Bio: Desteni Rivers




Desteni is a Black, queer, woman from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Growing up, Desteni quickly became acutely aware of the numerous barriers that Black folks encounter due to the oppressive systems deeply embedded in all facets of society. This realization fueled her determination to make a difference and led her to move to Philadelphia to attend the University of Pennsylvania, where she sought to equip herself with the knowledge and skills to contribute towards fights for liberation especially in the realm of Reproductive Justice.

At the University of Pennsylvania, Desteni pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, accompanied by a double minor in Law & Society and Africana Studies. Throughout her academic journey, she distinguished herself as a campus leader, notably organizing and mobilizing students passionate about ending interpersonal violence on campus and supporting survivors. Since her graduation, Desteni has continued to be an ardent champion of social justice causes. She found her calling at Ashmore Consulting, where she serves as a grant writer for various grassroots nonprofits that are led by and for BIPOC communities.

Healing & Health

Desteni understands that healing and health form an enduring journey that unfolds throughout a lifetime. What sustains her consistency is the gift of granting herself grace. She embraces the knowledge that she can always restart and recalibrate her efforts, whether through journaling, exercise, therapy, or by other means. Importantly, Desteni has learned not to be overly critical of herself and instead to embrace the overflowing love and support of her community.


Desteni finds immense joy spending time outdoors, often hiking with her beloved puppy, Renny. You can catch her exploring markets to add more plants to her home jungle. When given the opportunity, Desteni embraces her love for travel, and thus far, her most cherished destination has been Cape Town, South Africa.