Meet the Presenters
Bianca Laureano, Ph.D.
Bianca I Laureano is an award-winning educator, curriculum writer, facilitator, and sexologist. She is a Foundress of the Women of Color Sexual Health Network (WOCSHN), The LatiNegrxs Project, ANTE UP! Virtual Freedom Professional Development School for Justice Workers, and hosts LatinoSexuality.com.
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She has written several curricula that focus on communities of color: What’s the REAL DEAL about Love and Solidarity? (2015) and Communication MixTape: Speak On It Vol 1. (2017) and wrote the sexual and reproductive justice discussion guide for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene published in 2018. Bianca has been on the board of CLAGS, the LGBTQ Center at CUNY, The Black Girl Project, and SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. She resides in Oakland, CA. She is the Lead Educator for the Netflix film Crip Camp (2020) and is leading the efforts to create a curriculum that is rooted in disability justice practice, self-determination, and social-emotional learning competences! She received an honorary PhD for her work of justice, equity, and inclusion in the U.S. sexuality field May 2020.
Maya Morena is a sex worker, and writer. She’s worked with Third Wave Fund, Red Canary Song, DecrimNY, and SWOP Brooklyn advocating for sex workers rights.
Dr. Apryl Alexander is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Florida Institute of Technology with concentrations in forensic psychology and child and family therapy. Dr. Alexander’s research and clinical work focus on violence and victimization, human sexuality, sexual offending, and trauma-informed and culturally informed practice.
Jennifer Beman developed her craft as a master storyteller through her award-winning work as a documentary editor over her 30 year career — and now brings those skills into the realm of sexuality. She developed the Graphic Sex Project as a way for people to understand their sexual scripts, and use the art of storytelling to shape meaning in their sexual lives. She created the BioGraffs therapy kit as a powerful therapeutic tool for opening up conversations and helping clients explore their values and desires. Her live interactive installation has been seen all over the country, including in multiple university settings in their sexual health and wellness programs, to promote good sexual communication and consent culture. Check out a gallery of graphs made at her installations, at GraphicSexProject.com, and make your own!
Daniel Copulsky is a Ph.D. student in Social Psychology at UC Santa Cruz. Daniel researches LGBTQA, nonmonogamous, and other sexual identities, with particular interest in how people choose and make sense of identity labels. Daniel also serves on the board of directors for the Center for Positive Sexuality.
Kadie (she/they) has been an advocate in TAAAP since 2018, via presenting and volunteering at Creating Change 2018-2021, the TAAAP Pride Chats, and the book TAAAP is writing on the many varied experiences of ace and aro people on their journey towards understanding and embracing their orientations. Kadie has worked around the world promoting the power and agency of gender and sexual minorities and is currently providing emergency services to people who have survived gender violence, ISIS and/or the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Lauren Feder is finishing up her final year at UC Santa Cruz as an Intensive Psychology major and researcher for the Sexual and Gender Diversity Lab. Outside of the lab, Lauren is interested in researching the harm of weight stigma, wellness culture, and anti-fat bias in health care settings.
Arya Gandhari just graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz this past December with a B.A. in intensive psychology and feminist studies. In her leisure time, she enjoys gardening, cooking, and exploring new places.
Max (they/fae) has worked with The Ace and Aro Advocacy Project for nearly two years as a content creator, editor, and public speaker. They are queer, trans, and asexual. Max dedicates much of faer time to working with at-risk youth who may be struggling with homelessness, mental illness, gender identity and dysphoria, or all of the above.
Emily Karp (she/her) became one of the co-founders of The Ace and Aro Advocacy Project (TAAAP) in 2017 and has been involved in most of TAAAP’s endeavors, including co-writing a book on the issues asexual and aromantic individuals face and being interviewed by journalists about both personal and community experiences. Emily identifies as a gray-aromantic, gray-panromantic asexual. Outside of TAAAP, she is launching her own bereavement & funeral celebrant business.
Lorraine Lacroix-Williamson is Population Health doctoral student at Northeastern University, with a focus on social epidemiology and sexual health. She has worked in HIV prevention research and sexual education for over 15 years, with a focus on reducing women’s sex risk in urban communities. Her doctoral work aims to shift the conversation around women’s sexual health from a risk-averse paradigm to a more holistic and pleasure-focused perspective. Her research investigates how sociocultural factors influence sex communication to mitigate Black women’s sexuality and HIV risk outcomes.
