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.
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.
Rev. Susan Chorley, President, Massachusetts (she/her)
Rev. Susan Chorley (B.A. Wake Forest University 1994, M.Div/M.A. in Feminist Theology American Baptist Seminary of the West/Graduate Theological Union, 2002) is an ordained American Baptist minister who has served congregations in NC, WA, CA and MA.
Susan joins Exhale after serving as the Associate Director and Minister of Programs at the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry in Roxbury, MA where she oversaw programming focused on domestic violence and out-of-school enrichment for high school students. Rev. Chorley has a deep history with Exhale, as a co-founder and long-time board member. Susan is also a co-founder of the Massachusetts 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. In her 17 years of involvement with Exhale, Susan has held deep relationships with staff, volunteers, and others in the Exhale community, serving as an advisor and thought leader. Susan is also a public storyteller, having first shared her personal abortion experience in a 2016 Parent’s Magazine article featuring the stories of mothers who have had abortions. This publicity led to the launch of Exhale’s Pro-Voice Sermon Tour, during which Susan shared her story as a means to create space for bringing abortion into church communities. Building on the success of the tour, The Daily Beast published her op-ed in October 2016. Susan was named a “2017 Faith Leader to Watch” by the Center for American Progress, receiving praise for her boldness in preaching about her abortion to congregations around the country, and was featured in a recent CNN.com piece about Exhale’s groundbreaking pro-voice work. Susan speaks, consults, leads workshops and writes frequently on topics including faith, domestic violence, restorative justice and being an effective ally/accomplice to communities targeted by racism as well as LGBQ/T communities. Susan and her 17 year old son live in Jamaica Plain, MA.
Amy Congdon, Kansas (she/her)
Amy Congdon is a mental health therapist in Kansas City, where she resides with her spouse and two children. A former teacher, she is also actively engaged in her local community around issues of race, equity, and education.
Amy has been a volunteer with Exhale as a talkline counselor since late 2018 and believes the pro-voice movement is needed now more than ever. As a queer, Asian American woman, she recognizes the importance of storytelling as a way of deepening the understanding of identities in ourselves and others. In her therapy practice, Amy seeks to work directly with those impacted by religious trauma, where shame and stigma often surrounds sex, sexuality, abortion, and reproductive rights. She joins the Exhale board with myriad experiences of community volunteer and organizing work, a background in education and experience working with teens and adolescents within religious communities, and a passion to see change enacted in the world, one relationship and story at a time.
Rachel L. Dyer, Wisconsin (she/her)
Rachel L Dyer is a scholar-activist and Ph.D. student in counseling psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In additional to sitting on the Board of Directors, Rachel also co-coordinates the Exhale Textline with a focus on training Textline Counselors. Outside of these roles, Rachel is an avid coffee-drinker, dedicated podcast-listener, and novice Dungeons and Dragons player.
Rachel’s path in life is significantly guided by her experience of having an abortion at 15 years old; as an adolescent, bisexual girl in rural Wisconsin, she was encouraged by her loved ones to keep this experience a secret. In an effort to heal from the abortion stigma she had internalized, Rachel dove fully into advocacy work with mainstream pro-choice organizations. Through this work, Rachel became connected to others with abortion stories and came to understand the full impact of abortion stigma on their lives – and her own. This understanding led Rachel to pursue paths in psychotherapy, research, education, and activism, all with the goal of harnessing the counseling psychology profession and skillset in service of reproductive justice. As a white woman and budding academic, Rachel aims to ground her work in community-based, participatory action approaches – centering and following the needs and voices of those most oppressed, in pursuit of destigmatization and justice.
Kayla Hurd, California (they/them)
Kayla Hurd is currently pursuing a double bachelor of science in biochemistry and public health at Mills College. As a person interested in sexual health, Kayla has experience working as a gynecological teacher associate for Project Prepare. They also volunteer(ed) for several local non profits organizations, currently serves as a BoD member for Berkeley Free Clinic, is certified as a Full Spectrum Doula, and is a First Responder to the SARs-Cov-2 pandemic.
As a Berkeley Free Clinic member Kayla was introduced to EXHALE via looking at a flyer on the ‘resource wall’. Immediately, they felt the need to connect and share space with folks in need of services they once seeked. Since April of 2019, Kayla has contributed to EXHALE as a textline peer counselor. Within the short time they have been here, Kayla has shared personal experiences that have sparked positive change within the organization. By demonstrating deep reflection, true honesty, and follow up actions, Kayla was able to impact the way in which we currently provide services for non-English speakers. Now, EXHALE is currently working to build on our services provided in Spanish and provide training for more volunteers to support this change. It is this type of change Kayla wishes to continue to implement by sharing their personal experiences and times of reflection as a volunteer.
