Who We Are
Mordecai Cohen Ettinger
Mordecai Cohen Ettinger has over 20 years experience as a multi-sector social justice activist and organizer, holistic healer, radical scholar, and educator. Mordecai co-founded the TGI Justice Project, served as an Interim Co-Director at Justice Now, and as Interim Executive Director at Caduceus Outreach Services, a radical mental health organization. He is adjunct faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies. His field is critical science, technology, and medicine studies. Mordecai’s research spans environmental health and toxicology, to the workings of the Medical Industrial Complex, to the neurobiology of the social nervous system, and its implications with regard to collective and historical trauma, healing, resilience and social change. Schooled by years of movement work, and trained in Somatic Experiencing, Reiki, and Cranial Sacral therapy, he has studied with Dr. Peter Levine, biophysicist and founder of Somatic Experiencing and Dr. Bessel van der Kolk. He is the author of the forthcoming book, We All Hold Up the Sky: Lessons in Health Justice for the 21st Century. Finally, Mordecai is queer/ gender non-binary. He is a survivor of radiation poisoning and what is designated by the UN to be medical torture. He's here for transforming the Medical Industrial Complex for our futures to be possible.
Patricia Berne is a Co-Founder, Executive and Artistic Director of Sins Invalid, a disability justice based performance project centralizing disabled artists of color and queer and gender non-conforming artists with disabilities. Berne’s training in clinical psychology focused on trauma and healing for survivors of interpersonal and state violence. Her professional background includes offering mental health support to survivors of violence and advocating for LGBTQI and disability perspectives within the field of reproductive genetic technologies. Berne's experiences as a Japanese-Haitian queer disabled woman provides grounding for her work creating “liberated zones” for marginalized voices. She is widely recognized for her work to establish the framework and practice of disability justice.
Malachi Garza is the Founder and Principle at Innovative Justice Solutions. In this role, Malachi engages community organizations, philanthropy, investors and governments in collaborative projects for the collective good. Malachi is currently a Rosenberg Leading Edge Fellow focused on building reparations and restorative justice projects in the emerging cannabis economy. Malachi's previous work includes directing the Community Justice Network for Youth, a U.S. based network of organizations eliminating racial and ethnic disparities within justice systems and building criminal justice system community based alternatives. Malachi serves on the Board of Directors of the House of GG's: Griffin-Gracy Educational Retreat & Historical Center, Southerners On New Ground and the Transgender, Gender Variant and Intersex Justice Project (TGI Justice Project). In 2015, Malachi received the VotoLatino Innovators Award for their work to bridge the technological divide for Latino families who have incarcerated loved ones. Malachi has been working 24/7 to build a liberation focused movement for the past 21 years and believes that we will win.
Lida Shao is an educator with over two decades of experience in movement work, youth development and food democracy. Currently a second year medical student, she is also a collective member and owner at Our House, an owned housing cooperative and burgeoning land trust in Brooklyn. While on break from school, lida can be found working the land–growing vegetables, raising chickens, keeping bees, composting organics, collecting rainwater, and building a mini-farm in the city. She is proud to be a martial artist, a foodie with interest in raw foods, an all-seasons bicyclist, and a multi-lingual New Yorker. Raised in a politically active family, she continues the family tradition with an especial focus in abolishing prisons, ending sexual violence in our lifetime and cultivating collective skills and resources to build strong healthy communities.
Carolyn “Legs” Kraus-Kozoil
Carolyn "Legs" Kraus-Koziol is a mixed heritage Anishinaabekwe (Sault Ste. Marie Ojibwe). They grew up in Michigan and Hawai’i and moved to Oakland, California in 2003 to attend Mills College, where they studied Ethnic Studies. Carolyn is a fourth-year medical student at the University of California, San Francisco and holds a Masters in Health and Medical Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. They have worked in partnership with the California Consortium for Urban Indian Health to research the effectiveness of the Gathering of Native Americans (GONA) health promotion curriculum with American Indian adolescents in California. Carolyn plans to work as a physician and clinical researcher with a focus on transformative social justice work including racial justice, indigenous liberation, disability justice, and health/healing justice. Their passions include decolonizing health care, being connected to the earth, and cultivating resilience and love through connection with others.
Sean Saifa Wall
Sean Saifa Wall is an intersex activist, collage artist, writer, and public health researcher. Born and raised in the Bronx, he attended Williams College and after a short stint in New York City, moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he lived for nine years. He now lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his dog, Justice. He is the former board president of InterACT, a legal advocacy organization protecting the human rights of intersex young adults and is a co-founder of the Intersex Justice Project (IJP), a project whose mission is to #endintersexsurgery.
Saifa has been published in Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, Trans Bodies, Trans Selves, Untold Stories: Life, Love and Reproduction, Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics journal and The Remedy: Queer and Trans Voices on Health and Healthcare. He has been featured in the documentary, One in 2000, is a TEDx speaker, and has been a guest on Huffington Post Live and ABC News Nightline.
You can learn more about him as well as the documentary he is making about his father called Letters to an Unborn Son at unbornson.com.
Mahfam Malek has held different roles in social justice movements over the years, including facilitator, non-profit staff of many stripes, stand-up comic, somatic practitioner/coach, direct action organizer, environmental educator, and more. They are passionate about justice, politicized healing/transformation, and entertainment and laughter.
Mahfam’s education & training consists of a BA in Film Studies from UC Santa Barbara and years of leadership development, trainings, and workshops with progressive training institutions and organizations. They fill their days as Program Coordinator at generative somatics, alongside their consulting/training practice & somatic coaching practice in which they aim to center LGBTQ, POC, sick & disabled, and otherwise marginalized populations.
Mahfam is originally from Tehran, Iran, was raised mostly in the Los Angeles area, and has now lived in Oakland, CA, longer than they've lived anywhere else. Though their longing for homes past is strong, they happily identify as a California kid who loves cavorting about in the woods with their dog and hitting the Town with their partner and friends.
Kimberley Jackson, DO
Kimberley Jackson, DO is a trans-feminine Osteopathic Physician, who is an autistic, asexual, queer, disability rights activist and self-advocate living with multiple disabilities. She became involved with the Health Justice Commons after her partner, Carrie Ann Lucas, passed away due to an unjust and abusive medical system. Kim advocates for the effective management of chronic pain and for increasing home and community-based services for people living with severe disabilities. She serves on multiple committees with Colorado Medicaid, and has designed and facilitated workshops teaching medical professionals about disability and developmental disability. She is a member and board member of the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition and president of the board for Atlantis ADAPT in Denver, the founding chapter of the national disability rights activist group, ADAPT. Kim is a survivor of torture and multiple forms of abuse at the hands of the Medical Industrial Complex. She is fighting back by helping to develop the Medical Abuse Hotline with the Health Justice Commons, and is also working on a book about medical PTSD, caused by our broken healthcare system.
Nomy Lamm is a multi-media artist, voice teacher and creative coach. She is the Creative Director of Sins Invalid, a disability justice organization she has worked with since 2008. Nomy has been teaching people to sing for almost two decades, helping students move through fear and self-judgement to take up space and find equilibrium in radical authenticity. She has a BA in Multimedia Art and Political Economy from The Evergreen State College, and an MFA in Fiction from San Francisco State University. In her work as a Kohenet (Hebrew Priestess), Nomy offers space for creative exploration and engagement with our wounded places as a source of transformation. She lives on occupied Squaxin/Nisqually/Chehalis land in Olympia, WA with her partner Lisa, their dogs Dandelion and Momma, and their cat Calendula. To learn more visit: www.nomyteaches.com.