Our Team.

Meet our team at Women’s Voices Now, where we believe in the power of film to drive positive social change that advances women’s and girls’ rights globally.

Lupita

2020
Monica Wise Robles

Heidi Basch-Harod

Executive Director

Heidi Basch-Harod is the executive director of Women’s Voices Now (WVN), a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization that uses film to drive positive social change to advance girls’ and women’s rights globally. Heidi is responsible for the vision, strategy, and international fundraising efforts that sustain and grow WVN’s programs, locally and globally. Heidi brings her experience in international human rights advocacy from her work with Tibetan Nuns Project; the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. Congress, and the Palestine-Israel Journal. In 2021, she received a Daytime Emmy as a producer of the “Girls’ Voices Now” series, in collaboration with Here Media.

She is a scholar of the modern history of the Middle East and North Africa, specializing in women’s rights movements of the region. She is a published author, both in print and online.

For over 10 years, Heidi has worked with youth, ages 12-24, teaching empowerment workshops through Women’s Voices Now and the Girls’ Voices Now program. She is a Holocaust educator who works within the Jewish community and is regularly invited to speak at public middle and high schools throughout Los Angeles to teach about antisemitism, other forms of racism and bigotry, and the power of film to make social change.

Contact Heidi: [email protected] 

Chelsea Byers - Programs and Partnerships Manager Women's Voices Now

Chelsea Byers

Programs & Partnerships Director

Chelsea is responsible for managing WVN programs, and leads partnership development and community outreach efforts both locally and internationally, on behalf of WVN.

Chelsea comes to WVN with a background in creative change making, organizing, and advocacy. A passionate activist on issues regarding gender and sexual-based violence, Chelsea successfully campaigned to overturn California’s statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault in 2017 and co-organized the first #MeToo Survivors March in Los Angeles

Chelsea is part of the Beautiful Trouble collective, where she facilitates resources development and content creation for an online toolbox that supports organizers and activists around the globe. She has organized countless campaigns and demonstrations for social justice, held vigils for political prisoners and whistleblowers, and earned media for stunts, pranks, and creative disruptions, alongside some of the most innovative and strategic nonviolent activists working in social movements.

Contact Chelsea: [email protected] 

Becki Pine

Development Director

Becki is responsible for leading fundraising efforts for Women’s Voices Now. She builds relationships with grantmakers, corporate sponsors, and individual donors to garner support for our programs. She also collaborates across the organization to monitor and evaluate programs, ensuring that supporters know the important role they play in our work. Becki also assists with strategic planning.

A seasoned development and communications professional, Becki brings over 15 years of experience in LGBTQ+ and gender-rights advocacy fields, and began her career in film festivals. Prior to joining Women’s Voices Now, she ran a boutique nonprofit consulting firm where she helped organizations create effective fundraising campaigns, develop communication strategies, plan national events, and grow support and community bases. Becki has worked with organizations including Equality California, Center Theatre Group, Partners in Justice International, and the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival. She holds a Masters Degree in Strategic Communications from Ithaca College.

Contact Becki: [email protected]

Lamine Ascofaré

Digital Growth Strategist

Born in Mali and living in Dakar, Senegal, Lamine is the Digital Growth Strategist of Women’s Voices Now

He oversees WVN’s digital strategy, marketing technology, advertising budget, and online fundraising. He is experienced in creating and executing high-impact digital marketing campaigns. 

Lamine enjoys discovering new music and recording his own in the studio.

Contact Lamine: [email protected]

WVN Donesha - Dana - Simon

Donesha “Dana” Simon

Social Media Manager

Dana assists with developing and implementing WVN’s social media strategy.

She comes from Pasadena, CA, and earned five Associate Degrees at Pasadena City College, before her tenure at California State University Los Angeles where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication (with a focus on Advertising & Public Relations). There Dana developed a deep understanding of the importance of communication and media literacy in conveying ideas to relate to audiences, as well as an enthusiasm for content creation and community engagement.

