Hosted by

Adriana Leigh Greenblatt

Café Description

The presence of the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing social problems, discrimination, and inequality. According to global reports, gender-based violence has increased with a staggering 40 percent rise in some countries, and working from home is not a safe option for many. Many employees are experiencing challenges with productivity, mental health, and feeling overwhelmed as they navigate online working environments and support their children, while living in hostile and volatile spaces with intimate partners. Employers face unprecedented difficulties with remote working, supporting their employees, and remaining viable in a world where technology-driven change demands change itself and new ways of working. As COVID-19 lingers, employers must establish an adequate human-centered feminist response to intimate partner violence when it shows up to work.

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Desziree Richardson


Lara Quentrall-Thomas, Tamta Muradashvili, Sherna Alexander Benjamin, D. Olivia Rojas

Presenter Details
  • Moderator: Desziree Richardson
  • Desziree's authentic presence and sincere transparency have showcased her unique talents as a speaker, author, media personality, broadcaster, and witty reporter. She is sincere, personable, and a consummate professional. Her magnetic voice made her famous with her listening audience as one-part smooth, two parts delightful, and a large portion of entertaining and joyful communication. Alongside her established media and celebrity career, Desziree is dedicated to helping people in need and has a real passion for empowering women, volunteering, and philanthropy. Her mission is to help change lives and to influence others positively through my empowering projects She has contributed to many funds and awareness-raising campaigns, including live auction bids with other celebrities and volunteering as a UNICEF Children's Champion. Desziree has helped and inspired others. She has received awards and recognition for her work, including the England Gold Award, reflecting her passion, leadership, dedication to various causes, and many other prestigious awards. She is the Women of Heart Foundation founder, which raises funds to celebrate, support, promote, empower, and educate women globally. Women of Heart Awards, launched in 2020, celebrates and honors fifty global iconic and amazing women who make a difference in the world. The face of WOHA, a platform is designed to connect, support, and promote women to become leaders and instrumental in making the world a better place and connecting diverse women for a better cause. Writing high-quality fiction and nonfiction, she has swiftly become an international bestselling author with a dedicated fan base and successfully moved into the world of international publishing.
Presenter Details
  • Adriana Greenblatt
  • Adriana brings 15+ years of diverse experience as a workplace human rights and employment lawyer, trainer and facilitator in gender, diversity and inclusion, and organizational well-being. Adriana leverages her background to support organizations to create gender equitable, safe and inclusive environments and relations through training/facilitation, policy development, coaching and communications. Prior to her consulting work, Adriana spent several years as a human rights lawyer specialising in workplace discrimination and sexual harassment and held the position of Director, Organizational Wellness at Homewood Heath. Recent work includes developing and implementing sexual and gender-based harassment prevention mechanisms with UN Women Georgia, working with STEM companies to ensure inclusive work environments and contributing to the UN Global Compact Network of Canada's Blueprint for Gender Equality in the Private Sector. In 2020, she received a World Pulse Spirit award in the Champion category, and was recently included on World Pulse’s list as one of 21 women leaders to watch in 2021.
Presenter Details
  • Sherna Benjamin Alexander
  • Sherna Alexander Benjamin is a leader who redefines women's leadership and interpersonal violence prevention using a justice approach. She is listed on The Gender Security Project "FemiList100, 2021" as one of 100 women from the global south to watch in the coming years, and World Pulse lists her as one of 21 women leaders to watch in 2021. She is pursuing Social Work studies at Huntington University, where her interests are in research and policy. She is a 2020-2021 Global Public Voices Faculty Fellow at Cornell University's Einaudi Center, a World Pulse Digital Ambassador, and a Women, Peace, and Security Advocate. With 14+ experience as a social system and gap analyst and consultant, she promotes a culture for the advancement of women and children, justice, collaboration, storytelling, and peacebuilding. Her life inspires women to embrace their autonomy and agency, build their leadership capacity, and tap into their power to create their privilege. Sherna has received numerous awards, including the 2021 UK-based Women of Heart Award for 'Advocate for Women, Peace, and Social Protection.' She is a public speaker, author, encourager, and a thriving survivor of severe childhood and adult abuse. She draws power from the Divine, strength from her immediate family and friends, inspiration from Colleen Abdoulah, and motivation from the Amazon Sisterhood.
Presenter Details
  • Olivia Rojas (she/her/ella)
