Stephen Adler is the Prevention Education Specialist with Rape Victim Advocates. He started volunteering with RVA in 2007 and has been on staff since August 2011. He graduated from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2010 with degrees in Gender & Women’s Studies and Applied Psychology. For nearly a decade Stephen has worked tirelessly to engage male-identified Chicagoans in uprooting male supremacy in all its forms. Stephen believes in an intersectional approach to sexual violence prevention education and is thankful to all the women and female-identified people who paved the way for him to be able to do this work.
Eric Barry is the host and creator of Full Disclosure, a sex-positive podcast that features interviews with sex workers, BDSM demos, and discussions of culture and comedy. Eric himself is a former escort, and started his podcast in order to dispel the misconceptions around the sex industry. A Bay Area native, Eric is a graduate of UC Berkeley where he studied playwriting. When he’s not podcasting, he can be found performing standup comedy, writing for Huffington Post, and most recently working on a TV series inspired by his time in the sex industry.
Jennifer Brier is Director of the Program in Gender and Women’s Studies at UIC, where she is also an Associate Professor of GWS and the History Department. She specializes in US gay and lesbian history, the history of sexuality and gender, and public history. Brier is the author of Infectious Ideas: U.S. Political Response to the AIDS Crisis. Brier co-curated, with Jill Austin, Out in Chicago, the Chicago History Museum’s award winning exhibition on LGBT history in Chicago. She is currently at work on a major public history project called History Moves, a community-curated mobile gallery that will provide a space for Chicago-based community organizers and activists to share their histories with a wide audience.
Rachel Caidor has worked for almost two decades in Chicago's anti rape communities. She is a founding member of Chicago's chapter of Incite! Women of Color Against Violence and is currently helping organize the Color of Violence 4 Conference happening in Chicago this March. She holds a Master's in Women's Studies from the University of Maryland, where she studied women's performances of resistance and the impact of race, sexuality, and gender on women's performances. She is currently an Assistant Director at UIC's Women's Leadership and Resource Center.
Shannon Downey is a business owner, faculty at DePaul University, fiber artist and head of the advisory council for Geek Bar Chicago. Shannon is a self described feminist and geek above all else. Her blog is Shannon’s way of shining a light on the amazing female-identified people that she comes across on a daily basis. She works tirelessly to promote, mentor and highlight the work of the amazing established and emerging female-identified talent in Chicago. Shannon is a lifelong geek (and it runs deep). Named one of the Top 10 Geek Girls of 2012 by RedEye, her history as a Trekkie was recently featured on the cover of the Chicago Tribune’s Arts + Entertainment Section. Her life’s journey bares an odd resemblance to Indiana Jones.
Actor and comic, Melissa DuPrey, is a Chicago native from Humboldt Park. She earned double Bachelor degrees from the University of Houston and returned to Chicago to join the all-Latina theatre company, Teatro Luna (“TL”). Her one-woman show, SEXomedy, was developed during a series that showcased women of color in the arts. Her solo show is now Chicago Reader Recommended, a Member's Pick, and had a successful debut Off-Broadway in New York. Her second solo show, SUSHI-frito, has also been critically acclaimed while still in development. In Jan 2014, she made her debut on The Goodman stage in the world premier of their wildly successful new work, Luna Gale (Lourdes), which also premiered in Los Angeles later that year. She was selected as a new talent for the 2014 ABC Diversity Showcase in New York City. She has performed stand-up comedy in Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles.
Laura Green is the Head Bartender at Geek Bar Beta, but she also makes music under the name Lady Laura. She studied Musical Theatre at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and worked at such theaters such as Northlight, Court, and American Theater Company before giving up her theatre career to commit to musical pursuits with I Fight Dragons. After touring the country, Laura returned to Chicago to continue her solo career as Lady Laura and take the reins as "Queen of Drinky Things" at Geek Bar Beta. Laura has contributed to panels regarding the harrasment of women in technology and geek culture and has appeared at C2E2.
Rebecca Kling is a transgender artist and educator who explores gender and identity through solo performance pieces and educational workshops. Kling takes the position that sharing accessible queer narrative with a wide audience is a form of activism, and that understanding combats bigotry. In 2013, Kling was named as part of the inaugural Trans 100, a list celebrating excellence in the transgender community. In 2014, she was named as one of the Guild Literary Complex’s 25 Writer’s to Watch. She regularly tours to colleges, universities, and theater festivals around the country and is currently Co-Director for the 2015 Trans 100 as well as on the Board of Directors at Pride Films and Plays and on the Advisory Board at TransTech Social Enterprises.
Brandi Lee is currently a senior at Columbia College Chicago with a concentration in theater. She has worked with the Goodman Theatre in multiple settings (student, teaching artist, intern) for eight years. Brandi also works with groups like FYI (For Youth Inquiry, a health collective) and the devising cohort of Scarlet S (a theater piece and community project determined to write content and create workshops centered around the intersection of sexuality, shame, and consent). Currently she is working as a teaching artist for Story Catchers Theater, a youth development organization.
Coya Paz is a poet, director, and lip gloss connoisseur who was raised in Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil before moving permanently to the United States in 1987. Coya is the Artistic Director of Free Street Theatre, and the Lead Artist for the Poetry Performance Incubator at the Guild Complex. She is also a founding member of Proyecto Latina, and the co-founder of Teatro Luna, where she served as co-Artistic Director from 2000-2009. Coya is an Assistant Professor in The Theatre School at DePaul University, and holds a PhD in Performance Studies at Northwestern University. She is a regular commentator on race, media and pop culture for Vocalo.org (89.5) and has published several articles on Latina performance, Latina/o identities, and public violence. Her artistic work has been profiled in The New York Times, American Theater Magazine, Theater Journal, and the Chicago Tribune, among others. Above all, she believes in the power of performance and poetry to build community towards social change.