Staff

Julie_Falk.jpg

Julie Falk, executive director

julie(at)b-word.org

Julie Falk was hired as Bitch Media's first Executive Director in June 2009. She previously served as Executive Director of the Center for Health Justice in Los Angeles and the Prison Media Fund in Cambridge, MA. Born in Kentucky, Julie is a graduate of Swarthmore College. She is thrilled to have landed in Portland OR, where she enjoys cooking and eating the local bounty and exploring the town through the eyes of her children and dog, Copper.

Favorite TV: Perry Mason, Rockford Files, Designing Women, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Wire

Favorite Movie: Rear Window

Favorite Authors: Carson McCullers, Carolyn Keene, MFK Fisher, Georges Simenon, Lois Lowry

Turn-ons: bakeries, used bookstores, German writing instruments, clean linens

Turn-offs: industrial meat production, extreme temperatures, inconsistency


andi_zeisler.jpgAndi Zeisler, cofounder

andi(at)b-word.org
@andizeisler

Andi is the cofounder of Bitch Media. A longtime freelance writer and illustrator, Andi's work has appeared in numerous periodicals and newspapers, including Ms., Mother Jones, Utne, BUST, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Women's Review of Books, and Hues. She is a former pop-music columnist for the SF Weekly and the East Bay Express, and also contributed to the anthologies Young Wives' Tales, Secrets and Confidences: The Complicated Truth About Women's Friendships (both from Seal Press), and Howl: A Collection of the Best Contemporary Dog Wit (Crown). She is the coeditor of BitchFest: 10 Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine, and the author of Feminism and Pop Culture (Seal Press). Her new book about the consumer co-optation of feminism, We Were Feminists Once, was published in May 2016 by PublicAffairs. She speaks frequently on the subject of feminism, media, and pop culture at various colleges and universities.

Andi graduated from The Colorado College in 1994 with a B.A. in Fine Art that has proved to be more or less useless, though she did use it to secure a job designing rugs for Pottery Barn back in the day. She passes her non-Bitch hours watching television, hanging out with her basketball-obsessed family, embroidering portraits of dogs, and subscribing to whatever magazines are left on Earth. Her other interests include drawing, snacking, hiking, traveling, and eating cheese.

Fatal weakness: candy, naps

Crushes: Gram Parsons, Steve Buscemi, Hugh Laurie, Domnhall Gleeson, the Portland Trail Blazers

Favorite TV shows: Mad Men, Parks and Recreation, Freaks and Geeks, UnREAL, Game of Thrones, and dog shows.

Favorite authors: Laurie Colwin, Toni Morrison, Joan Didion, Mary Roach, Alison Bechdel, Rona Jaffe, Jonathan Tropper

Turn-ons: clogs, flocked wallpaper, the Winter Olympics, rainbow cookies

Turnoffs: lip liner, improper punctuation, mansplaining, trend stories, people who say "It is what it is"

Secretly wishes she were: An arts-and-crafts counselor at a summer camp in the 1970s


Kate_Lesniak.jpgKate Lesniak, publisher

kate(at)b-word.org
@katelesniak

There's nothing more energizing to Kate than outstanding engagement models that not only distribute content, but also sustain organizations financially—and that's what her work at Bitch is all about. Kate arrived at Bitch Media as the Director of Development in 2012, hungry for the kinds of nuanced perspectives that were secondary in progressive political organizing. Four years later, after launching innovative media products like the Weekly Reader, Feminist Snack Break, and What Just Happened?—and setting Bitch Media on the path towards longterm financial sustainability—Kate serves as Publisher and is challenged daily by one question: How does Bitch thrive in an environment that caters to corporate media and is constantly evolving through new engagement models and platforms? (If you have thoughts on that, send Kate an email. No, really.)

A product of Buffalo New York, Burlington Vermont, and about 1,000 feet of snow, Kate prides herself in turning the inclement into opportunity. Before Bitch, she worked as a digital organizer and fundraiser, most recently with Democracy for America as the Deputy Finance Director and with Corporate Accountability International as a special projects grantwriter. Kate is currently a member of The Media Consortium's program committee and an adviser at Making Contact. She graduated from the University of Vermont, where she also served as team captain for the Women's Ice Hockey team and scored the first-ever hattrick in the program's Division I history—men or women. Above all else, Kate values creativity, accountability, and collaboration.

Kate lives in Portland, Oregon with her partner, and enjoys early morning walks with her pony-sized german shepherd.

