Heidi’s career as a human rights activist and professional began with her involvement as a volunteer coordinator and project manager for the U.S. office of the Tibetan Nuns Project. In 2003, she served as an intern in the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (previously the U.S. Congressional Human Rights Caucus) in Washington D.C., and was then hired as a congressional staff assistant for Rep. Tom Lantos.
In her work with the U.S. Congress (2003-06), Heidi served as a non-immigrant visa specialist in the Lantos District Office (CA-12), as well as assisted with international human rights casework. In 2007 she began working with the Palestine-Israel Journal in East Jerusalem, where she launched the Journal‘s first online blog. Heidi is the author of numerous print and online articles and op-eds examining the women in the Middle East and North Africa (especially Kurdish women of Turkey and Syria), and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Heidi has served as the executive director of Women’s Voices Now since 2012, in which capacity she created and is co-editor of The WVoice. Heidi is a junior researcher at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University. She holds an MA in Middle Eastern and African Studies from Tel Aviv University (2013), an MA in Public Policy from New England College (2007), and a BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley (2003), with a double minor in Peace and Conflict Studies, and Religious Studies.

Leila Jarman is an award-winning filmmaker, producer and visual artist working at the intersection of women’s rights activism and media. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she completed her BA in Political Science with an emphasis on Middle Eastern Studies and philosophy in 2009 from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. Her works have screened at film festivals, galleries, and museums including the TATE Britain, Ars Electronica and her films have been featured on media outlets such as VICE  and The Creator’s Project.
As Creative Director and Resident Filmmaker at Women’s Voices Now, Leila is in charge of curating programs, overseeing and directing the annual film festival and WVN’s fiscal sponsorship program, providing mentorship for filmmakers and curating and organizing film screenings, workshops and advocacy events in Los Angeles and abroad.
Voice of the Valley, her 2013 documentary directorial debut, followed the professional career of two self-made Muslim women journalists and their struggle to overcome social and cultural barriers to produce the most important social, political, and economic radio program in Jordan. She speaks Farsi and Portuguese.



Ariel Fintushel is a native Californian poet and educator who has taught college-level Literature and Creative Writing in New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. She has a BA in Contemporary Literature from UC Santa Cruz and an MFA in poetry from SFSU. Her work, including comics and audio poems, has recently been published by Lunar Poetry, Welter, Shabby Dollhouse, and Red River Review. You can see a sampling of it here: arielfintushel.com.



Roopashree Jeevaji was born in India and raised in Mumbai. At a young age, she trained in Bharata Natyam, a classical Indian dance from where her interest for acting developed. As a teenager, Jeevaji became the face of Bru Coffee, India’s largest coffee brand.