about The national workplace bullying coalition
We envision a future where workers are assured their right to dignity at work, where workplace bullying is an unlawful act, and where employers have taken effective steps to prevent, detect and remedy acts of workplace bullying.
Through education and mobilization, we envision a future where workers are assured their right to dignity at work, where workplace bullying is an unlawful act, and where employers have taken effective steps to prevent, detect and remedy acts of workplace bullying.
For some time now, national and local organizations have existed to raise public awareness or lobby for singular legislative solutions about workplace bullying. Our core belief is the need to change the perception of workplace bullying as being hopeless and fixation of public dialog to only one solution or perspective. In 2010, a small group of individuals with diverse experience and expertise joined forces to lobby for change in New Jersey. This effort quickly grew into what is now known as the NWBC, and our focus evolved to address dignity in all states.
The National Workplace Bullying Coalition (NWBC) is a non-profit 501(c) 3 headquartered in the United States of America with registration number 47-1273342.
The mission of NWBC is to eliminate bullying from the American workplace through education, conversation, and legislation. We aim to:
Educate American workers and society in general about the existence of workplace bullying and the negative consequences of such a work culture that may inflict not only psychiatric injuries on the victim but also causes reduced productivity and increased medical and turnover expenditures for businesses.
Bring employers, employees, industry, non-profit groups, unions, legal representatives, workplace consultants, academic experts, organizational psychologists, community groups, and targets of abuse together to develop a bully-free work culture, including taking all necessary steps to prevent, detect, address, and remedy bullying in the workplace.
Work with legislatures at the local, state, and federal levels to refine the definition of workplace bullying and implement laws to protect workers’ rights to dignity at work.
What We Offer That's Different
We officially incorporated in 2014 with the understanding that this multi-pronged dialog and action is more important than ever. All parties impacted by the debilitating and costly impact of workplace bullying must be involved in seeking preventative and legal remedies to find viable and long-term solutions.
This goal is clearly reflected in the depth and variety of experiences the NWBC’s core board members already bring to our organization. The founders of NWBC have extensive experience directly related to this issue. For over 10 years, individual members have researched, written, organized forums, participated in both national and international panels, represented clients, produced documentaries, and lobbied legislators on this issue. As a national coalition, the NWBC will be able to unite and partner with many organizations and new members to have a powerful and lasting impact.
We are proud to report we have achieved the following:
Resolutions and proclamations supporting our efforts from: NJ Senate and Assembly Joint Legislative Resolution, National Association of Women Judges, and National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts and the City of Newark.
A conference in 2014 that included a welcome address from California Congressman Mike Honda and a presentation from New Jersey Senator Linda Greenstein.
A conference in 2015 that included a welcome address from California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who got the California law regarding abusive conduct (i.e., workplace bullying) passed, and a keynote presentation from Assemblyman Antonio Parkinson, who got the Tennessee Healthy Workplace Bill passed.
Participation in the State of Tennessee’s task force as they created a template anti-bullying policy as required by state law.
Over 28,000 signatures on a petition urging President Obama to address workplace bullying – by far the largest petition of its kind.
A “Take the Pledge” initiative during October 2014’s Bullying Awareness Month to encourage people to treat each other with dignity at work.
2010–2014: The Beginning
The NWBC was founded in 2010 by a small group of individuals with diverse experience and expertise who joined forces to lobby for change in New Jersey. As more information was needed, this effort quickly grew into what is now known as the NWBC, and our focus evolved to address dignity in all states.
Under the leadership of President Beverly Peterson, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and associate professor at Montclair State University’s School of Communication & Media (NJ) and Vice President Sue Yang, the first Asian-American appointed to the NJ Workers Compensation Court, we built support for workplace anti-bullying legislation, brought attention to the problem of workplace bullying, and helped create a number of resolutions and proclamations supporting the prevention, detection, and elimination of workplace bullying. These resolutions and proclamations included resolutions from the NJ Senate and Assembly Joint Legislative Resolution, National Association of Women Judges, and National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts and the City of Newark. During this time, the coalition also submitted a list of proposed amendments to the NJ Healthy Workplace Bill and forged a working relationship with NJ Senator Greenstein.
