Participant List, IWS 2017  (scroll down for biographical details)

Lynn Adams (Pacifica), Environmentalist, Pacifica Beach Coalition
Cristine Blanco (Oakland) Illustrator, artist, Brown Girl Surf
Natasha Brown (San Francisco) teacher, filmmaker, Brown Girl Surf
Margaret Cariño-Condon (Santa Cruz)  Salud y Carino non-profit, Wahine Project
Kristi Chan (San Francisco) teacher, filmmaker, Brown Girl Surf
Margaret Cohen  Professor Comparative Literature, Stanford, writing about surfing.
Krista Comer (Houston, Half Moon Bay) Professor, Director of Institute for Women Surfers
Cassie Comley (Costa Mesa, CA) PhD student in sociology at U Oregon, Mexican American surfing
Ginger Cuevas (Oakland) singer songwriter, Brown Girl Surf
Apryl DeLancey, (LA) Shark Researcher/Marine Educator.   El Porto
Dina Gilio-Whitaker (San Clemente). Researcher. blogger, and teacher of American Indian Studies.
Rhonda Harper (San Jose, CA) entrepreneur, activist Black Girls Surf
Lydia Heberling (Seattle & Sacramento) PhD student in literature at U Washington, indigenous surfing
Jamila Hubbard (Oakland) Levi Co., Brown Girl Surf
lisahunter  (Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand) researcher, writer, photographer.  “Institute South”
Farhana Huq (Oakland) Executive Coach, Entrepreneur,  Brown Girl Surf, Founder
Mira Manickam-Shirley (Oakland) performance artist/writer, Exec Director, Co-Founder Brown Girl Surf
Deirdre Martin (Pacifica) logistics company, Elected Member of the Pacifica City Council
Elizabeth Pepin Silva (Ojai, CA). photgrapher, filmmaker, writer On the Waterfront Creative
Marley Reynosa (San Francisco) social media marketing, singer, Brown Girl Surf
Tara Ruttenberg (San Jose, Costa Rica) Tarantula Surf, PhD candidate in development studies, Costa Rica
Rebecca Sandidge (Berkeley) PhD student in fire ant biologist UC Berkeley, Queers Makin’ Beers, Brown Girl Surf
Jennifer Savage (San Francisco)  Surfrider Foundation, California Policy Manager (coastal advocacy)
Judith Sheridan  (San Francisco) geophysicist, big wave bodysurfing
Sally Smith-Weymouth (Santa Cruz) executive legal assistant, former owner Paradise Surf Shop
Dayla Soul (Pacifica) filmmaker
Lyndsey Stoodley Cardiff (UK) PhD student in geography, surf reserves and environmentalism
Olivia vanDamme (Half Moon Bay) City Surf Project, musician
Bianca Valenti (San Francisco)  professional big wave surfer
Claire Woodard (Pacifica) brand expertise, poet
Dionne Ybarra, (Pacific Grove) Director, The Wahine Project


Biographical Notes

Lynn Adams (Pacifica) Pacifica Beach Coalition

Lynn Adams is passionate about motivating others to connect with the earth and the ocean.  She leads the Pacifica Beach Coalition, a non profit organization that hosts clean ups of beaches and streets/parking lots/open spaces in Pacifica and beyond.  The Coalition calls attention to the flow of litter and chemicals/toxins into the ocean. We have learned and teach others that litter is mostly plastic and that we have a problem on a grand scale of waste and packaging and marketing that is killing our seas, animals, creeks, rivers, streams and affecting all of us greatly.  

Lynn comes to the Institute as an ally to surfers, she does not surf, but she works with surfers all of the time and appreciates their connection to the ocean. She hopes to aid surfers in the advocacy work they do already for the health of the ocean.  Lynn works very closely with Deirdre Martin and the Pacifica City Council to support citizen involvement.

Cristine Blanco (Oakland) Illustrator, artist, Brown Girl Surf

Cristine Blanco is graphic artist and illustrator. A collection of her graphic comics has been featured in Bay Area festivals – including Kearny Street Workshop’s APAture, EBABZ, and SF ZineFest. Her paintings have been exhibited in art shows at Hotel Des Arts and Nielsen Arts. As a surfer and community activist, she has created ocean-inspired works specifically to raise funds for Returning Waves at SF’s I-Hotel and most recently Brown Girl Surf at Eastside Arts Alliance in Oakland. Blanco’s work is currently included in Sea Sick in Paradise, a Depart Foundation pop-up exhibition in Malibu.  

