Board of Directors and Advisory Council

WPS is proud to welcome the following members to our founding Board of Directors! We are still looking for two more passionate, well-connected, and committed board-members. If you are interested in serving the community and joining a beautiful collective of women please reach out to Abby@womenspowerspace.org

In the coming weeks we are also seeking members for an Advisory Council. Advisory council members to do not make governing decisions and may not live in the Hudson Valley. They dedicate their vision, influence, energy, and knowledge to Women’s Power Space through advising the board and staff on decisions and assisting in development efforts. If you are interested in either the Advisory Council or the Board of Directors, please email abby@womenspowerspace.org.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Ruth Faircloth was born in Florida to a pair of remarkable farm working parents and later migrated with her family to the fields of New York. She has been in the forefront of empowering rural communities for decades. Her work includes founding and directing Daughters of Sarah, an ecumenical women’s leadership development and support organization, and the Overnight Leadership Camp of the Rural and Migrant Ministry for over twenty years.

Diane Harriford is a Professor of Sociology, Women’s Studies, and Africana Studies at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie. She is the co-author of “When the Center is on Fire,” and is currently writing about the importance and relevance of yoga for black American women. She is the Treasurer for the National Women’s Studies Association. Follow Diane’s work at her blog.

Jennifer Patrick Harris is a visionary and a female entrepreneur. She has a small skincare business and is excited to take it to the next level. Her product line is made from all natural, edible oils that are food for the skin. Jennifer has a vision for the creativity possibilities of where women can go and what women can accomplish together. She was born in Jamaica and lives in Poughkeepsie.

Deborah Walker Wilkins is the founder and president of In My Mother’s House Resource Center for Women, an organization dedicated to helping women succeed in their everyday, professional and personal lives by providing out-come based, results-oriented programs, activities and services that help women improve the quality of life for themselves and their families, while promoting the affirmation of self. Ms. Wilkins has a solid background in Community Relations, Public Relations and Media Relations, having worked for a regional bank as Marketing Manager for 10 plus years. She is responsible for the development of programs for underserved populations and those living in marginalized communities. She has served as a director on several boards; the YWCA of Orange County, New York, Orange County Chamber of Commerce and the Orange County Community Foundation. She has been the recipient of various community awards, having been profiled in Times Herald Record’s 2007 issue of “Women in Business,” inducted into SUNY New Paltz 2007, School of Business Hall of Fame, 2006, the recipient of the Greater Hudson Valley Health Center’s “Pillars of the Community Award,” recognized for revitalizing KeyBank’s Diversity Council, and as a result of team’s commitment, KeyBank received the Poughkeepsie Journal’s 2005 “Diversity in the Workplace Award,” and the 2001 recipient of the Inaugural Harriet Tubman Humanitarian Achievement Award, the first to be issued in New York State.Ms. Wilkins currently is involved in the creation of a leadership program aimed at young females.   She can be reached at inmymothershouse@gmail.com and at (845) 219-5790.

Roopa Singh is honored to support the sustainability of Women’s Power Space, because she believes that women’s empowerment is a vital portal to justice for all.  Roopa is a licensed attorney and the founder of SAAPYA (South Asian Arts and Perspectives on Yoga and America), an emerging platform on the personal and political implications of yoga, with a focus on body sovereignty, anti-racism and accessibility.  Through SAAPYA advocacy, Roopa moderates impactful civic discussions on race and yoga, and creates interventionist yoga visual content, such the short film, “We Are Not Exotic, We Are Exhausted.”  Roopa is currently creating yoga arts and programming with the Living Bridge Collective in Pittsburgh, PA.  This summer, Roopa was a yoga teaching artist in residence at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and she just completed an arts residency, “Yoga As Public Art/Protest,” at Boom, an African American contemporary art gallery.   Recently, Roopa facilitated workshops on best practices in yoga for survivors with NAPISEV and SCESA, national organizations devoted to healing sexual violence within communities of color. Roopa has been teaching Hip Hop Yoga for the past five years, first as a component of her Hip Hop Politics Political Science course at Pace University, then as an offering within the City University of New York (CUNY) system, and as a regular yoga class in Brooklyn.  Roopa has taught pre-law and popular culture at City College (CUNY) and Pace University. She has also worked at National Public Radio, the U.S. Supreme Court, San Francisco Women Against Rape, the San Diego ACLU, and the Center for Media Justice.  She is a licensed pre-natal yoga instructor and a former collective member at Third Root Wellness Center in Brooklyn.  Roopa earned a law degree from UC Berkeley, a Masters in Cinema Studies from Tisch (NYU), and studied sound engineering at the Institute of Audio Research.  Roopa has written about yoga, popular culture and politics in Huffington Post, The Nation, Elephant Journal, and Wire Tap Magazine.  As an artist, Roopa has staged work at Lincoln Center, The San Francisco Women’s Building, the Asian American Writer’s Workshop, Three Rivers Arts Festival, Shadow Lounge, and Herbst Theater.  She is currently doing policy work at Grow Pittsburgh, and loves urban agriculture.  She can be reached at: saapya@gmail.com.  


