meet the current fem•ex team!

Lisa Molinaro took and facilitated FemSex at UC Berkeley in 2006.  Two years later after moving to Washington DC, a close group of friends approached her to share what she had learned.  Over many brunches, drinks, and long Sunday afternoons, Lisa embarked on The Female Experience pilot class.  And it worked!  Soon after, interest began to grow and Lisa facilitated three sessions of fem•ex in DC.  Lisa now serves as the Executive Director of fem•ex and hopes that one day all women will have access to a safe space in which they can share, learn, and empower each other.  Lisa does not currently reside anywhere as she is traveling the world to teach emerging communities the practice of AcroYoga.  What empowers Lisa?  Doing things she is afraid of like trapeze classes or learning to cook (a very intimidating thing for Lisa!).

Emily Napalo loves gleefully telling all those nay-sayers who asked “What are you going to do with a degree in Women’s Studies?” about her escapades in women’s empowerment, reproductive rights, and ending violence against girls and women since graduating from Georgetown University in 2006. Emily participated in the first round of fem•ex in DC and has facilitated three sessions.  You can find her smiling at cozying up with a book, taking yoga classes, reading mommy blogs, and dancing up a storm.  What empowers Emily?  Short hair cuts and good communication.

Rachel Cohen Marshall is at a loss for words, frankly. Describing her life’s somewhat haphazard path to DC and ultimately, to fem•ex , would certainly be easier in person. Nevertheless, you should know she has a strong record in the realm of believing in women. It probably started by having a badass for a Mom (no, seriously), flourished in college at a small Midwestern university and certainly continued after taking the second round of fem•ex here in 2009. Since then, she’s been a  fem•ex  facilitator and taken on operational responsibilities of running the day-to-day work of fem•ex. What empowers Rachel? Late night dance parties, learning for the sake of knowing and befriending new people from everywhere.

Elizabeth Tomber (a.k.a Lizzy) is devoted to empowering others in innovative ways.  Lizzy runs an after-school circus program for under-served youth in Anacostia. Lizzy believes that circus teaches life’s lessons; balancing priorities, juggling responsibilities, and supporting others.  After taking the first round of fem•ex in DC, she discovered her passion for yoga and acrobatics and found self-empowerment in these creative outlets.  With the confidence gained in fem•ex Lizzy transitioned from her job at the National Democratic Institute, where she ran a women’s civic leadership program in the Middle East.  Now, as the program manager of Zip Zap Circus USA, Lizzy is able to share her love of circus arts.  What empowers Lizzy? Literally and figuratively lifting up others in acrobatics and feeling like a super hero!

Sarah David-Heydemann is an producer of various things in Washington DC. She has worked with labor unions, community organizations and student groups on issues of economic justice in DC since 2005. Her production credits include events of every type including but not limited to protests, urban art showcases, concerts, fundraisers, academic panels and conferences not to mention awesome birthday parties. She is empowered by what is possible when people work together!

Tamara Marzouk (a.k.a. Tam)  is a youth developer at the Latin American Youth Center, where she develops sex health education and teaches on full range of topics covering sexuality and sexual health for DC’s youth. Her passion for sexual health work, dedication to open dialogue and love of listening to others’ experiences led her to join fem•ex as a participant and later as a facilitator in 2011. When she is not doing all things “fem•exy,” she is probably laughing, telling a corny joke (and then laughing at it), creating bonds with new friends, listening to music, doing yoga, or meditating. What empowers Tam? Open and honest dialogue, and learning to advocate for her needs in all aspects of her life.

Hannah Cutts feels beyond lucky for the chance work with the fem•ex community and talk about all-things-woman, all the time. After participating in the class in 2011, she was hooked and began working with fem•ex to develop and implement curriculum that could bring the lessons, joy and culture of fem•ex to younger women in the community. Hannah piloted the first youth fem•ex class in DC and now leads a cohort of fem•exy women to continue the youth initiative into 2012. Hannah loves working with and being inspired by kids, spends a lot of time reading children’s books and concocting vegetarian foods. She is a dedicated fan of Tina Fey and other smart, female comedians! What empowers Hannah? Supportive networks and new projects.

Natalie Orpett used to think she knew everything she needed to know about women’s empowerment… and then she took fem•ex.  Since then, she has been on a mission to share what she’s learned with anyone interested.  Natalie’s commitment to women’s empowerment began when she was fortune enough to be born into a family full of strong women and men who taught her that her gender should never be an impediment.  After studying international development at the University of Michigan, she moved to DC and worked for amazing women leaders.  When her friends invited her to join the first session of fem•ex in 2009, she wasn’t sure it was for her, but she so respected the women involved that she decided to give it a try.  And it was a good thing she did, because she came out not only profoundly humbled by how much she had learned, but also with a renewed commitment to making women’s empowerment a central part of her life’s work.  She has carried that commitment with her to New York, where she studies human rights at Columbia Law School.  What empowers Natalie?  Her amazing, inspiring, beautiful friends, the power to find joy in difficult moments, and being forced out of her comfort zone. 

Gabriella Borovsky (a.k.a. Gabi) believes her most valued fem•ex takeaways were the confidence to celebrate her gender and the friendships and connections she made with women from the incredible fem•ex community.  After participating in fem•ex’s first session in Washington, DC in 2009, she left the city for North Africa for a dream job working with young women leaders from the Middle East. Since then she has been living in and traveling from Casablanca to Cairo, and many places in between, honored to be working with folks who believe in strengthening democracy by promoting meaningful participation of women. She currently resides in Tunisia, which provides a beautiful setting for all the things she loves, like cooking with friends, practicing yoga and spending lazy weekends reading books in a hammock. What empowers Gabriella? Seeing the world, living in the moment, spontaneous dance parties and speaking from her heart.

Amber Banks interest in empowering women started young and blossomed while studying Government at the University of Virginia. A Virginia native, Amber is passionate about Virginia history and politics, reproductive justice, political participation and, of course, fem•ex! More at home in the kitchen than anywhere else, she can often be found feeding those around her. Amber enjoys curling up with a good book and her Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, impromptu dance parties, movie nights with friends, collecting recipes, and drinking massive amounts of tea. What empowers Amber? Laughter, political and social movements, and potlucks!

Fayzan Gowani: Bio coming soon…

Miya Cain: bio coming soon…

Hena Schommer: Bio coming soon…