Fatal weakness: sandwiches

Favorite TV shows: Insecure, Game of Thrones, Broad City, Last Week Tonight

Turn-ons: fresh snow, outdoor projects, live music, swimming

Turn-offs: people who are rude to canvassers

Poets: Mary Oliver, Kate Tempest, ee cummings

Music: Lauryn Hill, Tegan and Sara, Robyn, Brandi Carlile, John Coltrane, Nina Simone, Gregory Alan Isakov

Secretly wishes she were a: musician
 


Lisa Factora-Borchers, editorial director

lisa[at]b-word.org
@LFB27

Lisa Factora-Borchers is a Filipina American writer, poet, and editor of Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence (AK Press, 2014). She is a long time contributor and editor with make/shift magazine and has also worked as a nonfiction editor with Literary Mama. She has contributed to The Rumpus, The Independent (UK), Refinery 29, In The Fray, TruthOut, The Feminist Wire, The International Examiner, NTRSCTN, and Mutha magazines. She has contributed to anthologies Verses Typhoon Yolanda: A Storm of Filipino Poets (Pawa Press, 2014) and Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Frontlines (PM Press, 2016).

Lisa received a BA in English from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio; a joint masters degree in Counseling Psychology and Pastoral Ministry from Boston College; and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. After several years of nomadic tendencies, she now lives with her life partner in Columbus, Ohio where they raise their two children.

Fatal weakness: scarves and soft serve vanilla custard

Favorite TV shows: Shonda Rimes' empire, House of Cards, 80s reruns

Turn-ons: photography, dancing, non-judgey karaoke, personal essays, Ohio State football, contemplative prayer

Turn-offs: the entire spectrum of rude and snide behaviors, willful ignorance, the bridal industry

Music: From classic to rap, ballads across genre, from Mötley Crüe to Lionel Richie: whatever fits the mood

Secretly wishes she were an: actress


Soraya Membreno, director of community

soraya[at]b-word.org
@SorayaMem

Soraya Membreno is a daughter of Nicaraguan immigrants and a pre-Lebron Miami native. An astrophysics geek turned cultural/literary theory junkie, she eventually settled on an English major from Williams College. She obsesses (and occasionally writes) about issues of accessibility, representation, and culture-straddling/identity building in literature and academia. Her writing has appeared in Catapult, Post No Ills, and The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. Her professional background includes editing and production at Union Station Magazine, development for various literary nonprofits including Poets & Writers and Cave Canem, and orchestrating public call-outs for gender parity at GenderAvenger. She is currently hiding from winter in Los Angeles.


Amanda GreenAmanda Green, finance & administration director

amanda(at)b-word.org

Amanda is a recovering Texan that moved to the University of Wisconsin - Madison for college before coming to Portland to organize for the PIRGs in 2008. In 2011 she received her Masters in Public Administration focusing in nonprofit management from Portland State University. Before she started at Bitch Media in August of 2013, she worked for the Northwest Earth Institute and spent several years working in the feminist anti-violence movement, most recently as the Associate Executive Director of PAVE. She helped found the Oregon End Violence Against Women Political Action Committee and sits on the Prevention and Education Committee of the Oregon Sexual Assault Task Force. She also works as an instructor in nonprofit budgeting and finance at Portland State University.

Favorite books: The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy), A Language Older than Words (Derek Jensen), Yes Means Yes (Jessica Valenti), The Razor's Edge (W. Somerset Maugham), Small Wonder (Barbara Kingsolver) and most everything by Jane Austen and Rushdie.

Favorite movies: Cheesy action flicks, rom-coms, high budget (and lets face it, low budget) sci-fi movies, anything with Schwarzenegger before 1995, pretty much anything terrible by critics' standards.

Favorite TV: Broad City, Game of Thrones, Veronica Mars, The Wire, Arrested Development, Bored to Death, Twin Peaks, all the Marvel shows (all of them), Buffy and EVERYTHING by Joss Whedon, Xena: Warrior Princess

Favorite Music: Joanna Newsom, Beach House, Washed Out, Radiation City, La Luz, Erik Satie, Beyonce (of course) Fleet Foxes, The Guess Who, Philip Glass, Cut Copy, Betty Davis, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, Gershwin, and pretty much everything that falls into the chill-wave (sorry I can't help myself), bedroom, or funk genres.

