Jessica Minhas is an author, women’s rights activist, humanitarian, social entrepreneur, media commentator, and the founder and CEO of I’ll Go First. For the past 12 years she has worked in media and the anti-trafficking space, helping to craft economic empowerment programs and investigations on behalf of sex trafficking victims, as well as carefully producing inspiring media content on complex human rights issues for audiences around the world.
As the founder and CEO of I’ll Go First, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing hope, healing and purpose to survivors of trauma and abuse, Jessica is dedicated to leveraging media and technology in order to provide remote psychosocial care to marginalized trauma populations throughout the developing world. Everything Jessica does is colored by a commitment to shed light on issues that are normally silenced in shame and offer hope to those without it.
Jessica is also a Global Shaper for the World Economic Forum, a United Nations Global Accelerator, a New York New Abolitionist and is working on her first book- a memoir entitled “I’ll Go First” about searching for, and finding, her biological family. Learn more about her work at www.jessicaminhas.com and www.illgofirst.com.
Charlotte grew up Catholic and was in second grade when she met God, but didn't understand what that meant until she was 16 years old. It was then that she surrendered her heart to Jesus Christ and began to understand what it meant to listen to His Voice in her heart. While in university she responded quickly to God's call on her life to go into missions and nursing. She met her husband, Gary and they spent 15 years in Lima, Peru and established a Wesleyan Church there.
God clearly led the Wileys to Manhattan in 2002 to church plant. In 2007, God allowed them to serve as church planters with Trinity Grace Church Washington Heights. Since moving to NYC, Charlotte has been heavily involved in the ministry of her local church, in the areas of mentoring young women, small group discipleship, and most importantly, in premarital/marital counseling. Gary has recently stepped down as Senior Pastor there and they are currently attending the Good Shepherd Church in Inwood.
Charlotte works part time as a registered nurse in a private dermatology office on the Upper East Side. She has three children and is madly in love with her 7 grandchildren, 5 of whom she actually lives with!
Charlotte has a special place in her heart for nurturing and affirming younger women to hear the Voice of God and discover who He has ordained them to be! "No matter who we are, where we come from, or what our vocation is, we've all struggled in trying to figure out Jesus Christ. His desire is that we fall deeply in love with Him, and as we allow Him to Be our Source, He resides at the core of our being, and we can then understand His heart's desire for our lives, and trust Him to actually show us what that is!"
Destinee Rea is a lover of all things creative who has found a home in one of the most creative cities in the world! After graduating from college in 2011, with a degree in Musical Theatre she set out to find a way to live out her passion for theatre and bringing people closer to the holiness and love of Jesus. This pursuit landed her in NYC working for the faith based non-profit CRU Millennials. With a strong conviction that black women will change the world, she is pioneering a non-profit called, BOLD, in order to come alongside black women in theatre to cultivate “whole-hearted” community and contribute creatively to the telling of our stories. Follow her @destineerea
Lourdes Delacruz is a mom, daughter, friend and connector. Lourdes has been very active in two church plants in Washington Heights; Church of the Heights and TGC Washington Heights. She became a christian in 2014. Started her own connecting business in 2013 called Equip for Success; which connects businesses, individuals, ministries and organizations to the services they need to move forward. She has translated for FEMA and Habitat for humanity and is very involved in community organizing. Her heart for serving the homeless, single moms and people without family have opened doors for her as far as networking and leadership workshops. She is a native Dominican, born there and raised between Dominican Republic and NYC. Lourdes has a 16 year old daughter who she has raised since 7 months pregnant on her own and with the help of God and the people God has placed around them.
Lourdes is currently the program coordinator for a mentoring program called: Whi/Inwood pathways mentoring program in Washington Heights, whose purpose is to provide a mentor for every at risk middle and High school child in NY, starting with Washington Heights and Inwood.
Elysabeth Ratto is the editor-in-chief of re.write magazine, an online magazine that she and her husband started in 2012 in which they profile ordinary people who have been transformed by an extraordinary God. She received a B.A. in Literary Journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She has written for publications such as The Orange County Register, The New University, Yonhap News Agency, and she was an international news reporter for TBS eFM, an English radio station in South Korea. After a couple years of daily, news-based journalism, she desired to return to the long form, narrative-based literary journalism that she fell in love with. Hoping to combine that with her love for Jesus, re.write magazine was birthed.
Elysabeth, her husband Mark, and their 10-month-old daughter Colette, live in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where they can often be seen picnicking in Prospect Park or strolling through the beautiful nearby neighborhoods that Brooklyn has to offer.