Natasha Brown (San Francisco) teacher, filmmaker, Brown Girl Surf

Natasha Brown is a teacher, filmmaker, and volunteer with BrownGirlSurf.  As a teacher, she instructs  ninth graders in the Pythagorean Theorem in the math room.  Her work as a filmmaker and a volunteer at BrownGirlSurf both are dedicated to bringing women of color into the water and changing the racial stereotypes of surfing as a white sport.  Having lived in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica for almost three years, a surf spot that is majority-black, she has experienced first hand the power of seeing her identity as a black person in the water reflected back to her. This experience has become a driving force of her own surf journey.  The Carve Project is a storytelling and film effort to represent black and brown surfers making waves in the surfing world today.  Its goal is to create more visibility for minority athletes, and to contribute to a greater diversity and increased sense of accessibility in the lineup.

Margaret Cariño-Condon (Santa Cruz)  Salud y Carino non-profit, Wahine Project

Margaret Cariño-Condon is the co-founder and program coordinator for Salud y Cariño (SyC) a nonprofit in Santa Cruz, CA that combines physical activity and a social–emotional curriculum to promote health and wellness for middle school girls.  SyC serves predominantly Latina girls ages 10-14 yrs of age, many of whom do not have access to the ocean despite living so close to it.  In June 2017, Margaret helped develop and lead SyC’s first Leadership Surf Camp for a cohort of 8th graders, preparing them to come back as Junior Leaders for the 2017-18 school year.  Additionally, Margaret is a proud surf instructor for The Wahine Project a Monterey Bay nonprofit that brings a diversity of girls to the beach to develop a life-long relationship with the ocean through new interactions and ocean stewardship.  It was through her work that Margaret was able to facilitate collaboration between SyC and The Wahine Project to provide a day of surfing and sisterhood during our week-long Leadership Surf Camp.  Margaret is proud of her bicultural heritage and is passionate about bringing more girls, women, and diversity to the water.  She is an avid surfer who has taught women and girls of all ages to surf and hopes to inspire young women to experience the ocean as a powerful source for connection, learning and growth.

Kristi Chan (San Francisco) Kristi Chan, teacher, filmmaker, Brown Girl Surf

Margaret Cohen  Professor Comp Lit, Stanford, writing about surfing.

Margaret Cohen teaches literature at Stanford, as well as interdisciplinary courses on the Western imagination of the oceans. In her book The Novel and the Sea (2010), she describes the craft of the sea and its inspiration for novelists. She’s now writing a book on underwater film. She started to surf in Santa Cruz 10 years ago and is an ongoing student of what Mark Twain called “the book of the water.”  

Krista Comer (Houston, Half Moon Bay) Professor, director of Institute for Women Surfers

Krista is the Institute’s Director, a Professor of Literature and Women’s Studies at Rice University in Houston.  She came in to the project by working with all kinds of surfers, some of whom read her book Surfer Girls in the New World Order. The process of doing these Institutes, and trying to explain what “Public Humanities” is as a form of activist community-based research and action, has helped her to refocus what is important to her personally and in what research skills can contribute to others.  It’s great for her to be getting back to the water.  This fall, since she is at Stanford on a Visiting Scholar sabbatical, and the Bill Lane Center is GREAT!!,  Krista is kayaking and doing SUP on peaceful Half Moon Bay — best of all worlds!

Cassie Comley (Costa Mesa) grad student at U Oregon, Mexican American surfing

I am a surfer, researcher, dog mom, queer woman of color and an advocate for juvenile justice. Although recently I find myself more in the gym than I do in the ocean, I absolutely love surfing and would choose it any day over throwing some weights around. I am currently finishing my last year (hopefully) in a PhD program at the University of Oregon. I also work full time as a paraeducator for the California Department of Education. I am a sociologist that studies surfing, but I am also a researcher interested in mobilizing at-risk youth. Some day I would love to take my students that are currently incarcerated and teach them how to surf or design a program for them that incorporates surfing…I havent figured it all out yet but they ask me about surfing all the time, I would love to workshop something for them. Anyway, looking forward to meeting you all!

