina. Jessamyn uses high energy vinyasa flow as a way to move past mental and emotional barriers. Her classes provide a body positive approach to yoga which celebrates students’ bodies and encourages them to ask “How Do I Feel?” rather than “How Do I Look?” when practicing yoga. Jessamyn graduated from Asheville Yoga Center’s 230- hour Teacher Training Program and her eponymous yoga lifestyle blog and Instagram attract thousands of followers daily, offering tips and advice for other yoga practitioners while documenting her home yoga practice. Jessamyn contributes to Mind Body Green, Buzzfeed, and Elephant Journal, and has been featured by a wide range of international and national media outlets including Good Morning America, New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, and The Sunday Times, among others.
Bruce Sturgell is the founder of Chubstr.com, a style blog for big men. Chubstr.com helps big guys find, create, and share their style with the world by offering them articles, resources, and reader photo submissions.
Bruce has been featured in the New York Times, Refinery 29, The Huffington Post, The Cut, The Sydney Morning Herald, MSN, and Le Monde for the unique and interesting content he’s created through Chubstr.
Juana Tango was born in a burst of glitter on a radical burlesque stage. A fierce advocate of manifesting inclusive, interactive, diverse and accessible safe(r) environments with personal connections to Social Justice, Fat Acceptance, Latina/o/multicultural & POC, Queer, pagan and Alternative Communities spaces. Juan@ Tango’s blog http://sesspool.wordpress.com/ was created as a place to pen all things relevant to Socio-Economic Stockholm Syndrome. So, you know, pretty much everything.
Marilyn Wann is a longtime fat activist, author of the FAT!SO? book, and maker of Yay! Scales(tm), which give compliments instead of numbers. She gives weight diversity talks in the U.S. and internationally.
I was born to a black father and white mother in Sacramento, Ca. My fate was set from a young age when, as my mother read aloud from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s newsletter, I became enraged and proclaimed, “When I grow up I’m going to be a lawyer so I can go down there and help them! People there will hate me; I’m black and I’m a woman! If only I was a lesbian!” Fast forward 25 years. I never went to law school, but I am an out and proud queer and has been an activist all of my life. Currently my mission is to disrupt the tools with which we create narratives about bodies in Western culture.
My day job is helping clients recovering from disordered relationships with food. Most of my framing for my activism comes from witnessing the experiences of my clients and getting glimpses inside the Medical Industrial Complex. I reside and work in Oakland, Ca. Here I see myself reflected in the faces of other people of color on a daily basis and this is f*cking phenomenal.
2014 Speakers and Panelists
An award-winning columnist, educator, and media consultant on female body image, York University PhD candidate Jill (Ji!!) Andrew speaks regularly on body positivity, race & representation. Andrew is founder/director of BITE ME! Toronto Int’l Body Image Film & Arts Festival, Curvy Catwalk Fashion Fundraiser, co-founder of FatinTheCity.com a plus-size ‘fatshion’ blog, and the annual Body Confidence Canada Awards (BCCAs). Most recently Jill did her first TEDx talk on Fat Shaming, Body Image, and what she calls the “Thin Epidemic.” Her reflections on race, gender, and size analysis through an intersectional feminist, critical race, fat studies lens is a crowd favourite on-air and in print. For more on Jill visit http://www.fatinthecity.com/ Twitter: @JILLSLASTWORD @FATINTHECITY
Lucy Aphramor, a dietitian and Visiting Research Fellow at Glyndŵr University in Wales, pioneered HAES in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. She developed the creative HAES course “Well Now,” now available internationally through licensed facilitators, which shows how to practically teach the personal-political- physiological rubric in community health groups. Lucy is widely published, often collaboratively, in health and social science journals, Fat Studies, and critical weight science books. Her article on weight science co-authored with US nutritionist Linda Bacon has had over 100,300 hits and is recognised as a leading review in the field. Lucy and Linda’s forthcoming book, Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Get Wrong, Leave Out, or Just Fail to Understand about Weight, a crash course in what you need to know about bodies, equality and health, will be released September 2014. Lucy and Linda also deliver workshops together and you can find more on their collaborations here: www.bodypolitic.biz
