Our Team

Carolyne Haycraft, M.Ed., MFA

Co-Founder and Executive Director

Carolyne has over 20 years of experience in the field of violence prevention. She served as a member of the Portland Police Bureau for over nine years, first as a volunteer WomenStrength instructor, teaching empowerment self-defense to women. In 2008 she was hired to develop and oversee GirlStrength, a citywide violence prevention program for girls ages 10-17. As the Program Director, Carolyne created and developed curriculum for workshops, camps, trainings and programs.  Over a three-year piloting period, Carolyne expanded the curriculum so that it was inclusive and covered topics such as healthy relationships and communication, dating violence, gender equity, child abuse and sex trafficking. In 2014, Carolyne co-founded BoyStrength, a comparable violence prevention program for boys ages 10-14 to ensure boys had access to the same information girls were receiving. This program was designed to address gender equity and privilege and hyper-masculinity. The training focused on helping boys understand consent and respecting boundaries, while increasing their verbal and nonverbal communication skills using games, theatre techniques, movement, mindfulness and yoga. Under her leadership over 7,000 girls and boys from over 100 schools, community centers and youth organizations received violence prevention training and self-defense skills.

Carolyne also served on the Portland Police Bureau’s Equity Leadership Council, a committee that aimed to improve equitable practices and policies within the Bureau,  where she assisted with equity and privilege training of officers and command staff.  Additionally, for seven years, she was a co-instructor for Safety-Zone, a personal safety program for adults with developmental disabilities. During her employment with the Police Bureau Carolyne received training on: diversity, equity and privilege; communication styles; conflict resolution and de-escalation; commercial exploitation of children (CSEC); sextortion; domestic and intimate partner violence; dating violence; trauma; sexual assault; harassment and stalking. She has worked with people with disabilities, adults and children; engaging men and boys in ending violence.

Since 2012, Carolyne has served as a member of the Oregon Sexual Assault Task force.  She is the Co-chair of the Men’s Engagement Committee and a member of the Steering and Prevention and Education Committees. The task force seeks to facilitate cross-discipline collaboration and to cultivate victim-centered approaches to sexual assault primary prevention, victim advocacy, medical forensic care, criminal prosecution and sex offender management and treatment. It brings together over a hundred members from across Oregon, all of whom are working in their various capacities to end sexual violence.

Teaching has always been Carolyne’s passion. In 2014 she was asked to co-facilitate parent education classes for Multnomah County Family Court Services. These classes are for parents and caregivers whose families are experiencing separation and divorce and are are focused on providing information on the impact of conflict on children. She also  serves on Core and the Facilitation Team for the Portland chapter of SURJ, (Showing up for Racial Justice) and is passionate about ending systematic oppression.

Carolyne’s self-defense training began in Chicago, IL, where she studied the Korean martial art of Taekwon-Do through the Universal Taekwon-Do Federation (UTF). Carolyne cofounded the Portland, OR and Madison, WI chapters of the UTF with her partner Ray. She holds two black belts: a second-degree black belt in Taekwon-Do, and a second-degree black belt in Shotokan Karate.

Prior to her career in violence prevention, Carolyne’s love was theatre and drama. She has an MFA in Directing Theatre from the UW-Madison and was the Director of University Theatre at UW-Rock County in Janesville, WI, where she used theatre as a tool for transformation and change and addressing  social justice issues on campus. She loves living in Portland and is very grateful for all the support her community, friends and colleagues have given her through the conception, planning, and implementation of EMERJ-SafeNow.

Stefano Iaboni, Facilitator

Born and raised in Rome, Italy. Stefano is a professional actor,a performer and a teaching artist. He’s very passionate about martial arts and he’s committed in helping the community by sharing his knowledge. He currently lives in Portland OR, where he offers corporate team building workshops and laughter-therapy classes when not touring the globe with my solo show “Me Myself and I.”  

Shaymaa Taha

Facilitator and Social Media Specialist

Shaymaa was born in Cairo, Egypt, and grew up in southern Oregon from the age of 5. She moved to Portland to attend Portland State University and was graduated with a degree in Business Administration, with a focus on Global Marketing.

Shaymaa trained to become a violence prevention facilitator for EMERJ in June, 2017. She is  currently co-facilitating workshops and camps, and is currently serving on a team to build a Muslim Women’s program. Her desire to build, stronger safer communities stems from her work as a martial artist and identity as a Muslim woman in America.

Shaymaa started her martial arts training at the age of 14 and holds a black belt in Shobayashi Shorin-ryu Karate. Prior to joining EMERJ, Shaymaa previously worked in technology sales and market research around inter-religious dialogue.

She is currently learning the guitar, loves reading, sunglasses, chocolate, and more than anything else in the whole world, her younger sister.

Aman Weaver, Facilitator and Curriculum Development Specialist

Aman spent the last decade working with adolescents throughout Portland providing behavioral health and substance use and abuse treatment,  as well emergency shelter to runaway / homeless youth and accommodations for youth requiring transitional housing.

Supplementing the work she has done professionally, Aman spent six years teaching self-defense in Portland Public Schools to young women, through the Portland Police Bureau’s Girl Strength Program.

Aman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Portland State University, majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice, followed by internship with the Clark County Juvenile Justice Court, through which she embraced Restorative Justice Philosophy. She is passionate about preventative approaches to community conflict and believes this is the key for creating long term change within our communities and institutions.