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Sequi Nisiest

An image of Esperanza standing in front of a tan wall. She has tanned white skin, long brown hair pulled over her shoulder, and wears a grey t-shirt.

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Trinity McFadden

Trinity, a dark-skinned Black woman, has a closed, slight smile, standing in front of flowers and trees in the forest. She is wearing a tan headscarf, black short-sleeved shirt, with dark blue and green plaid patterned dress pants. She is posing with the book, Americanah by Chimanda Ngozi Adichie.

Trinity McFadden (she/her) is a Black-Indigenous deafdisabled thinker, abolitionist, disability justice advocate, and digital organizer, with a passion for learning and community building. As HEARD staff, she oversees the organization’s external communications efforts, including our website, social media, quarterly newsletters, e-alerts, fundraising, & more. Outside of HEARD, Trinity enjoys dancing and spending time with her dog.

Esperanza Dillard

An image of Esperanza standing in front of a tan wall. She has tanned white skin, long brown hair pulled over her shoulder, and wears a grey t-shirt.

Esperanza (she/her), is Latinx deaf social worker and abolitionist mama. I live in the Bay Area, California on the original homeland of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe. I work as the Reentry Program Director at HEARD. I specialize in supporting currently and formerly incarcerated deaf/disabled people and their loved ones. I am dedicated to confronting and challenging issues in legal and prison systems that impact deaf/disabled folks and support them to navigate those systems. My approach is guided by the transformative justice, disability justice, healing, abolition, and harm reduction principles with the goal of supporting people to live their lives free from all forms of policing and incarceration. Outside of HEARD work, I enjoy doing crafts, outdoor activities, reading books and spending time with my precious little ones.

Roxanne Zech

Image of a laughing Roxanne with tanned white skin, a big smile, round tortoise glasses, and short hair, wearing dangly earrings of multiple interlocking circles and white overalls. Roxanne’s clasped hands are visible at the bottom of the image and the Brooklyn Bridge and East River are visible in the background.

Roxanne is a white disabled (gender)queer abolitionist attorney, organizer, and facilitator from the gulf coast. Roxane joined HEARD in 2019 and now primarily supports organizing and advocacy efforts with currently imprisoned deaf/disabled people.

Roxanne has lived in and learned from the cooperative housing movement for almost a decade and formerly taught deafblind youth in Austin, Texas. You can find Roxanne tending to their house plants, spending time in nature, and cooking for others. 

Kaj Kraus

Kaj, a white man, smiles while standing in front of a white wall. He has shoulder-length dark red hair and is wearing a black crew neck.
Kaj, a white man, smiles while standing in front of a white wall. He has shoulder-length dark red hair and is wearing a black crew neck.

Kaj Kraus (he/him) is a deaf linguist, researcher, educator, and advocate. As staff he supports HEARD’s operations and advocacy efforts, which includes corresponding with currently incarcerated deaf/disabled people and providing cultural/linguistic competency training to attorneys representing deaf/disabled people. He is also a doctoral student in linguistics and adjunct faculty at Gallaudet University. Kaj’s research focuses on language acquisition and the cognition-language development interface, and he has published on the importance of early exposure to accessible language for deaf children. Previously, he earned a Bachelor’s degree from New York University and a Master’s degree from Gallaudet University. Kaj also currently serves on HEARD’s Board of Directors.