Her practice is characterized by a strong commitment to ethics, including naming and addressing the embodied impact of poverty, trauma, and oppression. She speaks regularly to lay, practitioner, and academic audiences. Lucy is also a poet and performance poet where her work is noted for fleshing out the body in words, including its “dizzying eroticism”. You can find out more here www.well-founded.org.uk
Lindsey Averill, the producer/co-director of Fattitude, is a fat feminist activist, filmmaker and the author of Feminist Cupcake, a blog that looks at how representations in popular culture perpetuate negative stereotypes about race, gender, sexuality and body type. Lindsey also founded Extraordinary Being, an organization that facilitates life affirming, feminist and body-positive workshops and provides one-on-one feminist and body-positive coaching to clients nationwide
Linda Bacon, PhD, is a researcher on the inside track of weight regulation science – a scientist whose three graduate degrees, research, and clinical expertise uniquely prepare her to understand and translate the physiological, psychological, and socio-cultural underpinnings of weight control. She is currently a Health Professor at City College of San Francisco and an Associate Nutritionist at the University of California, Davis. An internationally recognized authority on weight and health, Dr. Bacon has published her work in top scientific journals as well as the highly acclaimed bestseller, Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth about Your Weight. Her forthcoming book, Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Get Wrong, Leave Out, or Just Fail to Understand about Weight, a crash course in what you need to know about bodies and health, will be released in September 2014.
Jes Baker is a positive, progressive, and magnificently irreverent force to be reckoned with in the realm of self-love advocacy and mental health. Jes is internationally recognized for her writing on her blog, The Militant Baker, the “Attractive and Fat” campaign, and her dedication to shifting social paradigms into a place where all people are offered the opportunity to love themselves just as they are. The “Attractive and Fat” campaign drew coverage from CNN, the Today Show, the BBC, and many other national and international media networks. Jes is also the Founder of the first ever Body Love Conference; an event dedicated to the conversation around all sizes, shapes, and shades. Within her advocacy, Jes harnesses the power of vulnerability, honesty and candor through dialogue about living in a world where worth is determined by your dress size, diagnosis, and deference to authority.
Magnoliah Black has been a core member of award winning and internationally traveled troupe Rubenesque Burlesque for over five years. Her solo performances run the gamut from flirty fun to social and political commentaries on both blackness and body positivity. She is a dancer, Certified Massage Therapist, model, writer, singer, public speaker and eater of food in public. She uses her public visibility to promote change in the world around her from the bedroom to the stage and every where in between. Follow her at misadventuresofanungratefulfatbitch.com and rubenesqueburlesque.com and catch her in the upcoming feature film Fattitude being released in 2015.
Nikki Boucher is a nanny, tutor, and mixed media artist, specializing in educational and therapeutic uses of the arts with children and adolescents with special needs. She is a certified SoulCollage facilitator, which is a therapeutic and self-exploratory collage process, and working toward a BA in Creative Arts with Children at Lesley University. She also identifies as an intersectional social justice advocate, with the goal of making activism and advocacy accessible to people of a wide range of abilities, backgrounds, ages, and needs.
Deb Burgard, PhD is an activist and psychologist practicing near Palo Alto, CA, and one of the founders of the Health at Every Size model. Her work is to shift the hearts, minds, and practices of health care clinicians and policy makers so that “health” is no longer used as a vector to oppress people. That, and to bring recess to everyone who wants it of any age.
Louise Green is a globally recognized “fit and fat” voice at the forefront of the Body Advocacy movement. As a certified fitness trainer as well as a successful Plus Size Athlete, Green single-handedly knocks negative weight stigma flat on its erroneous ass. As a “Plus Size Ambassador” for athletes in a culture that refuses to acknowledge larger bodies, Louise is living proof that society’s beliefs regarding the physical limitations of atypical bodies are false. Louise proves that every “body” has limitless potential regardless of size. Green is the Founder of Body Exchange Fitness (with 6 locations in Canada), a kick ass blogger and host of international wellness retreats dedicated to plus size women. Through multiple mediums, she regularly collaborates with others within the Body Love movement.