Ginger Cuevas  (Oakland) singer songwriter. Brown Girl Surf

Ginger Cuevas is an Afro Puerto Rican queer mom, a singer and songwriter, and a volunteer at BrownGirlSurf.  Her professional hip hop name is Art3mis Prime.  She has recently started surfing and is teaching her daughter, Brooklyn.  She works with other BrownGirlSurf volunteers to make the ocean and surfing accessible to girls in urban areas, teach ocean safety and the importance of preserving the environment.   She will perform for us and and lead a feminist freestyling cipher at the upcoming Institute! 

Apryl DeLancey  (LA) Shark Researcher/Marine Educator.   El Porto

A Los Angeles native, Apryl’s undergraduate degree is a double major: chemistry and marine science. She received her degree with honors from the University of Tampa and worked with Clearwater Marine Aquarium during her entire undergraduate years. She was an Honors Research Fellow and presented her work to the American Chemical Society. The research in isomer reactions also resulted in a scientific publication. After completing summer research in marine chemistry with NOAA when graduating, she went on to the Medical University of South Carolina and received her MS in Biomedical Science. Apryl did her thesis in the Department of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, and Epidemiology and volunteered at the South Carolina Aquarium. Her research in the effects of trichloroethylene on metabolism also resulted in a scientific publication. Upon graduation she came back home to L.A. and worked as a statistician for a political research firm.

She “got stuck” in the marketing analytics world after that working for companies like Warner Home Video and TBWA\Chiat\Day. She left the security of the big corporations to start her own digital marketing agency, Social Age Media, and drew in large clients like Marriott, the Tourism Office of Spain, and Byron Katie International. During this time she surfed nearly every day and was involved in volunteer work with Heal the Bay’s Pier Aquarium, Surfrider Foundation, and had a stint with the California Science Center’s Animal Husbandry team. Finally, she realized that 10 year old Apryl would be very disappointed that she had all of the education and experience to be a marine researcher but was doing marketing analytics and strategy instead. After taking an 11 week course in Data Science at General Assembly in the summer of 2015, she was inspired to take the El Porto Shark pet project she started in 2013 and make it into a real business. Still involved in volunteer work, you can find her feeding the tanks and talking about marine life at the Roundhouse Aquarium in Manhattan Beach. As educating the public and next generation of scientists is of utmost importance, you can also find her working on shark programs with Waterfront Education in Redondo Beach and as a member of the Shark Angels team. She’s been featured in Discovery’s Shark Week companion magazine and and as a regular shark expert for many news outlets.

Dina Gilio-Whitaker (San Clemente). Researcher and teacher of American Indian Studies. blogger: RumiNative

A scholar of indigenous studies, Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes) is policy director and senior research associate at the Center for World Indigenous Studies. She also teaches American Indian studies at California State University at San Marcos. Her work focuses on issues related to Indigenous nationalism, self-determination, and environmental justice, writing on the intersection of indigeneity and surfing. She is co-author (with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz) of the acclaimed book ‘All the Real Indians Died Off’ and 20 Other Myths About Native Americans (Beacon Press, 2016). As an award-winning freelance journalist, she was a frequent contributor and columnist at Indian Country Media Network, and has published in numerous other online publications.

An “urban Indian,” Dina grew up in Southern California, bodysurfing the waves at Santa Monica and other beaches since childhood. After moving to the North Shore of Oahu in 1980 she learned how to board surf which was central to her life for several years. There she was one of the very few women who regularly surfed Pipeline. Eventually moving back to California, she migrated to Northern California far enough away from the ocean to have dropped out of surf culture. Twenty-five years would pass before she would pick up surfing again, and by then the world of surfing had changed in dramatic and almost unfathomable ways.

Dina’s reentry into surfing happened ironically when she was in graduate school at the University of New Mexico. Having reconnected with a lost love from her North Shore days, she returned to Southern California, got married and settled in San Clemente. She wrote her master’s thesis (titled Panhe at the Crossroads: Toward an Indigenized Environmental Justice Discourse) on the “Save Trestles” campaign and toll road controversy which examined the role of Native American efforts to protect a sacred site, ultimately a major contributing factor to the defeat of the road-building project and saving the famous surf spot from potential destruction.

Since then Dina has written numerous articles on indigeneity in surf culture, focusing on the ways mainstream surf culture narratives have elided Native peoples in Hawaii and on the mainland and beyond, building on the work of Isaiah Helekunihi Walker and others, and contributed to the volume Critical Surf Studies Reader (Duke University Press, 2017). Since 2015 she has collaborated with Krista Comer on the Institute for Women Surfers project as a featured presenter. Dina also works with Native Like Water/Intertribal Youth, an organization that reconnects American Indian youth with the ocean through indigenous knowledge, culture, and surfing in a college prep format at the University of San Diego.  

