TEACHERS AND Speakers
more speakers to come...... Until then get to know these folks
Brittany Michelson is a dedicated animal rights activist and the Campaign Specialist for Captive Animals at In Defense of Animals, where she leads campaigns and advocacy work for animals who are exploited in various industries. She is a former teacher and is the author/editor of the anthology Voices for Animal Liberation: Inspirational Accounts by Animal Rights Activists, which was published in March 2020. She relocated to Tucson, Arizona from the Los Angeles area in November 2021 and is the founder of Desert Oasis Turtle & Tortoise Sanctuary, a micro sanctuary that provides a home for rescued turtles and tortoises.
Gwenna Hunter is the founder of the Vegans of Los Angeles Food Bank. In May of 2022 she launched the first Vegan Food Bank in Los Angeles and is the first Black woman to have a brick and mortar Vegan food bank in the United States. Gwenna went Vegan in February of 2016 after experiencing a supernatural awakening and sharing the same consciousness with a cow in a dream state. This experience allowed her to fully understood that cows love as do all animals. Gwenna has worked in the movement doing various forms of Activism to help people make the connection and reprogram their own belief systems when it comes to the treatment of animals allowing them to reimagine what real food actually is.
Raven Deerbrook is a photographer, guide and frontline investigator. She's been vegan since 16 and been featured in The New York Times and WIRED magazine. She's spent her life advocating for compassion and will be announcing something new at the campout.
Gayatri Sehgal (GAH-yuh-three SEH-gull) is moved by the wisdom of the non-human world. They work with activists to create resilience, raise awareness of climate justice issues, offer transformational coaching, and create online content under the username @bodhisattvism. They are currently a graduate student in the Yoga Studies program at LMU. They also co-founded Haus of Liberation, an intentional living community based in dharma, sovereignty, and non-hierarchy that is a safe space for QT/BIPOC and vegan spiritual practitioners. Gayatri believes, through a decolonial & ecofeminist lens, that Yoga can reconnect us with an optimism for the climate emergency rooted in compassion for all sentient beings, including ourselves.
Sparking controversial debates everywhere she steps, Merissa Underwood has been vegan for nearly a decade. In 2020, Underwood represented Montana at the Miss USA pageant where she dedicated her year to bringing awareness to the horrors of animal agriculture and encouraged individuals to take climate action through their daily choices. Met with an onslaught of hate by ranchers in Montana, Merissa used this experience as a way to find empathy in places of contention. In 2022, she was selected as a cast member of the brand new series “Survive the Raft” on the Discovery channel, also available to stream on Max. Dubbed the controversial, edgy vegan, Merissa brings her beliefs to 8 radically different strangers stranded out at sea where she again, seeks to find empathy within contention.
Bianca Adriana AKA DJ Melodic BBY is a Southern California native who grew up with a dream to share her epic vision of music and how it can shape the world. She’s a singer, dancer, and DJ who’s had the honor of singing at Carnegie Hall in New York as a teen and more recently DJ’d at Ontario, CA’s first ever Pride event! As a co-owner of JustUs Entertainment, she continues to invest in creating spaces for artists and creatives to thrive.
Matthew Braun is PETA’s Manager of Grassroots Protest Campaigns. He has been active for animals since 2014 when he worked undercover to document cruelty to chickens in a slaughterhouse. Since then he has participated in nearly every form of grassroots activism from speaking in favor of fur and rodeo tools bans at Los Angeles City Council meetings to sitting on a Whole Foods checkout counter and smashing coconuts on the floor to protest the company continuing to source coconut milk products from Thailand where coconut farms use forced monkey labor. Matthew is well known in San Diego and Los Angeles, if you’ve organized a peta protest for animal rights, you may have worked with Matthew or a member of his team to help with free outreach materials, promotion, or props for your event.
Eva leads culture work and programs for Pax Fauna and Pro-Animal Future, organizations that exist to support the animal movement in improving its messaging, strategy, and culture through original research, and to support pro-animal ballot initiatives to win over the public and pass historic laws. Building on a background in Kingian nonviolence, she’s trained in Nonviolent Communication and mediation, and is currently a certification candidate through the Center for Nonviolent Communication. Through offering trainings, conflict coaching, and mediation, she is committed to bringing NVC’s repertoire of creative problem-solving tools to the work of building a better culture in the animal movement. She’s been organizing in the grassroots animal freedom movement since 2015 and currently faces felony charges for the rescue of beagles from a testing and breeding facility. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon
Having started painting when he was thirteen years old, Alex 'Aria' Enriquez's true passion in life has always been creating art. After receiving an Associate's degree in studio arts from Southwestern community college, Alex decided to translate his passion for veganism and animal rights into his artwork creating vivid paintings representing such topics. Having been vegan for five years, he draws inspiration from personal research , films, literature, and from discussions from other activists. Alex's goal with his artwork is to educate the public of the realities of animal cruelty and to instill the audience with knowledge of how to they can help change the world for the better.
Samantha Faye is the Lead Organizer of Stop Bloodsports, a Bay Area based organization dedicated to ending animal gambling in California. She sits on the Board of Directors of Compassionate Bay and works with Direct Action Everywhere as a Press Coordinator. Samantha is a lifetime horsewoman who lives with 5 dogs, three roosters and her husband.