Green’s unflinching and unapologetic questioning of the way we view plus-size athleticism is also the catalyst for her groundbreaking book, “Limitless” to be published in 2015. Green has been published internationally on platforms such as Time Magazine, New York Times, UK’s Daily Mail, Huffington Post, xoJane and The Militant Baker. Louise madly advocates that living your athletic dreams is not determined by the size of your body and that life is limitless at any size.
Anna Guest-Jelley is founder and CEO (Curvy Executive Officer) at Curvy Yoga, a training and inspiration portal offering classes, workshops, teacher trainings, retreats, a virtual studio and lots of love and support to women of every size, age and ability — in six different countries, on three different continents, as well as in over 30 of the United States. Anna is a writer, teacher and lifelong champion for women’s empowerment and body acceptance. Author of, “Permission to Curve: Inspiring Poses for Curvy Yogis & Their Teachers,” and co-editor of Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery & Loving Your Body (Llewellyn, Fall 2014), Anna has been featured online and in print at The Washington Post, xoJane, US News & World Report, Southern Living, Vogue Italia, Yoga International, Yoga Journal, CrazySexyLife, The Daily Love and more. Visit Curvy Yoga online at CurvyYoga.com.
Heather Kolaya-Spealman is a bisexual woman who started her fat acceptance journey in 2010. Shortly after, she started Fat Girl Posing where she writes about fat acceptance issues as well as being a local plus size model. She is a happy and proud size 22. Over the past four years she has begun to organize for a local fat acceptance group, The Triangle Fatties, based in her home, Durham, NC. She began blogging for the group fat acceptance blog, Fierce Freethinking Fatties. She also started The Fat Naked Art Project, in which she photographs for and has also modeled for. And is busy campaigning for bisexual support and a fat queer friendly space in her city’s new LGBT center. She is married to a bisexual man and, together, they have a son and are passing information and activism on to a new generation. Photo by Mike Hanes, Raleigh, NC
Yoseñio V. Lewis is a Latino of African Descent female to male transsexual who has been a social justice activist since he was 13 years old. A health educator, speaker, writer, performer, trainer, facilitator and spiritual hugger, Yoseñio is a member of the National Advisory Board for the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, as well as the Board for TASHRA’s (The Alternative Sexualities Health Research Alliance) Kink Health Project. Yoseñio is on the faculty for the Sex Justice Track of the Creating Change Conference. He is also a frequent speaker at the medical schools of the University of California at San Francisco and the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, as well as Stanford University. Yoseñio was an organizer of and Keynote Speaker for the OPEN-SF Conference (Open, Polyamorous, Ethically Non-Monogamous), as well as a panelist at the Good Vibrations Sex Summit and the Catalyst Conferences. Yoseñio was featured as one of the inaugural honorees of The Trans 100 list.
Yoseñio is a co-founder of Big Boys’ Ink™ Productions, a theatrical writing and performing company. Yoseñio has been featured in several documentaries, most recently “Diagnosing Difference,” a full-length documentary about the impact and implications of the Gender Identity Disorder (GID) on the lives and communities of those on the gender spectrum. Other documentaries include Christopher Lee’s “Trappings of Transhood;” the television channel A&E’s “Transgender Revolution;” “The Believers,” a documentary about the Transcendence Gospel Choir and “Transforming Healthcare,” a short highlighting the issues that Trans people face when accessing healthcare. Yoseñio believes that there can be no art without activism and no activism without art.
Juicy D. Light
Ms. Juicy D. Light is a Fierce, Radical, Fat Femme. Founder and Artistic Director of Rubenesque Burlesque, Producer of First Friday Follies, Creator and Co-Choreographer for the Fat Flash Mob
Jen McLellan is a writer and certified childbirth educator who advocates for plus size women. She promotes positive information to empower healthy decision-making during pregnancy. Within her blog, Plus Size Mommy Memoirs, she helps women navigate the world of plus size pregnancy, shares tips for embracing your body, and laughs along with the adventures of motherhood. Jen is also a skilled patient advocate, professional speaker, wife, and mother to a charismatic 3 year old.
