Founder. CEO. Editor-in-chief Ravneet is the Founder of Wear Your Voice Magazine. Founded in February of 2014, redefining the way women are represented in the media. Over the five years following graduation, Ravneet enjoyed a very rewarding career in the European fashion industry. Starting out in Merchandising (statistical analysis) and moving into PR and marketing, for smaller luxury brands, it is here that Ravneet fine tuned her business skills and learnt the inner workings of growing a small business. She helped stabilize the integrity of the business by developing relationships with key media players, while successfully placing their brand into high end editorial spreads such as Vogue, Vanity Fair & Harpers to selling product to International boutiques, Harrods, Comme Des Garcons, Neiman Marcus, Barneys, Saks 5th Avenue, to name a few. She also successfully managed trade shows and events at Paris and New York fashion week. Following this, she started her own business providing clients with a very unique whole body makeover, combining her skills in fashion and nutrition she formulated personalised packages for her high end clients. She found this extremely challenging and yet fascinating, interacting with clients on a personal level really gave a her a full understanding of the different shapes of every persons mind, that when women are treated as individuals rather than huddled together as one, there was so much to be seen. It was here that Ravneet’s fascination around negative media messaging for women was sparked. Combine this knowledge with an extensive career in the fashion industry, and raw experiences of life as a woman, Ravneet understood the need and necessity for an alternative media publication that served as an inclusive space for all women. It wasn’t until she moved to Oakland, where she was captivated by the exuberance of its people, the soul, and the spirit, that she actualized her vision. ''Oakland felt like home'', and it served itself as an inspiration for Ravneet’s business, Wear Your Voice Magazine, serving as a digital representation of the city we ground our roots in. WYV has grown organically within Oakland, and has been described as the next Huffington Post. Ravneet is also a qualified Nutritionist and motivational speaker, having worked with Dress For Success, as well as conducting workshops alongside Julianna Park, a Hay House award winner for ‘The Abundance Loop’. Oakland could easily be one of those spaces you either love or don’t love at all. Having a keen eye for fashion trends and a fashion background, it was obvious to Ravneet that there is something quite unique within this space. WYV wants to show the world what makes this place one big romantic, innovative, creative, sexy & funky space to be in. The talented Wear Your Voice writers will take you on a visual and vocal journey, bringing new meaning to what it means to be a woman in 2015.
From obesity as a child to bullying, emotional abuse, a 5 year near-fatal battle with Anorexia Nervosa and self-esteem at rock bottom... when it comes to tumultuous body image, Anastasia Amour has been there, done that and bought the t-shirt (it said "I spent all my life hating my body and I'll I got was this lousy t-shirt"). These days, Anastasia is a Body Image Educator and Self-Esteem Coach dedicating her life to making sure that women everywhere have access to the tools, information and resources that they need to make peace with their bodies. Her advice is honest, vulnerable and raw; appealing to women from all walks of life - from those struggling with eating disorders to yo-yo dieters to those who just seek to feel comfortable in their own skin. Drawing on her extensive knowledge (both personal and professional) in the fields of body image and psychology, Anastasia encourages women to embrace Fearless Body Confidence; empowering them with the knowledge they need to pursue a lifelong healthy relationship with themselves - mind, body and soul.
Originally from the Bay, I was uprooted from my eclectic surroundings and forced to spend my formative years in conservative San Joaquin County (Stockton) after Loma Prieta. Earthquake central couldn't deter me, and in 2010, I relocated to San Francisco. After a year of not being rich or knowing how to code, I moved to Oakland, where my momma and my momma's momma were born. Oakland has changed A LOT from when I was growing up, and I love getting reacquainted with my roots. Like our city's logo, Oakland grounds me, it's where I've rediscovered myself and unleashed my creativity. If I were a tattoo, I'd be eyes on my eyelids so I can snooze the day without anyone noticing (which I do often.) If I were a street in Oakland, I'd be Skyline Blvd, because, the view. Favorite spot in Oakland? I love it all! But I'd have to say Redwood Regional Park...or Raj Indian in Piedmont.
