CEO & Founder
Laila is The Tempest’s founder and CEO. Laila has given a TED Talk, appeared on BBC World News and NPR, and contributes on women’s issues and entrepreneurship to Forbes and The Guardian. She was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Media and Cafe.com’s inaugural The Cafe 100, and recognized by the White House. Before founding The Tempest, Laila worked at the White House and Congress, and was previously at Princeton University.
Katherine serves as Managing Editor of The Tempest. A lifelong nomad and Third Culture Kid, Katie, as she’s known to her friends, is passionate about storytelling, feminism, foreign affairs, and wine. Before joining The Tempest, she worked in marketing and communications in Germany, Palestine, India and the USA. When she’s not working, she’s throwing dinner parties, taking photos or putting her Art History degree to good use as she explores Europe.
Senior Community Editor
Caribbean woman but not by your preconceived notions; there’s a Trini everywhere so I’m the one here. As a Senior Community Editor for The Tempest, she knows two things for sure: writing can change the world, and if you have a story to tell, you owe it to yourself to share it. Born and bred island girl, she’s contemplating the next destination for her adventure while also being a bibliophile, writer, and planeteer.
Assistant Interviews Editor
Cuban-American, born and raised in Miami, time spent in Gulf states (as in Arabia/Persia, not of Mexico), Alejandra proves you can take the woman out of Miami but you can’t take the Miami out of the woman. An Assistant Interviews Editor at The Tempest, she has a Master’s in Gulf Studies from Qatar University and has taught ESL in Saudi Arabia. She enjoys discussing the intersection of politics and religion, and binge-watching sitcoms for funsies.
Applied Psychology graduate from Kinnaird College for Women University. A sassy, classy, and annoyingly smart-assy Pakistani chick whose dream is to sip on some good chai while she watches the patriarchy burn to the ground, making a significant contribution to the world, and keeping her hair frizz-free forever.
Senior Pop Culture Editor
Shanicka is the Senior Pop Culture Editor at The Tempest. A writer of Jamaican descent living in New York, she believes pop culture is a necessary and accessible way to observe and critique society. Often and without prompting, she enjoys talking about Harry Styles, BTS, her year abroad in London, and the complexities of the Caribbean diaspora.
Assistant Pop Culture Editor
Assistant Pop Culture Editor Federica is a part-time writer and full-time intersectional feminist. Fandom resident expert. Graduating in Communications/Media Studies with a minor in Humanities and an insane passion for Gender Studies. She likes pop culture, but you know what’s even cooler? Producing your own media.
Assistant Pop Culture Editor
Assistant Pop Culture Editor Yannise is a writer with a BA from Hunter College in Creative Writing. She loves writing about women of color and religion. You can find her at home eating pizza and discussing the importance of intersectionality in feminism.
Senior Life Editor
As the Senior Life Editor, Meagan is proud to help showcase women’s voices on issues that matter. She is a James Madison University grad but still loves the Dukes. She calls Newtown, CT her home and finds it as a place of inspiration as well. She can be reached at meagan.foy[at]thetempest.co.
Assistant Life Editor
Paulina hails from a town in Connecticut and is the Assistant Life Editor. When she’s not editing for The Tempest you can find her teaching English in Colombia as a Fulbright Scholar, which often makes her question how the English language makes any sense at all. Paulina is working on polishing her writing and salsa dancing skills, for one of which there is hope and for another, there is not.
Senior Now & Beyond Editor
As Senior Now & Beyond Editor, Mitta is on a quest to make science relatable and popular. She is based in the UK, in the countryside far away from humans. Mitta has a law degree but has somehow ended up in the wondrous land of writers. She writes everything from poetry to short stories and hopes to finish her novel one day. Additionally, Mitta can be found avidly reading or playing with her cats.
Assistant Now & Beyond Editor
As the Assistant Now & Beyond Editor, Tiara is studying physical and medical anthropology at the University of Florida, with a minor in communications. A proud womanist who’s passionate about equal representation for black women in…everything, especially nerd culture. Loves reading, napping, and is an avid believer that frozen yogurt is inferior to ice cream.
Based in South Africa, Sian is the proud parent of three cats and numerous pot plants. In addition to working as the Love Editor at The Tempest, Sian is a freelance health journalist. She has been passionate about reading and writing for as long as she can remember, so working as a writer and editor is a dream come true for her. In her spare time, she loves cooking, baking, and learning about astrology.