Angela Meadows is a biomedical scientist by training. In a previous existence, she received an MSc in weight management. But after discovering Health At Every Size®, she founded Never Diet Again UK and is a HAES and size acceptance activist in the UK. She writes and speaks on the science behind HAES, and is currently studying for a PhD in Psychology with a focus on weight stigma and health.
Khadeja Ali Merenkov
Khadeja Ali Merenkov is a mixed race, queer, self-described “everywhere foreigner” who also happens to be a passionate reader and gamer. Her experiences living in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Mauritius, and now the US are to this day absolutely invaluable and led her to completing a Master’s degree in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University. Her passions for social justice and equity have led her to be active in online communities every single day; a fact of life she feels blessed with. Another one of her absolute loves is performance, where she gets her fix from being a voice actor. She can be heard in two current video games, Codename Cygnus and Children of Liberty
Joyce Mudd is a 73 year old mom, gramma, girl friend, fat activist, sculptor, and retiree from a 25 year career. At this stage of her life her goal is to deepen her understanding and expression of love. She has also has been disabled by emphysema and arthritis for some twenty years, but that’s not who she is.
Joyce gave up dieting some 30 years ago and discovered fat acceptance a few years later. Sculpting beautiful fat women from her heart and the response to her work has healed her deepest hurts. Joyce isn’t much of a joiner, so she practices her activism with rude and snarky people, doctors, family and pretty much everybody to one degree or another.
Dr Cat Pausé (@FOMNZ) is Lecturer in Human Development and Fat Studies Researcher at Massey University, New Zealand. Her co-edited book, Queering Fat Embodiment, has recently been published by Ashgate. Cat hosted the ‘Fat Studies: Reflective Intersections’ conference in 2012, and recently guest edited an issue on intersectionality for the Fat Studies Journal. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, Yahoo, and 20/20. Cat engages in the fatosphere through her blog, Friend of Marilyn.
Stephanie Payne is the founder of Very Awesome Girls Las Vegas. The organization strives to give back to the community while strengthening the voice of women in nerd culture. She proudly wears her Slytherin attire and follows the Star Sapphire mantra that “Love conquers all with Violet Light.” WInner of this year’s Curvy Hoopers Video Challenge, the avid hoopdancer believes that the best way to love yourself is to go out and “shake what ya mama gave ya.” She recently gave a TEDx talk about her work with Very Awesome Girls.
Golda Poretsky, HHC is an outspoken advocate for the rights of a fat people. She is a certified holistic health counselor and founder of Body Love Wellness, which offers one-to-one and group coaching for plus-sized women who are fed up with dieting and want support to stop obsessing about food and weight. Her Health At Every Size® based programs and activism work have been featured on CBS’s The Early Show, ABC’s Nightline, NBC’s LX New York and in Time Out New York. Golda is often recognized from her viral TEDx talk, “Why It’s Okay To Be Fat” and was named a “Top Body Image Hero for 2013” by The Huffington Post. She is the author of Stop Dieting Now: 25 Reasons To Stop, 25 Ways To Heal, available in softcover and Kindle. Golda has also organized and hosted major body positive online events, including The Body Love Revolutionaries Telesummit, the HAES® Master Class and the Body Positive Dating Master Class. Golda’s big, fat dream is for every plus sized woman to own her power, beauty, and body, whatever her size.