2014: The First National Conference
By 2014, the NWBC was well established and decided to hold the first NWBC conference bringing together experts and advocates to discuss and address workplace bullying. The 2014 Conference was sponsored by numerous organizations including:
American Bar Foundation; Assoc. of Black Women Lawyers of NJ
Asian Pacific American Lawyers Assoc. of NJ
Council of NJ State College Locals, AFT AFL-CIO
CWA Local 1036
Diversity Committee of the NJ State Bar Assoc.
Harrisburg Central Labor
The Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York
Montclair State University, Federation of Teacher-AFT Local 1904
Montclair State University, Presidents’ Commission on Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity & Diversity
NJ Asian American Law Enforcement Officers
NJ Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Prevention
Rotary International District 7510 representing 42 Rotary Clubs in NJ - Capital District
Rutgers School of Law – Newark
South Asian Bar Assoc.
Working Families United for New Jersey
The conference included a keynote address from US Representative Mike Honda (California) and presentations from NJ Senator Linda Greenstein, expert and consultant Catherine Mattice Zundel, panels of labor experts, union leaders, and leaders, and leading jurists in the area of workers rights.
That same year, the NWBC began a Bullying Awareness pledge campaign urging President Obama to take steps to address workplace bullying. This “Take a Pledge” Campaign garnered 28,000 signatures.
2015: Expanding A National Presence
In 2015, the NWBC organized and hosted their second conference at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, the #Dignity15 Conference. Keynote speakers included TN Rep. Antonio Parkinson and CA Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez. Researchers, advocates, and other experts from across the country presented and discussed paths to prevent, detect, and eliminate workplace bullying.
In 2015, the NWBC was also honored as the charity of choice for Ms. Camay’s Black-Tie Fashion Gala. Together with Ms. Camay International, LLC and NewShine.org, the NWBC raised awareness about workplace bullying and demonstrated the coalition’s relentless dedication to the adoption of multiple approaches that both deter workplace bullying and provide a remedy to targeted individuals.
Board Member Jerry Carbo was invited to serve on the EEOC Select Task Force for the Study of Workplace Harassment. This Task Force brought 17 experts from across the country together to help interview witnesses, experts, and activists to assist the EEOC Commissioners in gathering the needed evidence to develop a plan to help to eliminate unlawful harassment from the American workplace.
2016: Policies and Outreach
Under the leadership of the second President of the NWBC, Catherine Mattice Zundel, the coalition continued to build a national presence. In 2016, the coalition focused its attention on working with the State of Tennessee’s task force as they created a template anti-bullying policy as required by state law. The template includes much verbiage and several components suggested by the NWBC.
In California, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez worked toward passing AB2053, which would require that the already mandatory harassment prevention training include information about abusive conduct (i.e., workplace bullying). To help Gonzalez address the Assembly’s concern that this additional piece in the training would place undue burden on training vendors, and therefore undue burden and cost on employers, the NWBC was asked to provide sample training presentation slides. NWBC helped Gonzalez show the additional information would not place burden on training vendors or employers, and AB2053 passed.
The coalition also formed a working relationship with the Badass Teachers Association. This relationship led to the development of two grant proposals, conference presentations, several Twitter blitzes, and a series of webinars and blogs to help teachers to deal with and to push for policies to eliminate bullying in K12.
2017-18: The Third National Conference and First Book
In 2017, the Coalition hosted a virtual conference that reached out across the country to bring together some of the most prominent national voices addressing workplace bullying and abuse. Keynote speakers included The New York Times Bestseller and Stanford University Professor Bob Sutton and Chairperson of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Jenny Yang. Several authors, professors, and experts delivered presentations.
