Meet your Hosts
Ed Porter, M.A. M.S.
Ed (he/they) serves on the Board and Council of Courage of Care and is one of the organization's lead facilitators. Ed has a rich and varied career in public education, professional development, community leadership, and systems thinking and equity training. His vision is to provide services in a variety of modalities to individuals, groups, and organizations that assist them in opening their eyes, minds, and hearts to working together across race, gender, and cultural identities—building a workplace and a world that honors, celebrates, and upholds the values and contributions of all. Mr. Porter has served in many roles and at all levels of school organizations—teacher, principal, district administrator, community leader, consultant and superintendent of schools. . Mr. Porter helps organizations, groups, and individuals to set a clear vision, use multiple measures and perspectives in assessing current strengths and barriers, and engage all constituencies in courageous problem-solving, action planning, and implementation.
Kai (they/them/theirs) is a non-binary, queer, non-black person of color, and child of immigrants. They are devoted to dismantling societal binaries – the either/or thinking that is imposed upon us in our culture. Kai is passionate about helping QTBIPOC folx on their healing journey and quest for liberation. Kai has a rich background in leading teams – they are passionate about learning what makes people who they are and loves to celebrate and witness them in their wholeness and expression. They believe in the power of nature and how it is constantly sharing wisdom of deeper ways of relating and connecting. When they aren’t leading anti-oppression trainings, you can find them out in nature, dancing, talking about astrology, or writing poetry.
Mahtab Mahmoodzadeh, M.Ed.
Mahtab (she/her) holds a Master’s in Education and has been teaching and leading equity work in schools since 1996. She has taught in K-12 at all levels, and teaching and leading in anti-racist work as a classroom practitioner. She currently serves as a Director of Diversity, a senior role in her school which she has held for 6 years. She has a background in African American history and international relations and adaptive leadership for equity. She has worked in a variety of settings in her work, from strategic planning for equity and inclusion, hiring for diversity and cultural competency, to training and consulting with charter schools and school districts on equity and inclusion practices. Her work is in supporting individuals and institutions to develop their capacity to discern, address and eradicate systems of injustice that are often ingrained, pervasive, multifaceted, intricate, and thus more intractable as they operate in their schools. She operates to build capacity and to co-create culture for sustained and ongoing work in communities. She is at most joy when she is in alignment with her creativity and in any embodied practice is home to her. She considers herself a lover of humanity and her accomplishment to be in service to others. The lights of her life are her children.
Miko (she/her) has been working with nonprofit and governmental organizations over the past decade to help foster a more just and compassionate world in partnership with individuals and communities throughout the United States. That work has included several terms of national service with AmeriCorps as well as mental health and wellness work. She is a healing facilitator and Certified Hypnotist who operates her own hypnosis business. Miko also has experience managing social justice programming and facilitating social justice and equity initiatives through work in the farmed animal sanctuary movement. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Change and has contributed writing to the anthology Veganism of Color: Decentering Whiteness in Human and Nonhuman Liberation edited by Julia Feliz and the story of her work is featured in the book A Better World Starts Here: Activists and Their Work by Stacy Russo. She was also selected as a 2021 fellow with the New Leaders Council, a training program for young progressive leaders. Miko is passionate about healing, justice, collective care, self-love in action, and committing to liberatory practices for the benefit of all beings and our planet.
Norma (she/they) provides private consulting and facilitation toward transformative and transitional processes for human and health services, policy advocacy, grassroots, academic, community, and social justice organizations. Her consulting work includes and is centered on integration of values and principles of equity and social justice. She has decades of experience in organizational leadership and administrative oversight, including as one of the founding mothers and former executive director of Asian & Pacific Islander Women & Family Safety Center (now merged as API Chaya), former Administrator/Senior Research Coordinator for Center for Women’s Welfare, former Community Programs Manager at International Community Health Services, and former executive director of Asian Pacific AIDS Council. She has also formerly served as a member of such organizations as the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum’s (NAPAWF’s) governing board and the Washington State Task Force on Human Trafficking. Norma was an awardee of the 2011 Tony Lee Social Justice Award, a 2011 co-honoree of a City of Seattle proclamation for organizing towards social justice in response to human trafficking and intimate partner violence, was the 2015 recipient of the University of Washington, School of Social Work Martin Luther King Community Service Award, a recent nominee for the University of Washington’s Distinguished Teaching award, and was recognized as one of 50 U.S. Asian Pacific American “Sheroes” by NAPAWF.
Norma is adjunct faculty at the University of Washington School of Social Work and has taught courses on social justice and racial equity, InterGroup Dialogue, organizational development, community and coalition building, policy development and advocacy, community organizing, human development, direct social work practice, and community collaborative program evaluation and participatory action research. Additionally, Norma has been a counselor for many years and currently has a small private practice as a mental health therapist and organizational healer. Norma also provides conflict mediation from a framework of equity and social justice. She is one of the co-founders at The Well on Beacon in Seattle, a culturally diverse and responsive, multi-service, holistic wellness clinic.
Vaishali Mamgain, Ph.D.
Vaishali (she/her) serves on the Board of the Courage of Care Coalition and is an Associate Professor of Economics and the Director of the Bertha Crosley Ball Center for Compassion at the University of Southern Maine. She received her PhD in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her past research focused on the contributions of (im)migrants and refugees in the Maine economy.
Her current research is in contemplative pedagogy where she is passionate about deconstructing epistemology. She specializes in using somatic and immersive nature practices to undo internalized oppression and the “colonization” of contemplative practices. She regularly leads compassion training and anti-racism workshops for faculty and community groups in the US and abroad.
A working contemplative, she has meditated, wandered and ‘retreat’ed for many years. In 2017, she completed a three year meditation retreat at Samten Ling Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado and now lives in beautiful, coastal Maine where she enjoys swimming in the sea, admiring seaweed, running, hiking and cooking.