Shirley Strong is a social justice educator committed to greater equity and inclusion in higher education. She has been to Black Rock City in 2013 and has been part of the R.I.D.E. Advisory Group since 2019. Most recently, Shirley was the Chief Diversity Officer at Samuel Merritt University (SMU). Currently, she is the Diversity Director for the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research, a program of the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) that trains health professionals on the use of psychedelics. Shirley also serves as an advisor and trainer for the Structural Competency Working Group (SCWG), which conducts training on structural racism in healthcare in order to reduce health disparities leading to improved health outcomes for vulnerable populations.
Simone Torrey began her Burning Man journey in 2016 when she was invited to join BeeCharge camp in July, and subsequently sparkleponied her way through her first burn. During that same year, she met someone during a dust storm; he’s now her husband and father of their child. The next year Simone was part of the mutant vehicle crew that brought the Red Hot Beverly to life. And a year later she joined the organizing team of BeeCharge, leading an effort to create independent but interconnected pods within the camp. Simone has been working with Burning Man Project on several community engagement initiatives since 2018. Through her evolution as a professional facilitator for transformative change and community engagement processes, she has lived, studied and worked in 15 countries over the past 23 years.