Keynote Speakers

Loretta Ross

Ross has appeared on CNN, BET, “Lead Story,” “Good Morning America,” “The Donahue Show,” “Democracy Now,” “Oprah Winfrey Radio Network,” and “The Charlie Rose Show. She is a nationally-recognized trainer on using the transformative power of Reproductive Justice to build a Human Rights movement that includes everyone. Ms. Ross is an expert on women’s issues, racism and intolerance, human rights, and violence against women.

Her work focuses on the intersectionality of social justice issues and how this affects social change and service delivery in all movements. Loretta as a rape survivor, was forced to raise a child born of incest, and she is also a survivor of sterilization abuse. She is a model of how to survive and thrive despite the traumas that disproportionately affect low-income women of color. She is a mother, grandmother and a great-grandmother.

She is a graduate of Agnes Scott College and holds an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree awarded in 2003 from Arcadia University and a second honorary doctorate degree awarded from Smith College in 2013. Her most recent books are Reproductive Justice: An Introduction co-written with Rickie Solinger and Radical Reproductive Justice: Foundations, Theory, Practice, Critique, both published in 2017. Her forthcoming book is Calling In the Calling Out Culture due out in 2019.

Amita Swadhin

Amita Swadhin is an organizer, educator, storyteller, and strategist working to end interpersonal and institutional violence against young people. Their work stems from their experiences as a non-binary, femme, queer woman of color, daughter of immigrants from India, and years of childhood abuse by their parents, including eight years of rape by their father.

In 2016, Amita received a Just Beginnings Collaborative Fellowship, allowing them to launch Mirror Memoirs, a national storytelling and organizing project centering the narratives, healing and leadership of LGBTQI+ people of color who survived child sexual abuse, in service of ending rape culture and other forms of oppression. From 2016-2018, they recorded 60 stories from survivors across 15 states in the US, and have given over 100 trainings and keynotes on this intersectional praxis at colleges, conferences and nonprofits nationwide.

In January 2017, they testified on behalf of survivors of sexual violence and LGBTQ Americans as a witness for the Democratic Party against Jeff Sessions’ nomination as the US Attorney General. From 2009 to 2012, Amita was the Project Coordinator and a cast member of Secret Survivors, an off-off-Broadway production they co-created with the award-winning Ping Chong & Company, featuring adult survivors of child sexual abuse telling their stories through theater. Amita is also a published writer whose work has appeared in the anthologies Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence, Queering Sexual Violence, Pleasure Activism, and the forthcoming Beyond Surviving: Stories and Strategies from the Transformative Justice Movement.

Over the past twenty years, they have been an executive director, board chair, youth organizer, faculty member and consultant at organizations serving low-income, immigrant and LGBTQ+ communities of color. They hold a Master’s in Public Administration from NYU, where they were a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship, and a Bachelor’s in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Cat Fribley

Cat Fribley is a white, queer, fat, Midwestern femme building community, liberation practices, and non-traditional relationships wherever she is. She loves reading, gardening, birding, cooking, and civil disobedience, among other things.

She has a lifetime commitment to trying to be kind and truthful and to interrupt others less. She has spent the last 25 years trying to make the world a more loving and supportive place for child sexual abuse survivors like herself, and more often than not, leaving a trail of glitter behind her. Cat is a survivor, an advocate, a doula, and (previously) an apprenticing midwife. She directs the Resource Sharing Project (RSP) for the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault and provides capacity building training and support to those working to end sexual violence across the country.

Cat has worked to end sexual violence since 1994 and trains on a broad range of issues with special interest areas including survivors giving birth, healing sexuality, anti-racist organizing, organizational development, and ethical communication