Assistant Love Editor
Assistant Love Editor Maheen is a writer and teacher based in Karachi, Pakistan. A graduate of the John Cabot University program in English Literature and Creative Writing, Maheen writes about women’s rights and social issues. Her novella, “Special,” was published in 2012, and she continues to write short fiction. She is also an avid art journaler, coffee drinker, and impassioned feminist.
Lookbook Editor Jasmyne Ray is a Senior Mass Communication major and Public Relations minor at the University of Montevallo and a strong advocate for mental health awareness. As the Lookbook Editor, Jasmyne believes that being surrounded by people from different walks of life provides unique opportunities to learn and understand one another.
Weddings Editor, Syjil, is a writer and never sure how else to describe herself. In addition to a degree in Journalism & Media Studies and Human Resource Management from Rutgers University, Syjil has an unfinished novel, an addiction to Cheddar Bay Biscuits, and a Norwegian Forest Cat named Professor McGonagall. With a train wreck of thoughts and a mouth that won’t stop running, Syjil’s articles, blog posts, poems, and fiction tend to address politics, social issues, desi culture, and things people don’t want to hear.
Assistant Social Justice Editor
Creative with a BA in Magazine Media from Ball State University. She’s interested in understanding how humans and pop culture relates to one another. In her spare time, she enjoys hoarding books, gardening, and going on a deep dive into true crime podcasts. If every Hallmark murder mystery lead transformed into one person and was Afro-Latina, it would be her.
Assistant Now & Beyond Editor
Writing yogi and traveler immersed in all issues of public health and social justice. Transplanted to Pakistan by way of DC, New Delhi, and Texas. Seasoned in the game of questioning systematic gender and social norms. Pragmatically idealizes a world populated with more self-aware and empathetic human beings.
Audio engineer with an interest in sound design and electronic composition. She studied Arts Technology from Illinois State University. She has taken a variety of courses to quench her thirst for learning: design, audio, video, and web. She focused on audio and delved deeper into the subject.
Head of Video
As Head of Video for The Tempest, Alex is interested in video to show the experiences of marginalized people and to cover issues ignored by the media. BA in Film and Media Studies w/focus on Asian American Studies from UC Santa Barbara. Has worked on many projects as a camera assistant and assistant editor, the documentarian for the LA Regional Office of the US Census Bureau, and taught middle/high school video production and live-streaming. Proud Angeleno, avid reader, tv watcher, compulsive hobbyist.
Associate Video Producer
As a self-taught filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California, Lucia is passionate about using video as a medium for social justice. She is particularly proud of the first short film she ever made about a community engagement program addressing the low educational attainment of Pacific Islanders. When she’s not behind the camera, she enjoys stress baking, screaming about K-pop, and reading really bad hockey romance novels (hey, we all have our guilty pleasures).
Director of Audience Development & Engagement
Born and raised in Louisville, KY (and no, she doesn’t drink bourbon and ride horses!), Chasiti believes that by diversifying our storytelling – we change the world and make it a better place. Before joining The Tempest as the Director of Audience Development & Engagement, she obtained a Masters in Communication and helped brands “up” their digital marketing game. In her free time, Chasiti can be found playing Plants vs. Zombies, reading a horror novel, and putting unicorn emojis on everything – she’s an all-around magical hustla.
Graduated with Honours in BA Advertising, PR, and Media from Middlesex University in Dubai with a fondness for Digital Marketing. She is an avid reader of the fiction genre with an excessive knowledge of Harry Potter. She loves to blog and be creative while challenging the patriarchy to fight for what is right.
Senior Photo Editor
As the Senior Photo Editor for The Tempest, Hamna has learned the versatility of a Journalism degree. She was born in Lahore, Pakistan but has been a Jersey Girl since ’98, when her family migrated to the United States. Hamna has a strong passion for conveying visual stories through the art of photography and videography. She also is a hardcore K-pop fan and enjoys an occasional K-drama binge.
Management aficionado residing in the United Arab Emirates. Has an obsession with Disney movies, binge-watching LOTR, and watching tacky reality shows that turn out to be predictably terrible.
Adelaide is currently a graduate student at the University of Louisville where she is attaining a dual master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and Curatorial Studies. Having worked in marketing, communications and software development, Adelaide is currently working with post-resettlement refugee and immigrant populations in the bluegrass state. As the Grants Coordinator for The Tempest, her passion for language and adventure have brought her around the world from Canada to the Netherlands to Curacao, though she is now fortunate to call Kentucky home.