The coalition followed up this conference with the publication of its first book: Stand up/Speak Out Against Workplace Bullying. This anthology is a collection of 23 real-life stories of finding success in the face of workplace bullying. The stories are in the words of 23 brave survivors of workplace bullying and were compiled to change the conversation around workplace bullying. There is much information online about the damage workplace bullying causes, and many targets of bullying painting a bleak picture of defeat for any other targets seeking advice. Through this book, we sought to prove there is an alternative end result: power and strength. This project also turned into a research project, and the Board members are in the process of finalizing a paper to submit to a peer reviewed journal. We also presented these stories at the International Association for Workplace Bullying & Harassment, the premier conference for academic research on these topics.
During 2017, the coalition worked with retired teacher John Cznadel in drafting and amending workplace bullying legislation in Virginia. This legislation was passed in 2018 and addresses workplace bullying in K-12.
In 2018, President Mattice Zundel and Board Member Carbo worked together to present a number of webinars to assist employers in addressing and eliminating workplace bullying.
2019-20: A Team-Based Approach
In 2019, the NWBC continued partnering with organizations with the shared mission of the coalition and selected its third President, Dr. Jerry Carbo, Professor of Labor Relations and Business and Society at Shippensburg University. The coalition also formed a partnership with End Workplace Abuse and formalized the relationship with the Badass Teachers Association. The NWBC expanded its board from three to eight members. The board continues to expand to include experts on workplace bullying and abuse.
From 2019-2020, the coalition has worked on expanding its national outreach through several teams: collective bargaining and concerted activity, legislative advocacy, education and outreach, marketing and fundraising, and research. These teams work both collectively and autonomously to look at all avenues and paths to address workplace bullying including strong laws with strong enforcement, collective bargaining and concerted activity, research, employer policies, training, and coping and survival mechanisms for targets. These teams have developed toolkits for grassroots advocates who are interested in addressing workplace bullying through legislation and/or concerted activity. These teams also developed a revamped Dignity at Work Act model bill for legislative advocates, established a social media presence in all 50 states, revitalized the coalition's overall social media presence, and continued to reach out to and work with state, local, and national leaders in the fight for worker rights and dignity. The coalition assists bill directors in dozens of states, works with unions and rank and file caucuses, and continues efforts to educate workers and employees about the perils of workplace bullying, harassment, and abuse.
Prof. Jerry Carbo, Esq.
Professor & Legal Expert
Dr. Jolynn Nelson
Activist & Coach
Educator & Researcher
Wilma de Soto
Educator & Researcher
Jerry Carbo, Esq. is a Professor of Management at the Grove College of Business at Shippensburg University (PA). Notably, he was selected in 2015 to be a member of the newly formed EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. He holds a PhD from Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and a JD from Penn State University. Dr. Carbo is a member of the State Bar of West Virginia. His primary teaching areas are Business and Society, Labor Relations and Employment Law. Dr. Carbo conducts research in workplace bullying and harassment as well as socially sustainable business systems. Academic articles include: Workplace Bullying: Developing a Human Rights Definition from the Perspective and Experiences of Targets.Working USA (September 2010) w/ A. Hughes; Strengthening the Healthy Workplace Act...' Experiences, Journal of Workplace Rights, Volume 14 No. 1 (2009).
Deb Falzoi educates employees and validates their experiences so they can take back their dignity. She started Dignity Together, providing coping services and resources for workplace abuse targets, interventions for therapists, and resources for managers on how to lead without abusing. In trying to pass workplace abuse legislation in Massachusetts, she built a base of more than 16,000 supporters, the largest by state in the nation. She's helped hundreds of abused employees understand their situations, discover their self-worth, and learn how to move on from their toxic work cultures. She's been quoted in numerous media outlets including Redbook, Forbes, Monster, Alternet, Elephant Journal, Thrive Global, and Truthout.
Dr. Jolynn Nelson Ph.D., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, is an accomplished, dedicated organizational management professional experienced in leveraging industrial and organizational psychology methodologies used to develop and implement operational standards, tools, and corporate programs. In 2009, Dr. Nelson co-founded the non-profit Workplace Bullying Prevention Center, which provides education and awareness to support self-empowerment for targets of workplace bullying. Dr. Nelson works as Bill Director of the Dignity at Work Act for the state of Texas to introduce legislation with the focus of protecting targets. She continues with completing research focused on workplace bullying to improve awareness.
