who we are

I learned very early in my intellectual journey that the best thinking and strategizing emerges through collaborations with diverse communities of people with similar commitments and vision of justice. I have worked to build these radical intellectual neighborhoods in the service of social justice.

Dr. Chandra Talpade Mohanty

STAFF

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LOUBNA MESSAOUDI

Loubna Messaoudi is the CEO Founder of BIWOC* Rising. She is a former airline pilot, holds a degree in media science and philosophy and also further training in sound and video design. Her career fields cover Cultural Institutions, Film Festivals, Film/TV Productions and NGOs in Germany and New Zealand. 

Her work in the past few years has focused on the crossroads of discriminatory structures of women* of colour and the connected economic and social participation in Germany. In addition, she offers mediation and diversity / inclusion training for companies and educational institutions with an intersectional approach. In 2020 she joined BMW Foundation’s Responsible Leadership Program.

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CÉRISE CARSON

Cérise Carson (she/her/they/them) is the HR manager, mentoring program and feel-good manager of BIWOC* Rising, and an advocate for diversity and deep connections. Combining her unique lived experience with specialised training, she relates to a broad range of people from varying backgrounds, ages, experience and education levels. Her own personal and professional story reflect the diversity she recognises and seeks to foster in others with her support group RESET MOM and her storytelling platform WITHIN ELEMENT, highlighting role models for the next generation, allowing an unconscious empowerment to unfold. As a certified nutritionist and life coach she focuses on the balance of mind, body and soul. By incorporating life experiences with tools and methods, Cérise joins expertise and a high level of empathy to foster spaces that feel safe as a facilitator and also as an event manager, PR and HR for BIWOC*Rising.

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DR. LANA SIRRI

Lana Sirri is the project manager of BIWOC* Rising. After completing her PhD studies at Humboldt University of Berlin in 2016, she was appointed Assistant Professor for Gender and Religion at Maastricht University, The Netherlands. Her research interests lie at the intersection of religion, race, gender, and sexuality, with a specific focus on the critical exploration of Islamic feminism. Lana is intimately aware of the multiplicity of issues surrounding the topic of gender, race and diversity. This awareness is not only a result of her academic work but also stems from a deep commitment to this topic as a result of personal experience in her daily life. Her engagement with this topic drove her to co-found the Berlin Muslim Feminist Group, and to initiate the Black & PoC Academic Network in Berlin. She is appointed an associated expert at the Centre for Intersectional Justice (CIJ) in Berlin.

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SURYA PAASCH

More info soon. 

All staff photo credits go to: Nella Aguessy (@bigmotha)

ADVISORY COUNCIL

DR. EMILIA ZENZILE ROIG

Emilia Roig is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Intersectional Justice (CIJ). She is faculty member of the Social Justice Study Abroad Program of DePaul University of Chicago and has taught graduate and post-graduate courses on Intersectionality Theory, Postcolonial Studies, Critical Race Theory and International and European Law. From 2007 to 2010, she worked extensively on Human Rights issues at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Tanzania and Uganda, at the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in Cambodia, and at Amnesty International in Germany.

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MIHAELA DRĂGAN

Mihaela Drăgan is an actress and playwright who lives and works in Bucharest. Her performances focus on the connection between theatre, Roma identity and social justice. In 2014, she co-founded Giuvlipen Theatre Company. Giuvlipen’s performances have a feminist agenda and bring to life the issues of early marriage, antigypsyism, hate speech, hyper-sexualization, eviction, and heteronormativity in order to promote discussion and critical thinking. She is also part of the “Roma Armee” ensemble at Maxim Gorki Theatre in Berlin.

SABOURA NAQSHBAND

Saboura Naqshband is currently working at the DeZIM Institute Berlin as a Research Associate. Her research interests are, amongst other things, the intersections of religion, gender and sexuality; Anti-discrimination, anti-Muslim racism, Islamophobia and socio-political and economic participation of Migrants and Refugees in Germany.
She studied Arabic and Political Science at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, with a year abroad at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. As well as Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Free University of Berlin. In addition, Saboura Naqshband is an empowerment trainer, translator and consultant.