Mary Jane Coppock
Media educator with a BA from Scripps College in Media Studies and Studio Art. Passionate about amplifying underrepresented voices and experiences. Believes that safe access is a human right and media literacy is key to dismantling mainstream media narratives.
Student, writer, and creative living in Utah. She’s passionate about empathetic communication and connecting people through art, and is also involved in STEM fields, including co-founding a female-led STEM blog called Allgirlithm (allgirlithm.weebly.com)
Clara Lu is an artist born and raised in New York, and holds a Bachelors in Fine Arts from New York University. She is exploring what it means to be a working artist exploring a multitude of creative pathways across a studio practice, design, and education. Her passions lie in understanding the intersections of visual art, community programing, social practice, and diasporic identity.
Aysha is a multimedia designer currently based in Bournemouth, England. With a strong educational background in design and over half a decade of experience in print and digital design, Aysha focuses on strategically combining visual creativity with digital insights to deliver results. Her areas of focus are illustration, branding and identity, and social media content strategy. When not juggling exciting projects, you can find her doodling, trying out new vegan recipes or watching ‘The Good Wife’
An International Relations/Communications graduate from Syracuse University who has also studied abroad in Madrid, Beijing, and Istanbul. Following graduation, she worked as an English Teaching Assistant for Fulbright Taiwan and discovered the power of art and design in promoting cultural exchange. She’s now studying Multimedia in Los Angeles, California. On her free time, she enjoys exploring various art and music festivals.
Alexandra Viqueira is a writer and aspiring-journalist, based in NJ/NYC. She has a BA in International Comparative Studies and Arabic Language from Duke University, and will talk trash about any and every institution you have ever loved. Alex studies the suspicious popularity of diversity initiatives, and sees writing and media as a significant, but not a natural, site of subversion. She loves dancing mambo, finding new TV series to binge, and obsessively fantasizing about said shows for an inappropriate and highly distracting amount of time.
Amani is a Junior Transfer student at The College of New Jersey majoring in Journalism and Professional Writing. She writes articles for TCNJ’s newspaper, The Signal and Her Campus when she’s not writing for The Tempest. Some fun facts about her is that she enjoys writing novels, binging shows, and she is a Gryffindor.
Andrea holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College, and a Master of Arts in English Literature from the University of Bristol. When she is not writing, reading as she sips her tea, nor perusing the internet for information, you can find her taking walks around London, taking and uploading pictures of cats on her Instagram, or watching youtube videos or animated shows such as Bojack Horseman.
Audrey Schmidt is currently a biology student at York University in Canada. She has been writing since she was a kid and learning for longer. She likes asking questions just a tad more than she likes hearing the answer.
Esthefany Castillo is a Dominican- America writer, graphic designer, and yoga instructor based in NYC. She has been blogging for over five years. In that time she has seen her writing grow from poetry and proses that were just intended for herself, into writing she now shares with the purpose of inspiring others. On her blog, Esthefanycastillo.com, Esthefany focuses on professional development, personal wellness (mental, emotional, physical and spiritual), her millennial women of color lifestyle, and beauty.
Gabrielle Smith is an Afro-Latina writer based in New Jersey. She holds a BA in Literature with a minor in Africana Studies. She has a passion for topics like intersectionality, mental health, nerd culture and Afrocentricity. When she’s not writing, she can be found harassing one of her cats, frowning at men who tell her to smile, or practicing her evil anime laugh.
Fall 2018 editorial fellow Gabrielle Jaques is a theatre professional with a BA in English from Stonehill College. She also attended Hertford College, Oxford University during Michaelmas Term 2014, earning first marks in Shakespeare and Creative Writing. When not working or writing, she can be found reading on trains, performing on stage, or trying to sample every dumpling house in Boston.
India Kushner is a writer and marketing consultant with a BA in Communications/Journalism from Goucher College. Fueled by tea, poetry, and her love of Harry Potter, India has always believed in the power of words to create positive change. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and knitting.
Jane Kim is a copywriter who’s been a digital nomad for most of her professional life since completing her Comparative Lit degree at the University of Southern California. Before college, she grew up in five different cities and hated moving around.
Jesse Shamon is a writer and artist with Bachelor’s from Tulane University in English and Studio Art. Jesse loves strawberry frosted donuts, her local library, and the rule of threes.
