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Everyone deserves to live in a healthy and safe environment. That environment includes where you live, work, play, and pray. We reject and actively push back against racist rhetoric, actions, policies and institutional oppression that leads to state-sanctioned brutality, gun violence, and harm that again and again assaults communities of color. We are committed to working for justice and equity, and are in solidarity with social, racial, and environmental justice organizations to build community, understanding and honest dialogue to address the root causes of violence, harm and hate.

Women’s Voices Board + Staff

Our Board of Directors

WVE board member, Nicole AcevedoDr. Nicole Acevedo / Minneapolis, MN

Nicole Acevedo is a reproductive and environmental health scientist with expertise on the health risks of everyday exposures to hormone-disrupting chemicals. Dr. Acevedo received her doctorate in Molecular and Integrative Physiology from the University of Michigan and her postdoctoral research at Tufts University School of Medicine focused on the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals on the development of human health disorders and disease. Her academic research formed part of an unprecedented collaboration between government and academic scientists to integrate the strengths of academic and regulatory research approaches to identify best practices for hazard assessment of environmental chemical contaminants. In 2015, she was recruited by a pioneering brand in ‘clean beauty’ to lead and build out their company strategy on ingredient and product safety and sustainability. In 2016, Nicole joined the Board of Directors for The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX), a science-based, non-profit research institute that serves to assure the integrity of the science that supports the endocrine disruption movement and the larger environmental health movement by maintaining and championing the scientific foundations of sound advocacy.

In 2017, Dr. Acevedo launched her own scientific consulting business, Elavo Mundi Solutions, LLC, to provide personal care and household cleaning brands clear solutions for cleaner, more sustainable and high-performing product development. She is also actively involved with international working groups engaged in creating viable business solutions for cleaner, safer, more sustainable product development across different industries. Nicole is deeply driven by a desire to build awareness for science-based approaches to environmental injustice issues that disproportionately affect women, children and minority populations around the world.


Boma Brown-West
/ Chicago, IL

Boma is the Director of Consumer Health at Environmental Defense Fund. She has over 15 years’ experience in working with businesses to improve product sustainability. She currently leads EDF’s work to influence companies to eliminate toxic chemicals from consumer products, packaging and food. This includes getting major brands and retailers to set ambitious chemical policies, increase transparency and invest in safer ingredient innovation. Boma also works to end the toxic disparities in products marketed to different consumer segments, primarily calling on beauty brands and retailers to significantly reduce the toxic disparity in beauty products marketed to women of color. Boma has a M.S. in Technology & Policy from MIT and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Yale University.

Dr. Sally EdwardsDr. Sally Edwards / Lowell, MA

Sally Edwards has many years of experience in engaging a wide range of stakeholders to promote the environmental health of communities and develop safer and greener products. She is a senior research associate at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She is director of retailer engagement for the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3) and facilitates the work of GC3’s Retailer Leadership Council, whose mission is to promote safer chemicals, materials and products across retail supply and value chains. Sally is a co-founder of the Chemical Footprint Project, which is designed to evaluate corporate chemicals management systems, benchmark companies and recognize leadership in the use of safer chemicals. She also provides consulting services to NGOS, businesses, and communities to support their environmental sustainability efforts. Sally holds an MS in Environmental Health Science from Harvard University and a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University. She completed her doctorate in Work Environment at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Her book, Beyond Child’s Play: Sustainable Product Design in the Global Doll-Making Industry, was published in 2009.

Debra Erenberg | Milford, CT

As Strategic Director for the Cancer Free Economy Network, Debra serves as lead staff for a multi-sector network collaborating to promote healthy environments where no one gets sick because of toxic chemicals where they live, learn, work, and play. Prior to joining CFE in 2018, Debra consulted on network best practices; developed a coalition-building guide to combat anti-Semitism and hate crimes for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); served as National Field Coordinator for the 2017 Peoples Climate March; and designed a strategy for an environmental health approach to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. As Director of State Affairs at Justice at Stake, she oversaw advocacy for fair and impartial state courts and to promote diversity on the bench. As Midwest Regional Director for Amnesty International USA, Debra led human rights efforts in 13 states, representing the organization on successful collaborative campaigns to abolish the death penalty in Illinois and shut down a notorious Supermax prison. She has also worked as Organizing Director for Rainforest Action Network and Director of Affiliate Development for NARAL Pro-Choice America. She holds a J.D. from George Washington University National Law Center and a Master’s degree in Public Policy (M.P.P.) and Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Michigan.