Evelyn Jo is a blogger, writer and columnist from England. She is a firm believer and advocate of promoting body confidence, body positivity and positive thinking. She uses her own life experiences to help empower girls and women. Evelyn Jo is connected to various organisations that take a stand against bullying, body shaming and domestic violence. She has had her empowering blog features shared all over the world, has been featured in magazines, on various websites and on US radio. Evelyn Jo is a 1940's and 1950's enthusiast. In her spare time she attends 1940's weekends, shops at thrift stores for vintage bargains and likes to take a vacation or two with her husband.
Antwan is an educator, cultural critic, actor, and writer for Wear Your Voice Mag (WYV), where he focuses on the dynamics of class, race, gender, politics, and pop culture. Prior to joining the team at WYV, he was an adjunct professor in the African American Studies Department at Valdosta State University in southern Georgia, where he taught African American Literature. He has traveled the U.S. and U.K. showcasing a fifty-five minute, one-person play titled Whitewash, which focuses on the state of black men in the post-civil rights era. Antwan received his B.A. in English and Literature from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and M.A. in African American Studies from University of California, Los Angeles. He is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and NAACP theater nominee.
Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blog, Exile In Dietville and the music magazine SF Sounds. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing mostly in the East Bay. She can be reached at [email protected] and encourages readers to reach out to her to work on future projects together.
Reaa is a cosmopolitan mix representing India, Kuwait, and the Bay Area. She is currently double majoring in Film & Media Studies and Interdisciplinary Field Studies at UC Berkeley and has big dreams to make films about social change. She is joining the WYV Team as a Videographer to visually capture and share the spirit of all things Oakland. If she were a tattoo, Reaa would be a paintbrush, tattooed as a water-color painting of a paintbrush (in shades of blues, reds, and white) going up the spine. Reaa see’s Oakland and the Bay (or the YAY) Area as an electric and diverse space filled with an influx of new ideas that continue to serves as a source of inspiration for her work. A few of her favorite things: - Cameras - Cafes - Great perfumes. Favorite Street in Oakland: Telegraph & 25th on a First Friday evening :-) Fave Spot in Oakland: Oakland’s Fox Theater for having been a former movie theater from way back when, for it’s beautiful architecture, and for having awesome concerts!
Aarti Olivia Dubey is a first generation Southasian Singaporean. She is a plus size fashion blogger, body positive advocate and feminist. She holds a Masters in Psychotherapy with a focus on contemplative psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. Having struggled with body image for years, she decided to make changes for the better when she turned 30. The experiences she had growing up as a Southasian have led her to the path of instilling female empowerment. She writes with honesty and vulnerability, with a good dose of humour. Aarti endeavours to remind people that style is sizeless and there is no shame in the size, race, gender, life you live. Her life on this tiny island in Asia is a challenge thanks to cultural body stereotypes and she is chipping away at those moulds one day at a time. Being a socially awkward introvert, she prefers to put her thoughts into writing while observing the world. She loves animals to a fault and is a happy fur-mommy to 3 dogs and 2 cats.
Aph Ko is a feminist, writer, vegan, and indie digital media producer. She has a B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies, and an M.A. in Communication and Cultural/Media Studies. She is the creator of the comedy web-series “Black Feminist Blogger” which highlights the massive amount of invisible labor in blogging. She is joining the WYV team as a feminist writer and comedy vlogger centering on social justice topics. Aph loves merging social justice and entertainment in a unique, subtle way. If she were a tattoo, Aph would be a chimpanzee on an arm so that every time someone asks about the monkey on her arm, she could say “a chimp is not the same thing as a monkey.”
Ash Fisher is a comedian, actor and writer. She is not a comedienne, an actress or a writeress. Ash does standup all over California and co-produces and hosts "Man Haters Comedy" every month at The White Horse in Oakland. She is also an occasional illustrator and does voiceovers whenever someone lets her. She is a self-proclaimed selfie expert. Ash holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and Sallie Mae will never let her forget it.
