Skip to main content

Keynote Performers & Respondent

Sam Peterson is an artist/writer/performer whose document led him to be published in Kate Bornstein’s and S Bear Bergman’s seminal redux, “Gender Outlaws—The Next Generation.” Following that, he and director Joseph Megel created a one-person memoir about transition with testosterone called “F to M to Octopus,” which was featured in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Process Series, won “best independent script” and a grant from the Provost LGBTQ Committee. Octopus did a brief workshop at 3Legged Dog performance space in Manhattan in 2013, and is currently resting for revision, while Peterson works for a living.

Sam has had a variegated career, opening for Suicide, the Bush Tetras, and X at DC’s 9:30 Club in the 80’s, tattooing and performing queer blood-brother rituals at Julie Tolentino’s Clit Club, Dagger, and Tattooed Love Child in the NYC 90’s (also performing with “Marianne Faithless” at the Pyramid), and settling into sobriety and politics in the aughts in Austin, producing drag shows with Rachel Shannon and Mocha Jean Herrup titled variously “Dragmaster 2000” and “DragCapades/ Monster Pansy,” teaching feminist porn and touring with Liz Belile’s Gynomite, performing at Highways in LA, losing it all to drugs and alcohol, transitioning, all the time loving a higher consciousness and sea creatures and here he is now, surfacing in delightful Durham, NC. He lives within a network of amazing and kind travelers on this strange temporal plane, praying for mercy and peace and light. And chromatophores. His memoir, Trunky (transgender junky): A Memoir of Institutionalization and Southern Hospitality, can be purchased through Transgress Press (preferred) and Amazon.


Over nearly 30 years, Toshi Reagon has collaborated with top innovators across a wide spectrum of the entertainment field. Since Lenny Kravitz chose her, straight out of college, to open for him on his first world tour, she has gone on to share stages with notable colleagues such as Nona Hendryx, Elvis Costello, Ani DiFranco, Pete Seeger, Dar Williams, Lizz Wright, Me’shell NdegéOcello and Marc Anthony Thompson (aka Chocolate Genius). Her performances with her mother, Bernice Johnson Reagon–civil rights activist and founder of the a cappella group, Sweet Honey in the Rock–are legendary.

UNC Chapel Hill was the site of the US premiere of her genre-defying opera based on Octavia Butler’s acclaimed novel, Parable of the Sower. Parable of the Sower brings together 30 powerful songs drawn from 200 years of Black music to give musical life to Butler’s acclaimed science fiction novel of the same name. Written by Toshi Reagon in collaboration with her mother, Bernice Johnson Reagon, the iconic singer, scholar and activist, Parable of the Sower becomes a mesmerizing theatrical work of rare power and beauty that reveals deep insights on gender, race and the future of human civilization.

Toshi Reagon’s honors include a 2009 Out Music Award, the 2007 Black Lily Award for Outstanding Performance, and a 2004 New York Foundation for the Arts award for music composition. She was one of several women honored by the National Women’s History Project for “amazing intelligence, talent, courage and tenacity [that testify] to the myriad ways that generations of women have moved history forward.”


North Carolina native Renée Alexander Craft is an is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a joint appointment in the Department of Communication and Curriculum in Global Studies. Broadly, Alexander Craft’s research and teaching examine the relationship among sociohistorical constructions of Blackness, Black cultural performance, and discourses of Black inclusion and exclusion within a hemispheric American framework. With an intersectional approach attentive to class, colorism, nationalism, nationality, language, gender, sexuality, history, religion, and region, her research reflects an interest in the following questions: How has Blackness come to mean what it does in discrete countries of the Americas? How have African descended communities used the power of creativity and imagination to build community, preserve culture, inspire collective action in the service of social justice, and call new futures into being by troubling the fault lines of structural domination?

Alexander Craft’s research and creative projects have centered on an Afro-Latin community located in the small coastal town of Portobelo, Panama who call themselves and their carnival performance tradition “Congo.” This research led to the publication of , When the Devil Knocks: The Congo Tradition and the Politics of Blackness in 20th Century Panama (The Ohio State University Press, January 2015) and a digital humanities project, “Digital Portobelo: Art + Scholarship + Cultural Preservation.

