Keynote Speakers

Fireside Keynote: Moving Past the Women’s March

This year's keynote panel includes Janel Green, one of the co-organizers of the Atlanta Women's March and the Executive Director of the Georgia Alliance for Social Justice. She is joined by civil rights attorney and co-founder of Georgia Alliance for Social Justice Nora Benavidez, activist and attorney Anoa Change, and former Atlanta City Council candidate Liliana Bakhtiari. They will discuss what intersectional feminist activism looks like in 2018, and how to translate the Women's March, Time’s Up, and Me Too into tangible action. This panel will be moderated by Dr. Bethany Jacobs, Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow in the Writing and Communication Program at Georgia Tech. Her research and teaching explore the intersections of multiethnic U.S. literature, science fiction, and histories of social justice. She has published and presented internationally on such feminist icons as Janelle Monáe, Octavia Butler, Beyoncé, and Audre Lorde.


Janel Green: Janel Green was a co-organizer of the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women. She is now the Executive Director of the Georgia Alliance for Social Justice. Through this volunteer work, Janel seeks to strengthen our communities by advocating for justice and equity for underrepresented communities and women in Georgia.  Janel has lived in Dekalb County for 12 years. She co-founded the Lindmoor Woods Civic Association. Janel is actively involved in the Dekalb County Democratic Party and serves as the Chair of House District 86 and the co-chair of the Policy and Legislative Committee.

Nora Benavides: Nora Benavidez is a civil and human rights lawyer based in Atlanta, GA. She represents victims of civil rights violations, such as unconstitutional police practices, infringements on First Amendment rights, discrimination in public schools, protection of a defendant's right to counsel, and voting rights issues. In all aspects of her work, Nora seeks to expand the dignity and freedom of her clients as well as break down the various barriers to justice facing people in the South.

Anoa Changa: Anoa Changa is an attorney in the Greater Atlanta Metropolitan area. She holds a Master in City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University as well as a Juris Doctorate from West Virginia University College of Law where she was a W.E.B Dubois fellowship recipient.  Anoa serves on the board of the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL). Aside from her life as an attorney, Anoa has been a grassroots digital organizer providing strategic support to several progressive organizations. A growing presence in the world of independent progressive media, Anoa hosts The Way with Anoa, a weekly talk show and podcast, focusing on politics, news, and community engagement. She is a speaker and presenter in progressive spaces.

Liliana Bakhtiari: Liliana Bakhtiari is a proud queer, Iranian Azeri woman from a family of Muslim immigrants. She has spent time working and volunteering all over the Southeast region of the US, and in 22 countries around the world. She has brought that work to Atlanta where she continues to work in housing justice, affordability, historic preservation, women's rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, and homeless outreach. She has pushed for continued conversation on the intersectionality of the arts and politics through various platforms all over the city of Atlanta. Liliana's passion is to pursue the life of a public servant and to ensure that the voices of minorities and the underrepresented are heard and represented in both local and federal governments.