Amanda Klasing / Washington, DC

Amanda Klasing is an associate director of the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch. Her work focuses on reproductive rights and women’s health, gender-based violence, and economic and social rights. She is a specialist in the rights to water and sanitation. 

Amanda has engaged in research and advocacy on a broad range of human rights issues including: the First Nations water crisis in Canada; the rights of women and girls in affected by Zika in Brazil; the relationship between women’s and girls’ human rights and access to good menstrual hygiene management; the rights to water and sanitation in schools in Haiti; and the impact of climate change on the rights to health, food and water.  

Amanda published in peer-reviewed journals on the right to water and on human rights and humanitarian response and is a contributing author of an academic book on health and human rights. She has spoken before United Nations human rights bodies.  

Amanda holds a master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago, and a law degree from New York University, where she received the Vanderbilt Medal for outstanding contributions to the Law School. 

WVE board member, Olivia RiuttaOlivia Riutta / Missoula, MT

Olivia Riutta is the Outreach and Engagement Manager at the Montana Primary Care Association (MPCA). She leads MPCA’s work to identify and impact the social needs of patients served at health centers. Olivia joined MPCA in 2013 and worked extensively on outreach, enrollment, and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Prior to joining MPCA, Olivia was the co-director of Montana Women Vote. She helped plan and implement Montana Women Vote’s voter registration, GOTV, issue education, and ballot initiative efforts. Her work included policy advocacy on issues that impact low-income women and families in Montana including access to health care, reproductive rights, violence against women, and tax and budget issues.

Olivia has a B.A. in Grassroots Development from the University of Michigan. She lives in Missoula, Montana with her partner and son.

Board member, Monica SchrockMonica Schrock / Vancourver, WA

Monica Schrock is an introverted copywriter and marketing strategist with over a decade of marketing experience helping brands and people find their voice and create a business that truly speaks to who they are and what they want to accomplish.

Monica’s taught over 200 clients to craft their message and helped them gain the confidence to share it, and themselves, with the world. She’s created marketing campaigns for international nonprofits, including an App that’s been downloaded in over 170 countries. She created over 40 celebrity ads that have been shared thousands of times and created educational content that has reached hundreds of thousands of people.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest, working from home (like a true introvert!) and helping people achieve their goals through authentic, growth-driven marketing strategies, and implementation. She gets joy out of playing basketball, reading, and hanging with her cats. You can catch her drinking a coffee and reading a comic book at any given moment.

Aimée R. Thorne-Thomsen / Falls Village, CT

Board Chair

Aimée R. Thorne-Thomsen, MPA, is a long-time reproductive justice activist who focuses on advocating with and for women, communities of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people and young people. She recently launched Guerrera Strategies, LLC, a woman-of-color lead strategic consulting firm with other women of color from progressive movements.  Prior to that, she served as the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships of Advocates for Youth, where she oversaw and coordinated the development, implementation and evaluation of Advocates’ strategic partnerships with youth activists and organizations in allied social justice movements.  Aimée was also Interim Executive Director of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and Executive Director of the Pro-Choice Public Education Project (PEP). She is the Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective and a member of the Board of Directors for the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program.  Aimee has spoken throughout the country in places like the National Abortion Federation Conference, the Women’s Convention, NOW National Conference, Netroots Nation, Center for American Progress and Facing Race, and her writings and blogs have appeared in Women’s e-News, Daily Kos, Feministing, Feministe and Rewire , among others. A proud Boricua, Aimée received her Bachelor of Arts from Yale University and a Master of Public Administration from the City University of New York.

Karen Wang / Bay Area, CA

Karen Wang, PhD, MSc, is the Director of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) and the founder and editor-in-chief of Because Health, an environmental health education campaign for millennials. Her responsibilities include leading and managing CHE’s science and education programming, forming and managing partnerships, and development and fundraising. She is also responsible for the content strategy and production of content for Because Health. She is deeply committed to and passionate about sharing science and education on the health effects of toxics and effective toxics reduction. She brings deep knowledge and experience in science communication, statistics, research methods, and data analysis. Karen completed her PhD in Strategic Management, a quantitative social science discipline grounded in applied economics and social psychology, at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. Karen also holds a MSc in Environmental Science and a BA in Economics from Stanford University.

