In A Nutshell
Aida Manduley is an award-winning activist and presenter known for big earrings and building bridges. Trained as a sexuality educator, social worker, and nonprofit management professional, they’re* working to make the word a more equitable place through education, therapy, and community organizing. Their perspective is one that centers intersectionality and maximizing kindness while retaining both a sense of humor and a sense of justice. Hailing from Puerto Rico, Aida has presented across North America and livetweeted more events than should be allowed. They also have a big thing for color-coded spreadsheets.
*Curious about the use of “they” pronouns? You can read more about pronouns beyond “he” & “she” here.
In More Depth
Mx. Manduley’s focus right now to change the world through macro-level prevention and education (speaking engagements, written articles, consulting work) as well as through micro-level intervention (therapy with individuals, families, relationships). Their therapeutic practice is welcoming of all, though there is a focus on seeing clients who are part of underresourced communities and minority groups. Thus, Mx. Manduley’s work uplifts people of color, LGBTQ individuals, non-monogamous folks, and people who practice BDSM/kink.
Mx. Manduley graduated with a Master’s of Social Work at Boston University, where they were awarded the Dean Wilma Peebles-Wilkins Human Relations Scholarship as well as the Frances G. Frank Award in Gerontology. Devoted to both clinical and macro practice, two big areas of their specialization are older adults and trauma. They also hold a Bachelor of Arts in Gender and Sexuality Studies from Brown University. As an undergraduate, they were honored with awards for leadership and fostering understanding of diversity, particularly around sexuality.
Beyond their independent work as an educator and clinician, Aida is part of the award-winning Executive Committee of the Women of Color Sexual Health Network and has been with The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health since 2010—where they now work as a consultant on special projects. While they’re not seeing clients or independently presenting at conferences, you may also find Mx. Manduley talking about pleasure on behalf of Good Vibrations’s SHOW program or teaching youth with Partners in Sex Education. They also serve on various committees and coalitions around diversity, anti-racism, school health, and macro social work in Boston and Rhode Island [Boston Liberation Health, the National Association for Social Workers MA Chapter, and the Social Workers for Racial Justice Coalition are just a few of these].
From The New York Times to The Rainbow Times, Mx. Manduley has been interviewed by a variety of media outlets as well as notable individuals such as Jaclyn Friedman and Tristan Taormino. They were even brought on for a debate on the Laura Ingraham show—a popular conservative radio program—and lived to tell the tale.
Passionate about intergenerational work and mentorship, they were selected for the 2013-2014 Rhode Island Foundation Nonprofit Emerging Leaders Program and, in turn, mentors college students of color at their alma mater and beyond.
Some Past Projects And Experiences
Here’s a list of other things you may know Aida from:
- Innovating as the sexual health advocate for Sojourner House [a domestic violence agency] and managing various projects, primarily dealing with sexuality, HIV, and LGBTQ issues. Under their leadership, the organization was the first in Rhode Island to collect LGBTQ partner violence statistics and submit them for inclusion in the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs’ national report on intimate partner violence. Additionally, they developed the state’s first Sexual Health Education and Advocacy Program housed at a domestic violence agency, which included building the infrastructure and organization capacity to provide on-site rapid HIV testing.
- Teaching digital literacy skills to the elderly and disabled at a senior center as well as to low-income and immigrant families at a neighborhood association.
- Chairing the board of directors at the Olneyville Neighborhood Association, an organization dedicated to “organizing low-income families, immigrants communities, and people of color to create a diverse, community-led movement that wins economic, social and political justice.”
- Providing bilingual advocacy, education, and crisis-response to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and hate crimes through Day One RI.
- Writing, editing, and painting their face regularly for #24MAG a quarterly magazine/endurance publishing event.
- Strategizing for a Tumblr outreach plan that would engage people in the Do Tell Stories project, “a crowdsourced compilation of anonymous, true, personal stories about sex and sexuality.”
- Serving on a number of national and regional coalitions on HIV prevention, gay and bisexual men’s health, comprehensive sexuality education, and LGBTQ anti-violence.