Updated: Nov 22, 2021
Today and Everyday...
By: Nikki Gensmer, Marketing Manager
Artist, activist, craftivist, community builder, and general instigator Shannon Downey (also known as @badasscrossstitch across social media) featured our founding partner, Megan Lopp Mathias in Seriously Badass Women (SBW) this past week.
We echo Shannon, as she said it best:
I often find myself looking around and thinking, "D*mn. That is one seriously badass woman." ~Shannon Downey
Without further ado, let's meet some Seriously Badass Women:
Meet Megan Lopp Mathias
Hard working single mom. Active community leader. Founding Partner of Lopp Mathias Law. Hopeful candidate for (first female!) Alderman of the 45th Ward of Chicago. Lover of bachata and boxing.
Megan has decades of experience working with and advocating for under-served communities and has sat on Boards of Directors for various organizations which include the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago (eliminating racism and empowering women), Life Span (anti-domestic violence and human trafficking), the Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law (policy and leadership reform), and the Filament Theater (creating a more equitable society by celebrating and amplifying the perspectives and experiences of young people through the performing arts).
Meet Greta Johnsen
Greta hosts and produces WBEZ's Nerdette podcast, a show featuring interviews with people like Lizzo, Margaret Atwood, and Jenny Slate. She was born in Alaska, prefers cold weather, loves to knit, reads too many books, makes really good cookies, and lives with an aggressive cat and big-eared corgi.
Meet Teresa Helena Moreno
Teresa is an educator and librarian at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she specializes in feminist, critical race theory and social justice-informed research and information practices. She also teaches interdisciplinary courses at the intersections of the humanities and the information sciences using feminist and critical race methodologies. In addition to this, Teresa has spent over a decade working through educational policy to find ways to support the needs of BIPOC students and faculty on college campuses.
She is currently researching the ways the information sciences misunderstands the diaspora, how it works with diasporic content, and the impact it has on information creation. A book focusing on this research is forthcoming.
Meet Rachel Wallis
Rachel is a community taught crafter, artist, and activist. Her work focuses on collaborative quilting projects addressing issues of race and social justice. Past projects have included Gone But Not Forgotten, a community quilting process creating a memorial quilt for individuals killed by the Chicago Police Department, and Inheritance: Quilting Across Prison Walls, a project using quilts to help rebuild relationships divided by incarceration. She is currently artist in residence at Project Nia.
Meet Mindy Tsonas
Mindy is a Korean American adoptee, queer intersectional feminist and modern-day bohemian. She works at the juncture of creativity, identity and social justice. She is a community builder, activist, artist and provocateur who believes in using our collective superpowers for positive social good.
Through expressive art making, embodied activism, and savvy social consciousness, she aims to create more liberation and love in the world. She’s also a life-long devotee to the underdog.
Meet Michelle Perkins
Michelle is a textile artist and social activist from Buffalo, NY. She is the sustainability and communications manager at Stitch Buffalo, a 501c3 textile art center for refugee women, and sits on the board of Stronger Together WNY (501c4). Additionally, she runs her own sewing business called Speakeasy Works. Her focus is on accessories created with upcycled materials, a feminist/nerd perspective, and a sense of humor.
Meet Thelma Uranga
Thelma Uranga is a Chicago‐based artist and self-described Do-It-Yourself enthusiast. Thelma is the Development Manager at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen and a former teaching artist, who still cares deeply about youth development. She is also a DJ who goes by La Queen and loves setting the vibe on the turntables with feel-good jams that include disco, house, R&B, and more. She also dabbles in the Latin music of her youth, or señora music, as she likes to call it. Thelma has a BA in Studio Art/Photography from Illinois State University. Her past photography work has explored themes of cultural identity, feminism, contemporary American society and portraiture. Other blissful obsessions include thrift store shopping, baking pies, and her dog Tula.
Meet Christine Gallagher Kearney
Christine is a writer based in Chicago, but calls her native Minnesota home. She is a 2020 Midwest Review “Great Midwest Writing Contest” finalist and has published in places like Wild Roof Journal, Driftless Magazine, Fortune, ForbesWoman and Cara Magazine. She is the former Irish American News food columnist where she wrote about her gastronomic experiences in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is at work on a historical novel about a polio survivor.
Meet Omkari Williams
Omkari is a podcast host and certified coach working with everyday activists who see wrong in the world and want to make it right. Drawing on her background as an actor and political consultant she helps people leverage the power of story, theirs and others, to create the change they wish to see.
Want more badassery?
These are just eight of the fellow women recently featured on Seriously Badass Women.
Please do read more about these Seriously Badass Women and others. Check out their full interviews, at: http://www.seriouslybadasswomen.com/
As for the original Seriously Badass Woman, Shannon Downey, her links are as follows: