Emerge Fellows - 2024

Capria Berry

Capria Berry (they/them) is a Black, disabled, queer student affairs educator and doctoral student. Their research/”me-search”, practice, and dreaming center the experiences of disabled queer folks of color in the academy. Capria believes in the power people have to co-create educational spaces as inclusive, anti-oppressive, and affirming communities. Capria is fueled by facilitation, teaching, all things Chicago, and laughing at their own jokes.

haejin bang

drawn between silence/sound, haejin bang’s transdisciplinary and community work is currently based within unceded Tongva land (los angeles) and Corea. born and raised in koreatown, la, their main focus underlines gaps and the interjacent: how can we better listen?

community building and collaboration are a central focus of haejin’s life. haejin’s current focus as a trans-diasporic, disabled corean is rooted within the practice and embodiment of pansori—singing, drumming, and storytelling— by mapping out a cartography of collective histories, of sound tied to body. grounded within organizing, they have helped co-create different spaces around political education, community building, and art as a social practice. they are currently an artist fellow through the california arts council and the arts council for long beach and also serve as a member of the beverly-vermont community land trust in central los angeles. their work continues move towards and build upon inquiries: how can we create change in our communities through collective organizing, sound/silence, embodied listening – the sensitivity and understanding that these processes foster?

If you'd like to learn more about haejin's work, you can follow them at @soom_sori on instagram.

Jesenia M.

Jesenia (Jess – N – ee – Ya, she/her) is a queer first-generation Indigenous-Venezuelan-American, AutiHD (Autistic & ADHD), living with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. She is an artist, community builder and organizer, disability advocate, scientist, cultural producer and activist. She is the founder of One Free Community.com, an online community center helping decolonizing people connect to community and build mutual aid initiatives together. Jesenia engages in disability advocacy with the Women Enabled International as part of the US Gender and Sexual Reproduction Disability Justice Alliance. Jesenia founded NeuroSpicy Networking to help neurodiverse professionals network and find jobs; she recently launched her consulting business of the same name. She serves as a Communications Producer with Calling Up Justice and regularly teaches workshops on conflict resolution, access inclusion, creating neuro-affirming spaces and more. Jesenia’s prolific culture and content creation can be seen in her transmedia productions, such as Accessible Virtual Pride and Virtual Protest. You can find her work in various podcast appearances as well as articles, blogs, podcast appearances, and social media content on her website NeuroSpicyNetworking.com.

If you'd like to learn more about Jesenia’s work, you can find her at bio.site/NeurospicyNetworking or neurospicynetworking@gmail.com.

Jess Martínez

Jess Martínez (they/them/ellx) is a queer, disabled, Latine cultural geographer, educator, and doctoral candidate in the department of geography at the University of Georgia. They grew up as an uninvited settler-of-color on Muscogee Creek lands, now known as Georgia, and are committed to place-based and land-based liberation. Jess is interested in understanding the past-present-future movements for various forms of intersectional justice in the U.S South led by multiply-marginalized peoples and the emergence of mutual aid and collective care networks. They are co-founder of Athens Housing Advocacy Team (AHAT) and an organizer with Dignidad Inmigrante en Athens (DIA). Beyond teaching and organizing, Jess enjoys learning from and tending to plant and feathered beings

Jumoke Abdullahi

A Nigerian-British force of nature, Jumoke (she/her) has a great passion for social justice, not least because her life as a disabled Black woman quite literally depends on it. One half of The Triple Cripples, Jumoke writes and speaks on her experiences and is extremely passionate about eradicating the cultural taboos surrounding illness and disability within the Black community, not just in the UK, but in the global diaspora. Given the focus of the organisation’s work being the impact of the media on multiply marginalised people, she is currently doing her Masters degree on these topics. When not busy studying, Jumoke is a professional baby girl, a Yorubaddie, if you will.

If you'd like to learn more about Jumoke’s work, you can find her at @jayonlife or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/zainab-jumoke-abdullahi.

