The soteria. Advisory Board is comprised of experts in public safety, clinical care, festival emergency dispatch, adolescent brain development, substance & harm reduction, diversity, equity and inclusion, gender and sexuality, and art and social justice initiatives who contribute to the design, implementation and growth of soteria. The team holds a range of experience that uniquely qualifies soteria. to provide services that are rooted in holistic best practice, creative engagement and proven effective protocols.
Paulina Angel: Executive Director of Trans Community Project
Paulina is a Songwriter/Artist & LGBTQ Activist who has been active in her community for over a decade. Paulina has worked throughout the golden state as a member of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges in Sacramento and successfully worked alongside Gov. Brown's office. Previously, she was a volunteer for Trans Students Educational Resources, Equality California & Human Rights Campaign. Paulina is proud to have been part of the 2019 every one Initiative at Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals.
Paulina currently serves as a Board Member for both Palm Springs Pride & East Coachella Valley Pride. She has been honored by Palm Springs Pride in 2016 with the Spirit of Stonewall Emerging Leader Award, and again in 2018 as part of the OUTStanding Voices honors. Paulina has her own music group with PMI/Paulaphone and is an active songwriter, singer, musician and producer
Dr. Aquil Basheer: Founder/Executive Director Professional Community Intervention Training Institute-International
Dr. Basheer is an internationally recognized leader in public/community safety and well-being. He founded (PCITI), the nation’s first “practitioner based’ Community Violence-Urban Safety- Gang Intervention Training Institute that provides certification. PCITI International has trained cities across the United States and around the world. He is the founder the License to Operate Movement, (LTO) now the largest affiliated network of specially trained, certified Intervention experts and is Dr. Basheer is also the founder of the non-profit Brotherhood Unified for Independent Leadership through Discipline (BUILD) program.
Dr. Basheer is a highly regarded Adjunct Professor for Alliant University International, has professionally certified thousands of community-based intervention peacekeepers. He is a renowned instructor at the USC Safe Communities Institute. Dr. Basheer provides consultation and instruction nationally and around the globe.
Gina Belafonte: Executive Director, Sankofa.org
Gina is an activist, organizer, producer and actress who has spent a lifetime at the intersection of art and social justice. She is the youngest child of Julie and Harry Belafonte, whose impact in the fields of activism and entertainment is among the most influential and progressive in the world. Gina co-founded the non-profit organization The Gathering for Justice and currently sits on the Board of 2nd Call and the internationally acclaimed Actor’s Gang Theatre founded by Tim Robbins. Gina works with diverse artists, activists and organizations worldwide and produces exhibitions, installations, public programs, and billboard campaigns to advocate for inclusive civic participation. to promote cultural and civic engagement in the 21st century.
She is serves as advisor to numerous artistic ventures including the Hip Hop Forum at the Kennedy Center, The Create Justice Project for Carnegie Hall and For Freedoms- an initiative using the arts to increase civic awareness and engagement. She was a lead producer of A Survivors Guide to Prison currently on Netflix and is the director and producer of Lyrics from Lockdown - an award-winning hip-hop theater, multimedia production addressing the impact of wrongful imprisonment and mass incarceration. She is a founder of the Los Angeles Woman’s March Movement and currently an instructor at California Institute for the Arts.
Dr. Shamell Bell: Community organizer, dancer/choreographer, and documentary filmmaker
Dr. Bell received her PhD in Culture and Performance from UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures/Dance department. Dr. Bell received her M.A. in Ethnic Studies from UC San Diego and B.A. with Honors in American Studies and Ethnicity specializing in African American Studies at the University of Southern California. She defines her work as, "street dance activism" and positions street dance as grassroots political action from her perspectives as a dancer, choreographer, healer, and scholar. Dr. Bell is currently a visiting faculty at Dartmouth in the department of Theater and the African and African American Studies program.
Dr. Bell is an original member of the #blacklivesmatter movement and serves as an arts & culture liaison between numerous social justice organizations. She is a consultant on social justice impact for the film, television and music industry, most recently on the film The Hate You Give.
Dr. Bell’s most cherished role is as a mother and she often teaches her street dance activism workshops with her son. Together they serve as Radical Joy Advisors for Contra Tiempo- an Urban Latin Dance Theater Company.
Dr. Paula Helu-Brown, PhD, LMFT
Dr. Paula is an assistant professor in the bilingual counseling psychology program ¡Enlaces! At Mount Saint Mary’s University, where she is also a member of the Sexual and Gender Awareness (SAGA) faculty committee. Dr. Paula graduated from USC with a PhD in Social Work and a Gender Studies graduate certificate and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her work centers on intersectionality, mental illness in the Latinx community, and gender and sexuality.
Dr. Paula is the developer and clinical coordinator of a mental health program for Latinx Immigrants at the Consulate of Mexico in Los Angeles and is the head of mental health for the every one initiative, which brings sexual assault awareness and prevention as well as mental health services to the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals.
Chevonna Gaylor: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), Mental Health Expert
Chevonna operates a private psychotherapy practice and serves as Executive Director of Chevonna.com. She combines her extensive education, trainings/certification, 15+ years clinical and lived experiences to provide skilled and relatable care. Chevonna is an alumna of UCLA and an adjunct professor at National University.
Chevonna is a fierce advocate for suicide prevention and the eradication of human trafficking and serves as a clinical consultant for Forgotten Children, Inc. Chevonna is an international speaker and a published author of ‘The Emerging Healer: Adding Insight and Impact to Your Mental Health Work.’. She is a wife, mother and encourager to all. She is extremely proud to serve as Clinical Advisor for the soteria. Initiative.
Heather Newman: Founder/CEO of Creative Maven, Co-Founder/CMO of Content Panda
Creative Maven is a virtual marketing consulting firm that brings c-level strategy, inspiration and creativity to marketing teams, startups, enterprise businesses and individual artists. Content Panda is high tech business dedicated to creating products that deliver a superior user experience that drive value to businesses.
Heather Newman has produced thousands of events, campaigns and experiences in the high-tech and entertainment industries. She is the two-time recipient of the Microsoft MVP Award - Office Apps and Services. She is a recognized trainer and travels the world speaking about Office 365, SharePoint, Diversity& Inclusion, and Belonging. She was born and raised in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois and is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Drama, Seattle WA. Heather is a published playwright, and the host of Mavens Do It Better, a podcast dedicated to interviewing extraordinary mavens (experts) who light a spark in our world.
Austin Valdez: Public Safety/Festival Dispatch Services
Austin is a music festival professional born and raised in Texas. He began his career as a volunteer at festivals such as Austin City Limits and SXSW where discovered his passion for keeping people safe and being part of events that gave people the best memories and experiences. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Austin works for major music festivals around the United States with a focus on public safety, emergency dispatch and government relations.