Dina continues to stand-up paddle surf regularly at San Onofre.

Dina is an IWS Steering Committee Member.

Rhonda Harper  (San Jose, CA) entrepreneur, activist. Founder Black Girls Surf

Major international surf and contest promoter, founder and owner of the Inkwell Lifestyle brand.  Advocate for black surf history.

Lydia Heberling (Seattle & Sacramento) PhD student UW, indigenous surfing

Lydia Heberling is a PhD student, an auntie to two intelligent, hilarious nephews, a novice gardener, and a surfer who relocated from San Diego to Seattle in 2014 for grad school. Seattle is two and a half hours away from the closest surf, so she feels a little fish-out-of-water most of the time, but has come to love exploring the (uncrowded!) breaks of the Oregon, Washington, and Vancouver Island Pacific coasts whenever her graduate work allows her. Her dissertation examines California Native literatures and arts, and so surfing has been a central (and centering) part of her academic work. In addition to providing much needed stress relief from the pressures of grad school, her research focuses, in part, on the way Native communities on the Pacific coast (especially in California) use surfing and surf culture as a way to reclaim access to, and revive relationships with, traditional lands and waters that are otherwise inaccessible to them.

Jamila Hubbard  (Oakland) Levis Co. Brown Girl Surf

Jamila was born and raised in San Francisco, and works for Levis Company.  She is a staple volunteer with Brown Girl Surf.

lisahunter  (Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand) researcher, writer,  “Institute South”  

lisahunter: I have been involved in physical culture as a teacher (primary, middle, secondary school), a university lecturer, a teacher educator and a researcher in Australia, Scotland, England and Aotearoa/New Zealand. Having done a lot of physical activity/sports myself, including with the sea, I thought that surfing would be fun, cathartic and a new challenge so I took to teaching myself about fifteen years ago. Surfing has been all those things…but early negative experiences and a late entry to an activity that was on my doorstep had me asking questions. These were about the culture and history of surfing so my researcher skills have driven over ten years of inquiry into the physical culture called surfing. I’ve looked at historical imagery and erasure of female surfing, sex and gender representation in media and events, sexuality and surfing, personal experiences in surfing and with the sea, developments in Aotearoa/New Zealand surfing for females, female pioneer surfing history in Aotearoa/New Zealand, and the historical positioning of female surfers such as Phyllis O’Donnell. I’ve recently turned to film/documentary as a pedagogical tool and a way of disseminating research in surfing. After working with a bunch of great academic authors I am about to submit our edited book ‘Surfing, Sex/es, Genders and Sexualities’.

I instigated and co-hosted the 2016 International Surfing Social Hui with academic conference and community activist outreach agendas and look forward to repeating the meeting as a ‘global south’ venue related to IWS. I look forward to being a part of the work of IWS and meeting those of you who embody surfing as an important activist space.

Farhana Huq  (Oakland) Executive Coach, Entrepreneur,  Founder Brown Girl Surf

To find out more about Farhana’s work, click here. 

Mira Manickam-Shirley (Oakland) hip hop artist, urban environment, writer, and Executive Director, Co-Founder Brown Girl Surf  

Mira Manickam-Shirley is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Brown Girl Surf. She is a long time environmental educator and artist in the San Francisco Bay area, former Youth Program Coordinator at NatureBridge, and a recipient of an Open Circle artist grant, and an Audobon Toyota TogetherGreen fellowship for her innovative work with youth in nature.  She holds a degree in Environmental Studies from Brown University and a Master of Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry. She is the author of the book Just Enough, available through the University of Washington press.

Mira is an IWS Steering Committee member.

Deirdre Martin (Pacific) logistics company, Pacifica City Council

My name is Deirdre Martin and I have been surfing for almost 25 years.  I grew up in Philadelphia but started surfing in New Jersey.  I have lived in many cities but none as beautiful as Pacifica where I’ve lived for the last 10 years.  I quickly and naturally navigated to the beach scene in Pacifica and got started as a volunteer with the Pacifica Beach Coalition early on.  Since then I have been hosting monthly cleanups at our beautiful Sharp Park Beach, running the waste collection site at both Earth Day and Coastal Cleanup Day and so much more.  I was a Commissioner with the Pacifica Parks Beaches and Recreation for 5 years before deciding to run for City Council in 2016.  My involvement with the local community in the last 10 years includes Pacifica Climate Committee, Parks Beaches & Recreation, Beach Coalition, Pacifica Progressive Alliance, Mother’s Club and Pacifica Spindrift Players Club.  My hobbies include surfing, running, hiking, acting, volunteering, making a difference and spending time with my husband, 2 year old daughter and our family and friends.  I work full time as a Product Manager at a logistics company.  In addition, I am currently serving a 4 year term on the Pacifica City Council which is an amazing experience.  I have been blessed to be a part of a community that takes care of one another.  I feel most at home when I am helping to build and sustain that community.

