Monica Simpson, Executive Director
Monica Raye Simpson is a native of North Carolina, and is a proud graduate of Johnson C. Smith University, one of the country's historical black universities. Because of her decision to come out as a same-gender loving woman while attending undergrad, Monica became deeply involved in LGBT organizing on and off campus. Upon graduation, she was hired as the first person of color at the Lesbian & Gay Community Center in Charlotte as the Operations Director. She made transition from the community center in 2005 to become the Ujamaa Coordinator for Grassroots Leadership where she trained young African Americans in philanthropy, fundraising, and activism. In 2010, Monica moved to Atlanta, GA in to serve as the Development Coordinator with SisterSong. Since her time at SisterSong, she was promoted to Deputy Coordinator in 2011 and will now serve as the Interim Executive Director.
Through her activism and organizational work, Monica has become a nationally sought-after facilitator and organizer. She has been featured in many publications for her activism, and has written many articles on LGBT issues, philanthropy and activism. Monica is a founder for Charlotte's first Black Gay Pride Celebration, and Charlotte's African American Giving Circle. She also sits on the board for Resource Generation and the Fund for Southern Communities.
Monica lives by the Paul Robeson’s quote “If the artist does not create, the world suffers.” She has always used her talents of song and spoken word in the community. She has debuted in theatrical productions such as, "For the Love of Harlem," "Words the Isms," "Walk Like A Man, " “The Vagina Monologues” and she will soon join the cast of the Atlanta production of “For Colored Girls”. She is currently working on her first solo album, “All About LOVE.” to be released in the Summer of 2012.
Dionne Turner, Communications Coordinator
Dionne Turner, a California native and Atlanta transplant, has a background in communications, technology and multimedia with a love for women’s rights and empowerment. Dionne’s educational background in English at Georgia state institutions has helped her solidify herself as a communications professional and community activist focused on improving the environment and helping to create positive and healing spaces for communities of color.
With a passion for digital media and film, Dionne is the Producer/Director of the re-edited short documentary “We Always Resist: Trust Black Women” (2011), based off of the original “Abortion Conspiracy” by Stuart Productions (2010). Dionne lends herself to the Reproductive Justice movement as a documentarian, and as a woman of color who believes that one must first care for their own mind, body, and spirit – in order to continue the work of community-building through social justice and activism.
An enthusiastic supporter of local and national visual and performing artists in Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles – Dionne loves travel, healthy dining, and emerging arts and technologies.
Soli Nicolson, Membership & Advocacy Coordinator
Soli Nicolson has been a passionate fighter for justice since she was a young child. Serving “the least of these” has been deeply embedded within her spirit. Growing up her family was always politically and socially conscious in helping those in need.
Soli has taken the initiative to speak out about civil rights issues within the marginalized, Pilipino, Carribean, Latino, Black and Asian communities. She has addressed many pertinent issues on WRFG 89.3 FM in Atlanta. She raised awareness regarding plight of FILVETS (WWII Pilipino veterans) and Dr. Noel Natividad Chua. She personally convinced Senator Emmanuel Jones and Congressman Hank Johnson to sign S57 and HR760. Soli was National Board Member of NaFFAA (The National Filipino Federation of Filipino American Associations) and The Philippine Federation of Georgia for years. She founded the P.I.N.AY. Network and was a member of the Multicultural Coalition, PAWAG and FILAM as well. She has spoken at various events, volunteered, or provided pro bono services for various cultural venues and organizations throughout Atlanta, Florida and Seattle, Washington.
Soli was born in Manila, Philippines. She is pursuing her MBA in Public Policy at Georgia State University. Soli is also a blues vocalist, spoken word artist, CMT and avid cook! Soli’s mission is to help SisterSong become an even stronger voice for Women of Color who need to be heard and otherwise would have no voice.