Exhale is an organization with leaders at every level, and we have a commitment to supporting experienced leaders while developing new ones. Our leaders’ unique talents and strengths are leveraged to meet organizational goals and needs. A community-led nonprofit, Exhale’s volunteers, staff, and board members work in partnership with the broader Pro-Voice Movement to implement fresh ideas that improve our programs; adapt technology to meet the changing needs of our communities; and take important risks to deepen the impact of the Pro-Voice Movement.
Exhale’s talkline and online community are staffed by trained volunteers: women and men who who carry the pro-voice mission in their bones. Our volunteers have described being motivated to contribute to Exhale by a personal experience with abortion, the desire to gain counseling experience for a future career, or a personal commitment to put their peaceful values into daily practice.
Exhale's talkline depends on the service of 40 active volunteers
Each volunteers gives about 25 hours to Exhale per month. Here are a few profiles of current volunteers:
Sarina Irizarry joined Exhale as a talkline counselor in Spring 2013. She is a Bay Area native and has worked in the nonprofit field serving disadvantaged populations. She is currently in a career transition of becoming a Clinical Nutritionist. Stepping into Exhale was stepping into a community she had longed for. Finally, she felt her experiences were significant and there was a word for it: pro-voice. “Every time I take a call, it is a new story. Exhale has taught me to listen, and I have continued to practice that in my daily life”.
Keashka Turner joined Exhale as a talkline counselor in Spring of 2015. She currently works as an attorney for a supportive housing provider serving formerly homeless adults in San Francisco, focusing on eviction prevention and trauma-informed care. “I joined Exhale primarily to discover new approaches to healing and comfort through story-sharing. Working on the talkline over the last year, I've been honored to begin or continue the healing process with callers, and validate the myriad of feelings a woman or man may experience surrounding their abortion experience. I've also been reminded of the strong influence of other factors, such as family, friends, spiritual or religious faith, and trauma history, on how an abortion is experienced and processed. I continue my work with Exhale because of its dedication to being a safe place to land for callers--a kind of port in a storm of politics and judgment--instead choosing to focus on listening, wellness, and building community. ”
Aspen Baker, Exhale Founder & Executive Director
Aspen Baker is an award-winning author, leader and speaker. She is the author of Pro-Voice: How to Keep Listening When the World Wants a Fight, and she is the Founder and Executive Director of Exhale.
Aspen gave the first TED talk on abortion in 2015, which has more than 1.5 million views. Her book “Pro-Voice,” also published in 2015, received Living Now Award’s 2016 Evergreen Gold Medal for World Peace and an IPPY Bronze Medal for Current Events (Humanitarian Issues). She has written for Elle.com, New York Times, TED.com, New York Daily News, Refinery29, Huffington Post, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review, among others. As a spokesperson for Exhale, Aspen has been featured by media outlets across the country, including CNN Headline News, Fox National News, Ladies Home Journal, The New York Times, National Public Radio, and many more. Her essay “My Abortion Brought Us Together” was featured in the anthology Nothing But The Truth So Help Me God: 51 Women Reveal the Power of Positive Female Connection.
Aspen was named “Miss Body Positive” by Mashable and called a “fun, fearless female” by Cosmopolitan. She lives in Oakland, California with her family.
You can find her on Twitter: @aspenbaker
Mara Kassoff, Director of National Programs
Mara Kassoff is thrilled to be applying her direct experience using stories to open difficult conversations to this important field. With her passion for creating safe space for dialogue combined with her deep belief that social change is possible through sharing authentic, personal narratives, Mara is committed to the provision of much needed services that support the healing of women and men after their abortion experiences. Mara has an MBA from the American Jewish University and over 15 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector. A former COO, Mara is also a skilled facilitator and informal educator, having taught workshops and trainings on topic areas such as organizational development, budgeting, program design, and youth empowerment models. Her previous employers include Jewish LearningWorks, Jewish Vocational Services, The American Jewish University, and United Synagogue Youth. She is an advisor to and has served on the board of directors of About-Face, an organization that promotes body positivity and equips girls and women with tools for combating harmful media messages.
Nancy Otto, Senior Fundraising Strategist
Nancy Otto has over 25 years of experience with nonprofit organizations, working as staff, board member, volunteer, consultant, coach, facilitator and trainer. Today she works exclusively with nonprofit organizations in the areas of individual donor programs, fund development planning and execution, major gift programs, team building, capital campaigns and endowments; and provides technical support in organizational development, program development, staff configuration, staff development, board development and recruitment, and grassroots organizing.
