Sasha Buchert | Transgender Law Center
Sasha Buchert previously worked as the Communications Manager for Basic Rights Oregon, the state’s chief LGBT advocacy organization where she was the Communications Manager, and was a board member of the LGBT Bar Association of Oregon, and was the chair of the Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board and is the first openly transgender person to be appointed to an Oregon State Board. She loves nectarines, bike riding, ice cream sandwiches and cats of all stripes.
Rosana Cruz | Associate Director, Voice Of The Ex-offender (VOTE)
Rosana is also a core member of the Women’s Health and Justice Initiative and on the Board of Directors of Women With A Vision. She is a writer, organizer, and parent. Rosana came to VOTE from her position as Co-Director of Safe Streets/Strong Communities after working with the National Immigration Law Center helping to create the New Orleans Worker Center for Racial Justice. Earlier in her career, Rosana worked the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of New Orleans, and People’s Youth Freedom School. Rosana came to New Orleans through her work with the Southern Regional Office of Amnesty International in Atlanta.
Maria De La Cruz | Development Director, OutFront Minnesota and Co-Finance Director, Minnesotans United
Maria De La Cruz joined the organization in May 2011, just days before the Minnesota state legislature put a hurtful amendment on the 2012 ballot, which would have limited the freedom to marry. In 2013, Maria co-directed the fundraising efforts for the legislative campaign to win the freedom to marry. She is continuing that role as Minnesotans United PAC, a project of OutFront Minnesota and Project 515, which works to support legislators who voted yes and to protect marriage. Before joining the team at OutFront Minnesota, Maria was the Development Manager at TakeAction Minnesota and Marketing Specialist at Casa de Esperanza. She is a member of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota’s Latino Advisory Board. Although she originates from Wisconsin, Maria and her partner Shawn live in Hopkins, Minnesota with their children Emmanuel and Alejandra, and their dog Charlie.
Elliott Fukui | Program Coordinator, TransJustice at The Audre Lorde Project
Transjustice is a political group for Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color that works to educate, organize and mobilize TGNC POC and their allies on the pressing issues they face. Elliott has been an organizer and trainer for over ten years. He is interested and invested in Transformative Justice practices and grassroots organizing as a way to create sustainable movements and cultural shifts towards justice and liberation.
Pooja Gehi, Esq. | Director of Litigation and Advocacy, Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP)
Pooja Gehi provides free legal services to transgender, gender non conforming and intersex people who are low income and / or people of color. Prior to working at SRLP she wrote criminal appeals for the 4th circuit. Pooja has extensive experience in legal organizing around police brutality and the prison industrial complex, immigrant justice, and attaining wages for migrant farm workers in Florida. In 2010 Pooja was the recipient of the Stonewall Honors Laurie Linton Award by the Stonewall Community Foundation. Pooja co-authored ‘Unraveling Injustice: Race and Class Impact of Medicaid Exclusions of Transition-Related HealthCare for Transgender People’ and “The Role of Lawyers in Trans Liberation: Building a Transformative Movement for Social Change. She also authored, ‘Struggles from the Margins: Anti-Immigrant Legislation and the Impact on Low-Income Transgender People of Color and most recently her article, ‘Gendered (In)security: Migration and Criminalization in the Security State’ was published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender (summer 2012).
Alison Gill | Government Affairs Director, The Trevor Project
At the Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth, Allison Grill coordinates advocacy for LGBTQ youth mental health and safety through policy initiatives at the federal, state, and local level. Prior to joining The Trevor Project, Alison was Public Policy Manager at the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), where she focused on state and local safe schools policy issues. Alison also engages in local trans advocacy in Washington, DC, through organizations such as the DC Trans Coalition and Trans Legal Advocates of Washington. Alison is a graduate of Rutgers University, and she received her JD from the George Washington University Law School.
Jacinto J. Grant | Associate Director, The Attic Youth Center
The Attic Youth Center is a non-profit agency that has been in existence for 20 years, creating opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. J. Grant holds a Master of Social Work Degree and has over 15 years’ experience in HIV/AIDS care and prevention services; clinical supervision; and community planning. J. Grant is also a board and founding member of the Black Gay Men’s Leadership Council, a local Philadelphia grassroots organization advocating for health needs and overall well-being of Black Gay men.
Jamee Greer | Organizing Director, Montana Human Rights Network
Jamee’s work as Organizing Director for the Network is centered on LGBT equality. He was lead organizer in the campaign to pass Montana’s first LGBT nondiscrimination protections through the Missoula and Helena municipal governments. During the legislative sessions he serves as lobbyist for the Network, working on policy related to reproductive and economic justice, LGBT equality, immigration reform, expanding access to health care, and countering the far-right. His previous experience includes HIV/AIDS counseling, testing and prevention with the Montana Gay Men’s Task Force, and advocacy work through the Western Montana Gay & Lesbian Community Center. When he isn’t doing these things, you can find him cooking, camping, hiking – or often drinking at one of Montana’s many microbreweries.
Iimay Ho | Director of Operations and Finance, The Management Center
The Management Center is an organization that teaches social justice leaders how to build and run more effective organizations so they can get great results. Last year Iimay Ho served as a founding steering committee member of the Rainbow Dragon Fund, one of the first LGBTQ Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAAPI) giving circles in the country. She was recently honored with the 2012 Metro Weekly Next Generation Award for her involvement with the DC AAPI community, which included organizing the 2009-2011 Pride & Heritage Awards. Iimay is also interested in the intersections between queerness and spirituality and is an active member of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington’s LGBTQ and people of color sanghas.
Lourdes Ashley Hunter | Program Director, Resource Generation
Ms. Hunter has a visible footprint and expansive legacy as a champion for marginalized queer communities of color. Originally from Detroit Michigan, Lourdes Ashley Hunter has had the amazing opportunity working for culturally diverse communities who are underserved and facing complex issues that directly impact their socio-economic growth and development for over twenty years. In 1993, Lourdes Co-Founded the first People of Color LGBTQ youth initiative in Detroit. Created by and for LGBTQ youth of color, New Generations was designed to provide psychosocial support, HIV/AIDS prevention and intervention services and a safe space for LGBTQ youth to become active and engaged in racial and social justice organizing. An Academic, Educator, and Community Organizer, Ms. Hunter’s exemplified leadership has influenced trans* inclusive policy reform resulting in revised employee trainings and the development and implementation of cultural competence and best practices at Government entities and Community Based Organizations such as New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS), New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA), The New York City Police Department (NYPD) and The Fortune Society. Currently, Lourdes is the Program Director at Resource Generation. Resource Generation organizes young people with wealth and class privilege to work toward a world in which land, wealth and power are shared and all communities are powerful, healthy and living in alignment with the planet. Lourdes holds a B.A. in Social Theory Structure and Change with concentrations in Race, Class and Gender Studies and is Completing an Executive level Master of Public Administration at Rutgers University.
Key Jackson | Education Justice Program Manager, Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools (GSAFE)
GSFAE increases the capacity of LGBTQ students, educators, and families to create schools in Wisconsin where all youth thrive. Key is a west coast native and prior to joining GSAFE has worked within the student movement towards Racial, Queer, Abled, Migrant, Educational and Housing justice for the past seven years. Key has worked on electoral campaigns, organized state wide advocacy legislative work and leadership development programs while designing and implementing racial justice programs. She also loves X-files and long walks on the beach.
