ABOUT US

MISSION & HERSTORY

VISION

To contribute to regional and international young and queer woman-led feminist organising, and engage in education, advocacy, and policy reform around women’s rights and gender justice.

 

 

 

 
 

MISSION

To raise consciousness through digital advocacy, the delivery of programs and coalition building that facilitates the empowerment of women and girls. Through skills and information sharing, providing mentorship and building the capacity of young feminists to engage in policy change and other critical issues around sex and gender discrimination, inclusion and rights, towards building a better world for ourselves and future generations

Background

WOMANTRA is a linguistic blend of the words, woman and mantra. This original portmanteau is the brain-child of Trinidadian multimedia artist Michelle Isava, who performed a ritual of the same name in 2008.

The performance involved the artist drawing seven concentric circles around herself, chanting ‘the hole is whole’. This embodied message of sacred femininity resonated deeply with the project of WOMANTRA, which took shape 3 years later and exists as a tribute to the power and resilience of women.

Meet The Team

Stephanie Leitch

Founding Director/ Chief Operations Officer

Stephanie is the Founding Director of WOMANTRA and has headed the organization since its inception in 2011. Over the past 5 years, Stephanie has been focused on growing the organization’s activity beyond the virtual space and established a strong local chapter, registering the collective as a non profit company in 2015. 

Stephanie’s interest in women’s rights began to take shape early in her university career at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, where she graduated with a Minor in Gender Studies and went on to enroll in the postgraduate program. Her grounding in activism was also shaped by grooming from feminist foremothers such as Hazel Brown. 

Stephanie’s ultimate goal is to see WOMANTRA become a self sustaining organization. As part of this impetus, succession planning has become an integrated priority of the organization’s leadership, facilitated through an Internship and Mentorship programme for the next generation of freedom loving womxn and girls. 

Élysse Marcellin

Director/ Business Development Officer

Élysse Marcellin is a queer activist, black feminist, and academic. She relies on an intersectional feminist ethic as her frame of reference for advocacy and activist work. Currently, Élysse focuses these efforts on mental health awareness, LGBT+ protections, and the support of women, girls, and gender minorities. Élysse, a 2018 a Women Deliver Young Leader, is a board member of WOMANTRA, CAISO and MindWise.

Élysse Marcellin

Project Assistant/ Legal Clinic Coordinator

Hannah Grosberg (she, her) is a Caribbean feminist with a passion for migration justice. She graduated with an International Studies Bachelor’s degree, with a focus on Women, Gender and Sexuality, from Trinity College (Hartford, CT) in 2019. As the first Intern turned Project Assistant, she has been a long-time fan and member of WOMANTRA and its unapologetic activism. She is excited to be the Legal Clinic Coordinator at WOMANTRA’s recently launched Elma François Legal Clinic, which specialises in providing legal services for survivors of gender-based violence. hannah also enjoys being a Barista at Full Bloom, gardening, and gorging on Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

Johanna-Rae Reyes.

Social Media Manager

Johannah-Rae Reyes is an educator, researcher, activist, and organiser, with a BSc in Geography from the University of the West Indies. She has experience as a sign language interpreter, has carried out sign language research in Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana, and has written about issues facing Caribbean deaf communities for publication. She follows in the tradition set by Caribbean women, in envisioning a world of unlimited opportunities for all, and works towards them by contributing to collective organizing with local activist groups DEAF (Deaf Empowerment and Advancement Foundation), AJD (Alliance for Justice and Diversity) and WOMANTRA. 

Safiyya Acosta

Outreach Coordinator

Safiyyah is a young Black queer organizer struggling against racism, misogyny and class oppression towards wholistic liberation. Inspired by the legacy of powerful black women throughout history, she believes in a movement lead by those most marginalized in society. Safiyyah completed her B.A in Media & Communicative Arts with a minor in Black Studies. She went on to gain grassroots organizing experience in community outreach, fundraising, organization operations & structure, facilitation and popular education. She writes about politics, social justice and personal growth on her blog “The person that I am”.

Celine Jaggernauth

Communications Officer

Celine Jaggernauth is a young Caribbean feminist activist and student with a deep interest in post-/de-/anti-colonial feminism. Shortly after completing her minor in Gender Studies at the University of the West Indies in 2019, Celine started her journey with WOMANTRA. She is currently enrolled in the postgraduate studies at the Institute for Gender & Development Studies (UWI).  She envisions a world where all communities are empowered to resist the systems that oppress them and demand justice. Alongside the effort to dismantle the patriarchy, Celine also has a passion for poetry writing.