Danielle Stevens B.A. Sociology (she/her/hers)
Founding Director, Danielle Elizabeth Stevens is a radically compassionate visionary with a gentle and sharply unapologetic tongue. Born and raised in southern California, she is a cultural producer, media maker, and multi-disciplinary artist spanning a range of modalities and mediums including writing, healing, social justice education, fashion and beauty, as well as sensory, imagination, and dreaming arts. Danielle connects social justice and activist education through audaciously imaginative and wildly creative pedagogical frameworks to demonstrate that life and social change are fundamentally artistic endeavors. She is a dynamic healing artivist who has curated and designed bold and inventive creative experiences at the The New Museum New York, NY, The Museum of Impact and Newark Arts in Newark, NJ, Redline Contemporary Arts Center in Denver, CO, and whose work is part of the permanent collection of the Newseum in Washington DC.
Danielle’s focus is on uplifting and honoring the everyday artistry and sacred divinity of Blackness. In her art, she negotiates the relationships between the dismantling of oppressive social structures and the reimagining of new worlds. She explores this through investigating and complicating perceived dichotomies like resistance/becoming, vitality/grief, liminality/periphery. As a mixed-media healing artivist, Danielle aims to demystify what it means for the average person to be an artist, to call into question what it truly means to expand the often contrived nature of artistry and creation, and to remind us that art is existence in totality; it is memoir, truth, and becoming.
Danielle has curated workshops in over 40 cities nationally and 5 countries internationally and in collaboration with over 100 community partnerships. She has provided healing justice consulting, program and curriculum development, leadership coaching and training, and healing arts curation for a range of organizations including the NAACP, the LGBTQ Task Force, CoreAlign, Georgetown University, Oberlin College, The DC LGBT Center and more. Danielle has also provided content development, media creation, writing services, and editing support, and has had her work featured on various publications including For Harriet, Elixher Magazine, The Nation, Colorlines, Black Women’s Blueprint, and of course, This Bridge Called Our Health.
She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is currently the Founding Director of This Bridge Called Our Health, a digital publication, consulting practice, and community resource providing services & promoting dialogues around health, healing, and wellness through a social justice lens. You can find more about her work here, check out her Instagram slayage here, and indulge in her #BlackFemmeSupremacy Facebook musings here.
Mel J Aliya, RN, BSN (they/them/theirs)
Director of Community Health Initiatives, Melissa J Aliya joined the team of This Bridge Called Our Health in 2017. As a queer non-binary Black femme with Ugandan and Tanzanian heritage, Mel is deeply committed to Black liberation on a global scale. As a registered nurse, Mel has a high level of expertise with regard to the social determinants of health impacting marginalized communities and is passionate about providing trauma-informed, culturally competent, and gender-affirming care for queer and trans communities, Black folks, people of color, and women. As a public health practitioner, Mel is committed to empowering communities to embody agency over their heath outcomes as well as holding health care facilities accountable for providing quality care to patients from targeted and underserved communities.
Mel holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and has over 4 years of experience in nursing, health education, reproductive health and justice. They are currently looking to pursue a dual Masters of Science in Nursing and a Masters in Public Health.