Angelica Ross is the Executive Director and CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises, a creative design firm and training academy that aims to empower, educate, and employ the trans community through the use of technology while promoting innovation, independence and entrepreneurship. Having attended Florida Atlantic University, she has been featured in film, television, and live theatre. She is also a singer/songwriter whose music and lyrics are centered around love, a photographer who is able to capture the beauty in all things, and a writer whose written and spoken words are meant to challenge, motivate, inspire. Angelica has made a career out of helping others navigate the challenges that come along with being a member of more than one minority, building a creative design business for over 10 years that began in the margins of society, outside the formal education system.
Jennifer Sahn is Executive Editor of Pacific Standard, where she oversees longform print features and story packages. She previously served as Editor of Orion, during which time the magazine was twice a winner of the Utne Independent Press Award for General Excellence and twice a finalist for a National Magazine Award. She has been a judge for several literary awards and fellowships and has taught or lectured at a number of writing workshops. Stories she has edited have been awarded the Pushcart Prize, O. Henry Prize, John Burroughs Essay Award, and have been widely reprinted in the Best American Series anthologies, The Norton Reader, and via online aggregators such as Longreads.
Lakshmi Sarah is a journalist and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over the past few years she has worked with newspapers, radio and magazines from Gaborone, Botswana to Los Angeles, California. She has written and produced for Mic, Global Voices, AJ+, KQED and the New York Times. She has lectured at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and taught journalism to high school students prior to joining Fusion media as a digital producer. She co-founded Tiny World Productions to focus on immersive video content.
Lisanne Sartor is an award-winning writer/director whose short film “Six Letter Word” screened at over fifty worldwide film festivals, including Telluride. She’s written and will direct the feature version of “Six Letter Word.” In 2012, she was one of eight women selected for the prestigious AFI Directing Workshop for Women. In 2016, she was one of forty women to receive a renowned Hedgebrook residency and one of nine writers to be a WGA Feature Writer Access Honoree. In 2017, she was one of twenty-five women to be selected for the AFI-Fox Bridge Program, designed to get more women directing studio features. She was a DGA assistant director and has a UCLA MFA in Screenwriting. Her original screenplay, “Cleaverville” aired on Lifetime as an MOW. She is Board President of the CineStory Foundation, a screenwriting non-profit, and an instructor at the UCLA Professional Screenwriting Program.
Kylie Sparks is an actor, writer, singer, producer, activist, pug owner, and brunch enthusiast primarily based in Los Angeles.
Kylie has been acting since she was a child, debuting as the star of IFC Films’ Pizza (winner of the Producer’s Award at the Independent Spirit Awards), and has steadily worked in Film, Television, Digital, Commercials, and Theatre since, most recently on FOX’s WEIRD LONERS. She also produced cult web spoof LA GIRLS with BFF/creative partner Tiffany Ariany, which was featured in Variety and numerous other publications. As the star of the long-running digital series SQUARESVILLE, she was nominated for the IAWTV award for lead actress in a comedy and shares the Best Ensemble award for her performance as Esther.
As a writer, she is the creator and writer of the Astronauts Wanted series “#rulesofspringbreak,” which aired exclusively on Snapchat, and her first feature screenplay, “Mission Hills,” was a Second Round (Top 15%) selection at the 2015 Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition and nominated for the Top Unproduced Screenplay award at the Nice IFF and Madrid International Festivals in 2015 and 2016, respectively. It is currently optioned by Pollen Pictures, which Kylie will also star in. Her non-fiction essays has been seen in Femsplain, LifeIvy, Ms In The Biz, Wonderly, and she was named as one of the Top 10% of writers on Medium.com for 2016.
Kylie holds a BA from USC, and is an alumna of UCB, the Broadway Theatre Project, UCLA Performers Institute, and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. In her very-limited down time, she enjoys volunteering with Pug Nation Rescue and the LA LGBT Center, going to SoulCycle, and working with action groups to create progressive change.
