Pamela Harris, Executive Director
Pamela Harris is the executive director of Iris Films. Pam has a background in media as a documentary director, producer, editor, outreach and engagement professional and a leader in the field of media philanthropy. She most recently served as the managing director of Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media, an association of philanthropists supporting media and technology for social good. She was one of four co-directors on the film Waging a Living, a PBS documentary about low-wage working families, and she oversaw educational outreach and engagement for the Oscar-nominated Long Night’s Journey into Day, about South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In 2007, she produced and directed Land of Promise: the Story of Allensworth, a short documentary about a historically black town in California that faces the threat of encroachment by agribusiness. Prior to filmmaking, Pam worked in the non-profit sector with community-based programs as an administrator, development professional, program director, and counselor. She has worked with a broad spectrum of communities and causes, including physically and developmentally disabled adults, affordable housing, low-income artists, and rape survivors. Pamela holds a B.A. in Sociology from Vassar College and a Masters in Journalism with a focus in documentary film from the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley.
Aya de Leon
Aya de Leon is a Black/Puerto Rican writer/performer/teacher/activist in the Oakland Bay Area. She is the director of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, teaching poetry, spoken word and hip hop at UC Berkeley. Her work has received acclaim in theVillage Voice, Washington Post, American Theatre Magazine, the Oakland Tribune, and San Francisco Chronicle. She was named best discovery in theater for 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle for Thieves in the Temple: The Reclaiming of Hip Hop, a show about fighting sexism and commercialism in hip hop, which played to sold-out crowds in the Bay Area. Also in 2004, she received a Goldie award from the SF Bay Guardian in spoken word and in 2005 she was voted “Slamminest Poet” in the annual East Bay Express Best of the Bay. Also in 2005, she hosted the kickoff party for Al Gore’s Current TV Network with Mos Def. She has three novels-in-progress, has released three spoken word CDs, and in 2007 released the video of Thieves in the Temple. For further info, visit www.ayadeleon.com.
Daisy Hernandez is the coeditor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism (Seal Press). Her essays have appeared in several anthologies, including 50 Ways to Support Lesbian and Gay Equality, and her commentaries have been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, the New York Times, and the Christian Science Monitor. She’s the former editor of ColorLines magazine, and a former columnist for Ms. Magazine. Daisy holds a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University, and is currently pursuing her MFA in creative writing at the University of Miami, where she is at work on her first novel. She frequently delivers lectures throughout the United States on intersecting issues of race, class, gender, and social justice. To see more of her work, visit www.daisyhernandez.com.
Maya R. Rupert
Maya Rupert is the Federal Policy Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Additionally, she has been a regular contributing writer to a number of media outlets—including the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Huffington Post—where she frequently addresses the intersection of race, sexual orientation, and gender identity. In 2011, Ebony Magazine named her on its Power 100 List, which features the most influential African-American leaders in the country. Maya received her B.A. from U.C. Santa Barbara in 2003, and her J.D. from U.C. Berkeley (Boalt Hall) in 2006. In 2007, Maya clerked for the Honorable Eric L. Clay of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to joining the National Center for Lesbian Rights, she was an associate with Sidley Austin LLP’s Los Angeles office.