In addition to her research projects, Alexander Craft is a poet, novelist, and children’s book author. She received a 2013 Durham Arts Council Ella Pratt Emerging Artist Fellowship for I Will Love You Everywhere Always, a children’s book dedicated to helping children cope with death and loss.

Featured Faculty Panelists

Dr. Tiffany Lethabo King, Assistant Professor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at GSU, is one of our faculty panelists at #FHN18! Dr. King’s research focuses on Black gender formation and sexuality at the intersection of slavery and indigenous genocide in the U.S. and Canada. Her book project “The Black Shoals: Abolition, Decolonization and Conquest” is under contract with Duke University Press.
“The Black Shoals” argues that scholarly traditions within Black Studies that examine Indigenous genocide alongside slavery in the Americas have forged ethical and generative engagements with Native studies—and Native thought—that continue to reinvent the political imaginaries of abolition and decolonization. The book theorizes Black studies—and Black thought—as an off shore formation, or shoal, that interrupts humanist traditions and impulses within the fields of settler colonial, post colonial, Native and gender and sexuality studies.
Dr. King is also co editing an anthology titled “Otherwise Worlds: Against Settler Colonialism and Anti-Black Racism” with Dr. Jenell Navarro. This collection of essays features leading scholars in the fields of Black and Indigenous Studies in order to stage a conversation between Black and Indigenous thought and politics on “otherwise” terms that are less meditated by conquest and settler colonial logics.


Dr. Michele Tracy Berger is Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill. Her research, teaching, and practice all focus on intersectional approaches to studying areas of inequality, especially racial and gender health disparities. This work spans the fields of public health, sociology and women’s and gender studies.
Her forthcoming book is “Thriving vs. Surviving: African-American Mothers and Adolescent Daughters on Health, Sexuality, and HIV” (NYU Press). Thriving vs. Surviving explores the real-life meanings and everyday practices of health (i.e., mental, physical, emotional, and sexual). The book’s focus is on southern African American mothers and their adolescent daughters and examines the themes that emerge about health, information, access to health care, and sexuality at a crucial period of girls’ lives—early adolescence. Her book will be the first monograph with a focus on African American mother and daughter relationships and their role in shaping health practices.
She served as Director of the Faculty Fellows Program at the UNC Institute for the Arts and Humanities. In this role, she engaged and mentored a diverse array of faculty in an interdisciplinary environment.
She served as Vice-President of the National Women’s Studies AssociationAssociation (NWSA) from 2010-2014. She currently serves on Ms. Magazine’s Scholars Board. Dr. Berger is a sought-after public speaker and commentator. Her public scholarship has appeared in The Chronicle of Higher EducationMs. MagazineThe Feminist Wire and other media outlets.


Dr. Danielle Bouchard is Associate Professor in the UNCG Women’s and Gender Studies program. She earned her Ph.D. in Feminist Studies from the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, University of Minnesota, in 2006. Her scholarly interests include postcolonial and poststructuralist feminisms, contemporary continental philosophy, critical university studies, and cinema and visual media studies. Her first book, A Community of Disagreement: Feminism in the University (Peter Lang Publishing USA, 2012), uses the philosophical concept of disagreement to read, and provide alternatives to, the most common ways in which feminism’s place in the modern US university is imagined. She is currently working on a new book project that examines the role of visual tropes, texts, and technologies in hegemonic articulations of human rights.


Anna Krylova

Anna Krylova is an Associate Professor of Modern Russia and Gender History in the History Department and the Program in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at Duke University. A gender historian, she works on Russia in the twentieth century and the challenges of envisioning and building a socialist alternative in the age of industrial and post-industrial modernity and globalization. She is broadly interested in feminist theory and questions of theory and practice in contemporary historical writing, with a special focus on problematics in gender history. One of her intellectual agendas in particular has been devoted to recommencing an active dialogue between gender historians and scholars working in the fields of lesbian and gay studies, queer theory and transgender studies.

She is the author of Soviet Women in Combat: A History of Violence on the Eastern Image result for Soviet Women in Combat: A History of Violence on the Eastern FrontFront (Cambridge University Press, 2010) which was awarded the 2011 Herbert Baxter Adams Prize of the American Historical Association. Most recently, she has participated in an AHR Conversation “History after the End of History: Re-conceptualizing the Twentieth Century,” American Historical Review, December 2016 and is the author of “Gender Binary and the Limits of Poststructuralist Method,” Gender and History, August 2016; “Bolshevik Feminism and Gender Agendas of Communism,” in Silvio Pons and Stephen Smith, eds., World Revolution and Socialism in One Country (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming, 2017).