Elizabeth Pepin Silva, Ojai, CA. Surfer and media maker. On the Waterfront Creative

Elizabeth Pepin Silva is a filmmaker, photographer, researcher, writer, and surfer, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and now living in Ojai, CA. Ever since Elizabeth  can remember, she has been going to the beach. Born near San Francisco, CA, and growing up a few blocks from The City’s notorious Ocean Beach, surfing lurked in and around her thoughts until 1985, when a free surfboard and cheap wetsuit came her way. After receiving her degree in journalism from San Francisco State University (1994), she began her career as a print journalist before transitioning to television, working as a staff producer at KQED, a public television station in San Francisco for fourteen years.For nearly two decades she has been making films independently and for PBS and has won five Emmy Awards and several film festival awards for her television and documentary film work including La Maestra, Coastal Clash, and One Winter Story.  In 2011, Elizabeth struck out on her own as a full time independent media maker for both clients and her own personal photo, film and writing projects.

Elizabeth’s photographs have been shown in galleries and museums and featured in publications around the world. She has been the principal photographer for three women’s surf books and has written a book on the history of San Francisco’s Fillmore Jazz district, Harlem of the West: The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era, published by Chronicle Books in 2006 and re-written and updated in 2017. On the Waterfront Creative, showcases her varied talents and extensive history of creative and professional work.

Elizabeth is an IWS Steering Committee member.

Marley Reynosa (SF) social media marketing, Brown Girl Surf

Hello wonderful women!! My name is Marlim, but everyone calls me Marley. I’m originally from the Dominican Republic, and I’ve spent my whole life by the ocean, but didn’t start surfing until 2014. I’ve been enamored of the sport and culture ever since. Super stoked to meet everyone and share stories, knowledge and waaaaves!

Tara Ruttenberg  (San Jose, Costa Rica) writer, PhD student in development studies

Tara is a writer, surfer, teacher, and PhD candidate in development studies. Her academic and activist work centers around sustainable surf tourism, post-capitalist alternatives to development in surfing destinations, and exploring revolutionary trends in surfing culture. See Tara’s platform Tarantula Surf to read her written work and learn more about her current projects. Tara will present on her latest project in the works, a contributor volume titled Women’s Surf Stories, compiling diverse narratives from women surfers around the world.

Rebecca Sandidge (Berkeley) fire ant biologist, Brown Girl Surf. Queers Makin Beers.

Rebecca is a regular at Ocean Beach, and is presently finishing up her work at Berkeley as a fire ant biologist. She founded the company Queers Makin Beers, which has turned out to be surprisingly popular!

Judith Sheridan (SF) geophysicist, big wave bodysurfer

Judith Sheridan is a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, PhD geophysicist, and bodysurfer. She pays attention to how rocks break, how waves propagate, how support and generosity and what is real matter, and how each success and failure have value in a finite life.

Sally Smith-Weymouth  (Santa Cruz) executive legal assistant, former owner Paradise Surf Shop (women’s shop at Pleasure Point)  

Sally is a long time Santa Cruz presence, and her Paradise Surf Shop set the bar for envisioning feminist spaces that both sold gear and fostered community.

Dayla Soul (Pacifica) filmmaker

Dayla Soul is a filmmaker from Hanalei, Kauai. She has surfed all of her life. Today she lives in Pacifica, California, with her wife, and their daughter.

Dayla lives to surf and to make a difference in community.  Dayla is best known for her debut documentary film – It Ain’t Pretty (2016) – about the women who surf big waves at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach. The film is turning out to be a major presence in surf culture — so far it’s won 5 audience choice awards and has done a world tour in festivals in Portugal, France, Poland, New Zealand, Canada, and throughout the US. Find it on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, Youtube and Comcast cable.  In addition to speaking at film screenings, Dayla is giving talks in venues like Surfrider Foundation and Save the Whales about topics such as surfeminism, women in sports, ocean preservation, and issues of access to surf culture and beach spaces.  