As a Black, queer, two-spirirted, person working to become an OBGYN physcian, Kayla actively works to integrate the value of acknowledging people’s intersecting identities in order to practice more inclusive medicine. Kayla works to continue to bring their queer experience into theirs work spaces inorder to provide a more adequate enviornment for queer people to safely share space, obtain resources, and be able to be heard. Kayla is mostly motivated by the historical injustices of Black bodies in obstetrics, their community, and their own adverse experiences navigating the traditional and non-traditional health care system. That being said, they hope to embark on a lifelong holistic study of obstetric violence in America — specifically as it pertains to the Black birthing body. As of now, Kayla believes obstetrics is often solely looked at from an anatomical perspective and thus ends up missing many important components that affect an individual’s sexual health — in essence this may be percieved as an over compensation on the behalf of a provider due to lack of exposure to queer people, culture, history, and knowledge. Therefore, some queer people experience their gender respresnetataion and or identity being the sole focus of every visit instead of their provider having the ability to recognize the underline impacts their identity has on access to resources or interactions with providers. Thus, Kayla heavily values not only seeing more BIPOC queer folks being involved in providing health resources such as those related to the ones provided by EXHALE but, also contributing in adding more comprehensive education on the BIPOC LGBTQ2S+ experience receiving any form of healthcare needs.
Dené S. Mathews, California (she/her)
Dené S. Mathews is a technical project manager and brings over 20 years of management experience and technical expertise from the high tech and telecommunications industries. She holds a MS degree in Information Technology from the University of Maryland and a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Howard University.
She gives back to her community through serving as a Stephen Leader and Minister at Grace Baptist Church, where she recognized her call to actively listen and to walk with others who find themselves in crises. She came to know about Exhale through Susan and has continued to be supportive of Exhale’s mission and purpose. She resides in San Jose, CA, where she enjoys cooking, reading, pilates, practicing yoga and spending time with her husband. She is a proud parent to her son, an aspiring Wildlife Epidemiologist. She is excited to be a part of the leadership team of Exhale, to continue the mission in which people can find safe space, where they are allowed to heal, to grow and to recognize God’s love and care for them no matter what they have been through.
Sierra McGovern, California (she/her)
Sierra McGovern is an after-abortion counselor with Exhale and therapist trainee working with at-risk youth. Using a social justice driven approach, she seeks to empower clients to heal from trauma. Before pursuing therapist licensure, Sierra was a preschool teacher specializing in supporting children with disabilities. Currently she is a graduate student with Point Loma Nazarene University’s clinical counseling M.A. program.
Bringing a multiculturally competent approach to her counselling work, she uses somatic interventions to help individuals overcome both personal and systemic trauma. Once licensed as a Couples and Family Therapist, she aspires to specialize in reproductive trauma and pro-voice advocacy.
Jessica Rothery, Secretary, California (she/her)
Jessica Rothery is a child caregiver and and first year MSW student at San Diego State University. She has been with Exhale since 2017 as a counselor, program coordinator, and board member. As she continues to serve on the board, she plans to further develop Exhale’s Spanish language services and conduct outreach within San Diego County.
By volunteering as an ACCESS clinic companion, ZSF General Hospital late-termination doula, and Exhale talkline counselor she has provided physical, emotional, and logistical support to people experiencing abortion. In the past, Jessica has hosted story sharing events in both Oakland and San Diego to facilitate education and communication within the community. She is excited to continue to be a part of Exhale and use story sharing and non-judgmental counseling as tools for change.
Natalie Croul, Massachusetts (she/her)
Natalie Croul is a clinical research coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital with a degree in Public Health. She has a passion for equitable sexual and reproductive health and started at Exhale as a counselor in 2019 and is now a co-coordinator and board member. She brings a background in trauma-informed, adolescent sexual health and consent education as well as experience with research within the OB/GYN field.
Natalie was born and raised in Southern California but feels most at home in the Bay Area. She is new to the East Coast and is currently in a post-baccalaureate program in preparation to become an OB/GYN. As soon as she learned about Exhale from a former colleague, she knew it was something she wanted to be a part of. Her interest in the humanization of medicine and the complexities of reproductive healthcare align closely with Exhale’s mission to bring forth honest personal experiences around abortion. She believes strongly in offering non-judgmental post-abortion support and is grateful for the opportunity to help people through their abortion journeys.
Magda Anchondo, TX (she/her)
Magda Anchondo spent 8 years working in international public health before switching careers to pursue becoming a physician. Magda started with Exhale in 2019 as a counselor and now also serves as a textline coordinator and board member. She is passionate about sexual and reproductive health and justice (especially for adolescents) and evidence-based health policy.
