Staff & Board

Valeriana Chikoti-Bandua Estes
Interim Executive Director

Valeriana Chikoti-Bandua’s pronouns are she/her. She is a former refugee from the country of Angola. She is indigenous to the Ovimbundu tribe in the southern region of Angola. Born in the neighboring country of Zambia due to a bitter civil war, at the age of three Valeriana’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 the United States has become her second home. Valeriana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems, a minor in American studies, and a Masters Degree in Global Governance with a concentration in International Security. Valeriana 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.”

She has served in a variety of leadership capacities to interrupt anti-Blackness, and end sexual violence in Black and Immigrant communities for over 12 years. As the founder of Necessary Interruptions LLC, Valeriana is an Abolitionist on an active quest to lead as a Human Rights Racial Equity Advisor for businesses, agencies, and organizations that are actively centering a Black liberation lens, that serves to center Black joy, Black contributions, and audacious wellness practices that are anti-oppressive lens and build safer spaces for Black communities to thrive despite the constant threat of anti-Black violence. In addition, Valeriana is a newly wed, a Tacoma resident, and a recent green card holder after a 13+ year long journey of navigating the labyrinth of the US immigration system.