Amanda Rain

Amanda founded Speaking the Unspeakable® to inspire the courage to meet our challenges and empower our lives through effective communication. Her blend of rhetorical studies, speech communication, debate, activism, political advocacy, and dynamic life experience is distinct and powerful. Amanda inspires the willingness to face our challenges, while confronting them with skill. Her voice offers hope for the spirit and medicine for the soul.

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Arnoldo Ruiz

Arnoldo was incarcerated for 19 years and has extensive personal experience with Oregon's criminal justice system. Arnoldo's life story is a testament to the impact of Measure 11 (Oregon's mandatory minimum sentencing law) on prison conditions, incarcerated people, and their families.  He now works with adjudicated youth for the Latino Network.


Ben DeJarnette

Ben DeJarnette is the founding director of the local news publication Bridgeliner, and co-author of the book Reimagining Journalism in a Post-Truth World: How Late-Night Comedians, Internet Trolls, and Savvy Reporters are Transforming News.


Breesa Culver

Breesa is a fundraising and communications consultant with expertise in grassroots campaigns, development coaching, and authentic, joyful communications. Her clients include Death with Dignity National Center, Reed College, and Portland Literacy Council. She also teaches nonprofit leaders how to write effective fundraising letters in Appeal Salons. Learn more at www.breesa.work.


Danielle LaSusa PhD

Danielle is a mom, Philosophical Coach, and co-creator and co-host of Think Hard podcast, which brings philosophy to the real world. She has a PhD in Philosophy, a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies from Temple University, and a certification in Philosophical Counseling from the American Philosophical Practitioners Association. When her daughter was born, she damn near broke her brain trying to figure out what the hell happened. Now, she helps other new moms grapple with what it means to make a person. Learn more at daniellelasusa.com


Denise Luk

Denise is a Program Officer Fellow at Meyer Memorial Trust working on environmental equity issues. Learn more at https://about.me/deniseluk.


Douglas Tsoi, JD

Douglas is the founder of PUGS. For twenty years, he worked as a lawyer, schoolteacher, and climate change activist, saving half of his salary and investing the rest. That earned him financial freedom at age 42 to do what he wants with his time, which includes helping people take control of their finances, make a plan, and live the life they truly want (after soccer, napping, and traveling).


Elley Cannon

Elley is a white queer educator and youth worker on a quest to unpack the “why?” behind everything. Always a work in progress, she spends her time laughing with middle schoolers, doing deep self-inquiry, and trying to live in the land of both/and. Her favorite quote and daily reminder is “What we are doing here is so important, we’d better not take it too seriously.”


Justice Rajee

Justice is a program manager at Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center, serving Black young men on probation. He is the Justice Subcommittee Chair for Black Male Achievement Portland. He is also the creator/host of the Ask Your Oldhead podcast.

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Kristin Teigen, MA, M.Ed.

Kristin is an educator at Portland State University, where she teaches the history of communities of color in Oregon and issues of women’s homelessness. She’s also an anti-oppression activist, working in feminist, queer and people of color movements, and a trained anti-oppression facilitator.


Lyndal Frazier-Cairns

Lyndal has been helping small businesses and nonprofits tell their stories since 2000. Among her fondest memories are: A million-strong Facebook activist movement to save the Queensland AIDS Council's ad campaign; supporting 15 indigenous young people get their start in journalism; putting an undies-clad butt on the rear of a San Francisco bus; and that time she scolded a mobster for being rude.


Marilyn Divine

Marilyn has been an ensemble member of the Brody Theater for 17 years, and an instructor in the Brody's Fundamentals of Improv class for 5 years. She has performed in festivals throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.

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Mulysa Melco

Mulysa is an ecological landscape designer, horticulturist, and artist with a lifelong passion for plants and exploring our connection with the land.


Nicole Lindahl

Nicole has worked to dismantle mass incarceration for the past 20 years. Most recently, she earned her PhD from UC Berkeley researching the life histories of people who were convicted of violent crimes and served long sentences in California.


Priscilla Wu

Priscilla is a queer Chinese American who was born and raised in the East Bay in California. She moved to Portland in 2013, where she’s been facing, dating, and reckoning with a lot more whiteness than before. Priscilla currently brings her passions for and commitment to social justice, storytelling, and community-building to the communications department at a nonprofit, and comes from a background in publishing. She is the former managing editor at Hyphen magazine and studied community-building through Chinese American literature at Reed College.


Rachelle Dixon

Rachelle is a Woman of Color, and a strong community advocate who is active in Progressive politics. Rachelle has over 20 years of experience working on equity and social justice initiatives in addition to a lifetime of lived experience. She attended the University of Maryland University College BS program and minored in Employment Law. She is currently advocating and organizing on issues related to race, food, land and environmental justice. You can find out more about her work at AdvancingCollectiveEquity.com


Sam Diaz

Sam serves as the Director of Community Engagement at 1000 Friends of Oregon, a statewide organization advocating for equitable and sustainable land use decisions. Previously, he served as Program Manager at Resources Legacy Fund, an environmental conservation philanthropy serving Western North America, and as Senior Intergovernmental Program Analyst in California Governor Brown Jr.’s Administration.

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Stella Harris

Stella is such a nerd about communication that she wrote a book about it - Tongue Tied: Untangling Communication in Sex, Kink, and Relationships from Cleis Press. As a Certified Intimacy Educator and Sex Coach, she uses a variety of tools to guide and empower her clients and she teaches everything from pleasure anatomy, to communication skills, to kink and BDSM. Learn more at www.stellaharris.net


Steph Routh

Steph is the Dean of PUGS (thanks for being here!). She is an adjunct instructor at Portland State University, a member of Portland's Planning & Sustainability Commission, and the co-founder of the Why Isn't Anyone Talking About This? podcast. Steph is constantly delighted by the people who make PUGS a transformative experiment of affordable, lifelong learning. (photo: Jonathan Maus)


Will Fain 

Will is the founder of Handsome Pizza + a lifelong pizza enthusiast.