Staff

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Jen Deerinwater is the founder and executive director of Crushing Colonialism. Jen is a bisexual, Two-Spirit, multiply-disabled citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She use her gift for words and research to bring attention to her communities' issues through organizing and media. Jen is a contributor at Truthout and has been published and featured in publications such as Bitch, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, In These Times, Rewire and The Advocate named Jen one of their Oklahoma representatives for the 2019 Champions of Pride. She’s also a fellow for the Press On Freedomways Reporting Project .

Board of Directors

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Joye Braun Wanbli Wiyan Ka’win or Eagle Feather Woman is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and a frontline community organizer with Indigenous Environmental Network and a board member of Crushing Colonialism. She was one of the first campers at Sacred Stone Camp, moved to Oceti Sakowin Camp, and was at Blackhoop or Seven Generations Camp during eviction of the camps that sprung up to fight the Dakota Access Pipeline at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Braun has long fought the Keystone XL pipeline which resurrected its head at the same time DAPL was renewed and continues to threaten her homelands. She is also making stands to protect the Sacred Black Hills, her Ancestral sacred lands against fracking, uranium and gold mining. Braun is a former editor with SiTanka Vision and Lakota Voice. She’s currently a board member of Crushing Colonialism, Oceti Ozuye Win, and Oyate Wahacanka Woecun or Shield the People Camp located at Ideal, South Dakota. The camp location is not accepting new campers right now, but it was the first long term camp against the Keystone XL pipeline. She's a former freelance journalist and photojournalist with credits under her maiden name including Wall Street Journal, and New York Times. She is a wife, mother and grandmother.


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Kaitlin B. Curtice is an enrolled citizen of the Potawatomi Citizen Band Nation and a board member of Crushing Colonialism. I’m also a writer, speaker, mama, partner and avid coffee drinker. I have experienced in my own being the gracious love of humanity, and I share that love for community here with all of you.

My book, Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places is out with Paraclete Press, a collection of fifty essays and prayers from my life that focus on the idea of glory. I have contributed pieces to OnBeingDecaturishRuminate MagazineThe Mudroom Relevant Magazine OnlineSojourners, CBE International  and Red Rising Magazine while I’m not here writing about the intersection of spirituality and everyday life.

I have two growing boys, a Weimaraner puppy and a big Husky who needs the outdoors.


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Sharon daVanport is the Founding Executive Director of Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWN Network) ~ formerly known as Autism Women’s Network. Sharon is an educational speaker hosting workshops on topics including: health and wellness for women and  nonbinary people with disabilities; violence against women and girls in vulnerable communities; and how to effectively use privilege when amplifying the voices and work of disabled people who experience racial and gender inequality.

Speaking invitations include the United Nations Headquarters: World Autism Awareness Day (Empowering Autistic Women & Girls); and The White House (Obama Administration), advising on topics regarding disability, healthcare, and autism. In their work as a Disability Rights Activist, Sharon also advises on numerous policy forums. Professional affiliations: Advisory Board Member at Felicity House, AWN Network Representative at Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD),  AWN Steering Committee Member at National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA), and the treasurer for Crushing Colonialism. 

Honors include: Autistic Self Advocacy’s Self-Advocate of the Year Award for service to the self-advocacy movement; LSS Award for advocacy focusing on autistic women and girls; and Autism Society of America’s Outstanding Literary Award for editing, “What Every Autistic Girl Wishes her Parents Knew”.  In Sharon’s spare time they enjoy traveling, research, reading, music, and spending time with family and close friends.

Interns

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Destiny Whitaker is a rising college freshman who resides in North Carolina. She is a Queer/Bi, chronically ill, neuroatypical, Black and Indigenous person who is a direct lineal descendant of North Carolina's free people of color families who originally lived in a tribal community. She's a lifelong learner and believes in the importance of knowing one's roots and expression which connects with her love of genealogy and the arts, especially theater.

Destiny is the Social Media and Marketer Coordinator for Cuil Press-a publisher specializing in inclusive speculative fiction and romance. She's also the inaugural Youth Advisory Board Chair of the International Association For Premenstrual Disorders.

Recently she began working on the board of a new local outdoor theater. She is an activist and advocate for all minoritized and oppressed communities and looks forward to growing her activism and is beyond thrilled to intern with Crushing Colonialism.