Magda was inspired to join Exhale due to their pro-voice approach and the belief that allowing people to share their stories and feelings on their abortion experience can often bring peace and reduce stigma. Her interest in reproductive health began as a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin where she led girls’ empowerment and health education initiatives, taught English and found the most rewarding experiences were conversations with her students. Magda holds a Masters in Public Affairs with a focus in health policy from Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs and speaks French.
Volunteers and Consultants
Mara Kassoff, Lead Finance Consultant
Mara Kassoff, (she/her) MBA, has 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, specializing in human-centered program design, operations, and financial management.
Mara began her career as an educator, with a focus on designing social justice programming to meet the needs of Bay Area vulnerable communities. Bringing a human-centered approach to the operations side of nonprofit organizations, Mara is uniquely positioned to provide nonprofits of all sizes with tools and coaching that create effective and efficient communications between the programming and operations sides of “the house.” She works with nonprofits to help them optimize their organizational infrastructures. She’s thrilled to be supporting Exhale’s financial management needs.
Roxanna Curiel, Consultant for Training and Facilitation
Roxanna Curiel, (she/her) M.Ed. Graduate Certificate in Gender Studies, A sister, daughter, tía, prima, comadre, student, educator, and advocate—her community guides her heartwork.
Rox es una hermana, hija, tía, prima, comadre, estudiante, educadora y organizadora. El amor hacia su comunidad guía sus proyectos políticos y sociales.
She is inspired by the labor and visions that women of color and QTPOC (continue to) gift the world. She has served as the youth program coordinator at a sexual violence, domestic violence, and HIV prevention organization in Boyle Heights, CA, has conducted research on sexual and reproductive health access and education, and supports racial-economic-gender-sexual-reproductive-disability justice movements. She is a member of the Utah Reproductive Justice Community Advisory Board, co-founder of the Utah RJ Fund Project, and emerging funds cohort member with the National Network of Abortion Funds. She offers her language skills (Spanish, Portuguese, & Spanglish) to strengthen community building projects.
She hopes to gain more skills to provide doula support for young people, immigrant communities, and folks who are incarcerated. She loves to eat chilaquiles, enjoys reading bilingual children’s books, and believes in the power of storytelling as an organizing tool in collaborative social justice efforts. Recently, her curiosity has weaved together conversations about collective healing and (re)defining love and intimacy. Rox resides in Salt Lake City, Utah and grew up in Cudahy, California. ¡En la lucha!
Rox es una hermana, hija, tía, prima, comadre, estudiante, educadora y organizadora. El amor hacia su comunidad guía sus proyectos políticos y sociales. Ella está inspirada por las visiones de justicia social que las mujeres de color y la comunidad LGBTQ ofrecen para crear un mundo mejor. Se ha desempeñado como coordinadora de un programa de jóvenes en contra de la violencia sexual, violencia doméstica y educación sobre la prevención del VIH en Boyle Heights, CA. Ella ha realizado investigaciones sobre el acceso y la educación en salud sexual y reproductiva durante su programa de maestría en educación. Ella apoya los movimientos sociales que se enfocan en la justicia racial, económica, sexual, reproductiva y de la discapacidad. Es miembra de “Utah Reproductive Justice Community Advisory Board”, cofundadora del Proyecto Utah RJ Fund y también está involucrada con proyectos de la Red Nacional de Fondos de Aborto. Ella ofrece sus habilidades lingüísticas (habla español, ingles, portugués y spanglish ) para fortalecer los proyectos del desarrollo de la comunidad.
Su interés incluye desarrollar más habilidades para brindar apoyo con servicios de doula para los jóvenes, comunidades inmigrantes y personas que están encarceladas. Le encanta comer chilaquiles, le gusta leer libros bilingües para niños y cree en el poder de la narración de historias como herramienta para organizar. Recientemente, su curiosidad se ha enfocado en un tejido de conversaciones sobre la sanación colectiva y el proceso de despatriarcalizar el amor y el compañerismo.
Rox vive en Salt Lake City, Utah y creció en Cudahy, California.
¡En la lucha!
Erin Girardi, Marketing and Communications Consultant
Erin Girardi, (she/her) has been working with nonprofits on their strategic and creative communications for the last ten years.
She started her career traveling around the United States working with university and high school students on outreach tactics in the nonprofit space. She spent the next several years building an international digital team for a movement to eliminate nuclear weapons. With her educational background in design and communication, has moved on to help organize creative teams and guide outward-facing media programs. She is so happy to work with Exhale on their communication needs, and values all that she has learned through their Pro-voice approach.