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Valeriana Chikoti-Bandua        

Human Rights Defender, Racial Equity Strategist

Valeriana Chikoti-Bandua was born into this world as a refugee, she is indigenous to the Ovimbundu tribe in the southern region of the Republic of Angola. Born in the neighboring country of Zambia due to a bitter civil war, at the age of three Chikoti-Bandua's family fled the country of Zambia and found refuge in the country of Papua New Guinea where she was subsequently raised. In 2007 she moved to the USA as an international student, and as life would have it in her quest to just obtain her bachelor's degree in the United States led her to call the US a second home. Chikoti-Bandua holds a Bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems minor in American studies, and a Masters Degree in Global Governance with a concentration in International Security.

Chikoti-Bandua has served as a Human Rights Diplomat for the country of Angola in the Human Rights Committee, she is a TEDx speaker of the talk titled "Protect the Girl Child" and she has been in the movement to end sexual violence and racial violence for over 12 years.

Chikoti-Bandua has been pivotal in leading a charge to specifically interrupt anti-Blackness and examine radical liberation centered approaches as it relates to how Black communities globally have experienced historical racial oppression. She is the founder of Necessary Interruptions LLC, a racial equity consulting firm which actively continues to provide crucial consulting services that range from workshops, public speaking events to training series for businesses, non-profits, agencies and organizations looking to center a radical approach in interrupting anti-Blackness through an anti-oppressive lens that is rooted in the liberation of Black communities. Chikoti-Bandua also currently serves as the Vice President of the Surge a radical reproductive radical reproductive justice organization based in Seattle, Washington. Chikoti-Bandua is also a newly wed, and thoroughly enjoys spending time with her husband, close friends and family, traveling, venturing outdoors, writing and watching documentaries. She is a Tacoma resident and a recent green card holder after a 20+ year long journey of navigating the labyrinth of the US immigration system.

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