blmpBLMP Staff and Steering Committee
Aneiry L. Zapata | Garifuna Committee Organizer
Black Garífuna and Honduran transgender woman who arrived in the United States in 2015 fleeing the repressions of her country. She has experience helping LGBTQIA+ migrant and connecting them Black with any resource they need to survive. Aneiry has participated in protest and in many conferences as speaker and has testified in court fighting for the rights of LGBTQIA+, Black folks and any individual who identifies as a woman. Currently leading the Garifuna community in main programs: Charlas Garifunas LGBTQ+, GarifunaTransTalk and GarifunaKids lives matter. Her goal is to help create a world where our gender and sexuality are free to be lived and expressed freely.
Carmelo Falú-Rodríguez | Translation / Interpretation Services Consultant
Carmelo Falú-Rodríguez (he/his/él) born in Mayagüez, PR is a 4th generation of african slaves and raised in Carolina, PR. Learned Sign Language (PR Sign Language and ASL) at the early age of 11 years old driven by the passion to serve others first at his religious group and then to the community and at 15 that same passion placed him in a position to help some deaf classmates at the High School/Vocational School with zero communication access to achieve academics goals and graduated. Moving by his dedication to serve those who lack access to communication, when he graduated from HS was invited to take an advanced interpreting course at Servicios Orientados al Sordo, a non-profit organization in PR where he worked as an interpreter first and then as instructor for 10 years. In 2008 he moved to Florida where worked first as a full time trilingual staff interpreter for 5 years and then since 2013 as a Freelancer Trilingual Sign Language Interpreter. During all this time he served at Mano a Mano Board of Directors (the only organization that attend to the need of sign language interpreters that uses/speak spanish) for 11 years, as Region Rep, Vice President and then President, also since 2015 serves as Co-Chair for BLeGIT* (LGBTQIA+ Member section for Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc). Since 2020 Carmelo has been serving as BLMP (Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project) Interpretation Consultant.
Deborah A | National Organizer
De-bo-rah (she/her) is an East African, Southern raised, community organizer. Having had a long held love of building power with community, she co-founded the UndocuBlack Network where she supported deportation defense and building a base of currently and formerly undocumented Black immigrants. Currently, as the national organizer for BLMP, Deborah is supporting building the power of Black LGBTQIA+ migrants to ensure the liberation of all Black people through community-building, political education, creating access to direct services, and organizing across borders. Deborah is a commitment to building a thriving community that does not require one person’s subjugation, so that another person survives.
Hani A. | Financial Operations Assistant
Hani is an organizer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Hani, a Somali-Muslim immigrant, emigrated to the United States from Kenya and settled in Portland, Maine with her family in the early 1990’s. Drawn to the strong Somali-community ties and family connections, Hani relocated to the Twin Cities in the summer of 2015. Hani worked at Take Action MN where she organized around caregiving, aging, and electoral politics in both rural Minnesota and the Twin Cities. In 2017, Hani was tasked in building out a statewide campaign to engage new immigrants around their rights as caretakers and care recipients. Hani’s commitment to a more radical, Black politic has been steeped in the work and fire of the Black Lives Matter movement. She is one of the founding members of Black Visions and previously served as their lead movement organizer for three years. Hani’s work with Black Visions primarily focused on building out organizational structure and identifying and developing strategic campaigns. In her free time, Hani enjoys spending time with loved ones & watching reality television.
Jade Daniels | Communications Manager
Jade Daniels is a community member, journalist, an activist, an artist, a writer, and fervent lover of their people. They come from a racial justice/ worker organizing background.
Jade’s motivating force in this work is to create and contribute to spaces and platforms which allow the people to be their own narrators and history keepers of their struggles, their victories, and their lives. They have previously served as both the Communications Organizer and Coalition Organizer at the South Central based Los Angeles Black Worker Center and as Lead of Black Lives Matter- Los Angeles Communications Committee. Jade also works to promote international solidarity and bridge-building- primarily with Afro- Brazilian organizations, movements, and struggles based in Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro areas and throughout the diaspora. They love dancing anywhere and everywhere, creating resilient radical art, loud full belly laughter, reading with her dog outside, and traveling this world.
Karīmi Ndwiga | Digital Organizer
Karīmi Ndwiga (she/they) is an Orange County, California-born and based Kenyan cultural worker, aspiring doula, and social media enthusiast. Born on Tongva land in what is now called Anaheim, California, she grew up in a diverse and close African migrant community. Here they learned the power of community, organizing, and mutual aid work. She also witnessed the violence and trauma of the anti-Black crimmigration system. Upset and inspired, she started organizing as a teenager and built a passion for research and storytelling. They received their Bachelor’s degree in African and African-American Studies from the University of California, Davis, where their research focused on Black Mobility and Migration. In her free time, Karīmi likes to read, listen to records, and nap in the sun.
