2019 Speakers & Performers

We are honored to have some incredible speakers and performers at this year’s march and rally! Check back here for updates.


Tanisha Arena, Executive50103937_976962669169756_7799257380826382336_n.jpg Director of Arise for Social Justice. As a proud member of the LGBT community, Tanisha has focused her nonprofit career on LGBT specific issues and populations. Prior to coming to Arise, Tanisha was the Western Mass Advocate for the Violence Recovery Program of Fenway Health, advocating for LGBTQ identified victims and survivors of violence and provided community training to raise awareness of how domestic violence and sexual assault manifests in LGBTQ communities. She was also a member of the governance committee of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP). As an LGBTQ Program Specialist at Community Action Youth Programs, Tanisha developed a skillset around trauma-informed care and using a strengths-based program model to foster positive youth development. Prior to that, Tanisha worked in the private sector, during which time she was a mentor at True Colors, a support and advocacy organization for sexual minority youth in Hartford, CT.

Mehlaqa Samdani, Ex50477461_976956909170332_4940113418704125952_n.jpgecutive Director of Critical Connections, a non-profit organization that offers analysis and opportunities for dialogue on issues related to American-Muslims and other targeted communities.

Kamini Waldman, Vice President, Northampton High School Democrats

Lindsay Sabadosa, State Representative, 1st Hampshire District

Jo Comerford, State Senator, Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester District


The Hoping Machine, founded by Sarah Lee Guthrie, is a group of activists and songwriters coming together to generate hope, identify challenges and collect ideas and resources for a stronger community.


ZoKi is a folk-rock trio whose multi-talented members are adept songwriters and vocalists, as well as versatile instrumentalists. No strangers to the youth music scene, ZoKi’s members made the rounds in a few other groups. before finding each other. With Kim on guitar and bass, Zoe on guitar, keyboards, and bass, backed by Lily’s rock-steady beats, ZoKi offers a blend of covers and originals, which can be moving, as well as funny and quirky. ZoKi features strong vocal harmonies and stop-you-in-your-tracks guitar solos.


The Valley Women Drummers is an all female drum & percussion ensemble founded by Marilyn Sylla. Using traditional African Dun Dun (bass) drums and other percussion instruments, the Valley Women Drummers enjoy creating and playing rhythms rooted in West Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean.


Prone to Mischief is an activist, rabble-rousing street and parade band with something to say. They are committed to Social Justice and taking their loud and proud music to the street (and indoor venues when it’s too cold). They celebrate their strength in the diversity of its members and in the styles of their songs which come from all over the world. They are very serious about their RESISTANCE message, but they love what they’re doing and are having a blast.