Alex Patchin McNeill | Executive Director, More Light Presbyterians
Alex is first openly transgender person to head a mainline Protestant organization. A life-long Presbyterian, and a nationally known educator and advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Christians. He has trained hundreds of Christians to become community leaders through the Institute for Welcoming Resources and the Reconciling Ministries Network. He played key roles organizing faith communities for the passage of Amendment 10A in the PC(USA), and for marriage equality legislation in Maryland. McNeill has also campaigned for ballot measures and legislation to promote LGBTQ rights. After helping to win ordination equality for LGBTQ Presbyterians in 2011, he became the first openly transgender ministry candidate from his home presbytery in Western North Carolina. His journey to ordination is currently being chronicled in the documentary, Out of Order. Alex holds a Master’s of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He currently resides just outside of Washington, DC with his wife and three dogs.
Derrick McQueen | Ph.D. student in Homiletics and New Testament and Assistant Director of Community Partnerships, Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics, and Social Justice
Derrick is entering his fourth year in the Ph.D. program after completing his M.Div. with a focus on Theology and the Arts, also at Union. He earned his B.A. in Theatre Arts at Drew University in 1987. Derrick’s interests include practical theology; integrating current academic theologies and empire-critical biblical studies into congregational and community life; classical dramatic structures and their influence on Christianity; and early Christian community models of social justice and their modern applications on issues such as poverty, sexuality, race and gender. Derrick has worked as a community activist and social worker, and is currently a Poverty Scholar with Union’s Poverty Initiative, where he focuses on the intersection of arts and movement building as well as preaching from a poverty perspective. Derrick is also a spiritual multi-media artist. – See more at:http://www.utsnyc.edu/derrick-mcqueen#sthash.FnvfI75A.dpuf
Camaron Miyamoto | Coordinator of LGBT Student Services, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa
Camaron is also on the Board of Directors of the Hawai’i LGBT Legacy Foundation. Miyamoto continues to learn from his students at University of Hawai’i and is fueled by the belief that we will create a better future through compassion, education, and a steadfast commitment to social justice. Miyamoto won two statewide campaigns for protections of LGBT students in Hawai’i: (1) to add “sexual orientation” to the Hawai’i Department of Education definition of harassment, (2) and to include “gender identity/expression” in the University of Hawai’i System policy of nondiscrimination.
Isa Noyola | Program Manager, LYRIC’s Sequoia Leadership Institute
Isa was was born in Houston, Texas and comes from culturally rich family roots from Comitán, Chiapas and San Luis Potosí, Mexico. The passion for building community through cultural organizing and activism grew from witnessing the way their family connects – religious beliefs to acts of faith and courage in the migrant communities they continue to serve. Today, Isa is passionate about popular education models of sharing racial justice history, multi-generational knowledge, and amplifying art and culture to transform and develop leadership in LGBTQ youth and transgender Latina communities.
Lindsey O-Pries | Member Support Manager, National Network of Abortion Funds
At NNAF Lindsey focuses her energy on joining member Funds in creating powerful and sustainable organizations from the ground up, while simultaneously defeating the Hyde Amendment. Lindsey is a co-founder of the Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project, a Network member abortion Fund and has worked with many other social justice organizations over the past 11 years, she is particularly interested in racial justice, LGBTQ liberation and creating a world without prisons. She lives in Richmond, VA with her partner Nicole and their two dogs.
Rosa Yadira Ortiz | Development and Communications Manager, Western States Center
Rosa is helping build a progressive movement in the West. Previously, Rosa was the Midwest Community Educator for Lambda Legal, in her hometown of Chicago, where she provided numerous trainings and engaged community members and organizations throughout the Midwest on LGBTQ justice with a focus on the intersections with LGBTQ people of color. Rosa has organized with Dyke March Chicago, served as Board President of Amigas Latinas, and worked in student affairs at the University of Chicago. As an educator, trainer, activist, and grassroots fundraiser, Rosa is committed to multi-issue organizing that is affirming of multiple/complex identities. Rosa holds a Master’s in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University. She also earned two Bachelor’s degrees from Depaul University, in Spanish and Latin American and Latina/o Studies.
