Dr. Gail Dines
Dr. Gail Dines is Founder & President of Culture Reframed, and Professor Emerita of Sociology and Women's Studies, Wheelock College, Boston. Having researched and written about the porn industry for more than 30 years, Dr. Dines is internationally acclaimed as the leading expert on how pornography shapes our identities, culture, and sexuality. She is a consultant to governmental agencies in the U.S. and abroad, including the UK, Norway, Iceland, and Canada. Dr. Dines is co-editor of the best-selling textbook Gender, Race and Class in Media. Her book Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality has been translated into five languages and adapted into a documentary film. Dr. Dines is a regular guest on television and radio, including shows on ABC, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, CBC, FOX, and National Public Radio. She has appeared in The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, The Guardian, Vogue, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, and The Huffington Post.
Rebecca Whisnant is professor and chair of the philosophy department at the University of Dayton, where she also served for eight years as director of the women's and gender studies program. She is co-editor (with Christine Stark) of Not For Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution and Pornography, and (with Peggy DesAutels) of Global Feminist Ethics. Her recent articles on pornography include “Pornography, humiliation, and consent” and “But what about feminist porn?: Examining the work of Tristan Taormino.” She has also published articles on prostitution, rape, and the racial politics of feminism. She teaches courses on sexual ethics, feminist social theory, and feminist ethics.
David L. Levy
David L. Levy is professor of management at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and a co-founder of the Sustainable Solutions Lab there. He is treasurer of Culture Reframed and collaborates with Dr. Gail Dines on research and writing about the business aspects of the pornography industry. David, an Aspen Institute Faculty Pioneer Award Winner, conducts research on corporate strategic responses to climate change and urban climate adaptation. His work explores strategic contestation over the governance and finance of controversial issues engaging business, governments, and NGOs, such as climate change and sustainability standards. David has spoken and published widely on these topics, both for academic and practitioner audiences. David holds a DBA from Harvard University, an MBA from Tel Aviv University, and a B.Sc. from Manchester University.
Dr. Matt Ezzell
Matt Ezzell is an Associate Professor of Sociology at James Madison University. His research, teaching areas of focus, and expertise include critical media studies, social psychology, the sociology of interpersonal violence, and the sociology of race/class/gender inequality. Matt began his professional career as a community educator and crisis advocate in the U.S. rape crisis movement, and he has been actively involved in anti-violence movements for more than two decades. He received a B.A. in Women’s Studies with honors in Creative Writing and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jessica Bahr is a trauma-informed Mental Health Coach, who specializes in relationships and intimacy. In her private practice, called RelationShifting (relationshifting.com), she works with individuals and couples. She is a lifelong feminist and activist who brings a mental health lens to the topics of pornography, sexuality, and relationships. She joined the Culture Reframed team in 2015, first as a volunteer and later to support the organization in a marketing and communications role. She holds a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and a Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies. She works to educate and support those affected by porn and porn culture so that they can develop true personal agency and live more authentic and fulfilling lives.
Cherie Jimenez, an activist and survivor of the sex trade, was instrumental in creating Transition House (Cambridge, Mass.), the first battered women's shelter on the East Coast. The shelter grew out of Cherie’s efforts in the 1970s to temporarily house women fleeing violent relationships. By June 1976, 25 women and children were living in Jimenez’s tiny apartment. The shelter evolved into Transition House, which is still thriving today. Cherie also founded Kim’s Project (now the EVA Center), a Boston-based program offering support services and resources for women working in prostitution and seeking a way out. The Center was created in response to the overwhelming need to assist women in the often-complex process of exiting commercial sexual exploitation and to dispel the myths and misconceptions about prostitution. Cherie holds a degree in management from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Michelle is a strategic advisor with 25 years of experience working with organizations of all sizes and disciplines in the areas of strategic planning and analysis, strategic communications, maximizing team performance, leadership and management coaching, and issue assessment and resolution. She has a broad range of sector experience, including technology, public service, healthcare, biotechnology, and non-profit. Her deep consulting experience has been gained through operational and client-facing senior positions. Michelle has a unique ability to bring people together towards common goals and bridge any gaps in communication that often impede success.
Mia Mantello is a state-licensed and board-certified psychotherapist of 28 years with an interest in attachment and bonding and the healing of trauma. Earlier in her career she worked almost exclusively with children; now her focus is adults, mostly women. When not in the therapist’s chair she co-owns Maine’s oldest organic apple orchard and is a singer-songwriter and mother to a step-daughter and surrogate son. In 1989, as a senior at UMass/Boston, she had the opportunity to hear Dr. Gail Dines speak about the harms of pornography. She remembers the impact of the talk, all these years later. Today, Mia is passionate about spreading the word about Culture Reframed and its work.
Rachael G. Pontikes
Rachael G. Pontikes is a partner at Reed Smith LLP representing compounding pharmacies, hospital systems, and other health care companies in disputes with various federal and state government agencies in administrative hearings and in court. Rachael also serves as health care regulatory counsel, as well as leading the health care aspects of corporate transactions. Rachael received her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and her B.A. in philosophy and Italian studies from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn. In addition to an active legal practice, Rachael has devoted tremendous time and energy to pro bono and community service projects. In addition, she served on the board for the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation and as a lecturer in law at the University of Chicago, where she taught a seminar on “Obscenity and Pop Culture,” drawing on her experience as trial counsel for two groups of minor girls in their civil lawsuit alleging sexual exploitation as a result of being featured in child pornography.