Jessica is a writer from from Baltimore, MD who writes short stories and articles about social issues affecting people of color residing in metropolitan areas. She is passionate about connecting with other survivors of mental illness and telling their stories through an unfiltered, empathetic lens. She spends most of her free time shamelessly reading fantasy novels and watching tiny house builds on YouTube.
Julia Metraux is a full time university student at The New School, and a dog person. She writes primarily about mental health, social justice, dogs, and finding her identity. When not panicking about the current state of the world, Julia enjoys eating bread and re-reading the Harry Potter book series.
Lydia Abedeen is a Muslim writer(ess) from Orlando, FL. She is a rising sophomore at Emory University studying English and Creative Writing. Lydia enjoys eating dried peach rinds and writing loud poetry and flash fiction. In her free time, she reads, writes plays, and dreams about her budding future.
Maria Rizwan is a Muslim Pakistani woman residing in the United Arab Emirates. She recently graduated with a BA in International Relations from the American University of Sharjah. She is interested in research and social work. Her special areas of interest include environmental issues and Islamic history.
Mariyam Raza Haider
Mariyam is a researcher and writer, with a focus on Indian Muslim women identity, gender rights, and humanitarian politics. She reviews second-hand books, does daily poetry, and spends weekends discovering historical ruins. Mariyam is a journalist by training and a public policy graduate from the National University of Singapore.
Nasira Pratt is currently a senior at Occidental College with a major in Media Arts & Culture and a minor in Sociology. Her experience includes interning at ENTITY Magazine as an SEO intern and as an editorial intern at The New Presence in Prague, Czech Republic. She’s an eager student with a deep love for her community, Beyoncé, and ShondaLand (in that order).
Meg is a creative based on the East End of Long Island. They have a passion for using movement as a tool to empower women and LGBT+ people, with a focus on strength and team sports. When they’re not working, Meg can be found walking their dog, writing, or playing roller derby under the pseudonym “Boston Scream.”
Nancy Dua is currently pursuing her bachelor’s in Life Sciences in India. In her free time, she can be found enjoying adventures of the literary nature. She has never been to an airport but wants to explore the world.
Nelly Kaakaty is an educator, writer, and proud Hufflepuff. As an ethnically-ambiguous person, she spends much of her time answering questions such as, “What are you?” and “But where are you really from?” This has created an eye-rolling habit and a passion for exploring issues of race, culture, and religion.
Nora Zaki is a Master of Divinity graduate from the University of Chicago with a specialization in Islamic Studies, Arabic and chaplaincy. She has traveled and lived in North Africa, Palestine, Israel, Jordan and Turkey. An Arabic-English editor, she loves all things caffeinated, Zumba, and cooking much more than baking!
Sabrina Corsiga is an award-winning journalist with a BA in Journalism from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is currently a Digital Editorial Intern for Discovery Inc. and is working on her first fiction novel. Sabrina is passionate about uplifting and creating safe spaces for marginalized individuals. She prides herself on her playlist making skills and her growing record collection.
Saira Mahmood is currently a student of English at the University of Karachi. Her first love is reading, though she has been writing to make sense of the world for a long time. Saira is deeply interested in amplifying the uncensored voices and stories of Muslim women — with all the intricacies of gender, faith, mental health, sexuality, and the like preserved.
Saja Hussein is an avid fan of Gilmore Girls, politics, and psychology and hopes that her understanding of the latter two allow her to make a difference both in her community and abroad, whether it be through local projects or the international non-profit organizations she fund-raises on behalf of.
Sara is based in Oakland, California, is currently an aspiring writer, editor, publisher, Boston marathon participant and active cheesemonger. Studied French and Creative Writing at San Francisco State University and she is the curator and host of Alors On Lit, an online and print literary magazine that aims to hold a platform for the non-binary, marginalized and unheard voices. You can find Sara educating all things cheese, reading short stories, painting portraits of people’s pets or running the trails of the Bay Area.
Trained as a journalist, she’s a firm believer in the power of words. Ardent YA storytelling fan. Her productivity is directly proportional to the amount of caffeine in her system.
Harry Potter nerd with an interest in fashion, media, marketing, and human behavior. She’s an animal lover and can talk to you about any popular TV series (she’s watched most of them). She enjoys new experiences which include travel, food, learning something new and meeting new people.
Mira is a fourth year student at the University of Toronto, where she is studying Environmental Science, Political Science, and French. She is passionate about current environmental issues, gender equality in developing countries, and using her words to make a difference. In her spare time, she loves traveling (15 countries and counting!), figure skating, and reading.
