Your Organizers


HeadshotRagen Chastain is a trained researcher, three-time National Champion dancer and marathoner who writes and speaks full-time about self-esteem, body image, and health. Ragen is the author of the blog DancesWithFat, the book Fat: The Owner’s Manual,  editor of the anthology “The Politics of Size,” and serves on the Editorial Board for Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Societ.y Her writing has been published internationally and she has been a guest on news programs on every major network in the US, and many across the globe.

Ragen is a feature interviewee in the documentaries “America the Beautiful 2 – The Thin Commandments” (Warner Brothers,) “A Stage for Size” (USC Films,) “Ragen’s More Cabaret” (PBS Independent Lens.) Ragen is the co-founder of the Fit Fatties Forum, and in her free time she is training for her second marathon and her first IRONMAN triathlon.

Jeanette DePatieJeanette 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:  She has been interviewed many times on television, radio and in print by many important organizations including NPR, “The Katie Couric Show”, Al Jazeera America, “The Dr. Drew Show”, Fox News, CBS News, ABC News, The New York Times, The Wall St. Journal, Women’s Health and Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family”. You can learn more about Jeanette at:

ORGANIZING TEAM (in alphabetical order)

Joy Cox

Joy CoxJoy is a current doctoral student in the department of Communication at Rutgers University, studying stigma and identity management. Her area of interest revolves around the body positive movement, women, and fat acceptance. Joy is particularly interested in how fat women manage their identities and overcome confrontations with stigma and/or stigmatizing messages.

Joy’s ultimate hope is to give fat women who view their bodies positively a voice that can be found in research journals, book chapters, and abroad, in and out of the Ivory towers.

Tiana Dodson

Tiana DodsonTiana 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, chubby women on creating amazing, healthy lives. She blogs and enjoys the good life as an expat in Europe. For a free gift from Tiana on how to begin winning in your own fabulous fat life check out more at

Daniel Goldberg

Daniel GoldbergI’m an assistant professor in the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.  I’m trained as a lawyer, a historian, and a bioethicist.

I work a lot on public health and especially focus on stigma as both a moral and population health problem.  I’m thrilled to be part of this team and to learn from you all and the Conference itself.


Angelique Jackson

Angelique JacksonAngelique works as a drug and alcohol counselor and has an educational background in health administration. This is comparatively easy to being a mom.

She and her husband look forward to instilling health at every size attitudes in their daughter. You can usually find her being obsessed with whatever entrepreneurial idea she has this week: quails, cake pops, nail decals, decorative hangers, raspberries…


Lesleigh Owen

Lesleigh OwenWhile researching her dissertation on fat performances and identities, Lesleigh Owen joined the Southern California fat pride movement. Like the momentum of the movement itself, her participation has only increased until now she feels grateful to know and work with fat pride and fat studies scholars from around the globe. Starting in 2006, Lesleigh has served as a co-chair of the Fat Studies Area of the Popular Culture Association. Also in 2006, she became a founding member of the Fat Poets’ Society, a group that has since published Fat Poets Speak and Fat Poets Speak II: Living and Loving Fatly, collections of fat-themed poems. After receiving her PhD in Sociology, Lesleigh became a Sociology Lecturer at Black Hills State University in South Dakota and has published various fat studies articles. She also publishes paranormal romances under the name Elle Hill. Lesleigh is owned by many gorgeous cats and a ridiculously cute dog.

Cat Pausé

Cat PauseCat 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!

Laura Pratt

Laura PrattLaura Pratt is an undergraduate junior student at Auburn University majoring in History and Art History and minoring in Women’s Studies. She has received a number of awards and accolades for her high academic achievement and dedication to her studies. Laura came into contact with the field of fat studies by reading Bodies Out of Bounds and since then, has feverishly continued to pursue scholarship and activism in the field. She has coauthored a paper on the co-opting of body positive language by companies which was presented at the Popular Culture Association’s National Conference in 2015 and is currently being edited for journal submission. She enjoys birds, macaroni, and critical theory.

Juana Tango

Juana TangoJuana 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 was recently created as a place to pen all things relevant to Socio-Economic Stockholm Syndrome. So, you know, pretty much everything.


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