NEED TO CHANGE | THE BROWN GIRL BRIGADE SERVES AS THE TEAM OF COMMITTED WOMXN OF COLOR DEDICATED TO THE CREATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE BROWN GIRL RECOVERY SOCIAL JUSTICE-INFORMED PROGRAMMING AND CURRICULUM. MEMBERS OF THE BGB COHORTS ARE THE BACKBONE OF BROWN GIRL RECOVERY!

Nikomeh

Nikomeh Anderson (nicknamed Nik) is Creative Producer and Collaborator with Free The Arts Festival, a Multidisciplinary Theatre Maker, and Teaching Artist. They are an actor, musician, poet, mover, choreographer, director, radical mental health advocate, cultural-community healing justice activist, facilitator, peer respite worker, and eye-to-eye educator. They are Black/Mixed race, Transgender and Gender Expansive, Disabled (a working person with disabilities), Autistic, Neurodivergent, Neuroqueer, with Lived Experience of Mental Health Diagnoses, Mad, and Trauma Survivor. They went to New York University for Drama, studying at Stella Adler Studio, Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts in London, The International Theatre Workshop in Amsterdam, CAP 21, Stonestreet Studios and Viewpoints Intensive with Mary Overlie. They organize with The Icarus Project NYC's local grassroots chapter, Institute for the Development of Human Arts, and part of the Keep Issa Free Campaign. They were a 2017 Hunts Point Create Change Fellow with The Laundromat Project in the BX and a proud member of the Brown Girl Brigade-Brown Girl Recovery. 

Sophia

As a current senior in the Macaulay Honors Program at the City College of New York, Sophia is working towards earning a degree in the concentration of “Health, Politics, and Narratives of Urban Life" in June 2018. Her concentration has increased her community organizing and skills and enabled her to take a more creative and spiritual approach to addressing sociocultural issues.  She has acted as Vice President of Students for Educational Rights at City College, through which she became a spokesperson for the successful Fight for 15 campaign and created social justice events for the college community. She has experience working as a research assistant in public management, delving into research on private funding for public goods and public-private partnerships within the public education system in the United States. She is continuing this research on the public education system in terms of how it can become more inclusive and supportive of young black girls. She believes that she and the organizers with whom she has worked have achieved great feats but sometimes at the cost of their own personal health. Because of this, she is beyond honored and happy to be a part of the Brown Girl Brigade and bring healing to communities of color.

Florence

Florence Otaigbe is currently a paralegal and law student who hopes to work as a movement/community lawyer and use the law in the few ways it can be used (since it is inherently oppressive) to bring our people closer to freedom. A quote that guides her pursuit of a JD is "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him ta his own game, but they will never allow us to bring about genuine change." - Audre Lorde. She is a Black Nigerian Mississippian who has been living in uptown NYC for the last 2 years. She graduated from Michigan State University in December 2015 with a BA in International Relations and minors in French and African Studies. Since being in NYC, she has been involved with movement work around immigrant justice and racial justice. As a member of the Brown Girl Brigade, she hopes to grow and move forward on her own personal healing and wellness journey on a liberation-driven path and is looking forward to bring the work and values of BGR to others! 

Penelope (P!)

Penelope (P!) is a proud Black Dominicana from The Bronx! As a youth worker and organizer  her passion is rooted in creating radical spaces of belonging for young people to challenge violence against womxn of color and femmes. As a member of the Brigade she strives to empower her communities through hood girl healing practices and all it has to offer!

 Chichi

Chichi

Karen

KayKay is a DJ and community organizer from The Bronx who loves Hip Hop! She is a Leo sun, Capricorn rising and Sagittarius Moon and is committed to creating an abundance of joy, passion and healing through music.

Jaz

Jaz Astwood is an Afro-Latinx creative professional originally from the West Bronx. She is a classically trained vocalist that now predominantly lends her voice to Jazz, R&B, Soul and Rock selections. As a theater maker her work primarily focusses on the connections race, ethnicity and nationality play on one’s identity. With a passion for social justice she primarily works in raising awareness on Women’s Health, Education and Anti-Blackness in Latinx communities. She can be found around New York City drawing inspiration from everyday life.  

 Melissa

Melissa

 Elizabeth

Elizabeth

Mimi

Mimi is a femme mom and student with big hoops and bigger dreams. A writer and cultural activist residing uptown.

Athena

Athena is an organizer flexing at the intersections of healing justice, land sovereignty, and black liberation. A Brooklyn native, their work has taken them across the city, including roles as a tenant rights advocate at the Legal Aid Society and a member of The Audre Lorde Project's 3rd Space Wellness Collective. They are driven by a vision of an urban ecologically-abundant metropolis, where healing is not a burden but a birthright.