Who We Are
Sikivu Hutchinson, Ph.D. is an educator and writer with a background in gender and social justice youth leadership, professional development and training, as well as research on culturally responsive teaching, black feminism, women of color feminism, sexual violence, humanism and atheism. As founder of the Women’s Leadership Project and Young Male Scholars’ programs she has successfully assisted first generation, foster care, undocumented, and LGBTQ students of color go on to college and careers.
Sikivu’s books include Imagining Transit: Race, Gender, and Transportation Politics in Los Angeles, Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars, and the novel White Nights, Black Paradise, on Peoples Temple and the Jonestown massacre. She has contributed chapters to The Oxford Handbook of Secularism and Gender and Planning from Rutgers University. She is a contributing editor for The Feminist Wire and her articles have been published in the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches, The Humanist Magazine and the L.A. Times. She was a 2014-2015 Visiting Scholar at USC’s Center for Feminist Research and was named Secular Woman’s “Secular Woman of the Year” in 2013. In 2016, she was invited by the State Department to present her work to community-based organizations, educators and journalists in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Limpopo, South Africa.
Eclasia Wesley, Mentor Educator (WLP 2009) is a former foster youth who has graduated from Mount St Mary’s College in 2018. She has been active in her community working with foster youth organizations such as Alliance for Children’s Rights and Kidsave. Resilience and strength have played a huge part in her success along with support from caring adults that have helped her thrive. She is currently working at a non profit with pregnant teens. She believes it’s important to have a strong support system and people who believe in you. She was awarded the 2016 L.A. Urban Policy Roundtable’s “Spirit of the Kings” award for her work with foster youth
Lizeth Soria is a 2012 WLP alum from Gardena High School. She is currently enrolled in El Camino College and hopes to transfer to UCLA to study child development and Chicano/a Studies. Liz has led workshops and youth forums on AB540/undocumented youth advocacy, intimate partner violence and sexual violence prevention and HIV/AIDS education. In 2016, Liz received the L.A. Urban Policy Roundtable’s “Spirit of the Kings” award for her work with undocumented youth and girls of color in South L.A.
Brianna Parnell is a budding guitarist, #Standing4BlackGirls coordinator and Women’s Leadership Project (WLP) alumni from Gardena High School, Class of 2019. She is also a first-generation student attending California State University of Sacramento, pursuing a BFA in Interior Design/Architecture. After undergrad, she aspires to attend Pratt Institute in New York, and pursue a graduate degree. After college, she aspires to be an owner of multiple Black-owned businesses that will put wealth back into her community.