Southern Vision Alliance Fellows
Daisy Almonte (SVA Operations Fellow)
Daisy Almonte is a sophomore at Duke University where she is studying public policy and history. With roots in rural North Carolina, she was a member of Student Action with Farmworkers’ youth leadership program in high school. Since then, she has interned with them as a communications art intern and now is a member of their board directors. She is an active member of the undergraduate umbrella Latinx student organization, Mi Gente and Duke Student Government, serving as community interactions chair and senator of equity and outreach, respectively. Her goals include establishing a regular, long-term connection between the Durham Latinx community and the Duke undergrad Latinx community as well as making spaces like Duke Student Government more accessible to Latinx students. This semester she is studying human rights through an immersive program and will formulate, research and prepare a major project that examines an issue related to the theme of rights and identities in the Americas.
Asher Skeen (SVA Operations Fellow)
Asher is a recent high school graduate with a background in advocacy and music. Born and raised in Durham, Asher spent his senior year of high school leading the Riverside High School Queer-Straight Alliance and beginning work with Bull City Schools United. During this time, Asher gained experience in public speaking and event planning by hosting a Drag Show Fundraiser and running a training on educational safe spaces for the Riverside High School faculty and staff. Asher is also a singer songwriter and has been publicly performing his music since 2014. In January 2015, Asher released his first album, Dark Sheep, and is currently focused on expanding his musical abilities by collaborating with other local artists. Asher is excited to continue using his music as a platform to advocate for social change and greater equality for the LGBTQ+ community.
Sol Pederson (Community Rapid Response Fellow)
Sol Pederson is a white, anti-racist queer person who has been living and organizing in Durham for the past three years. Prior to this, they were a student at UNC-Chapel Hill where they majored in Women’s & Gender Studies and fought the administration with other student organizers. Post college, they worked in sexual violence prevention and response which led them to become passionate about transformative justice models to provide healing support for survivors outside of the state. Sol is excited to work as a Community Rapid Response Fellow with SVA to develop a network of support for people experience all forms of violence and hate. They are primarily interested in using tools like language justice, healing justice, and “artivism” to build coalitions across movement silos. Outside of organizing, Sol is passionate about plants, astrology, karaoke, and baths.
Diego Vergara (Community Rapid Response Fellow)
Hannah Hawkins (Community Labor Organizing Fellow with UE 150)
Mikisa Thompson (Community Labor Organizing Fellow with UE 150)
Mikisa Thompson is a community-labor solidarity fellow and mother of three. She is a first generation Pan-African/Caribbean diaspora transplant, by way of Jamaica. Mikisa was raised in the 1980s in one of the most segregated, poor, yet culturally diverse areas in the world: the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn. Her parents were both union members and she has a passion for workers rights, unions, and the fight against racism, sexism, and heterosexism on the workplace and in our communities. You can read a personal statement from Mikisa about why she organizes here.