Sahitya Raja is the Executive Director and a co-founder of Uplift- Online Communities Against Sexual Violence. She is a graduate of Wellesley College, where she studied biological sciences and women’s and gender studies. She is currently a MMSc in Immunology candidate at Harvard Medical School. Sahitya sees sexual violence as a public health issue and is obsessed with figuring out how we can use the power of online communities to drive social change. In a proposal in March of 2014, Sahitya outlined Uplift’s mission and brought together the first few members of the team. She drinks an alarming amount of tea and still can’t quite cope with the fact that Parks and Rec is over.
Grace Miller will gladly go on for hours about the importance of online communities and what the creation of those networks means for our society. She graduated from Brown University with a concentration in sociology and is currently an outreach specialist for a nonprofit that provides sexual and reproductive health services and education. Her background is in anti-sexual violence work and the provision of online sex education. Grace has been enthusiastically involved in the YouTube community for nine years and has always spent copious amounts of time on the internet.
Jennifer Dorsey is a digital media professional working in the Washington, DC area. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science, a certificate in women and politics, and a master’s degree in public communication. While in college she became heavily involved in women’s issues, including leading the annual Take Back the Night march and Clothesline Project. Following college, she dove head first into online fan communities, particularly the Harry Potter world, and began using her passion for good. She previously volunteered for the Harry Potter Alliance, helping them to communicate their unique mission to the world. Her goal now is to get as many people as possible to hear, see, and understand the power behind Uplift. When not trying to save the world through her keyboard, she can often be found writing about broadway and other nerdy things at GeekyNews, attempting to re-write her first novel for the twentieth time, or auditioning for community theater productions of her favorite musicals.
Hailing from Boston, Christine runs our conventions team working to provide resources and programming to a variety of conventions. She believes in the power of online communities, that technology enables us to meet people from diverse backgrounds all over the globe and that with the right tools, these communities can be empowered to support survivors and provide safe spaces for marginalized communities. Outside of Uplift, Christine is a software developer who is passionate about increasing diversity and inclusiveness in the tech industry. In her spare time, she attends lots of Meetups, watches way too much Netflix, and enjoys curling up with a good book.
Ariel Cheung | Communications Team
Ariel Cheung is a journalist in Chicago who, as a crime reporter, felt the weight of what victims deal with on a daily basis. She hails from Toledo, Ohio, and loves Harry Potter, cat cuddling and going on adventures. As someone who experienced online sexual harassment and a random act of sexual assault during work, she wants to help women feel empowered to speak up about the harassment and violence they face without fear of social repercussion.
Emily Sichel has a masters degree and a license in counseling. As a counselor she has taught seminars about sexual and dating violence, sexual assault prevention, emotional abuse, cyber bullying, and abuse awareness. Emily also provided crisis counseling, mental health counseling and socioemotional counseling to high school students at her former. She currently works in hospice and palliative care. She is also a survivor of sexual assault and advocates for others in need of help. Emily has been very active in the Nerdfighter community since 2008 and has attended Vidcon and LeakyCon.
Sabrina McMillin | Communications Team
Sabrina McMillin is a producer and digital media strategist who creates videos and graphics and directs creative initiatives such as Uplift’s 2016 Project for Awesome campaign. She previously volunteered at the Harry Potter Alliance and was a communications intern in the district office of Rep. Katherine Clark (MA-05), a prominent advocate for victims of online harassment. As a producer, Sabrina is primarily interested in working with fandom communities and is the marketing director for the upcoming sci-fi show Personal Space. She lives in Washington, DC and graduated from Tufts University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and media/communications studies.
Natasha Stokes is a mathematics graduate working as a software developer in Edinburgh, Scotland. She also volunteers for the Harry Potter Alliance, and is a passionate activist. Natasha believes that online spaces and communities should be safe for marginalized groups and thinks that these communities can be a real force for good. In what free time she has, she can frequently be found reading books, doing puzzles, and rearranging all her furniture.
Christine is very grateful to be a part of Uplift and adding to the confusion of Christine’s on the team. She is currently working on a chrome extension to filter out online harassment on popular social media sites. When she’s not coding, you can find her out in nature climbing a tall rock, making art and/or hugging animals.
As Uplift’s Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator, Victoria (or ‘Tori’) works to ensure that Uplift’s makeup, mission, and programming reflects and serves marginalized communities. She is a strong proponent of the radical power of transformative fan practices, and will graduate in the spring from Barnard College with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies. In her free time, she can usually be found reading, knitting, or playing with any and all consenting puppies.