Member of BATs Quality of Work Life Team, Board of Directors of The Badass Teachers Association, and Retired ESL Teacher, School District of Philadelphia
A graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music and La Salle University, Wilma is co-author of two national research surveys in concert with BATs and the AFT on Workplace Conditions for Teachers and Teacher Job Stress.
Presented survey data to the Secretary of the DOE in Washington, D.C. and presented at several conferences on Quality of Work Life for Teachers. (2015)
Wilma has been on the Board of Directors of BATs since 2017.
Camay McClure Dunn
Dir. of Outreach/Education
Author & Radio Personality
Dr. Tonisha M. Pinckney
Dir. of Outreach/Education
Dr. Cherie Ramirez
Director of Research
Author & Consultant
Ms. Camay was presented with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award by President Barack Obama, recognizing her for her “Lifetime Queen” public service to her community. She is an expert on workplace bullying and facilitates a live webinar that breaks the silence around workplace bullying, is accredited by the CLE Board at the Nevada State Bar in ethics, highlights potential legalities in a workplace harassment/retaliation claim, and has tools and resources targets can use to regain their power and reposition themselves. She is the CEO of MCI, LLC, the umbrella company supporting her passion and commitment to inspire people across the nation and around the world. She's an international best-selling author in the anthology “Family Ties: What Binds Us & Tears Us Apart” and a co-compiler and contributing author in the anthology “Stand Up, Speak Out Against Workplace Bullying: Your Guide to Survival and Victory Through 23 Real Life Testimonies.” Ms. Camay is a Humanitarian Award Recipient honored for her efforts as an advocate in her community and the American workforce, passionate about eliminating bullying from the workplace through conversation, education, and awareness.
Dr. Tonisha M. Pinckney, Ph.D., MSCJ, MAFF, CFE, CBE, CSCD, CCII, runs the financial forensics and fraud examination consulting firm Revelatus Consulting, LLC, which also specializes in various forms of
mediation, leadership coaching, diversity/equity/inclusion training and consulting, and non-profit board management. Known as “Dr. Toni,” she is a humanitarian and social justice activist with expertise in
criminal/social justice, financial crimes and fraud examination, mental health parity and awareness, leadership, and areas related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a relationship coach and mediator, Dr. Toni assists individuals, couples, families, communities, and organizations on their path to
reconciliation, restoration, or terms for mutual separation. Dr. Toni has a passion for supporting legislative, civil, and workplace policy reform related to BIPOC and BIWOC individuals
and communities. She authored several books including Fundamentals of Leadership for Emerging Leaders (2018). Appointed by Gov. Baker (R-MA), Dr. Toni is the President of the Board of Trustees of the Department of Mental Health Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital. She was also honored appointed as a Regional Commissioner with the
Worcester County Commission on the Status of Women (WCCSW), where she serves as the Chair of WCCSW. Dr. Toni serves on committees and boards of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Massachusetts, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA), University of Massachusetts Lowell, Massachusetts Domestic and Sexual Violence Council, New England Grassroots Environment Fund, and George Washington University. Dr. Toni is a mother of two sons and
one loving German Sheprador.