An undercover South African hiding in plain sight at Furman University, South Carolina, Kerryn is a Journalism and Media Studies fourth year student with a passion for digital brand development. Her special skills include (but are by no means limited to) digital media production, tripping on her sandals and the ability to quote the entire script of Shrek. When she isn’t eagerly producing media of her own or researching marketing strategies, she spends her time perfecting her movie reference game, re-watching Nandos commercials and unsuccessfully teaching Americans the correct pronunciation of the word ‘zebra’.
Gourismita Acharya is an MBA candidate from Schulich School of Business and a dental surgeon (in what feels like a whole different life) who discovered a passion for bringing stories to people. She loves to travel and learn about different cultures and their cuisines. She’s always down for a random back packing trip or a coffee (best enjoyed with new and old friends), meet up new people and (if you haven’t guessed it yet) a chat.
Chau Nguyen is a Business Administration – Marketing student at George Brown College, Toronto, Canada. Chau aims to be a specialist in digital marketing and she would also love a touch on media and communications. Aside from that, she appreciates good prose and adores felines.
Amino Yusuf is a lover of planners, calendars, and all-things organization; she has measured her life out in to-do lists and Google Docs. Amino anticipates developing digital media skills that will be invaluable as she embarks on a career in public relations.
Morgan Moakler Jessiman
Morgan is a queer, non binary artist, writer and cry baby. They are originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland but are currently based out of Banff, Alberta. Besides writing their personal collection of poetry, Morgan is a photographer, a marketing student and a lover of LGBTQIA+ fiction.
Bisma is a Senior at IBA, Karachi who’s currently living and breathing for art, music and all things aesthetic. Alongside being a content writer, she loves to take pictures of everything she comes across and is on a mission to pet every single cat and dog she can find.
Amna is a mum and a chartered accountant who is forever on the move. Outside her workplace, you will find her playing with (and cleaning up after) her toddler, moving her furniture around and stalking interior design projects – all with a candle burning in the background! Originally from Karachi, she passionately writes about simplifying life, minimalism, self care and slowing down to enjoy a cuppa chai on her blog.
Natalie is a senior at Westmont High School who has a passion for exposing high school girls to STEM fields. Her determination to close the gender gap has lead her to join vast communities such as Girls Who Code, Girls Make Games and take part in Superposition, an all-girls hackathon. Natalie advocates for girls who want to pursue STEM.
Andrea is a biologist turned teacher turned tech enthusiast. She was born in Venezuela, raised in the States, and is currently living in Spain. Andrea loves traveling and continually learning. You can usually find her attached to a scifi/fantasy novel in between teaching and coding.
Incoming freshman at the University of California, Irvine who founded and organized Superposition, an award-winning all-girls hackathon dedicated to exposing high school girls to technology. Her support for computer science education has led her to direct HSHacks and become the Director of Event Management at Hack+, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to helping students venture into business and start organizations.
Jules started their life as an activist in the 5th grade, when they led a boycott against the school cafeteria. Now they’ve turned their energies towards dismantling sexism and transphobia in the healthcare system and society at large. In their spare time, they can be found reading graphic novels, eating gelato, and performing in community theaters.
Kaunain is a highly ambitious graduate, with dual degree in HR & Marketing residing in the United Arab Emirates; expresses herself by painting her mood on canvases. Kaunain’s a tiny package filled with lot of energy & creativity outburst who loves to socialize , travel and explore. Dreams of being an entrepreneur and opening a NGO.
“If i didn’t click a picture, it did not happen.” #selfappraisedphotographer
Hailing from India, grown in the UAE, Anushka tries to find home in music, art and literature. As a psychology graduate from the University of Nottingham. She is passionate about spreading the importance of mental health and empathy in today’s world. An amateur baker and occasionally writes poetry on her blog. Can quote every episode of Brooklyn 99 but has trouble remembering birthdays. Loves singing in the shower.
Afnan Abu Zanuna
Afnan Abu Zanuna is a B.B.A in Accounting holder from Al Ain University of Science and Technology. She loves learning new skills and is willing to take advantage of every new opportunity she gets along the way.
Student at Carnegie Mellon University studying Decision Science with an additional major in Creative Writing. In their spare time, they love designing and reading. Yaramo loves meeting new people and enjoys helping others when they are able to.
Nokwanda Dlamini is an aspiring filmmaker currently studying towards a Bachelor of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University specializing in Television. Nokwanda loves helping people share their stories and thinks that representation is the best way to raise awareness about social justice issues.