Operations & Community Communications Manager
Saadia Ahmed (She / They) graduated in International Studies from Austin College where she intensified her commitment to serving the community. She is a community and thought leader in Dallas/Fort Worth in addition to being the founder and adviser to numerous nonprofit and community initiatives; some of whom include Gem Advisers Mentorship Program, Define 360, Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, DREAM DFW, Strong Muslimah, and Yaqeen Institute. Her work in the advocacy field includes roles at South Asians for Obama, senior fellow at Wendy Davis for Texas Governor, and deputy director at Bangladeshi Americans for Biden-National Council.
Saadia's areas of expertise include youth development program development, advocacy, community building, event planning, social media optimization, individual major giving, DEI training, and annual fund development. Saadia is fluent in English and Bengali. She has professional working proficiency in Hindi, Urdu, and French. She is currently a board member for Faith in Texas, Women Organizing Women Democrats, Malikah, as well as an advisory board member for American Muslim Professionals of Dallas. She was awarded the “Trailblazer” award by Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, “ the Community Leader of the Year” award by CAIR Dallas/Fort Worth, and was the inaugural recipient of Radio Azad’s “Unsung Hero” recognition.
Saadia lives in Frisco, Texas, which like most of North Texas, was a mixed buffer zone for a number of tribes including the Wichita, Comanche, Caddo, Cherokee, and other smaller tribes.
Nancy (She / Her) has a Bachelor's in Family and Consumer Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin as well as a Masters in Special Education from Texas Women's University.
Nancy oversees financial management for Talem. She lives and works in Dallas, Texas, which was a mixed buffer zone for a number of tribes including the Wichita, Comanche, Caddo, Cherokee, and other smaller tribes.
Avia S. Haynes
Avia Haynes (She / Her) has a BA in Mass Communications from Texas State University and an MS in Marketing and Social Media from Southern New Hampshire University. She has more than 20 years experience in marketing and design working with The Thomas Agency, Rhumb Designs, JCPenney, Dal-Tile Corporation, and National Tile Contractors Association.
Avia has worked with a variety of nonprofits providing marketing, digital and print design, website development, social media planning, digital marketing, brand awareness and promotion, art direction, and increasing traffic and engagement.
Marilou / Mariko Carrera
Marilou Carrera (They / Sia / She) is a health equity advocate, community health practitioner, and cultural worker based in Portland, Oregon. Their experiences as a Filipina and Japanese woman who immigrated to the U.S. as a child, as well as her time practicing as a registered nurse, advocating for communities of color, and promoting public health and reproductive justice have long persuaded them of the importance and imperative of sharing power, sharing stories, and centering communities to influence policy and affect systems change.
Marilou received their MPH from Portland State University and spent the last five years applying community-based participatory approaches to developing an equity-oriented community-led health improvement plan by and for communities of color in Multnomah County, Oregon.
Marilou is participating from the area referred to as Chicago, or ceded lands that were home to numerous nations, tribes, and bands, including the Council of the Three Fires: the Potawatomi, Odawa, and Ojibwe Nations; the Illinois Confederacy: the Peoria and Kaskaskia Nations; and the Myaamia, Wea, Thakiwaki, and Meskwaki Nations. The Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Kiikaapoi, and Mascouten Nations also call the region of northeast Illinois home. Indigenous people continue to live in this area and celebrate and practice their traditional teachings.
Ash White (She / Her) has a BA in English and Theatre from Mary Baldwin University and a MA in English Literature from the University of the South. In addition to her work with Talem, she is a high school English teacher.
Ash lives and works in Staunton, Virginia which is thought to have been inhabited by ancestors of the Monacan Indian Nation.
Amy (She / Her) serves as a Transitional Pastor in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). She leads workshops and retreats for the greater church in areas such as worship, spirituality, and intergenerational discipleship.
Amy is the mother of an industrious preschooler, spouse of a computer whiz and talented chef, and a friend who will make mediocre crafts for all your big life events.
Amy lives in Fishersville, Virginia which is thought to have been inhabited by ancestors of the Monacan Indian Nation.
Devyn has a BBA in General Business with a minor in English from Texas Wesleyan University. She has educational and work experience in writing, editing, and researching.
Devyn strives to give back to her community by helping organizations that make a positive impact. She was involved in multiple organizations at Texas Wesleyan: The Entrepreneurship Club, Beta Gamma Sigma, and Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority.
She enjoys learning, reading, and writing in her spare time. You can often find Devyn with a book from her local library and a dog snuggled next to her. Devyn lives in Fort Worth, Texas, and enjoys the vibrant communities her city has to offer. Fort Worth, like most of North Texas, was a mixed buffer zone for a number of tribes including the Wichita, Comanche, Caddo, Cherokee, and other smaller tribes.