Nina Penalosa is a self-proclaimed geek that has a penchant for fancy things. She loves taking inspiration from characters she adores from different walks of pop-culture and blending them into her everyday wardrobe, which she hopes will inspire Wear Your Voice readers to seek fashion inspiration beyond the pages of a magazine. She lived in the Bay Area for a brief period of time as she earned her B.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. When she's not working her day job or writing, you can either find her running marathons of the Netflix variety, hanging out with her dog, working on a craft project, window shopping, or being nose deep in a book. Nina also runs her own personal fashion/lifestyle blog called Le Fancy Geek where she writes about all things geeky and fancy (of course). You can also find Nina on: Instagram: @lefancygeek Twitter: @lefancygeek
Being raised in New England, the west coast has always felt like a breath of progressive, laid-back, open-minded, fashion-forward air to my free-spirited soul, which is what drew me to California. Escaping the more cookie-cutter traditional white picket fence life, has led me on an adventurous journey toward self-love and acceptance, and ultimately body positivity! I am in Oakland, because I moved to the Bay Area for graduate school to become a licensed Somatic Psychotherapist, and after exploring different city options, I discovered that the eclectic, unique, and honest vibe of Oakland resonated with my funky spirit and style! My role in WYV as Senior Columnist is producing weekly articles on Body Positive Fashion, Fat Acceptance, and many of my other passions such as social justice, childcare, and chronic illness advocacy. Of course I'm constantly being inspired by my very diverse (fashionably and otherwise) Oakland peers, local business owners, and fat/body positive activists! Come follow my photographic adventures on my instagram: @somewhere_under_the_rainbow
Heather was born in Chicago and raised in Pasadena, California and proudly claims Oakland as her adopted home. She has a B.A. in African-American Studies from Smith College (proud Smithie), and a Masters in Education Leadership from New York University. Heather's spent the past decade working in the field of educational equity and advocacy. She currently teaches Child and Adolescent Development at San Francisco State University and manages a blog called What's Happening Black Oakland? She also contributes to Blavity, a blog for black millennials. Heather's committed to writing interesting and relevant stories that aren't being covered by the mainstream media, while straying away from the single story that is usually imposed on people of color. In her free time she enjoys traveling and going to live shows.
Mickey Valentine is an activist of Jamaican descent born and raised in the Bronx, NY but also frequents the Greater Boston Area. Some things (besides angry) that can describe them : a polyamorous, agender, queer disabled femme who has survived a lot ranging from mental illness to sexual assault. Things they are passionate about include community health education accessibility to queer and trans people of color, as well as intersectional feminism (especially around race, disability, and gender), radical mental health care, and reproductive justice. Overall, this brightly colored hair human being enjoys bringing passion to anything health care related and beyond.
Nik Moreno is a 22-year-old, Chicano, disabled, Queer, Nonbinary-Guy hailing from south Texas, but currently living in northeast Pennsylvania. He’s been an activist and community organizer since 2011. He’s very passionate about intersectional feminism, activism and advocacy against ableism and sanism (for folks with disabilities and mental illnesses), and writing zines and articles to continue to educate about institutional power structures. Eventually he plans to go to College as a Cosmetology major and continue to write, advocate, and educate to shatter the white supremacist, cis/hetero patriarchy!
Screenwriter, journalist, copywriter...from Vallejo Ca, currently residing in beautiful West Oakland. I graduated from the Academy of Art Univ. with a degree in Motion Pictures and Television that took me 6 years to obtain. On the night of my 25th birthday, I made sure everyone in the McDonald's drive thru knew this. I love to kamayan while watching an epic training montage, and overdressing for $5 movie nights. I make sure every script I write passes the Bechdel Test.
Tanya Swezey Stabinsky is a Silicon Valley native who jumped states to light fires from the desert. Having studied Human Development and Infant Parent Mental Health, Tanya is a child advocate, parenting mentor, feminist Mom of 5 with expertise in mental health, family life, body positive parenting and relationship based leadership as well as best practice in early care and education. At 24, Tanya was considered a young mother; at 39, considered old. In between she has been a single mother, stay at home mother and working mother. She has divorced, remarried and blended an incredible family of activist kids to whom she owes much of her ability to remain relevant and keep asking questions. After years on the floor living her passion through direct work with children, parents and teachers, Tanya is taking a hiatus to write about the real world of parenting (no sugar coating here) and issues closest to her heart via WYV and her own site www.downtoearthparenting.com. But watch out because she is keeping things real and isn't afraid to use bad words to get her point across.
Virgie Tovar, MA is an author, activist and one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, November 2012) and the mastermind behind #LoseHateNotWeight. She holds a Master's degree in Human Sexuality with a focus on the intersections of body size, race and gender. Virgie has been featured by the New York Times, MTV, Al Jazeera, the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan Magazine Online, and Bust Magazine. Find her at www.virgietovar.com.