Nerima is a performance artist and scholar who is interested in how the arts harbor and shape while also promoting self-expression and determination. Their approach to social inclusion work is informed by their arts background and focuses on empowering TLGBQ+ people of African descent. They co-founded the Queer African Network, a social and professional networking site with 730+ active users from over 18 different countries and are in charge of the arts segment. In 2019, Nerima graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelors in theatre and performance studies. Their thesis, that explored how different African women have fought against oppression won the Austin Quigley Award. Much of their work is dedicated towards liberation of self and others by focusing on how individuals can be strengthened to tell their own stories and in that, move towards freedom.
Okong’o is a Nairobi based gender and inclusion specialist with a particular focus on LGBTQ+ rights and youth engagement. Much of Okong’o’s work has focused on supporting knowledge sharing, capacity strengthening, safety and advocacy needs of vulnerable groups in Sub-Saharan Africa. He co-founded the Queer African Network, a social and professional networking site with 730+ active users from over 18 different countries. He recently graduated with honors from Quest University Canada where he received the Strangway Award for Excellence, honored on the president’s list for academic achievement, served as the president of his students body’s association (QUSA), and was awarded the Showcase award for his thesis. Okong’o has previously been awarded the Allan Gray Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurial Thinking and selection to the Bezos Scholar Program. Okong’o has worked extensively over the years with the TED Fellows quarters in New York and as an associate with Kore Global (a women-led consulting team at the TED headquarters in New York and as an associate with Kore Global (a women -led consulting firm specializing in gender equality and social inclusion research, strategy, monitoring, evaluation and learning, capacity strengthening and technical advice).