Turn-ons: dancing, tacos, crunchy leaves, fungi, coffee, sweaters, gardening, big trees, chocolate

Turn-offs: no soliciting signs, bad tippers, close talkers, "______________ industrial complex"

Secretly wishes she were: an astronaut, Laura Croft, or Xena: Warrior Princess


Kristin Rogers BrownKristin Rogers Brown, art director

kristin(at)b-word.org
@krbeedesign

KRB joined Bitch Media as Art Director in March, 2010. Though her first love in design was print, she loves finding the right media for the message and believes in keeping a balance of form, function, and fun in all the details of her work whether it's brand development, packaging, identity, or web design. In addition to designing Bitch, Kristin is a freelance designer, educator, and former vice president of AIGA Portland (American Institute of Graphic Arts). She has worked with sustainable design and design community initiatives for a variety of clients, and has been instrumental in work with AIGA's SHIFT, sustainability team (established in 2008, now part of their social change project Design for Good), and Exploregon zine project; Worldstudio's Urban Forest Project; and Design Week Portland.

Kristin serves as an assistant professor at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), where she runs the senior studio in the illustration department, moonlights in various communication and collaborative design courses, and mentors thesis students.

Born in Chicagoland, Kristin is a graduate of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. When not designing, Kristin frequents waterparks, swoons for David Bowie, takes pictures of her dog, obsessively roots clippings of her houseplants, and runs or rides her bike around Portland. She is part insomniac, part narcoleptic, and quite possibly the messiest perfectionist ever.

Celebrity crushes: David Bowie, John Hodgman, Parker Posey, Keegan Michael Key, Oscar Isaac, Adam Scott, Gillian Anderson

Favorite music of the moment: David Bowie, Neko Case, Lady, Sharon Jones, Saun & Starr, Bill Callahan, Jawbreaker, Missy Elliott, Tribe Called Quest, Florence & the Machine

Favorite movies: Bottle Rocket, Hoosiers, The Last Unicorn, MacGruber, Christopher Guest in every flavor

Favorite TV shows: Lady Dynamite, Jane the Virgin, Key & Peale, Parks & Rec, Adventure Time, Alan Alda's Scientific American Frontiers, Trailblazers' basketball, and most things related to law and/or order

Favorite books: Cruddy (Linda Barry), Dubliners (James Joyce), Spook (Mary Roach), Yehuda Amachai's poetry, too many picture books to mention

Turn-ons: scrabble, mixed tapes, road trips, crying about sports

Turn-offs: fake banana flavoring, slam poetry, MOTHS, using the wrong "to", "too", or "two" (ditto for "your/you're")

Secretly wishes she were a: botanist


 

Korin LykamKorin Lykam, director of data and operational systems

korin(at)b-word.org

Korin Lykam joined the Bitch Media team in January of 2015. She was raised in a very small, conservative town in central California, and then escaped to the University of California in Santa Cruz. There she studied languages (she used to know Italian) with the dream of being an ex-pat, and relying on a Trinity School of London TESOL certificate and her native English for job security–and then discovered she didn’t like public speaking. Through her work with small business administration, she fell in love with systems, data and databases and gets a thrill when everything works. She is also the proud author of a large collection of unfinished speculative fiction novels and short stories, a collection that began when she was ten years old. Korin spends her spare time consuming and producing weird fiction, convincing herself to exercise, trying to grow a green thumb, daydreaming, and hanging out with her dog.

Fatal weakness: video games

Favorite authors: Octavia Butler, Ursula Le Guin, Margaret Atwood, Paolo Bacigalupi, Neil Gaiman, Frank Herbert

Favorite TV: FireflyDoctor WhoStar TrekCowboy BebopDownton Abbey–any British show set in the early 1900’s, really.

Favorite movies: I heart HuckabeesKung Fu HustlePrincess Mononoke, indy rom coms, Guardians of the Galaxy

Turn-ons: mornings at home with a mug of coffee, surprise adventures, coincidences, efficient errand-running

Turn-offs: tangled extension cords, cold weather, needles

Secretly wishes she were: a voice actor


Britt AshleyBritt Ashley, editor-in-chief Bitch Magazine

britt(at)b-word.org
@salt_teeth

Britt Ashley is a post-Texan queer femme writer who makes poems and biscuits. She has studied creative writing at Western Washington University and Indiana University, where she was Editor-in-Chief of Indiana Review. After recurring flirtations with the Midwest she is thrilled to make her home in Portland with her handsome husbian and their small animal circus.

