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Niesha Washington-Shepard

Niesha Washington-Shepard works as a faculty for the American Sign Language (#ASL) and #Deaf Studies department, at her alma mater (Gallaudet University) that helped shape her into the woman she is today. She loves teaching different languages, Deaf history, and culture. Outside the classroom, she contributes to many community causes, such as presenting at conferences, hosting workshops, and providing tutoring services. She also dabbles in video and graphic production, as well as creating ASL translations from English texts. She has voluntarily interpreted at schools, hospitals, government, and courts. She resides in D.C. with her husband Dale and her three lovely children, Faith; 12, Isaiah; 3, and Skyla; 1 year old.

[Image Description: It is a photo of the presenter, they are wearing a black shirt and is signing near their face as they smile.]

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Adrianne Burke

Adrianne is a social change agent focusing on using yoga and conscious movement as a means to promote peace and overall well being. She sees self-care as an integral method to help people truly re-imagine, and re-create the type of world we want to live in. After spending more than 7 years as a communication strategist for progressive nonprofits, and running her own consulting firm for three years, Adrianne shifted her focus to leadership development and full time healing advocacy as a means to be of better serve to her colleagues--especially in our changing political climate. She wanted to find a way to link social justice work and healing work together, as her self-care practice contained tools that had helped her find peace in her own life, while also embracing the fire so true to her being. A life filled with constant resistance was making her feel helpless as she was watching her colleagues get more and more burnt out. At the same time, her connection to all things spiritual was becoming greater. Social justice is spiritual work, and so she started Yoga for Justice in 2016 as a response to the media's coverage of police brutality and race relations currently dividing the country. Helping to co-found bareSOUL Yoga Studio in 2017, Adrianne continued her socially conscious yoga work by focusing on creating inclusive spaces for people of color and college students to practice yoga. Her most recent project is Healing for Justice, which is a movement that connects people who stand at the intersection of social justice and mindfulness. Embracing the nickname Namaslay, Adrianne uses reiki, creative movement, music, activism, yoga philosophy and continues to “teach kickboxing like a yoga teacher,” all while encouraging others to slay stereotypes and allow the true self to heal.

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Heather Leah

Heather Leah is a poet, teacher, behavior analyst, community organizer, and children's yoga guide in Washington, DC. She loves to play with paint, words, trees, and her friends. Being outside with her pup, Snoop, is her favorite activity. Raised in Connecticut, she has loved planting roots in the nation's capital since 2013. When she is not working with children, she organizes yoga and healing spaces across the DC area through her organization, WithLoveDC. Her mission is to spread love and smiles everywhere she goes. She recently published her first children's book, Let's Make Yoga Magic. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is her Bible. The question, "so, what do you do?" gives her constant pause. Her aim every day is to practice gratitude that she is awake, alive, and able to keep expanding. 

[Image Description: It is a photo of the presenter, she is wearing a white shirt and smiling. There are trees in the background.]