BIANCA I LAUREANO, MA, CSE
Bianca I Laureano is an award-wining educator, curriculum writer, and sexologist. She is a foundress of the Women of Color Sexual Health Network (WOCSHN), The LatiNegrxs Project, and hosts LatinoSexuality.com. She has written several curricula that focus on communities of color: What’s the REAL DEAL about Love and Solidarity? (2015) and Communication MixTape: Speak On It Vol 1. (2017) and wrote the sexual and reproductive justice discussion guide for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene published in 2018. Bianca has been on the board of CLAGS, the LGBTQ Center at CUNY, and The Black Girl Project.
Bianca started ANTE UP! as she noticed the needs of many communities doing justice work and finding limited support in their own growth and development. Pulling from her experiences as an abortion doula, radical educator, sexologist, and dreamer, Bianca imagined a virtual space for collective un / learning and accountability that honors shifts and the ebb and flow of collective webs of knowledge. ANTE UP! is what Bianca needs for herself and her growth, she’s not only the foundress, she’s a certificate participant as well!
She currently resides in New Orleans, LA providing private coaching sessions and support and writing her dreams into curricula and courses. Find out more about Bianca at her website BiancaLaureano.com.
The individuals listed below have supported and nurtured Bianca’s commitment to growth, evolution, and representation. They are invested in her success and her own accountable in her own unlearning and healing processes. They are her chosen family and intellectual community who want her to BE better, not only do better.
JESSICA M JOHNSON, PHD
Jessica Marie Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the Center Africana Studies and Department of History at the Johns Hopkins University. Johnson is a historian of Atlantic slavery and the Atlantic African diaspora.
She is the author of Practicing Freedom: Black Women, Intimacy, and Kinship in New Orleans Atlantic World (University of Pennsylvania Press, under contract). She is co-editor with Dr. Mark Anthony Neal (Duke University) of Black Code: A Special Issue of the Black Scholar (2017). Her work has appeared in Slavery & Abolition, The Black Scholar, Meridians: Feminism, Race and Transnationalism, Debates in the Digital Humanities, Bitch Magazine, Black Perspectives (AAIHS), and #DHPoco: Postcolonial Digital Humanities. She is the recipient of research fellowships and awards from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Gilder-Lehrman Institute, the Richards Civil War Era Center, and the Africana Research Center at the Pennsylvania State University.
As a digital humanist, Johnson explores ways digital and social media disseminate and create historical narratives, in particular, comparative histories of slavery and people of African descent. She is the founder of African Diaspora, Ph.D., co-organizer of the Queering Slavery Working Group with Dr. Vanessa Holden (University of Kentucky), a member of The LatiNegrxs Project, and a Digital Alchemist at the Center for Solutions to Online Violence. Read more about her work here: http://jmjohnso.com. Find her on social media here: @jmjafrx. Jessica and Bianca met when they were both in PhD programs at the University of Maryland in 2004. Jessica is chosen family and has collaborated with Bianca on numerous projects.
Raised in the 1970s by a children’s librarian and a sex therapist, Cory grew up to be a sex educator and author and queer (not necessarily in that order). He has spent his life reading, writing, talking about, and, to a lesser extent, having, sex. Cory was a founding member of the Come As You Are Co-operative and worked as a researcher and television consultant in Canada for over 10 years.
Cory received a master’s degree in education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Since 1997 he has developed and facilitated workshops for hundreds of agencies and organizations serving both youth and adults across North America on a range of topics including gender expression and identity, sexuality and disability, sexual pleasure, sexual communication, technology, and access + inclusion. Cory has delivered keynotes for national conferences in Canada and the U.S. and is a frequent guest lecturer and speaker at colleges and universities. Cory regularly gives book talks and speaks to parent and educator groups about how to make education more inclusive, especially in terms of sex and gender identity and disability.
He is the co-author of three books, most recently the ALA Stonewall Honor Book Sex Is a Funny Word, with Fiona Smyth.
Most of Cory’s work is collaborative, working across and within the spaces that divide race, gender, embodiment, disability, and identity. His life is full of kids. All of them know where babies come from. Some know more. Cory connected with Bianca six years ago when she wrote her Open Letter to White People in the US Sexuality Field and they’ve been getting to know one another ever since!
SHANE’A THOMAS, LICSW, M.Ed.
Shane’a Thomas, LICSW, M.Ed. (he/she pronouns) is a seasoned scholar practitioner with more than 11 years of unwavering service in the Washington D.C. metro area. His main commitment is training and educating social workers, educators and service providers around building safer therapeutic, service, and educational spaces for clients and students, especially those working in communities who are underserved, Black and people of color and/or LGBTQI folks. Thomas’ work has been featured on Slate’s Working series, as well as a guest writer for Posture Magazine, Huffington Post, Tagg Magazine, and a past Thought Leader for the Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians.
For the past six years, she has dedicated her time to as a Senior Lecturer for the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work’s Virtual Academic Center. Thomas also volunteers and commits time toward supporting LGBTQI youth and those affected by HIV/AIDS through Whitman-Walker Health and the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing in Washington, DC. She is proud alumna of Virginia Tech, Howard University, and Widener University holding a Bachelors of Science in Psychology, a Masters of Social Work degree with a concentration of Direct Services (Families and Children), and a Masters in Education with a concentration in Human Sexuality Studies, respectively. He is currently working towards his Ph.D. in Human Sexuality Studies (Education Track) through Widener University in Chester, Pa. Thomas’ overall goal in therapeutic treatment is to show all people that they have the right to love and be loved, without pain or persecution. Shane’a has been Bianca’s death doula during her grieving and mourning.
AIESHA TURMAN, MA
Aiesha is an Interdisciplinary PhD candidate at Union Institute and University where her research interests include cultural production as a way to mediate inter-generational trauma and historical grief among African Diasporan women; founder of Super Hussy Media (SHM) producer/director of The Black Girl Project documentary, and Executive Director of The Black Girl Project organization (BGP).
When not doing the work of The Black Girl Project or Super Hussy Media, teaching, coordinating a trans-Atlantic multi-media project between teens in Brooklyn and Dakar, Senegal, or leading a youth researched and curated exhibition, or being mama to her awesome daughter, she can be found napping.
Aiesha is also a contributor to Legacy Letters, an anthology of women writers advising their teen-aged selves and she likes long walks on the beach, freshly prepared juice, and has been known to bust a move while waiting on a subway platform. Find out more about Aiesha and her work at her website. Aiesha is Bianca’s homegirl and chosen family who trained her in Emancipation Circles.