Favorite Authors/Artists: Octavia Butler, Lidia Yuknavitch, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Shane McCrae, Lynda Barry, Franny Choi, Aracelis Girmay, Lynda Hull, Dario Robleto, Robyn O’ Neil, Tracy Emin

Favorite TV shows: Friday Night Lights, Master of None, Skins UK

Favorite Movies: Attack the Block, Waitress, 20 Feet from Stardom, any film where a dance-off is a legitimate conflict resolution technique

Turn-ons: Vintage cookbooks, ephemera, kitchen dance parties

Turn-offs: White fragility, public grooming, manbabies

Secretly wishes she was: A theatre organist


DahliaDahlia Grossman-Heinze, engagement editor

dahlia(at)b-word.org

Dahlia is a Chicana who was born in California, raised in Kansas, and went to college in Portland. She graduated from Reed College with a BA in English Literature, where she wrote weird short stories and a thesis on Angels in America by Tony Kushner. Her hobbies and interests include reading, writing, Satanic Feminism, snacks, naps, and David Lynch films. She once trained a squirrel, survived the coldest winter in Chicago in 30 years, and rides a scooter. 

Favorite TV Shows: Vanderpump Rules, Twin Peaks, Mad Men, Six Feet Under

Favorite Movies: It FollowsThe WitchHedwig and the Angry InchThe Big Lebowski

Favorite Book: We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Shirley Jackson)

Favorite Music: Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Florence & The Machine, Selena, Nicki Minaj, Lana Del Rey, Depeche Mode

Fatal weaknesses: Oysters, hot chocolate, ‘90s music, horror films, baths, my cat Howard


Patricia Romero, community support specialist

patricia(at)b-word.org

Patricia Romero grew up in San Francisco, CA. then moved to Portland in 2013. She graduated from Portland State University with a BA in Women’s Studies in 2016. She enjoys critically analyzing the world she lives in with a Latina/Chicana/Black/Queer feminist lens. Her feminism is a work in progress; intersectional and messy is the best way she can describe it.

While she is not working with Bitch Media, she also works with Street Roots. She enjoys spending time at home watching a variety of TV shows, listening to podcasts, practicing speaking Spanish/Spanglish, reading, and writing down her feelings on paper. When not at home or work she also enjoys walking, jogging, dancing, and karaoke.

Favorite TV shows: The Walking Dead, Insecure, Jane the Virgin, Parks and Recreation, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Bob’s Burgers, Lady Dynamite, and many more!

Favorite Movies: Pariah, Moonlight, Hamlet 2, Hecho En México, Coraline, Instructions Not Included (No Se Aceptan Devoluciones), Little Miss Sunshine, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Favorite Books: The Barbarian Nurseries, Persepolis, American Born Chinese, The House on Mango Street, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, Bad Feminist: Essays, Now We Will Be Happy, Sister Outsider

Favorite people to listen to: Julieta Venegas, The Read, Latinos Who Lunch, Justice, Flight of the Conchords, Crystal Castles, Al Green, Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, The Doors, Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, Selena, Frank Ocean

Wishes she were a: Stand-up comedian


Alexxander DovelinAlexxander Dovelin, graphic designer

alexxander(at)b-word.org
@xxdovelin

Alexxander is a creative caught between design, writing, and illustration. A nerd for social theory and fantasy fiction, Alexx formed love affairs with independent creators who expand visual and literal social vocabulary through narrative. Transplanted in Portland after living in 30 states and a 4 year childhood stint in Germany, Alexx was raised by the internet, connecting him to a world outside his physical reach. This experience has made him a strong proponent for digital media as a tool for user accessibility, global social education, and a solution to environmental sustainability.

Fatal weakness: late night coffee

Favorite comics: Sailor Moon, Fun Home, Yotsuba&!, Cardcaptor Sakura

Favorite music: Florence & The Machine, Koji Kondo

Turn-ons: cats, videogames, rain

Turn-offs: early mornings, rude people, cars

Secretly wishes they were: a ceramic artist


Amy LamAmy Lam, contributing editor

amy(at)b-word.org
@amyadoyzie

Amy published her first zine at the age of 15. Since then, has contributed to and published more than a dozen zines. She penned a long-running column for Razorcake, America's first and only non-profit punk rock fanzine. She joined Bitch Media in June 2014. 

Originally from southern California, she studied journalism/photojournalism and Women's Studies at university and landed her first grown-up job at the Los Angeles PBS station. In 2005, she moved to Portland, volunteered in China and Bangladesh for a few years, and returned to Rip City in 2009. She has spent more than a decade working for non-profits, most recently with a social justice organization aimed at training activists. Amy is a first-generation college graduate. 