Eileen Rosensteel is a bodacious Bohemian committed to embodying sacredness. After crossing the vague border to super fat 15 years ago, she trained as a massage therapist, became an ordained priestess, and dares to live life in public. Finding inspiration in stories of forgotten foremothers and community, she creates poetry, performance art and healing rituals. Her portfolio includes a show about the fat ladies of the circus, dancing in a non-normative body and poetry about what it’s like being a disabled freak in today’s society. She stirs life up from her hometown of Madison, WI. Her work has been shared on stage as well as in We’Moon, Breadcrumb Scabs, and Fat Poets Speak 2. Photo by Gwyn Padden-Lechten
Originally from Washington D.C., Pia Schiavo-Campo is a fat feminist living in Los Angeles, with a political agenda that includes extinguishing conventional notions of beauty and empowering women to take up as much space as they damn well please. With a degree in Sociology and a second degree in Interior Design, Pia is a creative spirit who believes that women are the true leaders and healers of this world, and therefore can change the landscape of the current oppressive patriarchy. She always has many balls in the air, including blogger (www.chroniclesofamixedfatchick.com), body positive activist and lecturer, contributing writer for volup2 magazine, and grant writer for a civil rights advocacy non-profit. She has written many articles on the subject of body image and self-acceptance, which have earned her a place as a valuable voice in the movement. Her passion for changing the representation of women of size and women of color in the media is a challenge she embraces daily. Most recently she gave a workshop titled, “Expanding Definitions of Beauty: Redefining the Thin White Ideal” at the Body Love Conference in Tucson. She is inspired by the strong women in her life, especially her mother, Hazel, who was her first feminist role model. Pia adores Mai Tais, Agatha Christie novels, saying “fuck” a lot, and her awesome husband, Will.
Jay Solomon, through his business, personal endeavors and academic work, strives to create environments that are safer, more comfortable and equal-opportunity for all people. As the co-creator of More of Me to Love and The Cresca Group, he works towards these goals every day in homes, corporate environments and the automative industry. He has a Masters in Religious Studies.
Juana Tango was born in a burst of glitter on a radical burlesque stage. A fierce advocate of manifesting inclusive, interactive, diverse and accessible safe(r) environments with personal connections to Social Justice, Fat Acceptance, Latina/o/multicultural & POC, Queer, pagan and Alternative Communities spaces. Juana Tango’s new blog http://sesspool.wordpress.com/ was recently created as a place to pen all things relevant to Socio-Economic Stockholm Syndrome. So, you know, pretty much everything.
Sonya Renee Taylor
Performance Poet, Activist and transformational leader Sonya Renee Taylor is a National and International award winning writer and performer, published author, and global change maker. She has shared her work and activism across the US, New Zealand, Australia, England, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, Canada and the Netherlands. She is the founder and CEO of The Body is Not An Apology, an international movement committed to cultivating radical self-love and body empowerment that reaches over 100,000 people weekly. Sonya has been seen, heard and read on HBO, BET, MTV, TV One, NPR, PBS, CNN, Oxygen Network, The New York Times, New York Magazine, MSNBC.com, Today.com, Huffington Post, Vogue Australia, Shape.com, Ms. Magazine and many more. She has shared stages with such luminaries as Hillary Rodham Clinton, Harry Belafonte, Dr. Cornell West, the late Amiri Baraka and numerous others. Sonya continues to perform, speak and facilitate workshops globally. Visit her at www.sonya-renee.com or www.thebodyisnotanapology.com
Whitney Way Thore
Whitney Way Thore is a 30-year-old dancer, writer, and body-positive activist. After her “A Fat Girl Dancing” video series went viral, she founded the No Body Shame Campaign (www.nobodyshame.com) which landed her on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Steve Harvey, CNN Headline News, Huff Post Live, and Inside Edition, among other national and international programs. Her writing has been featured on NBC and XOjane. Whitney made O Magazine’s list of “5 Triumphs for Better Body Image Around the World” as well as Woman’s Day magazine’s “10 Women Who Are Changing the Face of Beauty.” She has also been featured on Huffington Post, UK Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan and Cosmopolitan UK. She lives in Greensboro, North Carolina with her two cats and believes in dancing everywhere always.
Marilyn Wann is a longtime fat activist, author of the FAT!SO? book, and maker of Yay! Scales(tm), which give compliments instead of numbers. She gives weight diversity talks in the U.S. and internationally.