  • Olivia Rojas is a victim advocate with over eight years of specialized experience in cross-systems advocacy, capacity building, and training. She brings an understanding of the impact of policies and protocol on the lives of survivors engaging with multiple systems, the unique challenges various systems experience in working with survivors, and a creative and collaborative approach to addressing the needs of survivors. ​ Ms. Rojas has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. She also holds a Master’s in Social Work from Boston University. Olivia has worked with the San Antonio Police Department improving law enforcement responses to intimate partner violence, the US Army at Torii Station, Okinawa in coordinating installation responses to survivors, with the New Jersey Department of Child Protection and Permanency in strengthening child welfare’s capacity to support child and adult victims of intimate partner violence and promote safe parenting among people who cause harm. She worked with the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault where she conducted the first statewide audit of rape crisis center hotlines, developed the 40-hour Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate curriculum, and continually advocated for the needs of Black and Indigenous women and Women of Color impacted by sexual violence. Olivia is a nationally recognized trainer and expert on issues of intimate partner violence and sexual violence and has presented at the National Sexual Assault Conference, consulted with Futures Without Violence, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Olivia was awarded the Shining Star Award by Healing Wounds in New Jersey in 2019, an award that recognizes survivors of sexual violence who have made positive impacts in their community. Olivia published a blog in 2020 with the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence detailing her experience as a Latina within state coalition work, and the ways in which white feminism shows up in the anti-violence movement. Currently, Olivia is with Rutgers University Camden’s Office of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance where she supports survivor response and violence prevention efforts in higher education. She is also a co-founder for the Center for Building Resilient Communities, a technical assistance and capacity building organization focused on anti-violence work through a racial justice framework. As an advocate, she has worked to educate system partners on power-based violence and develop their ability to effectively respond to survivors. Olivia’'s personal experience with sexual and dating violence taught her the many ways systems designed to help often fail to do so, and she has dedicated her career to strengthening the capacity of systems to support all survivors. Olivia centers her work on the ways in which oppression and violence intersect, advocating for the liberation and healing of all communities.
Presenter Details
  • Tamta Muradashvili
  • A Director at Mtavari Channel LLC, her function is to support the implementation of watchdog activities of the most critical popular television station. Tamta Muradashvili participated in establishing and launching Mtavari Channel in 19 days, in response to censorship from Rustavi2 Broadcasting Company’s new management. Before Mtavari Channel, Tamta Muradashvili was a Chief Legal Counsel at Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company from 2008 till August 2019. She has brought the high profile, government-orchestrated ownership legal dispute of Rustavi 2, to the European Court of Human Rights. Tamta Muradashvili has 12-year experience in practicing law. Her work experience includes teaching media law at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA). She is an active contributor to ensuring the free exercise of freedom of speech and expression in Georgia and to raising awareness on women’s rights. The Free University of Tbilisi has nominated her for the “Human Rights Defender of 2017” award for her contribution to human rights development and protection in the year of 2017. From 2019, she serves as the Chairwoman of Communications and Media Law Committee at Georgian Bar Association and is a member of the International Bar Association. Tamta Muradashvili holds LLMs from Tbilisi State University and the University of Vienna.
Presenter Details
  • Lara Quentrall-Thomas
  • Entrepreneur, talent management professional, philanthropist Founder & Chair of Regency Recruitment & Resources, Port of Spain, Trinidad
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    Dr. Kristy Kelly (She/Her)

    Former Co-President

    Kristy Kelly is a sociologist specializing in gender and development, policy and politics, transnational feminisms, gender mainstreaming, and social change in Southeast Asia. She is currently assistant clinical professor of global and international education at Drexel University and Associate Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University. Kristy teaches courses on gender mainstreaming, education diplomacy, gender and development in Southeast Asia and qualitative research methods. She has published on gender and education leadership, gender mainstreaming policy, gender and corruption, and post-socialist transition in Vietnam. She also consults and advises on gender and development issues for multilateral and humanitarian aid organizations such as UNESCO, The Asia Foundation, and Transparency International in Asia and Africa. Kristy serves as an Expert Advisor on Gender Mainstreaming to the United Nations, and is a Fulbright Core Specialist on Gender Equality. She received her BA from Pennsylvania State University, and MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.