Meet our luncheon speakers

Deqa Mumin, emcee
Deqa is currently a Junior at Cleveland High School. Deqa's involvement in Powerful Voices goes back to when her older sisters participated in programs 4-5 years ago.  Deqa is a graduate of Powerful Voices' 2014 DYVAS program, where she collaborated with other girls to create and produce their own independent media in the form of a Zine.  She also emceed Powerful Voices' 2015 Girlvolution Conference.  Deqa says, "When I'm older, my dream is to become a health professional and study medical law in college.  I'm a poet, and in my free-time I like to attend poetry slams, open mics and writing circles hosted by YouthSpeaks Seattle!"

Roberta Romero, emcee
Roberta Romero is the Director of Development at Residence XII, an alcohol and chemical dependency treatment center for women.  Roberta previously worked at KING 5 News as a a reporter.  She came to Seattle from Albuquerque, NM where she worked at numerous television stations and earned awards from the New Mexico Assoicated Press and New Mexico Broadcast Association.  Romero is a member of both the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Hispanic Journalists Association.  Romero earned a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism in 1986 from New Mexico State University.

Ressie Brown
Cleressa ‘Ressie’ Brown is a Seattle native, but currently resides in Newport News, VA.  She is an alumni of Denny Middle School, Chief Sealth High School, and more recently, Hampton University. She graduated from Hampton University magna cum laude with her B.A. in History. Ressie has aspirations and dreams to become a high school humanities teacher and ultimately a high school principal. Her passion and dedication to education and the youth was matured through programs such as Powerful Voices and positive role models.  Ressie was involved in Powerful Voices programs from ages 12 to 18.  Ressie was also the keynote speaker at our first ever Girlvolution conference in 2010.  She is currently preparing for graduate school at Christopher Newport University to obtain her Masters in Teaching.

Caryn G. Mathes
Caryn G. Mathes serves as the current President and General Manager of KUOW Public Radio, in Seattle, WA. Mathes joined KUOW in January, 2014 from Washington, D.C., where she had been the general manager of public radio station WAMU since 2005. Prior to WAMU, Mathes was general manager of WDET in Detroit from 1984 to 2005 and also served as assistant vice president of university communications at Wayne State University from 1989 to 1991. Mathes was elected in July 2011 to a 3-year term as a Member Director of NPR, and re-elected to a second term in 2014. Mathes holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana State University. She began her career as co-anchor at CBS affiliate WTHI-TV Channel 10 in Terre Haute, Ind., at the age of 19. She worked in commercial radio in reporter and anchor positions at WCKY-AM in Cincinnati and Detroit’s WJR-AM before making the switch to noncommercial radio in 1982.

Laura Culberg, Julie Edsforth and Ann Muno, Powerful Voices founders
In 1995, three women met at the University of Washington School of Social Work and founded Powerful Voices, first known as the Seattle Women’s Resource Project.  Their vision was an organization that would promote social justice and address inequity at its root by instilling leadership skills, fostering the development of critical thinking, and promoting the individual potential in girls.  Currently, Laura Culberg is the owner of The SweatBox, where she teaches and practices Bikram Yoga. Julie now brings her leadership and direct-service experience as a consultant to the nonprofit community through her business, Edsforth Consulting.  Ann Muno continues to lead the call for Girl Justice as the Advocacy Director at Girl Scouts of Western Washington.


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