BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Tanika Gray Valbrun
Tanika Gray Valbrun is an award-winning Journalist, Educator and non-profit founder with a passion for women’s health. After her personal struggles with uterine fibroids including two myomectomies, Tanika’s passion for women’s health inspired her to create The White Dress Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support for women suffering from fibroids and to, raise awareness and for fibroid education. As the founder of, The White Dress Project, Tanika has successfully worked with doctors, health advocates and elected officials across the country to get legislation passed declaring July as “Fibroids Awareness Month”. Recognized as a thought leader and patient advocate for uterine health, she has also spoken around the world encouraging women to be their own best health advocate. Many women with symptomatic fibroids never dream of wearing white, because of their heavy menstrual bleeding or bloating. The white dress is a “symbol of hope” that women with fibroids can feel supported and know that they do not have to suffer in silence. In addition to encouraging women to be their own health advocates, Tanika works as a Senior Content Producer for a global news organization where she has been awarded three coveted Peabody Awards for her contributions in journalism.
Brandi Neal serves as Vice Chair for The White Dress Project. Brandi Neal is a world traveler by trade and a community advocate at heart. The Houston native works for one of the most prestigious airlines in the world, traveling to unforeseen, bucket list countries. Brandi is the brains behind our annual Taboo Talk event held in Houston, which draws hundreds of women annually. Through this programming, Brandi has shared her personal struggle with fibroids, PCOS and endometriosis and has allowed her story to cultivate a group of women, supporters, community advocates and legislators who are committed to raising the conversation around uterine fibroids. Through her work in Houston, the Mayor of Houston has declared July as Fibroids Awareness Month in the region.
Amber English serves as Governance Chair for The White Dress Project and is leading the charge for fibroids awareness in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The DMV advocates have received a Resolution declaring Fibroids Awareness Month in Washington, D.C. and a Proclamation from the state of Maryland. Communications professional with experience in grassroots advocacy, legislative affairs, and political campaigns. advocacy, and marketing for direct service agencies. She currently serves as the Communications and Outreach Manager for Civil Rights Corp. “I was first diagnosed with uterine fibroids in 2010, after a menstrual cycle that lasted four months. My doctor at the time didn’t tell me much, but left me with the common refrain, “If they aren’t bothering you, we shouldn’t bother them.” Despite my painful cycles and bleeding to the point of anemia, I was told there was no real need to take action. Seven years later, I had a laparoscopic myomectomy to remove just a few of my fibroids – my anemia was so severe I was not a candidate for any other procedure. Too often, the symptoms that we live with are written off as ‘normal’. I stand with The White Dress Project for every person, whose doctor didn’t tell them much—or anything at all. Your symptoms are not normal, and you are not alone. “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lena Horne.
Nkem Osain- serves as Secretary for The White Dress Project and is a Health Equity Fellow at Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity. “I was diagnosed with fibroids in 2015 after ending up in the hospital due to excessive blood loss during my menstrual cycle over several months. Since then, it has been an uphill battle trying to figure out the best treatment option for me. Despite this fear of uncertainty, I feel empowered being armed with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions about my reproductive health. As a board member of The White Dress Project, I want to empower women by sharing my story so that they know they are not alone. I want to give them hope beyond their circumstances.” Sexual and reproductive health and rights are universal human rights! They are an indivisible part of the broader human rights and development equation. Their particular power resides in the fact that they deal with the most intimate aspects of our identities as individuals and enable human dignity, which is dependent on control of our bodies, desires, and aspirations.
Twyana Tyler is an award-winning Event Planner and social activist. She serves on the executive board of The White Dress Project. “I was 43, with no children when I had a hysterectomy after an 11-year battle with uterine fibroids. This was one of the most painful times of my life. I want every woman challenged with uterine fibroids to know that I believe, watching and waiting; is not ok. As a board member with The White Dress Project, I’m committed to helping to educate and encourage other women suffering from uterine fibroids. Education is key. Knowing your options is essential. There is HOPE!
Taryn Edwards is a graduate from Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama where she majored in Biology and received her Bachelor of Arts degree. Taryn is also a graduate of Fort Valley State University with a Master of Public Health degree. Taryn currently serves as a Chemist in the Fulton County Government. Taryn serves as a board member of The White Dress Project in which she is dedicated to promoting and educating the health effects of fibroids. Promoting fibroid education is important to Taryn because she experienced the effects of fibroids 10 years ago. She believes that every woman should be aware of the changes in her body. Taryn strongly believes that this is a testament to plant a seed to help others going through the same symptoms.