Lizabeth Wesely-Casella is an advocate and business consultant. Her advocacy has engaged a wide spectrum of people and organizations including the White House in efforts to prevent weight bias and stigma in national programs. If there is a promotion, a push, an awareness campaign for size diversity, ending hate speech and discrimination or starting a dialog around these issues, Lizabeth is eager to lend her voice, her writing and her time.
Jayne Williams is a writer focusing on making athletic experiences accessible and enjoyable for everyone. She enjoys wearing spandex in public and doing other things that disrupt the status quo around fatness and movement. She is also a nonprofit management consultant with experience in education, workforce development, criminal and juvenile justice reform, mental and behavioral health, and other social services. She has a Master’s degree in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor’s from Harvard in Russian Languages and Literatures. She is the author of Slow Fat Triathlete: Live Your Athletic Dreams in the Body You Have Now and Shape Up With the Slow Fat Triathlete.
Bianca D.M. Wilson is a Senior Scholar of Public Policy at The Williams Institute within the UCLA Law School. She earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from the Community and Prevention Research program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with a minor in Statistics, Methods, and Measurement, and received postdoctoral training at the UCSF Institute for Health Policy Studies and the UCSF Lesbian Health and Research Center through an Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ) postdoctoral fellowship. Her research focuses on the relationships between culture, oppression, and health, with an emphasis on how racial and sexual minorities navigate the intersection of multiple communities and oppressions.
Sabrina Wilson is a bi-racial, fat, atheist, queer feminist who thrives in activism that fully embraces the wonderful intersectionalities of human existence. When she’s not working, dancing in front of a mirror or trying to perfect cold-brewed iced coffee, she enjoys spending her time with her loving partner, cuddly kitty and amazing family.
Ronda Wood is a California native, raised in a big extended family and church fellowship. After 15 years of the usual diet – go round, she was exposed to the idea that it is OK to inhabit different sized bodies in the late 70’s. There was an article in the LA Times about NAAFA and the Fat Underground; the pictures that accompanied th article were the first time she had seen women who looked like her in the media! Ronda joined NAAFA in 1979 and has participated in many national conventions as well as the Fat Feminist Caucus, Size Diversity Task Force retreats, local group activities and bashes of various groups. Founding member of MOR2LUV dating and social group, the FATIMAS Belly Dance Troupe, and the Size Acceptance For Empowerment (SAFE) SoCal social and support group.
Julianne has been involved in the Size Acceptance movement since 2007. She is happy to be out and proud as a queer, fat-celebrating activist. Her loves in life include her wonderful partner, her horribly spoiled dogs, and her cute pointy hedgehog.
Alexandria Elizabeth Wright is a filmmaker and PhD candidate in UC Berkeley’s Rhetoric Department. Her academic work focuses on feminist philosophy, aesthetics and phenomenology, as well as trends within corporate branding. She is interested in the body as a subject within philosophy as well as a site of artistic and political engagement. Prior to her time in academia she worked in media and marketing, where she became interested in the interview process as a creative and political tool, training activists as a media strategist and conducting and editing interviews for StoryCorps and NPR. Alexandria is a member of BigMoves/EmFATic Dance .
Julie Wyman is a filmmaker and performer whose work aims to challenge and expand our culture’s narrow range of represented bodies. Her documentary films engage issues of embodiment, body image, gender, and the politics, possibilities, and problematics of media spectatorship. Her 2012 documentary STRONG! about Cheryl Haworth premiered at AFI Silverdocs, screened in theaters nationally, and was broadcast nationally as the closing film of the 10th season of PBS’s Emmy award winning series, Independent Lens, where it won the series’ Audience Award. Wyman’s work has been awarded support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Independent Television Service and the Creative Capital Foundation.
Her participatory workshops, which have been featured events at universities, academic conferences, art galleries, and at community centers nationally, draw on her experience as professor, writer, and performer. Her films, including Buoyant (2005) and A Boy Named Sue (2000), have aired on Showtime, MTV’s LOGO-TV, and have been exhibited at New York’s MoMA, London’s National Film Theater, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Wexner Art Center, the Walker Art Center, and the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut. Wyman is currently an Associate Professor in the Cinema and Technoculture Program at UC Davi