Cherie Lynn Ramirez, PhD, is a faculty member in the Chemistry and Physics Department at Simmons University, where she teaches courses in biochemistry and public health. She earned her PhD in genetics at Harvard studying site-specific nucleases and their applications in genome engineering. She completed her post-doctoral training at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and has held appointments at the Harvard Global Health Institute and the Global Health Education and Learning Incubator at Harvard University, where she led faculty, graduate, and post-doctoral professional development activities related to global health teaching across Harvard University. Among her current research projects are studying institutional mechanisms that promote healthy workplaces and improving access to medicines as a Collaborator of Global Access in Action (GAiA), a project of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
Emeritus Board Member & Founding President
Assoc. Prof., Montclair State Univ. & Documentary Filmmaker
Beverly Peterson, Retired from the Board, Peterson is the past Founding NWBC President, is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and Associate Professor at Montclair State University’s School of Communication & Media (NJ). She has presented her work about workplace bullying at the International Conference on Workplace Bullying & Harassment in Wales as well as business colloquia and public dialogs. Her recently launched interactive documentary, What Killed Kevin, has garnered critical acclaim and was awarded Best Transmedia/Website by the UFVA. Peterson’s documentaries have been broadcast internationally, and screened at major festivals including; HBO, PBS, Sundance Channel, Sundance Film Festival, Human Rights Watch, Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Walker Art Center.
Hon. Sue Pai Yang
Emeritus Board Member
Retired NJ Workers' Compensation Judge
Hon. Sue Pai Yang retired as a Judge of Compensation. She was the first Asian American appointed to the Workers’ Compensation Court in New Jersey and wrote decisions on two separate trials involving workplace bullying that peaked her interest on the topic. Since then she has organized workplace bullying programs for numerous organizations including the National Association of Women Judges, the NJ State Bar Foundation, the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts and as Chair of the 2014 Conference of the National Workplace Bullying Coalition. Her daughter, Jenny Yang, Esq. served as Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under President Barack Obama.
Advisory Board Members
As an activist and cultural revolution design leader, Michelle Amiri helps society reach new heights by provoking conversations in the collective that might not otherwise happen, introducing new thoughts and perspectives, and designing in a way that eliminates behaviors and beliefs holding us back through Breakthrough Horizon. Her approach is interdisciplinary, specializing in overlapping and intersecting areas of expertise to mine niches of breakthroughs yet unknown. This process requires a widely varied background: she is an Ivy League-trained human ecologist, ergonomist, and human factors specialist (HF/E); simulator, design engineer, and published research scientist; culture & therapeutic lifestyle designer, product designer, tactician, consultant and entrepreneur; gifted professor, public speaker, podcaster and thespian; author, poet, artist and dancethlete; bitchilante, missionary, prophetic artist, apostolic and community leader —t o name a sample. She builds futures and people that really soar, and to accomplish those most important goals, she builds everything else.
Emily Brother (she/her) is a Project Coordinator at Catalyst, Inc., a global nonprofit working with leading companies around the world to help build workplaces that work for women. In her role, she helps manage the Catalyst Inclusion Accelerator, a diagnostic tool used to measure workplace inclusion and to develop actionable strategies and solutions. Prior to joining Catalyst, Emily worked at the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where she helped build pipelines for young people into politics and public service careers through funded internship opportunities, career advising, pre-professional training, and mentorship. Social justice, civic engagement, and political advocacy are the cornerstones of her life, and her ultimate goal is to build communities where people feel safe, valued, respected, and a sense of belonging. Emily holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College.
Joangel is the founder of Track and Assess, a brand-new mobile tool that helps targets of workplace abuse keep track of unwelcome behavior, uncomfortable situations, and overall wellness in a secure, private place. T&A focuses on empowering people, especially employees, to make positive changes in their lives.
Joangel also has a heavy media background. She has extensive knowledge in creating innovative, engaging content with a heavy understanding of target audiences, trends, and organization. Joangel also spent many years informing millions of people throughout the United States as a top market journalist for NBC and FOX affiliates. During her career, she reported on a range of important national news, including the arrival of the Ebola virus in the U.S., gun control, the Sandy Hook massacre, immigration, and spillover violence along the U.S. border. She is also a published author. Her experience, on and off-air, gives Joangel the knowledge and expertise to help any individual, organization, or businesses meet their communication goals. She is committed to combining her media skills and passion for workplace fairness to help put an end to bullying, harassment, discrimination, and racism worldwide.