Her second book project, provisionally titled Imagining Socialism in the Soviet Century, aims to make possible a new cultural history of Soviet Russia by historicizing the ways in which normative conceptions of socialist society, sociality and individuality evolved in Russia from the Revolution of 1905 to Gorbachev’s half-decade of perestroika.  She is also preparing a historiographical manuscript, Human Actor, Agency and Historical Analysis, featuring essays accessing of what has happened to the practice of history after the theoretical and epistemological turmoil of the 1980s-1990s. She has been Fellow at the National Humanities Center; George Kennan Member at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; Fellow at Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, and visiting scholar at the Institute of Eastern European History at Tubingen University (Germany).


Dr. Danielle Purifoy is a Carolina Postdoctoral Fellow for Faculty Diversity in the Department of Geography at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Purifoy is a lawyer and a geographer. She recently completed a Ph.D in Environmental Politics and African American Studies at Duke University (Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke). She has a B.A. in English and Political Science from Vassar College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Dr. Purifoy’s current research focuses on the historic roots of contemporary environmental conditions in the U.S. South, specifically in black towns dating back to the post-Bellum era. She has also written about the legal dimensions of environmental justice and equity in food systems.
As a practitioner, Dr. Purifoy is interested in improving strategies for protecting black and brown communities impacted by environmental hazards. She writes for multiple audiences, including lawyers, academics, policy advocates, and the general public.
Dr. Purifoy is also an editor at Scalawag, a magazine devoted to Southern politics and culture, and a board member of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network. Learn more about Dr. Purifoy on her website:


Dr. Daniel Coleman Chávez, Assistant Professor in UNCG Women’s and Gender Studies, is one of our faculty panelists! Dr. Chávez earned their PhD in Communication Studies (Performance Studies) in the UNC Department of Communication 2017. Their scholarly interests include performance studies, queer, black, and trans feminisms, theories of embodiment, Black Diasporas, Latin American Studies, and decolonial pedagogies. Dr. Chávez is currently working on a book project that develops a trans* ecology for figuring layered trans embodiment practices in the in the U.S. South (Greensboro, NC) and in the Mexican South (San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas). Read about Dr. Chávez’s recent performance, “Un-Becoming Ailey,” in the Indy Week…/un-becoming-ailey-daniel-b.-coleman…/



Amy King joined the Department of American Studies as the recipient of a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Center for the Study of the American South in 2018. My research synthesizes critical conversations in the fields of hemispheric American studies, violence studies, as well as women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. Her current book project Grotesque Touch: Performances of Violence Between Women in Circum-Caribbean Fictions (1960 – 2016) illuminates women’s active participation in racist, classist, and sexist structures of power. Grotesque Touch asserts that when we look closely at representations of violence between women, then we see how moments of violent touch act as pivot points in these women’s identity development. Ultimately, her analysis shows how women’s collusion with dominant power structures originating in plantation slavery affects how these structures shape identity formation in contemporary U.S. and aribbean narratives.

Dr. King’s work has recently appeared in the journals southWomen’s StudiesGlobal South, and Mississippi Quarterly. I also co-edited the two-part forum “Emergent Critical Analytics for Alternative Humanities” for Lateral: Journal of the Cultural Studies Association (2016, 2017), which features a call-and-response between established and emergent American Studies scholars.

Invited Community Organizations


The Ella Baker Women’s Center:

We are committed to serving disenfranchised communities by:

  • Empowering women and girls to be leaders in their communities.
  • Helping to build productive and equitable relationships between citizens and public/private institutions.
  • Providing community organizing training for residents to build social capital and work for social justice in their own communities and beyond.


The core components of the Ella Baker Women’s Center Approach

  • Baker’s Group Centered Leadership Approach
  • Tap into local knowledge to construct models of social change
  • Think in radical terms: Question to find the root causes of oppression
  • Do institutional analyses: What needs to be corrected to balance the power? (Hint: Tilt toward the least powerful.)
  • Create participative spaces for youth voices to be elevated

The Leadership capacity building approach to carrying out social justice leadership activities

  • Personal Leadership is tied to individual routes to collective action
  • Organizational Leadership expands on the role of young people as decision makers
  • Community Leadership focuses on youth organizing as a catalyst for community change

​The Ella Baker Women’s Center for Leadership and Community Activism was founded in 2007 by Dr. Patricia Parker.