Favorite TV shows/movies: National Basketball Association, Project Runway, documentaries, Slacker (1991) 

Favorite reads: short fiction, celebrity gossip, writers of color, back issues of the New Yorker, and way too much Reddit

Favorite things to listen to: Nina Totenberg, Reigning Sound, MIA, Bent Outta Shape, Childish Gambino, The Read, Zayn, The Weakerthans, Hop Along, Mitski

Turn-ons: salty snacks, modern-day plumbing, day napping 

Turn-offs: vegan cheese, seasonal allergies

Secretly wishes she were a: foley artist 


Sarah MirkSarah Mirk, contributing editor

sarah(at)b-word.org
@sarahmirk

Sarah Mirk lives much of her life on the internet. But after hours, she likes to make comics, consume entire newspapers, and talk to strangers. Before she started at Bitch Media in January 2013, she was (in reverse chronological order) a news reporter, a men's prison playwriting teacher, a college newspaper editor, a radio host, an "arte del mundo" teacher, a tour guide, a terrible caterer, a barista, a science camp counselor, and a bookseller. In August 2014, she published a nontraditional dating guide, Sex From Scratch: Making Your Own Relationship Rules. She grew up in a small town and is thankful that her parents are feminists. 

Favorite Authors: Joe Sacco, Octavia Butler, Joan Didion, Tina Rosenberg, Margaret Atwood, Sherman Alexie, Cheryl Strayed, Ursula Le Guin, Junot Diaz, Marjane Satrapi

Favorite TV shows: Daria, Bob's Burgers, Adventuretime, Twin Peaks, The Wire 

Turn-ons: Enthusiasm, snail mail, coffee

Turn-offs: Condescension, early mornings, Crocs 

Secretly wishes she was: A skateboarder 

Sarah's animal twin: Frisbee-chasing dog


2017 Writing Fellows

Aqdas Aftab, Writing Fellow in Global Feminism

Aqdas was born in Lahore, and grew up in Islamabad, two cities where she first learned different—and at times conflicting—forms of feminisms from her mother, grandmothers, aunts, and teachers. She came to the United States to study literature at Smith College, where she continued to be around many conflicting feminisms, ranging from liberal white feminism to women-of-color feminism with ideologies inspired by Audre Lorde. After participating in activist groups in Pakistan and feminist PoC spaces in the United States, Aqdas’ gender politics became strongly intersectional and anti-colonial.

Interested in decolonizing mainstream gender movements, Aqdas believes in centering the voices of trans and queer people of color in global feminist movements. She also believes in the importance of critically exploring how feminism gets co-opted for imperialistic, islamophobic, and racist purposes. Aqdas is currently a graduate student in English Literature at the University of Maryland, where she is working on representations of non-normative bodies in postcolonial fiction. When she is not reading or writing, Aqdas can be found biking, listening to old Urdu ghazals, and cooking experimentally. "


Vanessa Borjon | Writing Fellow in Reproductive Rights and Justice

Vanessa Borjon is the daughter of a Zacatecano immigrant and a southwest side of Chicago Chicana. She received her BA in Creative Writing- Poetry from Columbia College Chicago in 2015. Her writing explores themes of sexuality, xicanisma, and growing up in rural Illinois. Since 2015 she has been working as a teaching artist in various alternative high schools in Chicago where she facilitates youth dialogue around poetry and literature to build social-emotional skills. Her poetry has been previously published in the Columbia Poetry Review, Corazónland Review, Quaint Magazine, Nepantla, and The Shade Journal, among others."


Bemnet Gebrechirstos | Writing Fellow in Pop-Culture Criticism

Bemnet Gebrechirstos was born in Ethiopia, raised in D.C., sometimes lives in Maryland and is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree from Scripps College in California. She writes both fiction and non-fiction that is always about womanism, radical love, accountability, and resistance narratives. She spends most of her time involved in community organizing, doing activist work and zine making as an editor for Our Sound (based out of Scripps). As a community organizer, she is a part of student mobilization towards decolonization and has worked with various non-profit organizations in helping high-potential youth from intersectional backgrounds. She is incredibly excited to share a number of her thoughts on pop culture criticism!

When not reading, writing, or working towards societal liberation, she’s watching Steven Universe, listening to her favorite podcast The Read, collecting existentialist memes, or exploring various forms of art.


Mailee Hung | Writing Fellow in Technology

Mailee Hung is a writer, editor, and cultural critic based out of San Francisco, California. She earned her MA in Visual and Critical Studies at California College of the Arts in 2016, where she wrote her thesis on prosthetics in Western contemporary pop culture. Her work focuses on the discursive and material intersections of technology and the human body. She is especially interested in the ways in which technologies define socio-biological norms and render only certain bodies culturally and scientifically intelligible.

An avid outdoor enthusiast, Mailee also writes about environmental conservation, rock climbing, and reclaiming adventure narratives and mountain literature for marginalized perspectives. When she's not reading or watching sci-fi, she can usually be found somewhere in or near the Sierras, chuffing up trad routes or heckling other boulderers from a crashpad. She is easily bribed with dumplings or gummy candy.