2021-2022 WVE Fellows

Umyeena Bashir

CA Intimate Care Organizing Fellow

Umyeena Bashir is a graduate student at the University of San Francisco studying Organic Chemistry. She completed her Bachelors of Science in Applied Mathematics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. She has expertise in chemical synthesis, organic research methods, and large scale data processing. Currently, she is working on developing new types of antibiotics against staph bacteria to address the rise in MRSA. Umyeena has a strong desire to address period stigma, period poverty, and proper menstrual care management. She has conducted research on period access, education and inclusivity and worked with local charities in her community to learn about the menstrual needs of the underserved. Over the last year, Umyeena has worked on developing an all inclusive period education platform to help all menstruating individuals, no matter their gender identity, track their period and learn about their menstrual cycle along the way. In her own personal time, Umyeena enjoys running, painting, and is an avid chess player! Umyeena is a firm believer in access to proper education for all, because menstruation is not just a period, it is your health. With her strengths in research and data analytics, Umyeena is committed to helping WVE further their mission and helping all menstrual individuals manage their period with ease.

Angel Carrasco

CA Safer Cleaning Organizing Fellow

Angel is a film and history student at UC Berkeley originally from Los Angeles, CA. Their work has heavily focused on supporting the youth through tutoring, organizing, and teaching. Besides teaching, they believe that the connection between social justice and art is crucial to make changes. They are a photographer, poet, and filmmaker. You can follow Angel’s Instagram @zapotecboy to see more.

Rena Chen

NY Intimate Care Organizing Fellow

Rena Chen is a Chinese American born and raised in the United States. She is currently attending Brooklyn Technical High School, studying medicine, but she is also passionate about humanitarian issues like women’s rights, reproductive care and equality for all races. Growing up in an immigrant family in America that barely spoke English, Rena felt that it was hard to conform to society. However, she learned that it was important to embrace her background and heritage and aims to teach others through education. Rena is the founder and president of the Period Awareness Club at her high school, which focuses on issues relating to menstrual care and equity, which hosts events that focus on bringing awareness and resolution to such disparities in society through education and action. Outside of school and work, Rena enjoys cooking and exercising. Rena’s values closely align with the WVE and its team, and she’s eager to commit to such a great cause and is excited to be working with everyone.

Mrittika Howlader

NY Intimate Care Organizing Fellow

Mrittika is a proud first-generation American woman. She is also a sophomore at Barnard College passionately double majoring in Human Rights and Women’s Studies. She was born and raised in NYC and has spent most of her teenage years volunteering in numerous local humanitarian organizations, such as the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), in an effort to uplift and amplify the narratives of the disadvantaged. Whilst volunteering at the NYCLU, she, along with her peers, asked the tough questions to the next generation of policymakers and pushed for long-term structural change. She also led multiple peer education sessions with topics ranging from sex education to biometric surveillance and regularly participated in city-wide protests and campaigns. She is deeply determined to encourage others to approach policy changes from a multifaceted perspective. Being a fellow at the WVE, an organization that has been at the forefront of the feminism movement for over 20 years, undoubtedly allows her to continue her commitment to deconstructing our patriarchal system. In her free time, you will almost always find Mrittika watching re-runs of an animated series that she genuinely could write a thesis on – BoJack Horseman. If she is not indulging in the show, she’s taking a big nap with the knowledge that resting is a very productive form of resistance against capitalism and white supremacy!

Olivia Romero

CA Intimate Care Organizing Fellow

Olivia Romero is a high school student and leader who advocates for anti-racism and to end sexual violence within school communities. She is one of the founders of her school’s Anti-Racism Club which focuses on anti-bias activism and culture change which is led and initiated by students. She is a leader inside and outside of the classroom as she strives to bring awareness to her peers through education and action. Olivia wants to destigmatize conversations about period and menstrual care and create a cleaner and safer environment for young people who go through menstruation and are affected by the pink tax. She wants to help people talk more freely about menstruation and how to combat sexual violence no matter the individual. When Olivia has free time, she in an avid gamer girl and music enthusiast who absolutely loves to sing. She is passionate about creating music and becoming a singer or composer is one of her biggest dreams.

Our Staff

head shot Beth ConwayBeth Conway

(she/her)
Communications Director

Before coming to WVE, Beth spent a decade spearheading marketing, communications and multi-media programs in the adventure and sustainable travel industry. During those ten years, she had the opportunity to travel the globe and connect with diverse communities across the world. Beth holds degrees in history, English and political science and has her MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana, Missoula. She proudly serves on the Board of Directors at Mountain Home Montana, and is a ReFrame alumnus, which is dedicated to training communicators to develop successful strategies to advance narratives that light the way to justice, liberation, healing and freedom for all people and the Earth. Beth brings her love of language — the power of message and storytelling — to Women’s Voices for the Earth. She knows the potency narratives have to strengthen like-minded communities, ignite action and invite conversations with the most seemingly surprising allies.