In addition to her professional endeavors, Dana is dedicated to making a positive impact in her community through volunteer work. She has volunteered with organizations such as My Serenity Sanctuary, the Armory Center of the Arts, and Community Overcoming Recidivism through Education (CORE), where she advocated for social causes such as empowering women of color, contemporary arts-based education, food insecurity, and post-secondary education for formerly incarcerated individuals. Through these experiences, Dana has developed a passion for innovation, community-building, and advocating for empathy and social justice.

Contact Dana: [email protected]

bijan Siyamak - Film Festival Assistant - Women's Voices Now

Bijan Siyamak

Film Festival Assistant

Bijan Siyamak is an Afghan Filmmaker; writer and director. He graduated from the Asian Film & Television Academy and Shobhit University with a Bachelor of Film and Television in Directing.

Over the course of his career, Siyamak has performed as a leading participant in a variety of distinguished film productions and events, particularly as a producer, writer, and director.

Siyamak has produced and directed numerous films and documentaries that have a distinguished reputation and have gone on to win various prestigious awards. He was commissioned by the Financial Times to produce the documentary short film How the 20-Year War Changed Afghanistan, which became part of the organization’s Film Series.

Among Siyamak’s other distinguished productions are the short film Lady in Red, the music video Daughters for Sale, and We Together. He has also played a leading role in the development and execution of the Herat International Women’s Film Festival in 2019 and 2020 as Executive Director.

Contact Bijan: [email protected]

Director Sarah Moshman_HeadshotBjpg

Sarah Moshman

Media Instructor

Sarah Moshman believes in the power of STORYTELLING to change the world.
 
Sarah is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and TEDx speaker whose work has been featured on Upworthy, Marie Claire, PBS, Hulu, CNN, Netflix, and Good Morning America.
 
After directing two short documentaries about female empowerment in young women, (Girls Rock! Chicago (2010) and Growing up Strong: Girls on the Run (2012)) she set out to direct her first feature doc The Empowerment Project: Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things (2014) which has been screened over 1000 times around the US and the world in schools, groups, organizations and corporations starting conversations about gender equality. With Indieflix as the distributor, the film has been sponsored by major brands like Nordstrom, American Girl, and Microsoft to spread this message far and wide.
 
Sarah’s second feature doc, Losing Sight of Shore follows the incredible journey of four women who rowed across the Pacific Ocean. The film was released globally in 190 countries on Netflix in May 2017.
 
NEVERTHELESS is Sarah’s third feature documentary which takes a look behind the headlines of #MeToo and Time’s Up to shine a light on the sexual harassment crisis and use the power of cinema for change.
 
Most recently Sarah brought her talents to the narrative realm and directed an award-winning short fiction film UNBOUND about the first mother to go to space starring Lauren Lapkus (Orange is the New Black). In 2022, UNBOUND won First Place at NASA’s CineSpace Global Short Film Competition and screened on the International Space Station!
 
Sarah also completed a short she wrote and directed called A Mother is Born about the profound identity shift that comes with early motherhood.

Vjosa Çerkini

WVN Liaison Officer - Europe

As the WVN Liaison Officer – Europe, Vjosa facilitates communication and collaboration between organizations, film festivals, individuals, foundations, and other entities in Europe, and Women’s Voices Now.

She is a journalist, reporter, and international documentary filmmaker from Pristina, Kosovo. Vjosa reports for the German TV station DW, MDR, and regional broadcasters in the Balkans. She is involved in international documentary projects in the USA and Europe.

Contact Vjosa: [email protected]

Maya Shtangrud - Film Collection Intern - Women's Voices Now - WVN

Maya Shtangrud

FILM COLLECTION INTERN

Maya is responsible for reviewing and vetting films for the Voices for Change Film Collection and corresponding with filmmakers from all over the world. She is an alumna of the 2022 Girl’s Voices Now cohort during which she co-directed the film, The Bloody Truth: A Look Into Period Poverty. A high school student, Maya is also an avid advocate for the arts, working with organizations such as the ACLU, Arts for LA, and Create CA to provide equitable access within schools across LA.

Contact: [email protected]

2024 Girls Voices Now Summer Media Training Program applications are now open