In October, the TESA Collective added two new team members, Kiah Morris and Audacia Ray, to co-lead our communications strategy and development work. A cooperative business is a living, breathing thing, and this summer as we said goodbye to David while Darya transitioned to direct client work. We took stock of what TESA needs to do our work even better in the future and bring on key talent to support our goals. We’re excited to collaborate with Kiah and Audacia, who will help grow the cooperative as we set our sights on building more educational tools and games to serve the communities we partner with. Also, now our cooperative is majority women!
Originally from Chicago, Kiah Morris lives in Bennington, Vermont on the southwestern end of the Green Mountain State where she serves in the state legislature as a representative. She is the first African-American and person of color elected from Bennington County and the second African-American woman to be elected to their general assembly in nearly 30 years.
Kiah most recently served as the director of the Alliance for Community Transformations, a regional, community-based, public health coalition. She currently provides consultative services, workshops and presentations on issues of diversity, equity and leadership for organizations across the globe. She serves on the Board of United Children’s Services and is a Sisters on the Planet Ambassador for Oxfam International. Kiah also holds an accomplished artistic career as an actress of stage, film and television, spoken word performance, singer, dancer and arts manager. As an arts advocate with a passion for community-based art, she has produced numerous special events, concerts and art exhibits during her career.
Audacia Ray is a social justice advocate who has spent the last decade-plus advocating for sex workers’ rights, using storytelling to reshape stigmatizing narratives about people in the sex trades in public policy and media. She honed her communications and development skills during her five years as the founding executive director of the Red Umbrella Project and through building the International Women’s Health Coalition’s first online communications strategy. Audacia is also a writer and editor, most recently of the anthologies $pread: The Best of the Magazine That Illuminated the Sex Industry and Started a Media Revolution and Prose & Lore: Memoir Stories About Sex Work. After living in New York City for 17 years, Audacia is currently based in the Catskill Mountains of New York, where she lives in a cabin with her dog, Ziggy Pop, and a lot of books.