Ziska Ronquillo, Trainer, After-abortion Talkline
Ziska Ronquillo, PsyD brings her experience as a clinical psychologist and consultant specializing in integrative medicine and women’s health. In addition to her consulting work, she has been running an integrative mental health program at the Women’s Community Clinic in San Francisco for 5 years. At the clinic she collaborates with a range of providers to support the holistic health and wellness of a diverse client population while training doctoral students in clinical psychology in the provision of culturally sensitive integrative mental services. Her postdoctoral fellowship was at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland working in inpatient integrative health and psychiatric crisis. She completed a predoctoral internship at the UCSF Infant-Parent Program at SF General Hospital. She has over seven years of clinical experience in a range of settings working with diverse women and children treating depression, anxiety, interpersonal issues, trauma, and other complex clinical issues from a culturally informed perspective. She received a doctorate in clinical psychology from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. Her dissertation was a formative program evaluation developing sustainable mental health services at the Women’s Community Clinic. Prior to her doctoral studies she worked for education, social service, and arts nonprofits in development, marketing, and volunteer coordination. She also has experience as a crisis hotline volunteer for RAINN, Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.
Sara Daniel, Co-trainer, After-abortion Talkline
Sara Daniel, MPH is a researcher at UCSF's Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), where she manages various research projects. Prior to joining ANSIRH, she worked at UCSF's Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies on projects evaluating access to contraceptive and family planning care. Sara joined Exhale as a talkline counselor in Fall 2012.She has extensive experience in study design, project management and evaluation. She brings passion and years of experience in working with vulnerable populations, including survivors of torture and sexual violence. She received her BA in Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago and her MPH from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health.
Amalia Bob-Waksberg, Exhale Intern
Amalia Bob-Waksberg Amalia Bob-Waksberg is delighted to be a part of the Exhale team. Amalia has worked in the movement to end sexual assault and domestic violence for 8 years and is excited to bring her crisis counseling and community education experience to Exhale. She is passionate about the radical act of compassionate and active listening and has seen the healing power of letting someone speak their truth. Amalia believes strongly in the power of storytelling. As an undergrad, she co-founded a storytelling project for folks to anonymously share their experiences of sexual assault on campus and witnessed the campus climate shift as a result. She believes that Exhale is doing the necessary work of complicating and broadening the narrow and faceless stories we've been told about abortion. She received her BA in Women’s and Gender Studies from Brandeis University and her thesis explored innovative programs working beyond the state to respond to intimate partner violence.
Patricia Foley, Bookkeeper
Patricia Foley has been Exhale's consultant bookkeeper since 2004. She is a full charge bookkeeper for nonprofits. She is also an enrolled agent, admitted to practice in 1983, to prepare tax. She specializes in nonprofit tax, which believe it or not she enjoys immensely.
Board of Directors
Exhale’s Board Members are leaders whose volunteer service to Exhale is critical to engaging more people and communities in the Pro-Voice Movement. Board members are role models for pro-voice values and practices in every facet of their personal and professional lives; and as organizational culture carriers, they put our strength-based approach to decision-making into regular practice. Strategic, experienced, and always learning and adapting through experience, Exhale Board Members spread the pro-voice message through their networks and communities as ambassadors, fundraisers, and leaders.
Genevieve Brennan, Brooklyn, NY, President
Genevieve Brennan is a digital publishing professional, working with media and technology partners at Google. She focuses on enabling news and magazine publishers grow their audience and innovate for our digital, mobile world. Whether it's a breaking news article, a live video, or a nice long novel, she wants to know about it, and she wants you to have access to it too. A graduate of Wellesley College, Genevieve is a strong supporter of women's rights around the world, and believes that storytelling is one of the most important ways of understanding ourselves and one another.
Susan Chorley, Boston, MA, Secretary
Rev. Susan Chorley is an ordained American Baptist minister who has served in congregations in Durham, NC, San Francisco, and Beverly, Massachusetts. She is currently the Associate Director and Minister of Programs for the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry in Roxbury, MA. She is a co-founder and board member of Exhale. In Boston, Susan is a founding member of the MA Restorative Justice Collaborative and founder of “Partners in Faith” a roundtable for individuals, organizations and congregations who are engaged in faith based organizing around intimate partner violence. Susan and her 14 year old son live in Jamaica Plain, MA.
Nicole Castillo, Boston, MA, Treasurer
Nicole Castillo is a social entrepreneur with a passion for fusing technology with civic engagement. She currently serves as the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at the Mass Alliance on Teen Pregnancy. She was a co-founder of BeVisible, an online career platform for Latinx Millennials, where her work as a digital content-producer focused on Latinx leadership and empowerment.
Nicole is an active member of The Philanthropy Connection’s Young Philanthropist group, and serves on the board of directors for Jane Doe Inc., the MA Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. Nicole has over 8 years experience working in the domestic and sexual violence movement, and is deeply committed to gender equity and cultivating the leadership of women in their homes, communities, and politics. She was an inaugural recipient of the 2016 Edie Windsor Lesbians Who Tech Coding Scholarship, and serves as an ambassador to the fund.
Charlie Glickman, Seattle, WA
Charlie Glickman, PhD is a sex & relationship coach, a sexuality educator, a sexological bodyworker, and an internationally-acclaimed speaker. He’s been working in this field for over 20 years, and some of his areas of focus include sex & shame, sex-positivity, queer issues, masculinity & gender, communities of erotic affiliation, and many sexual & relationship practices. Charlie is also the co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners. Find out more about him on his website or on Twitter and Facebook. For Charlie’s sex coaching and sexological bodywork services, visit MakeSexEasy.com.
