TWOCC Leadership

Lourdes Ashley Hunter

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Healer, scholar and curator, Lourdes is the Executive Director of Trans Women of Color Collective, a grass-roots initiative based in Washington D.C.  TWOCC is a grass-roots global initiative led by trans and gender non-conforming people of color that works to uplift the lived narratives, experiences and leadership of trans and gender non-conforming people of color, their families and comrades while building towards collective liberation for all oppressed people through healing and restorative justice.  TWOCC’s embodies cultural art as a tool of healing and resistance to state sanctioned violence. Read more…

Lala Zannell



As the Lead Organizer at the New York City Anti-Violence project (AVP), LaLa is the face and leads AVP’s public community organizing work, doing advocacy, outreach and networking on behalf of LGBTQ New Yorkers who have experienced violence. LaLa also plays a key role in AVP’s Rapid Incident Response team, which responds whenever incidents of hate violence, sexual violence or intimate partner violence impacting LGBTQ and HIV-affected New Yorkers become public.  LaLa is a gifted public speaker and speechwriter who speaks out on issues related to anti-LGBTQ violence, and especially the disproportionate violence that trans and gender non- conforming people of color face.  LaLa is a member of the National Coalition of Anti violence Program (NCAVP) Movement Building Committee. In additional LaLa spoke at the White House for the first and last trans women of color briefing under the Obama administration , testified at the historic Congressional Forum on violence against transgender people, and made last year’s 2015 Trans 100 list for LaLa’s work with making the lives of Trans Woman of Color better…. Read More

Samantha Jo-Dato

sammi jo
”’Peeling Back the Layers; I’m Ready Too…” is Samantha Jo-Dato’s motto for life and healing these days. An Atlantic City, NJ native.  She found a love of Philadelphia and soon relocated there. While in Philadelphia she quickly became a force to be reckoned with. As an activist for Trans, P.O.C. and Women’s rights she was unapologetic, unowned and unedited. Her sassy and  fiery personality made her a key player in the social justice movement locally and nationally. Serving the community by working on some of Philadelphia’s largest projects and events. Events like The Philly Trans* March, Trans Wellness Project, Creating Change, and The March to End Rape Culture just to name a few. She gained recognition on a International level when she became the Logistical Coordinator of the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, the largest trans Health conference in the country…. Read more.


In March 2006 moved to New York & In July of that year started her transition. In 2007, she began her career as a model & entertainer. Did her first runway, for Banana Republic’s Fall line, in late Summer 2007…. Read more.


Nyla Foster is a black transgender woman, entertainer, designer, and trans rights advocate. She has been living in her truth since the age of 14 and is well known within the Kansas City LGBTQIA community. Nyla entertains and competes in drag pageantry as “Angel Iman”, a stage persona she created in 2010. She is the Miss Missouri State 2017-18,  Miss Black Trans Kansas 2017-18, a former Miss Kansas City Black Pride, and a former Miss Kansas City Gay Pride. Nyla is a former Project Coordinator & Advocate for the Kansas City Anti Violence Project (KCAVP), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing advocacy for LGBTQIA members who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, hate crime, and neglect. She has also worked as a Bridge Advocate for the Rose Brooks Center, an agency that provides emergency shelter to women and children escaping life-threatening abuse….. Read more.
Trans Women
of Color Collective