La'Tasha D. Mayes, MSPPM is a nationally recognized leader in the field of reproductive justice, human rights, and leadership development for women and girls of color. She's the founder and executive director of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, a multi-state organization dedicated to the health and well-being of Black women and girls headquartered in Pittsburgh with offices in Philadelphia and Cleveland. La'Tasha is a passionate reproductive justice activist, native of West Philadelphia and believes in the indefatigable spirit of women. She spoke with Kim and Natalie about the challenges of protecting reproductive rights in the current political climate and the need for intersectionality. To learn more about La'Tasha, visit latashadmayes.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @duxfemfac.
As Deputy Chief of Special Initiatives in the Office of Mayor Bill Peduto, Betty Cruz led the strategic development of numerous mayoral priorities in the City of Pittsburgh including Welcoming Pittsburgh, a comprehensive plan to build a more welcoming experience for the city’s growing immigrant community, and Live Well, a wellness agenda focused on increasing access to affordable healthcare and expanding participation in meals programming for youth. In 2016, she launched Change Agency, a social enterprise to elevate civic initiatives including implementation of a countywide community-designed immigrant integration plan that exists independent of government. Originally from Miami, Betty is the daughter of Cuban refugees and knows first-hand the challenges immigrants face seeking to establish a better tomorrow. She is a first-generation college graduate and was recently selected as one 40 attendees to the Next City’s 2017 Vanguard conference in Montreal. Betty talked to us about her work helping immigrants feel more welcome in Pittsburgh, made more daunting by the 2016 presidential election.
Liana Maneese is an entrepreneur and activist born in Brazil and raised in Pittsburgh. She's co-founder and CEO of The Good Peoples Group, an organization that specializes in creative and cultural problem-solving through identity navigation, building and honoring resilience and dynamic team building. Through the Good Peoples Group, Maneese and her team work toward having constructive conversations focused on healing racial divides.