ADVISORY COUNCIL

Advisory Council members have specific skills, knowledge, or connections that they commit to sharing with Women’s Power Space. They are a resource to help us to grow, however, Advisory Council members do not have any decision-making power.

Sharon Rosen has been a healing arts provider, teacher and writer since 1987. She’s presented her Radical Self-Care classes at Morristown Women’s Festival (Morristown, NJ), The Albert Einstein School of Medicine (Bronx, NY), The Meditation Club at SUNY, New Paltz, and for professional groups and businesses such as Lotus Bridge Consulting’s “Getting Unstuck” program, Peaceroots LLC, and CogniMed, Inc. As a wellness coach and holistic living guide, Sharon is dedicated to helping people learn how to dance with stress so that they can serve their families, jobs and fellow humans without feeling depleted and exhausted. She is the author of Crazy World, Peaceful Heart: 6 Core Practices for Cultivating Joy and Resilience (Balboa Press, 2012), which supports her view that since the world will never slow down, the best thing she can do is help people have a more sane and satisfying ride! You can learn more at her website. Sharon can be reached at sharon@heartofselfcare.com.

Andrew Finch-Craver graduated from Dartmouth College after majoring in Geography and Women’s Studies. As a student, he worked with other activists to resist and transform a pervasive culture of systemic oppression based on gender, race, and wealth. Andrew is committed to Women’s Power Space because it—as a space, as a community, and as a movement— supports crucial resistance, growth, transformation, and healing. His expertise includes equitable/sustainable development, technology, and business.
Andrew hopes to bring his experience as a consultant, entrepreneur, and educator to assist Women’s Power Space in growing sustainably so that it can be a dependable catalyst for empowerment far into the future.
He can be reached at: (305) 791-3945 or me@andrewfinchcraver.com.
Specifically, Andrew assists with: the website and email system, technology equipment, computer/data organization, and finance questions (our Project Fund at the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley). He also assists with engaging privileged people.

Yanée Ferrari 

Amber Adams practices a yogic lifestyle and strives to live a life of service. She teaches yoga in her community and makes time to help out wherever the flow of life leads her. Amber studied graphic design, for which she received a BFA, and later returned to school to study Art Education. She worked as a substitute teacher for Arlington Central School District for three years, volunteered as a Teacher Assistant at Mill Street Loft for Tilly Strauss in the Picture Me Picasso class, and received her 200 Hour RajaHatha Yoga Teaching Certification. She has been a part of the farmer’s market movement and has worked in the restaurant business for many years. She is a self taught chef, with a focus on vegetarian and vegan dishes, juices, and smoothies. Currently Amber is the owner of the eco-friendly yoga gear and apparel company YogaNut, yoganutwear.com. Amber uses her passions to inspire other businesses and consumers to be mindful of all of their decisions as they enjoy YogaNut’s wit and optimism in their fashion choices. Women’s Power Space is very much in alignment with Amber’s intentions for her Community Yoga Classes in the Poughkeepsie area. She is happy to belong to a group which defines what her intentions are. Read more about her local and outdoor classes. You can find Amber and YogaNut Wear on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. You can read Amber’s adventurous spiritual blogs, and can contact via email: yoganutwear@gmail.com, iMessage or FaceTime: yoganut_wear@icloud.com, and if all else fails her cell phone: 845.309.4545.

