Meet Our Aunties


Brown Girl Rise members of the leadership team are lovingly named Aunties.

The title of Auntie came about very naturally when deciding what to call our “board members.”

Many cultures within the global majority bestow this term of endearment onto elders in their community as a gesture of respect and esteem towards those individuals.

Brown Girl Rise aims to serve the community as an extended family that can be called upon whenever we are needed.

The title of Auntie reinforces the value we put on honoring the voices of the youth and their families within the work we do as a collective.

It is also worth mentioning that many of the Aunties on our leadership team are parents to active Brown Girl Rise members and have bonds with other Aunties within and without the organization.


Allie Dyer

Lead Auntine (she/her)

Allie is Portland raised, Antigua-rooted medical student, educator, writer, growing healer, and community organizer with a passion for reproductive justice, decolonial histories, and working with youth. Within school, she co-established the Health Justice Co-op, an on-campus home for marginalized students and colleagues to advance justice in healthcare. She is also an organizer with the Oregon chapter of the All African People's Revolutionary Party, has conducted maternal health research in Ghana, and taught culturally-rooted food and garden programs for Black and Indigenous youth. She has a call toward bridging allopathic medicine and traditional wisdoms in service of the healing and liberation of all African people and all oppressed under the current colonial and capitalist systems -

Ash Martin

Coordinator (they/them)

Ash is a lifetime Northwest local with a passion for working with youth, especially in creative spaces. They have worked with youth for the last 12 years. Ash likes to combine their passions of creative expression, working with the youth, while also serving the community.

Ashnie Butler

Auntie (she/her)

Ashnie came to the United States from Trinidad in the early 80’s to attend culinary school.  After working in the food service industry for a number of years, she completed her B.A. in American Multicultural Studies and went on to work as a lead union organizer around the county. Ashnie worked at a nonprofit focusing on system and policy change in Portland.  Ashnie has been studying Theater of the Oppressed since 2006.  Her passion is facilitating racial equity work and uses the tool of Theater of the Oppressed and Mindfulness to engage groups  and individuals seeking to deepen their understanding of racial equity. Since 2017, Ashnie has also been running her own business, Inner Work Outer Play, LLC.

Claire Barrera

Scribe Auntie (she/he/they)

Claire is a queer, fourth generation Xicanx artist, educator, and organizer. Claire has been passionate about working with youth of all ages since they were a teenager. Over the years they have taught art, dance, violence prevention, and activism to youth ages 2-22, and have worked extensively with youth impacted by abuse in social services settings. Additionally, Claire has done extensive organizing around healing justice, against racism and in movements to end interpersonal violence. Claire is a 2019 RACC project grant awardee and works as the Sex Trafficking Senior Strategist with Multnomah County. Their sweet spot is combining art and organizing to advance movements for social change.

Dani Mandley

Coordinator (she/her/they/them)

Dani is a Black and Indigenous, mixed race, queer woman, artist, and youth advocate. Dani is a Portland transplant, thanks to her family who have lived in Northeast Portland for generations. She has volunteered with BGR since 2017 and is currently employed as a coordinator for Brown Girl Rise. She has a passion for empowering and educating youth through mindfulness, creativity, community building and communion with nature. She has a background of working with youth with disabilities and this work fuels her advocacy for disability justice. Since working for Brown Girl Rise, Dani has led the development of “Holding Space for Black and Brown Youth,” a weekly online gathering that doubles as a support group and hang out space for BGR youth.

Gloria Pinzón Marin

Treasure Auntie (she/her)

Gloria is a proud parent of a Brown Girl Rise youth leader (Kalie Pinzon). She is DACAmented, born in Mexico City with indigenous roots in the Guerrero area, and has lived in Washington County, Oregon for over 20 years. Gloria leads with love for justice, vulnerability, connection, balance, and perseverance. Her lived experience being an immigrant woman of color, a teen parent, and first-generation college graduate informs her perspective. She is actively finding her way back to her ancestors for guidance and healing. Her volunteer and professional work has focused largely on advocating for women of color, children and youth, affordable housing, and immigrant rights. She has 9 years of experience in civic engagement, leadership development, community building, and event planning. She is not afraid to be the only one or the first one.

Lizzie Fussell

Treasure Auntie (she/her)

Lizzie is a mother, organizer, and public health practitioner with a deep commitment to supporting the leadership of young people. She currently works in the Maternal Child Family Health unit of the Multnomah County Health Department. Lizzie has over 10 years of experience working with small social justice organizations in Portland, OR, to strengthen their capacity through community organizing, board development, strategic planning, financial management, fundraising, and systems alignment.


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