Dean of the School of Nursing
Laura Dzurec is dean of the School of Nursing at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. She served as dean and professor at Kent State University’s College of Nursing in Ohio from 2006-2013, returning to faculty to pursue teaching and research in workplace dynamics, especially workplace bullying phenomena. She served as dean at the University of Connecticut from 2000 to 2006 and was associate dean and professor of the Oregon Health Science University School of Nursing between 1996 and 2000. She has held academic posts at several universities and is a fellow in the National League for Nursing’s (USA) Academy of Nursing Education.
Steven J. Hasse, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
Steven J. Haase, Ph.D has been a member of the Psychology Department at Shippensburg University since 2002. His area of expertise is human cognitive and perceptual psychology. Since 2008, he has been applying these areas to interdisciplinary issues such as sustainability in collaboration with colleagues from the College of Business at Shippensburg University. He has co-authored one paper on the topic and has developed a seminar course that extensively covers the psychology of sustainability as an interdisciplinary topic. Other areas of interdisciplinary interest include behavioral economics and socio-cultural theories of human behavior. He has also served extensively at the local and state level on APSCUF, a faculty union representing state universities in Pennsylvania, and is also a member of the Harrisburg, PA Central Labor Council (affiliated with the AFL-CIO).
Leah P. Hollis
Morgan State University
Leah P. Hollis, EdD, is a noted national expert on workplace bullying and associate professor at Morgan State University. Her most recent book, Human Resource Perspectives on Workplace Bullying in Higher Education: Understanding Vulnerable Employees' Experiences, was released by Emerald publications in 2016 and is an extension of her work on bullying in higher education. Other notable work includes Bully in the Ivory Tower: How Aggression and Incivility Erode American Higher Education, based on independent research on 175 colleges and universities. Findings reveal that workplace bullying occurs at an even higher rate in higher education. She has spoken nationally and internationally to help over 200 schools address incivility on campus. She earned her Doctor of Education from Boston University as a Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellow. She is the president and founder of her own consultant group Patricia Berkly LLC, a healthy workplace advocate. View her electronic portfolio.
Chloe is a recent graduate of Shippensburg University with a BS in management and concentration in Human Resources. She is now an onboarding specialist with Select Medical. She gained an interest in workplace bullying while she was a student taking classes from Dr. Carbo. Senior year, she worked as an intern with the National Workplace Bullying Coalition. her goal is to make more people aware of this problem and to come together to find solutions.
As the former Head of Learning Strategy and Innovation at Shell, Brent was the owner of Shell’s Learning Strategy, workplace learning capabilities, methods, technologies, and thought leadership. His core responsibility was to drive Shell’s aspiration to be a world-leading learning organization. Over his career, he led many of Shell’s most critical global transformation initiatives of the 21st century, initiatives that collectively positioned Shell as a recognized leader in human resource management.
Brent is now leveraging his expertise to improve the human condition at work. Brent is an internationally-recognized thought leader and advocate for improving the human performance experience at work and increasing behaviors related to advancing psychological safety, behaviors that lead to work environments where people feel included, safe to learn, safe to contribute, and safe to challenge the status quo.
Amy Rittle has taught elementary music in the public schools in Pennsylvania since 2003. An undergraduate of Lebanon Valley College, Amy believes in the power of music and enjoys sharing her passion with her students. In 2018, Amy found herself the victim of workplace bullying at the hands of an administrator. She fought through the arbitration process and was able to return to work in another building in the same district. Amy joined the BATS in their special “BAT Haven” group for teachers who have been abused in the workplace and began to realize that she was not alone. Amy began the Facebook group PA for a Safe Return to Campus as part of the Refuse to Return national movement in Summer 2020 to begin to unite teachers in Pennsylvania (ideally the USA) to fight the premature return to in-person schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Amy hopes to help bring legislation to protect Pennsylvania teachers from abuse in the workplace.