Keidra Chaney 

Keidra Chaney (She/Her) is a Black and disabled writer, independent scholar, and multi-disciplinary creative, born and raised in Chicago. Keidra’s writing and scholarship explores topics of safety and accessibility in online communities, digital disability leadership, and the role of popular culture and digital technology in building community for Black and disabled folks. She currently works at National Network of Abortion Funds as Digital Engagement and Accessibility Manager. She is the founding publisher of the online cultural studies publication The Learned Fangirl and the founder of the TLF Emergency Fund for freelance writers, which supported culture writers at the start of the COVID pandemic. Keidra publishes personal zines on music fandom and disability at WildRampPublishing.com and is a musician and songwriter. Keidra holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She was a 2020 Fellow for Disability Lead, a Chicago-based organization for emerging leaders with disabilities.

If you’d like to learn more about Keidra’s work, you can find her at KeidraDChaney.net or at her linktree.

Mick Moran

Mick Moran (they/them) is a queer, nonbinary, white, fat, disabled artist and radical full-spectrum doula living in unceded Lenape territory (Brooklyn, NY). Mick is the editor of The Doula Project's zine, DIY Doula: Self-Care for Before, During, & After Your Abortion. Mick has taught workshops on reproductive justice, creating screen-reader accessible zines, media activism, and more. Mick has sometimes been referred to as a “disability doula” as they support newly disabled people (personally and through their zines) in navigating the complex systems and feelings that come with a change in ability. Mick is currently creating a full-length graphic memoir about disability, Things Doctors Have Said to Me in Real Life.

If you’d like to learn more about Mick’s work, you can find them on Instagram at @MickLikesType and their website MeetMickMoran.com.

Mikey Mercedes

Marquisele (Mikey) Mercedes (she/they) is a writer, educator, and doctoral candidate from the Bronx, New York. At the Brown University School of Public Health, they work at the intersection of critical public health studies, fat studies, and science and technology studies (STS) to clarify how racism, antiblackness, and antifatness shape science, medicine, and health promotion. Their dissertation focuses on how mainstream weight stigma research and interventions perpetuate antifatness and antiblackness. Mikey is also a co-host of the podcast Unsolicited: Fatties Talk Back, which explores the “lived fat experience” from diverse vantage points to examine anti-fatness in our relationships and culture.

If you’d like to learn more about Mikey’s work, you can find them at MarquiseleMercedes.com.

Ruben Ç

Ruben Ç. (he/they) is a first-year J.D./Ph.D. student in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy program at U.C. Berkeley, studying the intersections of gender, sexuality, and law. As an Emerge Fellow, he will be studying whether California's 1939 sexual psychopath law, which led to the forced institutionalization and torture of queer people, paved the way for HIV criminalization law in the 1980s and the expansion of coercive institutionalization law today. At Berkeley Law, he is serving as an intake volunteer at the La Alianza Workers’ Rights Project and participating in Berkeley Law Alternative Service Trip Kentucky. Prior to law school, he chaired his undergraduate LGBTQ student group, published an undergraduate note as a member of the Fordham Undergraduate Law Review, worked as a paralegal assistant at a civil rights law practice, and interned at an immigrants’ rights organization. Outside of school, Ruben loves exploring the Bay Area, discovering new public transit systems, and making fiber art.

Sabrina Ali Jamal-Eddine

Sabrina Ali Jamal-Eddine, PhD BSN RN (she/her) is an Arab disabled queer culturally-Muslim cisgender Woman of Color, Spoken Word Poet, Registered Nurse, and interdependent Disability Justice scholar-artist-activist based in Chicago (Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi land). Sabrina recently completed her PhD in Nursing at University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) where she explored the use of spoken word poetry as a form of critical narrative pedagogy to educate nursing students about disability, ableism, and disability justice. Through her postdoctoral research, Sabrina hopes to create transformative change within healthcare education praxis by developing engaging anti-colonial pedagogic strategies rooted in the lived experiences of multiply marginalized disabled people. Sabrina’s long-term goal is to found an applied public-humanities / community-engaged healthcare equity center in a university that confronts healthcare inequity, violence, and oppression and promotes liberation, humanization, and belongingness for all marginalized patients, students, and practitioners. Here is the link to Sabrina’s spoken word poem on Islamophobia, xenophobia, and societally-induced self-hatred of minorities, rooted in her lived experience as the child of an Arab, Muslim immigrant: go.osu.edu/tedxsabrina.

If you'd like to get in touch with Sabrina, you can contact her by email at sabrinaje@hotmail.com.