Sean Connery Smith  aka “Mixo Plex,” well I have been told I can get stuff done if I put my mind to it. But If I’m not interested then well it’s off the wayside. I’m a computer geek, & a tech junky, but I don’t look it. I know sign language and Spanish but quite rusty on both. I love doing my part to help with a cause or movement that I am interested in.
He can be reached at: seanconnerysmith@gmail.com.
Specifically, Sean is working with the Video Dialogue Project to produce a video series interviewing members of the Fierce Food Initiative about their commitment to food security, vegetarian/vegan options, ethically- and locally-sourced food, and how sustainability and feminism intersect. 

Amber Karnes is an aspiring yogi and lifelong student of the body. She is a 200-hour registered Hatha Yoga teacher and received her training from the wonderful and wise Anna Pittman of The Breathing Space in 2011. For Amber, yoga has been an integral part of a decade-long journey toward self-acceptance and body positivity – a journey of making peace with her body and helping others to do the same.
She teaches weekly yoga asana classes in Charlottesville, Virginia, where students of all shapes and sizes will find tips, tricks, and modifications to make yoga asana work for their unique body, instead of being squished into poses for the sake of form over function. She emphasizes safe alignment and mindful transitions in her classes, and gives each student permission to honor the body they bring to the mat today, while being empowered to learn about the body’s intelligence and power. Amber is a big fan of “yoga in non-yoga places” like libraries, parks, and festivals and often teaches free, accessible classes in her community. She is currently leading a 6-week beginners yoga and mindfulness series for people in Charlottesville who are living with HIV.
Amber is thrilled to work with Women’s Power Space to further the message of inclusivity, consent, agency, body positivity, and accessibility for women on and off the mat. She believes that yoga really is for every body, and is excited to contribute her skills and resources to help Women’s Power Space further their mission in these areas.
Amber blogs about yoga and body image at bodypositiveyoga.com. This summer she is hosting Body Positive Yoga Summer Camp, a weekend of connection, yoga, nature and self-care in the Virginia mountains. She’s also developing Body Positive Yoga online video and coaching resources for yoga practitioners who are in larger bodies, to launch later in 2015. You can find Amber at her blog, Body Positive Yoga, on Facebook, or on Instagram.

Nicole Roche is a queer femme yogi, vegan cook and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She has been practicing yoga and vegetarian/veganism for over 10 years. Nicole studied Nutrition at Simmon’s College initially. Feeling limited by government nutritional standards and a lack of intersectional approach to food and healing, she switched and put her energy into social justice work and research/writing; studying Sociology and Women and Gender studies. Nicole’s academic work focused on queer multiracial feminist theory and qualitative research of women in social justice solidarity movements. College was also a time when yoga, cooking and the collective communal energy of women were integral to her healing process with trauma and recovering from eating problems. After college, Nicole worked as a community organizer in the Boston Queer scene and as a house manager, nanny and home cook. In July of 2012 Nicole moved to NYC for graduate school, but became frustrated by the lack of awareness to intersectional embodiment and self care in academia. Nicole left after 6 weeks to follow her passion for integrative nutritional community work, cooking, and sharing her knowledge of food with people to enjoy and heal with. Nicole stands by the importance of respecting and honoring cultural differences in food and ways of eating. Her approach to mindful eating and integrative nutrition is firmly foundational in the intersectional ethos of understanding that relationships with food are deeply rooted to culture, race, gender, sexuality, class, religion, location, and ability/accessibility. Nicole believes that sharing and eating food is a powerful and necessary tool to heal, stay balanced and get through the struggles of every day life.  As well, the most important person to listen to is ones own body, because that is where our stories and healing is rooted.  Nicole lives in Brooklyn and works as a Nanny and vegan family cook, as well as a Vegan baker and health coach. Nicole is inspired by the vision and work of Women’s Power Space and is happily honored to give any and all nutritional knowledge and support.