Nolizwe Nondabula | Director of Finance and Operations
Nolizwe is a first generation Queer Xhosa-American from Johannesburg, South Africa and California. A numbers geek, Nolizwe brings over a decade of experience interconnecting financial accountability, community engagement and social justice. They currently serve as Youth Health Alliance Program Manager at the University of San Francisco’s McCarthy Center. Prior to USF, Nolizwe served as the AmeriCorps Financial Grant Coordinator for YouthBuild USA and cultivated the next generation of Boston’s LGBTQ leaders as Mentorship Program Coordinator for the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC). Additionally, they served on the Board of Directors of multiple organizations including New Leaders Council, Brookview House, and BUTCH Voices. Nolizwe received their B.A. at Clark University, studying Economics and Business Management, and has a Masters of Arts in Urban Affairs from the University of San Francisco. When they’re not basking in Black Excellence, you can find them jiving to the sounds of Afro-house or recharging with the power rangers.
Oluchi Omeoga | Co-Director
My name is Oluchi Omeoga. I am an Minnesotan-born Igbo Queer Trans person. Names are very important and intentional in my culture and in Igbo, my name means Work of God or God’s Work. I truly believe that I am doing the work of my ancestors. I love anime and will probably watch it until the day I die. I find the intersection of technology and social change very interesting and am constantly learning more about both. Ramen and Ogbono soup are my two favorite foods. I will die fighting that it is far more superior than Egusi. I’ve been watching Law & Order: SVU since it’s inception; so I’m a pretty cool kid. I don’t think that I have truly captured how obsessed I am with anime. BLMP means the world to me because of the identities I have, finding true community has been almost impossible. In every space I have been in I have had to compromise a piece of me. I was too African in queer spaces, or too queer in African spaces. BLMP manifested community where there was doubt and emptiness. I hope that I can make a young trans black immigrant feel how full I feel now. Last note is I REALLY like anime.
Rose Berry | Co-Director
Rose Berry is a Black Afro-Latinx femme organizer that committed her life to the fight for liberation at the age of 16. She was born in Panama and grew up in Boston, where she organized for 11 years around immigrant and women’s rights, and racial and socio-economic equity. As one of the founding members of a young women’s organization called Reflect and Strengthen (R&S), she devoted her time as an organizational leader at R&S for 8 years before moving to Oakland and becoming a national organizer, fighting for the decriminalization of Black and Brown youth and for the liberation of all Black people.
Rose currently serves as the Black Immigrant Women and Girls Program Specialist at The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) as well as the Treasurer for the C4 Board of BYP100. Rose has a deep commitment to social movement and has made a life-long pledge to invest in the work that will eradicate social inequality on a global scale.
In addition to being a social justice freedom fighter, Rose’s other passion is writing. As a poet, spoken word artist and published author, she believes that art is not only a tool for social change, but a foundational piece of operative resistance.
Tiara Gendi | Fierce Freedom School Coordinator
Tiara Gendi has over three years’ experience in the fields of human rights and trans diverse community building. Tiara’s background covers volunteering as a data capturer at GALZ, documenting the services attained by organisational and community members, coordinating and mobilizing the Transgender and Intersex group within the organisation.
Tiara also did volunteer work with T.R.E.A.T (Transgender, Research, Education, Advocacy and Training) as a baseline survey assistant, documenting the experiences of trans diverse individuals in accessing sexual reproductive health and rights, human rights violations from the community and the law enforcement authorities, family relations and also personal well-being of this key affected population in eight towns within Zimbabwe.
Having been a peer educator, buddie group member, peer grant reviewer and also an LGBTIQ youth leader, Tiara is also a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow working on Trans Equality as an International and Immigration Fellow in the US with Trans United and a Youth Fellow at SMYAL. Tiara plans to continue to work on strengthening the visibility of the Zimbabwean Trans diverse community through lobbying, advocacy and supporting capacity strengthening projects in line with gender identity and expression.
When not doing community organizing and advocacy work, Tiara is an artist who can be found doing creative writing and/or onstage performing Poetry, monologues to theatre with groups like Breaking Ground a 2015 Obama White House Award Wining Program and Young Playwright Theatre in Washington D.C.
Zakaria (Zack) Mohamed | Deportation Defense Coordinator
Zakaria (Zack) Mohamed is a Somali-born, Portland-bred, organizer, trainer, and movement strategist. At age five, Zack and his family fled their home country due to civil war, and arrived in the U.S. as refugees. Zack has been organizing with Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project (BLMP), since September 2017. In Zack’s role as Deportation Defense Organizer he is focused on building out a base among Black LGBTQIA+ Migrants and connecting the Black diaspora to liberation. Zack has organized around racial justice, immigrant/refugee justice, LGBTQ+ justice, economic justice and gender justice. As Audre Lorde said, “there’s no such thing as a single issue struggle, because we do not live single issue lives.” Zack believes in an inclusive and intersectional movement; no one is free until we are all free. In his free time Zack enjoys playing Pokémon, reading/watching his favorite manga/anime One Piece and expanding his culinary skills by cooking new dishes.