Kathleen Squires is a food and travel writer whose work has spanned book, blog, newsprint and glossy, appearing in The Wall Street Journal, Details, Saveur, Every Day with Rachael Ray, National Geographic Traveler, Real Simple, Conde Nast Traveler and many other publications. She is the co-author of the cookbooks The Coolhaus Ice Cream Book with Natasha Case and Freya Estreller (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin); The Quick Six Fix with Stuart O’ Keeffe (Morrow); the IACP award-winning The Journey (Alta editions); and The Book of Greens with Jenn Louis (Ten Speed Press). Kathleen was also a 2015 nominee for the IACP Bert Greene Award for Excellence in Food Journalism. In 2016, Kathleen was awarded first prize of Les Dames d’Escoffier International’s M. F. K. Fisher Award for Excellence in Culinary Writing. Kathleen is currently co-producing the documentary James Beard: America’s First Foodie, to air on PBS’s “American Masters” on May 19, 2017.
Ann Redisch Stampler published her first book when she was 50 years old, and her first young adult novel at 58. She is the author of the young adult novels Afterparty and Where It Began, as well as half a dozen picture books. Her work has garnered an Aesop accolade, the National Jewish Book Award, Sydney Taylor honors, the Middle East Book Award, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year mentions. How to Disappear, her first young adult thriller, was released in June through a Simon & Schuster imprint (Simon Pulse). Before she became a full-time writer, Ann worked as a lawyer and a therapist. She has two adult children and lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband Rick. She is excited to participate in this panel, “to encourage older women to take themselves seriously as new writers at the age when women are increasingly marginalized.”
Rachel Stone graduated with her BA in Media Studies from the University of San Francisco. She worked in journalism, academia, and the non-profit world until a close friend was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Through being her friend’s patient advocate, Rachel became interested in nursing as a profession. As a first step toward this goal, she obtained her Master in Public Health from USF School of Nursing’s night program, while working in health policy at UCSF. She then relocated to Los Angeles and obtained her Master’s of Science in Nursing from UCLA. Rachel started her nursing career as an Oncology RN, and now works as a Perinatal RN at UCLA Medical Center.
Rachel is BRCA2+ and has combined her love of health and writing with her blog: www.funkygenes.org. She’s written about the BRCA mutation, her personal journey of undergoing a prophylactic mastectomy, and BRCA related infertility. Funky Genes also serves as a list of resources for the community. Her story has been featured in the Daily Bruin, USF News, and Nurse.com Magazine. She has guest lectured on BRCA and health decisions at UCLA’s School of Nursing and Oncology Nursing Society, and has been published in Cognition and Communication Journal. Rachel and her husband, Adam, share their home with their rescue wonderdog, Bailey.
Betsy Streeter is a novelist, cartoonist and artist. She is the author of two YA-and-up science fiction novels and is at work on her third. She has published cartoons all over the world since the early 1990s. Her work has appeared in The Utne Reader, The Funny Times, The Great Courses, Perihelion Science Fiction, Fiction Vortex, Literary Orphans, several psychology textbooks, the Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory’s traveling exhibit on black holes, and at least one tattoo. In past lives she has worked in design, video production and games. She lives in Northern California with her two metalhead kids, nerdy husband, two peculiar cats and a glamorous tarantula.
Karen Rupert Toliver is Senior Vice President, Production at 20th Century Fox Animation, where she has spearheaded the blockbuster Ice Age and Rio franchises. The Ice Age movies have grossed over three billion dollars globally, while the Rio films have tallied almost a billion dollars.
Up next for Toliver is Ferdinand, inspired by the beloved book, The Story of Ferdinand. The film arrives in theaters on December 22, 2017.
Prior to her arrival at Fox in 2007, Toliver was an executive at Walt Disney Animation Studios, where she worked on Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons. Before that she collaborated with producer James
Pentecost on an unproduced sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Toliver is a liberal arts graduate of The University of Texas at Austin.