Vol 2. co-chairs
Ngiste (@ngiste) is Co-Founder of Aulenor, partner at Undaunted Ventures, and outreach director for Sen. Jennifer McClellan. She spent recent years in Virginia Democratic campaigns. Prior to that, Ngiste served with the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of Transition Initiatives, supporting the growth of peaceful democracies in countries emerging from conflict. After leading a working group to update post-conflict development policy for the complexities of contemporary foreign policy, she designed countering violent extremism program for USAID/Bosnia. In 2013, Ngiste co-authored Bidding for Development, examining how cities can benefit from the Olympic bid process. An avid science fiction and fantasy reader, she writes about books, television, and movies when not exploring new restaurants in Richmond.
Chelsea Higgs Wise
Chelsea (@chelseahiggswise) is a clinical social worker and intercultural communicator who specializes in connecting underserved and misrepresented communities with policymakers to advocate against racism and misogyny. Chelsea is a proud Virginia graduate as she earned her Bachelor’s of Social Work from Longwood University and her Master’s in Clinical Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. Chelsea is an experienced event moderator and offers facilitated dialogue services for topics around race, history and feminism. As an activist who helps evolve narratives and policies, Chelsea has been an instrumental voice in numerous campaigns and was recently brought on as Narrative Change Officer to the Truth, Racial Healing, Transformation Enterprise granted by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and implemented by Initiatives of Change, USA. She's a regular contributor to RVA Magazine in political and artistic commentary, co-hosts a radio show, Women and Politics on WRIR LP 97.3 FM and was chosen as part of the Style Weekly Top 40 Under 40 Richmond Power List for 2018. . Within the past year, Chelsea has been appointed to serve the City of Richmond, Virginia through the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority Board of Directors, the Richmond City Social Services Advisory Board and the Richmond Human Rights Committee. Chelsea values genuine connection, authentic relationships, and meaningful impact. She is fueled daily by her village of family, friends, and especially her young daughter, Chloe.