Jayne E. Fleming
Jayne E. Fleming is a writer, human rights lawyer and humanitarian who has represented survivors of torture for over twenty years. She is part of the international law firm Reed Smith LLP where she has directed projects in North America, Europe and the Middle East. She was the first to establish safe houses for women in Haiti, the first to develop a private resettlement pathway for Haitian women-at-risk, the first to develop a private resettlement pathway for survivors of torture in Jordan, and the first to co-develop a private resettlement pathway for survivors of torture in Greece.
She is the global director of Lamp Lifeboat Ladder, a resettlement program for survivors of torture and sexual violence trying to rebuild their lives. She envisions a world where survivors define their own future, and donors and aid organizations invest in their dreams. She dreams of creating eco-villages with survivors where they are welcomed and honored in our communities rather than locked in camps and made invisible. She dreams of a day when the world upholds every survivor's right to protection, and no one is turned away at a border or detained in a jail for seeking safety. She dreams of one humanity where we lift each other up rather than crush those who are most vulnerable.
International actors have recognized Jayne as one of the 50 most influential women lawyers in America, one of the most innovative lawyers in North America, and a California Lawyer of the Year, among other honors. Jayne is passionate about writing, hiking, and learning from survivors. She's a connoisseur of Syrian cheeses, Iraqi kebab, and she can't get enough Sudanese pastries.
Amaha Kassa is the Executive Director of African Communities Together, a national membership organization of African immigrants and their families which he founded in 2012. Amaha has worked as a labor and community organizer for 25 years. Amaha is a licensed attorney who earned his law degree from UC Berkeley and his Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School. He is an immigrant from Ethiopia.
Odilia Romero is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Comunidades Indigenas en Liderazgo (CIELO); she is also an independent interpreter of Zapotec, Spanish, and English for Indigenous communities in Los Angeles and throughout California. She has over a decade of experience organizing Indigenous migrant communities. Her organizing knowledge and experience are held in high regard, with multiple academic publications, awards, and lectures in universities across the United States, including John Hopkins, USC, and UCLA. Ms. Romero has published on the challenges of organizing in Indigenous communities, developing women’s leadership, and preparing a new generation of youth. Her work has also been featured in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Vogue and Democracy Now.
Janet Martinez is the Co-Founder and Vice Executive Director of Comunidades Indigenas en Liderazgo (CIELO). She is a Bene Xogsho (Zapotec) born in Los Angeles. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, with a thesis on Indigenous migrants in the U.S. court system. Aside from her direct activism, Janet has engaged issues facing Indigenous migrant communities through her writing; she has published articles on topics including new approaches to gendered leadership in Indigenous communities, and the challenges facing youths in Indigenous migrant communities. She collaborated on UCLA’s mapping Indigenous L.A. Ms. Martinez organized the Indigenous Literature conference and Weaving Words and Rhymes for the past four consecutive years. Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Ozy, Vogue, and Telesur. Currently, she is a host on the podcast Tu’un Dali, a podcast for and by Indigenous people.