The Team

Babita Patel

Founder & Executive Director
As a Humanitarian Photographer working with nonprofits, NGOs & social enterprises, Babita has documented the lack of access to clean drinking water in the slums of Haiti, photographed men in maximum-security prisons who found redemption through education & followed a ballet dancer-turned-US Marine around for the day. Her work has been featured in Al Jazeera, Forbes, The Guardian, Harper’s Bazaar & MSNBC, and exhibited across the world, including shows in New York, Atlanta, Santa Monica and Lisbon. She is currently working on a book about criminal justice reform in America. Babita founded KIOO Project with the belief that gaining self-confidence through the arts can change the trajection of a child’s life. If you want to work with KIOO, put #PictureEquality in the subject line to show you did your homework.
Say hello at babita@KIOOproject.org.

Debi Spindelman

Curriculum & MERL (Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning) Advisor
Debi specializes in supporting and developing people who make the world a kinder, greener & more equal place. Trained in PhotoVoice, she has developed and led participatory photography projects in the US and around the world since 2008. In between KIOO workshops, Debi is conducting doctoral research on the educational needs of learners affected by early childhood malnutrition at Cambridge University. She has led hands-on learning initiatives with graduate & executive students at Columbia University’s MPA in Development Practice program & UPenn’s Center for Social Impact Strategy.  Debi holds an MPA in Development Practice from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a BA in Anthropology & Gender Studies from California State University, Long Beach.
Say hello at debi@KIOOproject.org.

Jasmine Sudarkasa

Development Officer
Jasmine is a career specialist in the field of girls’ empowerment, having spent the beginning of her career as a national trainer for Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS), New York’s largest service provider for commercially sexually exploited and domestically trafficked girls & young women. She now serves as a development & strategic change consultant, working to provide new alternatives to agencies seeking holistic & sustainable funding models without the requisite mission shift & drift that often accompany them. Jasmine received her B.A. with a double major in Political Science & Comparative Ethnic Studies from Columbia University.
Say hello at jasmine@KIOOproject.org.

Kathy Ngo

Workshop Facilitation Teacher
Kathy uses her passion for stories which speak towards gender equality and voices which need to be heard to facilitate conversations about gender with our students during our workshops. Her vast experience as a project manager helps with building & running KIOO workshops. Kathy is an accomplished writer, actor & producer appearing in international films & stage productions. She is currently working on her own webseries with her production partner. An avid traveler & explorer, Kathy’s love of photography and film has taken her to the corners of the world.

 

The Board

Lori Mazzola

Board President
Lori is the Director of Information Technology for a national law office focusing on systems management. As a pro bono consultant for a nonprofit the past 13 years, she helped grow the organization’s budget from under $1M to over $5M. Lori also volunteers as a nonprofit events planner coordinating annual galas, national conferences, documentary screenings & a special TEDx event.
Say hello at lori@KIOOproject.org.

Michele Monteforte

Board Treasurer
Throughout her career as an designer and creative director, Michele specializes in harnessing the stories of real people to raise awareness and drive action. As the Executive Partner in an advertising agency, she is a founding member of her company’s CSR program to address women’s global health issues. Michele is an active member of The 3% Movement, an industry-wide push to advocate for more female creative directors. From her work in education to healthcare to not-for-profits, Michele’s campaigns have turned personal narratives into real-world results.

Aisha Bain

Board Member
Aisha is a social justice activist, radical feminist, with extensive experience managing and partnering with organizations responding to violence against women and girls in prevention, service provision, advocacy, and policy change in more than a dozen countries. As a filmmaker, artist and author, Aisha has a particular passion for using creative and dynamic approaches to further social justice movements, and to raise the voice and visibility of women and girls within those movements. She is the co-founder of Vision Not Victim. Spanning five continents, Aisha has danced with almost every community she has worked with.

 

The Junior Board

Laura Millavec

Junior Board Co-Chair
Laura is an experienced supply chain professional based in New York City with background in planning, strategy and customer development. She builds dynamic, performance-driven teams through her participation in corporate community development & recruiting programs. As a member of SmithNY, a leadership team & alumni board from University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business, Laura engages alumni in professional development, community service and networking events.
Say hello at laura@KIOOproject.org.

Payal Patel

Junior Board Co-Chair
Payal is an Assistant Vice President at Deutsche Bank where she manages trading risk for listed derivatives across all exchanges. She is actively involved in collaborating with the Heads of Listed Derivates Sales and Trading desks to identify trading opportunities within the firm as well as liaise with the global teams on cross-functional projects. In her spare time, Payal is learning how to swim, pursuing her CFP certification & believes that photography can play a key role in achieving gender equality among young adults.
Say hello at payal@KIOOproject.org.