Women Mobilize NC (planners of the Women’s March on Raleigh)

Guiding Principles:

We acknowledge the real harm caused by tokenism and divisiveness in the history of the women’s movement. While we can’t change the past, we do work to ensure that past wrongs are not repeated here and that we move forward together to lead a loving, beautiful and creative resistance.

  • We acknowledge that racism is a cornerstone of the strategy to implement minority rule to the detriment of us all.
  • We commit to embracing and understanding our different backgrounds, and to supporting and lifting up the leadership of women and trans people of color.
  • We recognize that women do not and will not just lead on “women’s issues;” as organized women, we are leading and will lead in every area of the movement and of society.

We reaffirm these guiding principles and we have set about planning the Women’s Rally on Raleigh so that the event remains consistent with them and so that our leaders reflect them. As our 2019 Program Committee confirms the speakers and performers for this year’s event in the coming days, we look forward to sharing their profiles with you. In the meantime, we invite you to join us at planning meetings and we encourage you to visit our Facebook page to learn more about the origins and mission of the Women’s March on Raleigh

Together, we pledge to defend and support communities under attack including women, immigrants, working families, Muslims, people of color, LGBTQ people, Jews, refugees, & people with disabilities; to fight the third attempt to institute a Muslim ban and to reject Islamophobia; to oppose the attacks on the transgender community; to support #metoo, holding people accountable for sexual assault, violence against women, and supporting survivors; to work for equal access to voting and voting rights, including challenging gerrymandering and voter suppression and disenfranchisement tactics, as well as supporting hand counted paper ballots and verified vote; support living wages, affordable health care, reproductive health care, paid family & sick leave child care, adequately funded public education, and common sense gun regulations; to support investment in our public schools, health care, safety, and infrastructure, and opposing Trump taxes; working to protect our air, water, and land; to oppose racially biased policing & mass incarceration, and deportations that tear apart families; to support DREAMers and fight for DACA.

WMNC social media presences: Twitter @WomensMarchNC ◈ FB: WomensMarchNC ◈ Email They are intermittently fielded by volunteers.

La-Mine Perkins served as the Logistics Chairwoman, Steering Committee Member, stabilizer, and leader of WMOR.  She led the coordinating and securing of permits, staging, sound, and every other logistical part of putting on a big event.  Unofficially she acted as a role model. With over 200 passionate, opinionated volunteers, members have sometimes been at odds with each other. La-Mine was a peacemaker, and a steadfast, quiet force that did while others talked. When she is not inspiring volunteers, or staging marches and rallies, she coordinates the outreach activities of a non-profit. A New York native, La-Mine relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina in January 2004. She attended college in New York and is currently enrolled at NC State University.

Andrea Azcarate-Peril, PhD served as the Financial Chairwoman, Steering Committee Member, encourager and leader of WMOR. She spearheaded fundraising and made sure WMNC could pay all fees and vendors. Her unofficial role was the encourager; she doggedly fought against apathy and inspired us by words and actions. When she is not being a leader, volunteer, mother and wife, Andrea works as a professor and researcher. Her team’s goal is to determine the molecular mechanisms involved in modulation of gut microbial populations and their microenvironment by probiotics and prebiotics, and to identify direct molecular associations between components of the microbiome and specific gut cells or systems. They have established next-generation sequencing (NGS), other culture-independent, and culture-dependent methods to analyze the microbial community structure and function associated to animal models and humans. Additionally, her team focuses on the application of computational tools for interpreting complex biological data sets, specifically bacterial community structure analysis through 16S amplicon sequencing and whole-genome shotgun metagenomics to infer community functionality.

Shana Becker was one of the founders of WMOR, served in the Arts Committee, Communications Committee, and Steering Committee. Some of the work included coordinating the meeting times and places, keeping us apprised of what each of the committees was doing by sending volunteers internal communications and people who joined our list-serve updates, and fielding problems that arose regarding our events and with each other. When Shana is not surrounding herself with superwomen, she is a stay-at-home mom. Sometimes, this involves pretending to be a writer (and making lame puns). I used to be an employment and civil rights attorney, and now I make things write.