Laurenellen McCann, Washington, DC
Laurenellen McCann Laurenellen McCann is an educator and organizer known internationally for their work on power-shifting approaches to civic engagement, reform, and innovation. In 2014, they started the movement to prioritize community-leadership in civic tech under the banner, “build with, not for”. Currently, Laurenellen participates in DC local efforts to support resilience, resistance, and protect human rights during our new political regime and the hereafter. In the past, they've co-designed community impact evaluations (New America DC, Smart Chicago Collaborative), taught local governments how to structure projects for meaningful public contribution (Sunlight Foundation, Open Technology Institute, Funk Parade), lead anti-oppression and bias discovery trainings for institutions (New America, Code for America Brigades), lobbied on the freedom of information act (Sunlight Foundation), and "gave birth" to a giant cardboard dinosaur/community mascot. L(e) is the author of “Experimental Modes of Civic Engagement in Civic Tech” (2015) and a contributor to the (Re)Building Technology zine. In 2013, TIME Magazine named them one of 30 folks under 30 changing the world. More at laurenellen.com and @elle_mccann.
Sally Steenland, Washington, DC
Sally Steenland is a writer and consultant whose work focuses on women, work and family; reproductive justice; religious liberty; and the influence of religion on politics and culture. For 11 years she directed the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Policy, where she led national and state-based work on religious liberty, reproductive justice, economic inequality, anti-Muslim bigotry and more. While at CAP, Sally created the Faith and Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute, wrote a weekly column, Faith in Values, and served as a national spokesperson on issues of faith, values and culture. Before working at CAP, Sally was a frequent op-ed columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, where she wrote a syndicated column on critical social issues. She spent a decade at the National Commission on Working Women and Wider Opportunities for Women, where her work focused on women in nonprofessional jobs and the image and employment of women in the media.
Sabrina Hersi Issa, CEO at Be Bold Media
Sabrina Hersi Issa is the CEO at Be Bold Media, a digital media agency focused on global advocacy and the co-founder of End Famine, a campaign dedicated to developing sustainable solutions to hunger, food security and humanitarian assistance. She was the 2015 Event Chair of Web of Change at the Esalen Institute. Previously, Sabrina was a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute where she worked on issues related to technology, human rights and humanitarian disasters. She has worked for Afghans for Civil Society, Oxfam America, NBC News and National Public Radio stations. Sabrina also organizes Rights x Tech, a gathering for technologists and activists and runs Survivor Fund, a political fund dedicated to supporting the rights of survivors of sexualized violence. Sabrina was named one of Forbes Magazine Top 30 under 30, EBONY Magazine Power 100 Honoree and Washingtonian Magazine named her a Woman to Watch as part of it’s annual Most Powerful Women issue. She is a graduate of Ohio State University and also serves on the board of directors of NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Project on Middle East Democracy. She volunteers as a Crisis Counselor with Crisis Text Line.
Lisa Hoffman, Nonprofit Consultant
Lisa Hoffman is a nonprofit consultant and coach with more than 25 years of experience in fund development, facilitation, training, and board and staff development. Specializing in individual giving, with an emphasis on major gifts, her pragmatic approach is creative, and always involves a little mischief. Lisa is also an ordained Zen priest, bringing Buddhist practices of compassion, active engagement, and leaving the ego at the door to her nonprofit consulting.
Nancy Latham, Chief Learning Officer at LFA Group
Nancy Latham directs evaluations in a wide variety of subject areas, including policy advocacy, housing and community development, college readiness, community college programs for older adults, and media. Nancy is passionate about using her research skills to support organizations working for social and cultural change.
Deb Levine, Advisor
Deb Levine is a renowned leader in using technology for sexual and reproductive health. She has become a mentor and advisor for several startups and organizations including the FastForward non-profit incubator, Health 2.0 Traction, RWJF, and Exhale. She lives in Oakland with her husband and two teens, and has very thick skin.
Rich Snowdon, Coach
Rich Snowdon is the author of NonprofitHearts, has coached nonprofit leaders since 1999, and was the co-founder of the Child Assault Prevention Training Center of California. He says, "Exhale fills my heart with exclamation points!"
Amy Hill, MA; Silence Speaks Director, Center for Digital Storytelling
Amy Hill is a digital storytelling instructor, documentary filmmaker, and public health/community development consultant. After spending twelve years coordinating women’s health and violence prevention projects throughout California, she founded Silence Speaks, an international digital storytelling initiative that blends oral history, participatory mediamaking, and popular education to support the telling and public sharing of life stories that document injustice and promote gender equality and human rights.
Eveline Shen, MPH; Executive Director, Forward Together
Eveline Shen has led Forward Together since 1999. Under her leadership, ACRJ has become widely recognized for its innovative leadership in the Reproductive Justice Movement. Eveline serves on the board of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project and Movement Strategy Center. She was recently named by Women’s eNews as one of the 21 leaders for the 21st Century.
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