Amani Olugbala/Amani O+ (they / them / Stardust / Beloved) is a raptivist, storyteller, and food justice advocate with nearly 2 decades of experience in youth education, performance arts, and community outreach. As an award-winning poet and rapper, Amani combines artistic expression and project-based learning to facilitate healing dialogue and social justice workshops with individuals, groups, and organizations.
Amani ventured into the non-profit sector 15 years ago, gaining extensive experience in a range of positions, from employee to management, across different organizations. Guided by their passion for movement work and disenchanted with the bureaucratic constraints of the system, they co-founded the Rested Root cooperative in 2020. As a neurodivergent individual and advocate for disability justice, Amani actively challenges presumed differences and fosters collaboration in uncovering paths towards self-determination.
As an artist, abolitionist, and educator, Amani is fueled by the belief that love, creativity, and service are essential acts of rebellion against the disconnection and hopelessness that threaten collective peace and wellbeing. Their work inspires others to embrace their inherent magic, trust their vision, and share their unique gifts with the world.
As a survivor of sexual assault and partner abuse, Amani passionately advocates for a consent-driven culture, embracing abolitionist approaches to end sexual violence and dismantle the culture of silence and shame surrounding surviving it. Amani's dedication to healing justice, coupled with their journey living with neurodivergence and a chronic illness, shape their divergent and creative approach to the challenges we face in liberation work and exploring new pathways forward.
damaris miller (they / them) is a community organizer, facilitator, and grower committed to creating spaces of rest, discovery, and connection for Black, Indigenous and other People of Color, queer and trans folks, and activists. They have been creating & curating transformative spaces for over 10 years through practices of breath, Buddhist-based meditation, Ancestral Wisdom and Earth reverence. Damaris has over 10 years of experience working for and with nonprofits in the spheres of environmental action, food justice, healing justice and abolition. This experience includes (though is not limited to) working with WE ACT For Environmental Justice, Khoryug Environmental Network, Soul Fire Farm and Troy 4 Black Lives. In their work to unpack the nonprofit industrial complex, they created Rested Root’s framework to “T.R.A.N.S.F.O.R.M. the NPIC.” As a Queer and Trans survivor, they strive to live into personal healing as a practice of communal liberation and community healing as the root of personal liberation. Damaris has a B.A. in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from Princeton University.
So Smart - (they / them) is a passionate activist and community organizer who works steadfastly at the intersections of Blackness, fatness, gender, sexuality and ability. They draw inspiration from their own lived experiences as a Black, fat, queer, agender individual, including navigating chronic conditions that inform their understanding of access and disability justice. So has over a decade of experience in the nonprofit field, including offering their expertise to organizations such as the New York Civil Liberties Union, Atlanta Alliance for Children and The San Francisco Special Advocates, where they focused on outreach, power building, community education and engagement as an advocate for youth, Black femmes and gender expansive people.
They currently work as the Power and Movement Building Manager for Black Feminist Futures (BFF), where they organize to increase collaboration across Black Feminist organizations and coordinate The Okra Collective, a transnational Black feminist coalition. In addition, they coordinated BFF’s Disability Justice Innovation Lab, which brought together Black thought leaders in disability justice to explore Black Feminist disability justice frameworks and their application in movement spaces.
So Smart organizes not only for personal survival but for collective healing and liberation. They are committed to justice, joy, and the community interconnection that gets us free.