Among other new projects, Dayla is working right now on a pilot program with The San Francisco Ocean Film Festival for high schools in the Bay Area.

Dayla is an IWS Steering Committee member.

Lyndsey Stoodley  Cardiff (UK) grad student researcher, surf reserves and envrionmentalism

Lyndsey is a PhD candidate at Cardiff University (UK), where her research is focused on the evaluation of World Surfing Reserves, and the evolution of surfing as a social movement. She started surfing in Wales over 12 years ago and has travelled, worked and surfed all over the world since. Graduating in 2010 with a BScEcon in International Relations from Aberystwyth university, Lyndsey then went to work in Berlin, Australia and China before returning to academia in 2014 to study Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy at Cardiff; her masters thesis looked at surfers’ perceptions of artificial waves and marked the start of a surf centred academic career.

Lyndsey is currently in the final phase of an international collaboration scoping trip which has taken her to Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and the US.  She has initiated a surfing for well-being programme in her department and was recently awarded a prize by the Coastal and Marine Research Group for best postgraduate presentation at the Royal Geographical Society annual conference . A perpetual beginner, Lyndsey enjoys surfing small waves on big boards, and writes about her research at

Olivia vanDamme,  (Half Moon Bay) City Surf Project

Olivia VanDamme is a 24 year old multiethnic Latina woman from southern California. She attended California State University, Chico with a double major in Human Geography and Latin American Studies. During her time in college she worked for Adventure Outings, a student run outdoor education guiding group that took other college students on outdoor experiences. Olivia also studied abroad in Costa Rica and Florianopolis, Brazil where she really fell in love with surfing. Her other passions include rock climbing, for which she was a sponsored athlete, and soccer. Olivia has played soccer for 16 years, has coached for 5 years, and coaches young girls presently. Upon graduation, Olivia worked as a NHRE assistant research scientist at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. Missing her home state she moved to Half Moon Bay to work for an outdoor education non-profit and then became the Operations Manager for a non-profit City Surf Project in San Francisco that takes underserved youth on surfing 101 semester long classes for PE credit in SFUSD high schools. Olivia is passionate about increasing diversity in the outdoor recreation field, and wants to help create more equity in the world of the outdoors, nature and environmental conservation jobs. Through her involvement as a fellow with Youth Outside Foundation’s Rising Leaders Fellowship, PGM ONE conference, and ChangeScale she is learning how to emphasize the narratives of all people’s connections with nature, have cultural relevant programming and curriculum, and raise awareness of unconscious bias. She is also a hip-hop/R&B recording artist and visual artist that works with watercolors. Olivia really values her family and close friendships. She loves long point breaks, burritos with salsa verde, Guatemalan textiles, laughter and hummingbirds.

Bianca Valenti, (San Francisco)  professional big wave surfer

Bianca has been one of the most outspoken pro surfers in the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing campaign that sets its sights on women surfing the legendary Mavericks.

Claire Woodard  (Pacifica)  brand expertise, poet

Claire Woodard was born, raised, and educated on the California coast. An avid surfer, she spends nearly all her free time at the beach—usually tucking into the heaviest closeout she can find. When she’s not at the beach, Claire writes poetry, edits an online arts magazine, pets dogs (especially her own), reads books, and works as a copywriter and editor. You can find both her creative and professional work on her website,

Dionne Ybarra (Pacific Grove). Director, The Wahine Project, preparing for run at elected office in Monterrey

46 years old. Second generation Mexican American. Founder of The Wahine Project a 501(c)3 Non Profit that has served over 6,000 girls and women since its inception in 2010. Formed partnerships with NGO’s in 6 countries to inspire a global response that brings a diversity of girls into a relationship with the ocean and with one another. I also am a Project Manager for The Nature Conservancy where I am on the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Team as an Operations Manager where I am responsible for a variety of activities that assist work in 22 countries. I was recently appointed to the Commission on the Status on Women in Monterey County and am currently pursuing more political endeavors.

I am married, mother of 4 sons, 1 adopted daughter, ages 2-25 years old. Pacific Grove Resident for 22 years. I have attended over 150 births assisting women in childbirth. I love to be in the ocean in any way that I can. Our family loves to cook and travel together and enjoy friendships locally and abroad.

Dionne is an IWS Steering Committee member.