As a daughter of Haitian immigrants, Lorraine brings her values of social justice to her work, centering the voices of those with intersecting identities when examining health disparities among marginalized populations. Her goal is to identify how women of the African diaspora assert and validate the full range of expressions of their love, how they seek pleasure, and how they communicate their desires while engaging in safer sex practices. Lorraine holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Kinesiology from Boston University, and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from Rutgers University.
David G. Leitch
David G. Leitch (Oberlin BA 1996, UCSD PhD 2008) is an associate professor of political science at California State University – Northridge. His current research projects are on consent and care theory and plural marriage in a post-Obergefell world.
Samantha Maki is an undergraduate from the University of British Columbia: Okanagan. Samantha has spread sex positive education on the UBC Okanagan as the head coordinator of the Sex Positive Education and Advocacy Centre, as well as through her mentoring and research experiences. Samantha intends to pursue clinical psychology as a graduate degree, with hopes of helping advance sex positive research, work with youth struggling with their sexuality, and inform federal and provincial policy around sex education.
Jeremy Malcolm was the founding Executive Director of Prostasia Foundation, a sex-positive a child protection nonprofit. Prior to that he was Senior Global Policy Analyst at Electronic Frontier Foundation, where he worked on technology policy and human rights issues. Currently Jeremy works as the Head of Trust & Safety at a tech company.
Mark McCormack is Professor of Sociology at the University of Roehampton, London. His research examines the impact of social trends on gender and sexuality, including straight masculinities and non-exclusive sexualities. His current research examines the social impact of COVID-19 on aspects of sexuality, including changes in sexual desire and practice and the effect on queer nightlife in London.
Anna Randall, MSW, MPH, DHS, LCSW
Recently, Anna Randall found a tiny piece of paper where over 35 years ago, she scribbled down a dream to build a foundation to empower those whose sexuality and healthcare needs were dismissed and underserved. Little did she realize then, that today she might play a small and fulfilling part in a worldwide campaign for kink and fetish research and healthcare. Co-Founder and Director of TASHRA & Co-Director of the MOTE Conference; she holds an MSW, MPH, DHS and is a licensed therapist doing sex therapy in Silicon Valley.
Michelle Renee (she/her), based in both Baltimore, Maryland, and San Diego, California, offers human connection coaching ranging from platonic nurturing touch to surrogate partner therapy. Michelle is a supporting member of AASECT and a co-founder of Embrace, a professional resource group for surrogate partners and collaborating clinicians. She can be found at HumanConnectionCoach.com.
Brad Sagarin, PhD
Dr. Brad Sagarin is a professor of social and evolutionary psychology at Northern Illinois University and the head of the Science of BDSM Research Team (www.scienceofbdsm.com). Brad’s current research focuses on consensual BDSM, social influence, and statistics. Brad has been published in a variety of scholarly journals, has given radio and podcast interviews, has consulted for radio and television programs, and has delivered invited lectures to academic and non-academic organizations. His research has been cited in newspapers and magazines, including The Economist and New Scientist. He holds Doctorate and Master’s degrees in Social Psychology from Arizona State University, and a Baccalaureate degree in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Renita Sörensdotter is a lecturer and researcher at the Centre for Gender Research at Uppsala University, Sweden. Her research interests are theoretically located in the field of intersectionality, with a special focus on queer, crip, class and age. Fields for research is including sexual health, sexual practices and orientation, and sexual dysfunction in relation to sexual norms.
Dr. Shemeka Thorpe is an award-winning sexuality educator and researcher at the University of Kentucky. She obtained her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Community Health Education. Her research focuses on the sexual well-being of Black women using sex-positive and intimate justice frameworks. Dr. Thorpe strives to make research relevant for Black communities by integrating sex research and community health education.
Janet Treviño as a surrogate partner therapist and platonic touch/rehabilitative touch specialist designs intuitive spaces for authentic interpersonal connection, intrapersonal awareness and human evolution. She’s devoted to creating brave spaces where people can accelerate into knowing who they are, the touch and life they want, and launching their best human life in relationship with others.
Sofia Vanderlaan is a recent graduate from the University of California, Santa Cruz who majored in Psychology. She currently resides in Portland and is enjoying the rain