Sandra Criswell

(they/them she/her)
Director of Programs & Special Projects

Sandra Criswell is a queer mixed-race Pilipinx femme movement-building nerd with roots in reproductive justice, red state organizing, and network weaving. A former Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion consultant to WVE, Sandra brings a deep bench of experience as an organizational and leadership development facilitator; former clients include the National Network of Abortion Funds, Center for Community Change, National Asian American and Pacific Islander Women’s Forum, Move to End Violence, and Social Movement + Innovation Center at The New School. Sandra uses a variety of modalities in her work to center play and pleasure as powerful acts of resistance, as well as dismantle white supremacy and other systems of oppression through community-building, creative practice, healing justice, and liberated innovation frameworks.

Sandra has over a decade of grassroots movement and non-profit experience, from local organizing in Oklahoma to their national movement roles at CoreAlign and Take Root: Red State Perspectives on Reproductive Justice. They are an alum of the Rockwood Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice Fellowship, the CoreAlign Speaking Race to Power and Generative Fellowships, and the Consulting for Prefiguring Liberation pilot cohort, as well as a recipient of the URGE Generations Award and the Take Root: Spreading Roots Award. Currently based in Oakland, California, Sandra spends their downtime learning about astrology and plant medicine, and talking about the finer points of daytime soap operas as a third generation fan.

Amber Garcia

(they/them)
Executive Director

Amber Garcia was born in Denver and raised in Boulder, Colorado. They studied Ethnic Studies and Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD). Their passion for human rights and justice has shaped their adult career and defines their purpose. Amber’s political home is in the Reproductive Justice (RJ) movement where they have been fighting for bodily autonomy and liberation for over a decade. Prior to joining Women’s Voices for the Earth as Executive Director, Amber ran COLOR’s (Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights) grassroots voter engagement and community advocacy work through a reproductive justice framework to mobilize the Latinx community in Denver and secure wins at both the legislature and the ballot box. Their work in the broader social justice movement includes working with community partners on policies to provide drivers licenses for undocumented folx and increasing the minimum wage for all Coloradoans. An organizer at their core, Amber is a dedicated movement builder at state and national levels through interconnected networks of individuals, organizations, and coalitions. They are a part of the North Star Network, an alum of the Rockwood Reproductive Rights, Health, and Justice fellowship program, a student of somatic healing, and a 2021 Transformative Leadership for Change (TLC) fellow. They envision a world where we have liberation for all people and that each one of us is able to fully embody and use our power to build a sustainable and collective future.

Director of Programs and Policy, Jamie McConnellJamie McConnell

(she/her)
Deputy Director

Jamie has worked in the environmental health field for over 15 years and oversees the organization’s programmatic work.  In addition, she devises policy strategies on the state and federal level that will increase disclosure of ingredients and reduce the use of harmful chemicals in consumer and salon products. She is a co-convener of the National Healthy Nail and Beauty Salon Alliance and a former steering committee member of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Montana Women Vote. Prior to working in the field of environmental health Jamie worked in Yellowstone as a park ranger keeping tourists away from grizzly bears.

Jamie has a master’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Montana and a B.A. from UCLA.  While attending the University of Montana, Jamie was named a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (2005-2006).

Coleen Samuels

(she/her)
Operations Manager

Coleen is a Colorado native who is bringing more than 20 years of business operations and leadership experience to WVE. She is responsible for managing the financial, operational, and human resource functions of the organization. Coleen has worked in the both the not for profit and for-profit sectors and her passion is working with at-risk youth and their families, attempting to close the racial disparity gap in the juvenile justice system. She holds a Bachelor of Business Management and her greatest accomplishment is her 3 sons and grandchildren.

Alex head shotAlexandra Scranton

(she/her)
Director of Science and Research

Alexandra Scranton is the Director of Science and Research at Women’s Voices for the Earth. Alex authors WVE’s scientific reports and provides scientific review for the organization’s programs. Prior to working at WVE, she worked in the epidemiology and statistics unit at the American Lung Association headquarters in New York. She currently sits on the Research Advisory Committee for the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and on the Institutional Biosafety Committee for Rocky Mountain Laboratories (a National Institutes of Health facility). She has a master’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and a B.A. from Amherst College. Alex lives and works from Missoula, MT, with her husband and two beautiful daughters.

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