Laurie Scop has a background in social work focused largely on safety and health issues, including Adverse Childhood Experiences. She is an Americorps alumni who has completed tens of thousands of volunteer service hours, and she presently serves on several nonprofit boards in South Florida. Her programs “Project READI”, “Portraits of Resilience,” and “Brave New Woman” address the intersection between disaster preparedness and health, leadership skills among children who have overcome the odds, and the stories of female whistleblowers, respectively. In 2017, Laurie served on the leadership committee for the Women’s Rally in South Florida, the largest protest in Miami’s history, and she has remained deeply involved in social and political advocacy. A believer in transformational leadership and the vital need for systemic change, she is convinced that her personal story will be her greatest gift of service. After recovering from a horrendous disease that profoundly disrupted her life and left her in a nursing home as a young woman, Laurie recovered and returned to work only to experience workplace abuse correlated with a life-threatening injustice and once again spent years fighting for her life. “Run” is Laurie’s powerful memoir in-progress depicting her treacherous journey in starting over, from miraculous recovery to profound loss, and ultimately living to tell.
Katrina Strohl is a Navy veteran who served as an Aviation Structural Mechanic (AM). Now, with over 10 years of HR experience, several HR certifications, and multiple Career Coaching certifications, Katrina continues to serve others. Katrina is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Fill Your Cup Consulting LLC, where she provides career coaching, resume revamp, LinkedIn profile editing, cover letter writing, HR consulting services, and corporate training to their clients. In 2018, Katrina decided to take her own life after internalizing the behavior of a toxic workplace. Since then she has become a huge advocate of mental health. Katrina hopes to continue her education in mental health to reduce the stigma and assist her in hosting Absolutely Not, the podcast about setting personal boundaries at work. www.katrinastrohl.com
Melissa Tomlinson, a 20-year special education teacher in South Jersey, found her passion for being a public education advocate when she joined the Badass Teachers Association (BATs) in 2014. Fighting for educational equity and access to resources for all students, Melissa currently serves as the Executive Director of BATs. Since then she has expanded her own work as a social justice advocate and as a local union leader in the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), serving on various committees at the county and state level, including Government Relations, Working Conditions Committee, and the South Jersey Social Justice Coalition. Melissa is a co-founder of NJ21United, a caucus of NJEA that works to strengthen democracy and transparency within the union to better advocate for public schools, students, and communities within New Jersey as well as a founding member of National Educators United.
Dr. Kareen A. Velez
Spinal Cord Medicine Physiatrist
Dr. Kareen A. Velez is an experienced Board-Certified Spinal Cord Medicine Physiatrist. She completed her medical training at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine followed by a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Residency Program at TUFTS Medical Center in Boston, where she served as Administrative Chief Resident. After residency, she completed a Spinal Cord Medicine Fellowship Program at Stanford Hospitals and Clinics. Following fellowship, she served as Medical Director of the Spinal Cord Injury System of Care and Inpatient Medical Director at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Minneapolis, MN, from 2012-2014. She also served as a spinal cord injury/disorder staff physiatrist at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System from 2014-2021.
Her clinical expertise includes the care of patients with neuromusculoskeletal disorders and catastrophic injuries with complex medical and psychosocial comorbidities. Additional skills include spasticity management, wound care, clinical research, and medical education. She is an
active member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation’s Diversity
and Inclusion Committee and a Mentor for the National Hispanic Medical Association.
Entrepreneur and Employment Lawyer
Ariel is an entrepreneur, a leading employment lawyer, and an advocate for greater equality, safety, and transparency in the workplace.
He is a principal at Empower Law PC and is the founder of #NotMe: the first mobile enterprise solution for reporting and resolving work-related misconduct. Ariel has trained hundreds of employees on the subjects of sexual harassment, discrimination, and bullying. After fifteen years handling a litany of cases involving harassment and discrimination and watching instances of workplace misconduct constantly repeat themselves, Ariel realized that corporate America was in need of a major paradigm shift. As the #MeToo and BLM movements continue to steamroll through the collective consciousness of America, Ariel, along with a team of high-profile advisors, found himself in a unique position to help turn these movements into action.
Ariel has a vision of a world in which his own children will inherit a workplace environment that is safe and equal, allowing them to freely thrive while accomplishing their own dreams.