Our leadership team reflects the broader collaborative spirit of UCASA: only by bringing together people from all sectors of society can we create innovative solutions that address the issue of sexual assault in our communities. If you would like to contact a member of our Board of Directors, please email them at email@example.com.
CoCo James - Board Chair
CoCo is a scholar of the sociology of gender and human sexuality at the University of Utah, an intellectual troublemaker, and emotional trouble-mender. She is finishing up a PhD focusing on sexual violence after a decade of research in the topic, from her undergraduate years to her doctoral work. Research and teaching are twin passions for CoCo, and her work extends into her community engagement and activism. Over the years CoCo has served non-profit organizations in many capacities from leadership to worker bee. Her non-profit work centers around women and girls, sexual violence, LGBTQ+ rights, education, and suicide prevention. In all of these, CoCo believes that courageous learning coupled with deliberate kindness will change the world.
A lifelong resident of Utah, CoCo lives three miles from where she was born and has Jell-O running through her veins. Fortunately, diverse cultures and perspectives are only a plane ride away, and CoCo spends as much time as possible visiting art museums in other states and countries. Her passion for art and social justice is only superseded by her energetic love for her partner and their two incredible adult sons.
Sarah Bell - Vice-Chair
Sarah is a native of Utah that is passionate about human rights and social justice. She graduated from the University of Utah in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science degree in both Political Science and Peace and Conflict Studies, with a minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. She is also passionate about the nonprofit sector and has worked with numerous nonprofits in the local community, including Equality Utah, The Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy, and the Humane Society of Utah. She is currently in the process of pursuing her graduate study in Nonprofit Leadership and Management.
Sarah started volunteering with the Rape Recovery Center in 2016, which furthered her desire to become an advocate for survivors of sexual assault. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and camping, reading, and spending time with her dogs.
Chelsea Kilpack - Interim Treasurer & Secretary
Chelsea Kilpack is an activist, writer, and public speaker. She is the Treasurer for the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault and is a Certified Sexual Assault Counselor/Victim Advocate. She is the former board President of the Utah National Organization for Women, and previous member of the YWCA’s Young Women’s Leadership Council.
Her lectures across the State of Utah include a wide array of topics, such as modeling enthusiastic consent in non-sexual interactions, self-defense as a form of empowerment, and leveraging digital tools for political activism. In her day job, Chelsea is a marketing and communications professional for UpWell Health. She is the leader of corporate philanthropy in her organization, managing all community grants and corporate volunteer efforts.
Chelsea graduated from Westminster College with a Master of Arts in Community Leadership. Her thesis, Fixing Utah’s Rape Problem: Cultural Elite and Expert Perspectives on Sexual Assault Prevention Programming in Utah, made recommendations for comprehensive sex education as a means of preventing sexual assault. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Gender Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Utah.
My name is Stephanie Benally. I am from the Diné tribe. My clans are Red Streak People and I am born for Bitter Water. My maternal grandfather is Mexican People and my paternal grandfather is Red House. My parent are Howard and Beverly Benally. I am the oldest of four siblings. I a mother of two children. I am originally from Salt Lake City, Utah. I serve as a Board of Directors for Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake City. I am a member of National Indian Child Welfare Act (NICWA).
I am a graduate from University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. I am the Native American Specialist at Utah Foster Care. I have been working diligently to recruit more American Indian foster parents in the State of Utah. My background is in child welfare, juvenile probation, and advocacy for People with Disabilities.
Celeste has 10+ years of professional experience working in the non-profit sector as a development specialist, program director, volunteer coordinator and consultant for organizations that cover issues ranging from adoption to human trafficking to sexual assault. Celeste often speaks at events and conferences where she shares her passion and commitment to combating social injustices that plague our world. She currently holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and one in Political Science, and a Master of Public Administration from Brigham Young University.
Her most recent adventures have been working as a victim advocate for the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, a professor for UVU teaching a course on Human Trafficking and Rape Crisis Coordinator for the Center for Women and Children In Crisis. She finds working with individuals in trauma to be not only immensely fulfilling, but incredibly sacred by working with people in their darkest hour and hopefully bringing a little light to their situation. Celeste believes everyone should have someone that they can go to for help, support and love.
Celeste is no stranger to the global community. She started traveling to Ukraine as a young girl to visit family and to volunteer at orphanages. She has continued doing humanitarian aid in different countries. She has traveled to over 20 countries. Her experience abroad has led her to fall in love with cultures and people through service.