Younger Women Who Rock Nikki Nesbary, YWTF — Washington D.C. Chapter Director

Our second interview for the weekly Younger Women Who Rock is with the YWTF-Washington D.C. Chapter director, Nikki Nesbary.

Name: Nikki Nesbary

Age: 29

Where do you live? I live in the DC Metro area.

How long have you been involved in YWTF? Why did you join?

I have been involved with/a member of YWTF for almost four years.  I was inspired by the ambition of the group to be a voice for younger women within the women’s movement.

What is your role in YWTF?  I am the Director of the YWTF – Washington DC Chapter.

What is your profession? Trained in Political Science and Public Administration, I have been involved in activism for the past seven years.  My professional experience includes project management, administration, customer service, and event planning

What other forms of activism are you involved in outside of YWTF?  Since I was quite young, I have participated in numerous walks to raise funds and awareness for worthy causes including breast cancer, AIDS/HIV, hunger, domestic violence, and reproductive rights.  In March, I was a consultant for the National Immigration Forum during the lead-up to the March for Immigration Reform (March 21st, 2010).  I worked on the Youth Organizing team which mobilized over 2000 students, young people and community members from the DC Metro area to participate in the march.

What does the word feminism mean to you?  Feminism inspires me because it is about breaking down barriers and creating an equal space for all people to live and thrive.  

Do you consider yourself to be a feminist? If yes, how long have you thought of yourself as a feminist?  I believe I have been a feminist all of my life.  The true realization of this was taking a women’s studies course in college and beginning to understand that feminism encompasses a myriad of values and issues.  Groups like the Younger Women’s Task Force are a great example of this.  We create a space for young women to develop leadership skills by planning events, volunteering and holding discussions about the issues that matter most to us. 

What three issues do you care the most about?  Three issues that are close to my heart are reproductive rights, young women’s leadership development and ending violence and abuse against women and children. 


Who is your Shero? Why? My mother is definitely my Shero.  She is a strong, no-nonsense woman who is committed to helping people and making her community a better place.  When I was in grade school she would take me with her to volunteer at local women’s shelters.  She also took me to my first rally to stop child abuse.

What sports do you play?  I haven’t come across a sport that I don’t’ like to watch or play.  In high school I swam on both the women’s and men’s swim teams.  Over the past few years I’ve begun running and have participated in Ragnar Relay, Race to Stop the Silence (stop child sexual abuse) and a 5k run/400m swim biathlon.   Although not a sport per se, I also practice yoga.


What is your favorite thing to cook and what is the recipe?  I love to cook and bake!  Here are two great recipes from my kitchen adventures.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts


  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Nikki’s  ingredient: I added 1 medium chopped white onion (optional)



Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper (and onion if desired). Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt (I like these salty like French fries), and serve immediately.

Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls


  • 1 quart Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast
  • 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
  • Plenty Of Melted Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
  • _____
  • 1 bag Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
  • ½ cups Milk
  • ¼ cups Melted Butter
  • ¼ cups Brewed Coffee
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt


Preparation Instructions

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).

When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.

Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees (see note below) until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting.

Note: My rolls don’t work for me at 400 degrees anymore. I now bake them at 375 degrees.

You can follow the YWTF- Washington D.C. Chapter on twitter to keep up with chapter events @YWTFDC.

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