Rachel's (She / Her) background and bio are available here.
Rachel lives in Richmond, Virginia. This land was originally home to the Algonquian-speaking tribes, Youghtanund, Powhatan, and Chickahominy which were part of the Powhatan Confederacy. They are also known as Algonquian because of their language and common culture.
Talem Consulting is a registered LLC in the state of Texas. The Dallas area was a mixed buffer zone for a number of tribes including the Wichita, Comanche, Caddo, Cherokee, Kickapoo, Jumano, Tawakoni, and other smaller tribes.
Operations & Community Communications
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, Tawakoni, 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, Kickapoo, Jumano, Tawakoni, and other smaller tribes.
Avia S. Haynes
Marketing & Creative Design
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 of 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.
Avia lives and works in the Greater Houston, Texas area where the Akokisa were the indigenous tribe who lived on the land of the present-day Greater Houston area.
Inclusive Leadership Program
Mona Kafeel (She / Her) graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor's in Economics before moving to Dallas, Texas in 2000. Her other educational accomplishments include certificates in Nonprofit Management and Nonprofit Leadership Development from SMU. She is an alumnus of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute (AMCLI) and Leadership Plano. She was awarded "Education Mentor" by the City of Plano for her work.
Mona has dedicated her life and career to being a changemaker. Currently, the CEO at Texas Muslim Women's Foundation (TMWF), she is instrumental in creating domestic violence shelters that are trauma-informed and culturally specific. Her grassroots community work spans educational and policy initiatives including:
Committee member of the Public Policy Commission of the Texas Council on Family Violence
Committee member of the Asian Advisory Committee to the Congresswomen Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30)
Senior Advisory Board Member to the Mayor of the City of Plano on issues that are important to seniors living in Plano
Advisory board member of the Collin County Council on Family Violence
Advisory board member of The American Muslim Today publishing house
Mona lives in Plano, Texas, which like most of North Texas, was a mixed buffer zone for a number of tribes including the Wichita, Comanche, Caddo, Cherokee, Tawakoni, and other smaller tribes.
Culturally Responsive Education
Beth (She / Her) works as a vocal music instructor for 5-8 grades at Upper Elementary and Middle Schools in Charlottesville, Virginia. She has also worked as a music teacher in Durham Public Schools and Vistation Catholic School. Beth has a bachelor's in music education from Lawrence University and a master's in vocal performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Beth incorporates culturally responsive teaching into her work to bridge gaps between students and educators to understand cultural nuances and support student achievement. She brings that knowledge into work with education-adjacent nonprofits to support DEIA implementation and culturally responsive tools into their work.
Beth lives with her husband, three kids, and catdog, Roxie, in Waynesboro, Virginia which was settled by the forefathers of bands we now call Sioux, or Cherokee, or Iroquois. She also sings with her church choir in her spare time.
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.
Sarah L. Albiston
Sarah was born in Washington DC and raised in Bethesda, Maryland. She made Richmond, Virginia her home after graduating from the University of Richmond with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. After embarking on a career in strategic marketing in the advertising agency world, Sarah returned to U of R to obtain her MBA in marketing.
As a copywriter and marketing strategist, Sarah has worked for many industries including senior housing and retirement living, real estate and development, insurance, banking, recruiting, luxury furnishings, fine art, and home improvement.
Sarah is a mother to two sons in their 20s. She is an avid reader, knitter, and cookbook collector. She loves to explore the abundant history that Richmond and Virginia are known for. Central Virginia is well-known as the ancestral homeland of the Mattaponi, Pamunkey, Chickahominy, and Upper Mattaponi Indian tribes, who are honored with four major rivers in Virginia being named after them.