For over 15 years Agnes Leina has dedicated herself to improving the status of girls and women in Africa. Since 2005 Agnes has spreaheaded and helped fund rescues and the education of 250 girls. She is the Director of Anti-Female Genital Mutilation Board of Kenya and an advisory committee member at Foro International de Mujeres Indigenas. She founded Il’Laramatak Community Concerns where she provides livelihoods to former genital cutters and employs them to “Cut the Garment Not the Girl.” Agnes studied International Development at Birmingham University in the UK and has a master’s degree from the University of Nairobi where she studied Communications and Community Development.
Cecilia Pagkalinawan met Agnes Leina in NYC at a small dinner at Eve Ensler’s home in NYC after the UN Convention on the Status of Women in 2019. Cecilia and Agnes bonded over both their desire to improve the plight of women and girls around the world including help end child marriage, violence towards women, FGM and human trafficking. Cecilia visited Kajiado county in Kenya in February 2020 and met the “Kajiado Girls” Agnes helped rescue and send to school. Cecilia is currently producing and directing a film on the “Kajiado Girls” to tell their story and raise funds to rescue more girls from child marriage. Cecilia is an entrepreneur and a storyteller who was born in the Philippines and raised in the United States. In 1997 Cecilia co-founded MOUSE.org, Making Opportunities for Upgrading Schools and Education which installed computer labs and internet connectivity in NYC public schools with donations and volunteers. She was on the entrepreneur board of Andrew Yang’s Venture for America and a board member of Music Unites and NextDayBetter.
Yomi Ayeni is an award winning Transmedia creator, producer, filmmaker, and storyteller. His stories have been adopted by the Royal Observatory, Scottsdale Civic Library (Arizona), and The National Maritime Museum. In 2015 Yomi created We Are From Dust, an art non-profit dedicated to the proliferation of large scale participatory art in public spaces. He’s worked as International Media Liaison at Burning Man, created seminal drum and bass label - Tone Def Records, and he currently lectures MA Interactive Storytelling at the Royal College of Arts.
Laquelle Mari is an applied futurist and a multidisciplinary producer. She began her career in manufacturing at a firm where she managed all stages of mass consumer goods for many of the top 100 global retailers. After honing her craft for executing visions from inception to completion, she shifted her focus to innovation that benefits the world in more holistic ways. She turned her ability to conceptualize and produce towards the arts, music, media, and technology industries for the purpose of positive impact. Her desire to amplify women’s voices is mostly inspired by her sister, Priya, who is 13 years her junior. As an older sister, and an independent woman, Laquelle wants to empower girls around the world to create, build, and produce the life and future they wish and deserve to have.