Board of Directors

Emily Hagstrom also known as Em, is the Interim Executive Director of Women AdvaNCe. She’s a queer, neurodivergent, chronically ill writer, researcher, and advocate for justice and equity in North Carolina. Em is passionate about all work that alleviates suffering and advances equity and justice. She has a particular interest in violence prevention, affordable housing, government funded child care and healthcare, reproductive justice, LGBTQ+ rights, disability justice, and youth organizing. Emily was born and raised in North Carolina and can generally be found spending too much time with her cats, hiking, playing mediocre guitar, and reading.


Nicki Faircloth, Director of Indi/visible, is from Scotland and Robeson Counties in North Carolina. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is a member of Cohort II of the UNC Native Leadership Institute. Nicki is an enrolled member of the Skaroreh Katenuaka Nation (Tuscarora) and resides in Wilmington with her partner, Fares. She serves on the Press On Advisory Circle, is a 2022-2024 Cypress Fund Artivist Resident and on the executive leadership team of Sigma Omicron Epsilon. In addition to her role at Women AdvaNCe, she serves as a communications and race equity consultant assisting nonprofits, foundations and government agencies in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Antionette Kerr is a nonprofit leader, media correspondent, author of Modern Media Relations for Nonprofits, publisher of Bold & Bright Media and lover of all poetry. Native of Lexington, NC, she spent her youth living in pockets of economically-distressed neighborhoods. She went on to study journalism and African American history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she began researching and writing about the influence of race, gender, and politics. Kerr has provided training for the National Council of Nonprofits, The Nonprofit Marketing Guide and The Nonprofit Academy.


Dawn Blagrove is an attorney and a proud graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) and North Carolina Central School of Law. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in political science with a minor in Secondary Education and a Master’s Degree in Applied Social Science, both from FAMU. After graduating law school, Blagrove worked for eight years as a post-conviction staff attorney with North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services. Blagrove evaluated, prioritized, and litigated requests for criminal post-conviction cases for people incarcerated in North Carolina’s Department of Correction. Today, Blagrove’s experience as a post-conviction attorney, combined with her undergraduate training in Secondary Education, fuel her passion for educating youth and the public about challenges in the criminal justice system as Executive Director of the Carolina Justice Policy Center (soon to be Emancipate NC).

Joy Ayioka originates from Kenya where she spent most of her childhood before moving to the triangle area in 2009. She is a storyteller, traveler, advocate for marginalized and disenfranchised communities, an ally of the LGBT(Q) community, and lover of all. She previously served in the role of an intern at women advance where her passion and fight for women issues in North Carolina intensified. She is currently a graduate student at the University of North Carolina majoring in social work with a clinical concentration. In her free time, you can find her at the travel section of Barnes and Nobles reading travel guides.


Rachel Maguire is a virtual college adviser with College Advising Corps, and she works with high achieving low to moderate income students across the country while supporting them through the college application process. Born and raised in North Carolina with a bachelors degree from UNC Chapel Hill, Rachel is passionate about activism in NC and has a vested interest in both gender violence prevention work and mental health advocacy. She plans to get her masters in social work and aspires to be a therapist one day, breaking down barriers surrounding mental illness and helping people better understand themselves.


Shereá D. Burnett, J.D., VSP was raised in Alamance County, North Carolina. She identifies as Afro-Indigenous and is a proud citizen of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation. Shereá attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in Political Science and Afro-American Studies. She also minored in Social and Economic Justice. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Elon University School of Law in 2013. Over the last ten years, Shereá has worked in various capacities that afforded her the opportunity to assist children, families, people experiencing homelessness, and those fleeing domestic violence. Shereá began serving as a Continuum of Care Specialist for the Guilford County Continuum of Care in July 2022. In this role Shereá provides consultation regarding access to services and system of care development to those Continuum of Care partners that are providing services to individuals and families who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. Shereá also teaches various Legal Administration courses at Greensboro College. Shereá works diligently to support the Alamance County community by implementing and participating in various volunteer/service activities. She is a member of the Burlington Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and the Burlington Junior Woman’s Club. She also serves as a board member for the local Women’s Resource Center.

Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier has been documenting the American South since 1989 and works both figuratively and abstractly. She researches and collages photography, painting, and writing, with primary source documents from diaries and letters, which she incorporates into her image-based mixed-media quilts, 2-D and 3-D sculptures, and mixed media works. With an aim of re-examining and re-framing historical figures, she engages her subjects through dialogue focusing on their life stories and historical incidences attached to place. She is inspired by African-American and Indigenous cultural traditions, as well as stories from people that she has met. Her vibrant paintings explore personal investigations into movement and transformation often drawn from concepts surrounding ancestry, memory and written language.

Anna Lynch is a career-long special education teacher, writer and champion of all things women. She also runs her newsletter, Chaise Lounge. Before joining the board of Women AdvaNCe, Anna contributed to the organization as a writer, volunteer and event coordinator. You can view her work here.