Tobias Packer Communications Coordinator for New Organizing in Florida, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
Tobias Packer is a conversation starter and a rule breaker. Most known for his unique mixture of traditional organizing principles and incisive deployment of new technologies, Tobias has a knack for digital programs that engage, inform, and inspire. Currently he leads a regional communications operation for 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East – the largest and fastest growing healthcare union in the country. In 2005, after receiving his BA from Smith College, Tobias returned to his home state of Florida to begin his career at Equality Florida – the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. During his tenure with Equality Florida, Tobias spearheaded numerous community based campaigns both responding to far right political attacks and building support for anti-discrimination ordinances, safe schools policies, and domestic partnership laws at the local level.
Miriam Zoila Pérez | Communications Director, Forward Together
A Cuban-American writer and activist based in Washington, DC. Pérez has been working in the reproductive justice movement for over seven years. She began her career working with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health as an organizer and advocate. She then spent four years working as an independent consultant, focused on digital communications strategy. Along the way, Pérez has done extensive writing and blogging on topics related to health, race and gender. She founded the blog Radical Doula, which she still runs, and was an Editor for four years with the popular site Feministing.com. She serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.
Nora Rasman | Collaborator, Maximize Good
Maximize Good is a Washington-DC based non-profit capacity building organization and has a rich background in domestic and international policy, advocacy, and community education. Nora is an agitator for collective vision building and human rights by day and a lover of popular history, identity development, the arts and throwing parties by night. She was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI and currently resides in Washington, DC.
Michelle Sue Sherman | Celebrate LIFE, Native Youth Leadership Alliance (NYLA)
Michelle is Dine’-Navajo born for the Ta’baaha’ (Water Edge people) and To’a’heedlinii (the Two Water that Flows together people) from Upper Fruitland, New Mexico on Navajo Nation Reservation. Her passion in my leadership is to create communities where everyone’s unique gifts can be shared fully and be valued equally. To achieve this vision, she works with Celebrate LIFE. Celebrate LIFE provides trainings, skill-building, mentorship and technical support to ensure Native communities support equality and spaces to thrive for all young people. Michelle is part of the Native Youth Leadership Alliance (NYLA), an intertribal organization that invests in young Native American leaders to create culturally based community change and also the Brown Boi Project (BBP) an ally committed to transforming our privilege of masculinity, gender, and race into tools for achieving Racial and Gender Justice.
Ilona Turner | Legal Director ,Transgender Law Center
Transgender Law Center is the leading national legal organization dedicated to advancing the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming people. With a long history working for LGBTQ equality, Ilona previously worked as a staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and as the lobbyist for Equality California.
Evangeline Weiss | Leadership Programs Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
As Leadership Programs Director, Evangeline works with the Academy for Leadership and Action to build an LGBT movement that is visionary, inclusive and effective. Evangeline Weiss is a master facilitator and social change instigator with a twinkle in her eye. With over 17 years of community building and organizational development experience, Evangeline provides leadership programs, consulting services, and capacity building projects to sustain leaders and organizations on a path towards greater wholeness, intentionality and purpose. Evangeline’s areas of expertise include work culture assessment and transformation, anti-oppression, conflict mediation, communication skills, leadership development, and organizational change. After 9 years in North Carolina working for Duke University and OpenSource Leadership Strategies, Evangeline joined the Task Force in 2010 and currently is grateful to call Portland, Maine home.
Jace Woodrum | Director of Communications, Equality Federation
Jace is a seasoned political communications operative with a passion for LGBT equality. In his position at the Equality Federation, he tells the story of the Federation, its members, and the people behind the state-based movement for equality. Before joining the Federation, he served as both Deputy Executive Director and Communications Director at One Colorado, where he managed the organization’s priority programs, including work to pass a civil unions law and safe schools policy. Jace left Colorado in early 2013 to return to his native state of South Carolina, where he worked as a digital consultant with Freedom to Marry, helping to engage tens of thousands of online supporters to successfully win marriage in Rhode Island and Delaware.