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Angeline is the owner of Gay Parent Magazine (GPM), a publication featuring news, events, resources and personal stories about LGBT parents and their children. In the late 1990s, becoming a parent inspired Angeline to create GPM. Angeline has 20 years of magazine publishing experience, having created and produced five magazines in the course of her career. Originally from Hawaii, she enjoys spending her leisure time with her partner Susan and their daughter Jiana.
Dohyun Ahn, Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Studies student at Emory University, started the Queer and Asian group on his campus. He also works with various university organizations for LGBTQ equality. He advocates thinking intersectionally for justice, having received multiple awards.
Bex Ahuja, Senior Field Organizer, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Bex has been doing grassroots, and electoral organizing for social justice and LGBT policy change for the last 10 years. Bex has worked with countless campaigns, groups, and activists and loves to support queer poc leaders. Born and living in NYC, you can find Bex hanging with mom, getting boba in Chinatown, and being a dorky, queer, bi-racial Chinese American butch all around town.
Marsha Aizumi is an educator and advocate for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community through her involvement in bringing safe and growth-promoting high school diploma programs to students who face hostility and discrimination at their local high schools. She graduated with her BA from California State University at Los Angeles and majored in American Studies with a minor in English. Marsha continued her education and received her secondary education credentials. Elected in 1988 as the Director of Educational Programs in California charter school pioneers John and Joan Hall, she has overseen the implementation of Leadership Workshops, College tours, and Scholarship Programs for students. Furthermore, she has worked in Chicago public schools helping students realize the importance of graduation. While transitioning her towards the LGBT community, she was later elected to the Parents, Family and Friends for Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) National Board of Directors. In September 2012 her first book, Two Spirits, One Heart, a memoir about a mother and son’s journey through transition is scheduled to be released.
Faisal Alam is a queer-identified Muslim activist, speaker, and writer of Pakistani descent. At age 19, Faisal founded Al-Fatiha (pronounced Al Faatehaa), an organization dedicated to supporting and empowering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning (LGBTIQ) Muslims. He led the organization as its volunteer director from 1997 to 2003. Since founding Al-Fatiha, Faisal has traveled across the country and around the world to meet with LGBTIQ Muslims to build a global queer Muslim movement for justice and equality Faisal has been featured in LGBT and mainstream media and press including the New York Times, BBC World News, Al-Hayat, and the WashingtonPost. He has received numerous recognitions and awards for his activism on behalf of queer Muslims. Advocate Magazine selected him as an “Innovator” and the Utne Reader chose him as one of 30 “Young Visionaries Under 30.” The Equality Forum has recognized Faisal as one of “40 Heroes” who have “made a defining difference in LGBT civil rights over the last forty years.” Faisal has spoken at more than 100 colleges and universities about the challenges and struggles facing LGBTIQ Muslims. In August 2011, Faisal was invited to attend the White House Iftaar (breaking of the fast dinner) with President Barack Obama.
Vivek Anand is a 43 year-old Indian gay man who moved to the United States 18 years ago to continue his architectural studies. He has designed healing projects in the SF Bay Area, is a Hindustani and Sufi singer, student of Taoism and Vedanta, and has an ongoing interest in psychology. He has worked at phone help lines and mental health programs and is about to begin studying to be a therapist.
Terry Ao Minnis is the director of the census and voting programs for the Asian American Justice Center, a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. She co-chairs the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’ Census Task Force and the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans’ Civil Rights Committee. Also, she holds a seat on the U.S Department of Commerce’s 2010 Census Advisory Committee. Terry Ao-Minnis earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from American University Washington College of Law and her Bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Chicago.
Jeff Arellano Cabusao
Jeff Arellano Cabusao is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at Bryant University. He received a BA in English and Cross-Cultural Ethnic Studies from Oberlin College, an MA in Asian American Studies from UCLA, and a PhD in English from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In 2011, he received a 2011 Early Career Educator of Color Leadership Award from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). His teaching and research focus on US Ethnic Studies (Asian American and African American Studies), Cultural Studies (literary and cultural theory, critical pedagogies), and Women’s Studies (feminist movement and social change).
Urooj Arshad is the Associate Director, Equity and Social Justice at Advocates for Youth. Most recently, Urooj has developed a program around International Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender and Questioning (GLBTQ) youth health and rights which seeks to build the capacity of colleague organizations working with GLBTQ youth in low to middle income countries. Urooj has presented about her work at several domestic and international conferences including the International HIV/AIDS Conference 2010 in Vienna, Austria; the European Science Foundation’s conference on Religion, Gender and Human Rights 2011 in Linkoping, Sweden and at the LGBT Pride and Heritage Event hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. She is a member of the Queer Muslim Working Group, which seeks to address the intersectional impact of Islamophobia, homophobia, and transphobia. Urooj was a member of the Center for American Progress’ Women’s Health Leadership Network and a current member of their Faith and Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute. She was also a fellow with the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute.
kb is a steering committee member proudly organizing with hotpot! since 2010. Her politics are informed by her locality within her family of immigrants and war and genocide survivors. She finds joy in learning, Tomie dePaola’s children’s books, yoga, teaching herself Tagalog, and her two chickens. She aspires to live her life in compassionate and intentional ways.
Raja Bhattar is the Director of the LGBT Campus Resource Center at UCLA, coordinating LGBT-based social justice initiatives for the campus and surrounding community. He is a first-generation South Asian/Desi-American immigrant and is involved with community organizing around issues of gender, race, class, sexuality, and access to education. He holds a Master of Education degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish from Boston University, Boston, MA. He has served as a board member for the Consortium of LGBT Resource Professionals in Higher Education, the Asian Pacific Islanders Knowledge Community of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), and Satrang, the LA-based South Asian Queer advocacy and support organization. Raja has written several journal articles and book chapters examining intersections of identities and cultural competency in higher education.
Diana Bùi is a Vietnamese queer women of color poet and organizer. Her love for art and social justice began in her hometown, Los Angeles. She currently works at the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and serves as Policy Chair of NAPAWF-DC. Connect @dianaqbui or firstname.lastname@example.org
A native of Seattle, Michael Byun serves as the Executive Director for the Asian Services in Action. He attended Bowdoin College and earned his MPA from the University of Washington. Prior to his appointment as executive director, Michael focused his time as a volunteer coordinator and HIV/AIDS community organizer. While at ASIA, he started his career as a program manager for tobacco control. Here, he was responsible for the agency’s nationally recognized Asian American Youth Against Tobacco program. Michael is also a member of the Community Advisory Committee for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Summit County Social Service Advisory Board. Michael Byun is also the outgoing President of the Ohio Asian American Health Coalition. He earned the 2009-10 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Ladder to Leadership fellow, and currently, he was named an Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy, and Leadership Fellow.
Ben Cabangun is a queer pinoy son of immigrant parents hailing from the Inland Empire of Southern California. HIV/AIDS activist, researcher, and educator, Ben currently manages all prevention education programs and both the HIV Testing and Hepatitis Screening and Vaccination mobile clinics at the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center–the largest non-profit health services, education, research, and policy organization in North America targeting Asian & Pacific Islander communities living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. Ben also sits on the City/County of San Francisco HIV Prevention Planning Council and is a Community Consultant Group member of the HIV Prevention Section of the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
Amanda Carrington, born in Seoul, South Korea, is currently a student at Emory University studying Women’s Gender and Sexuality, and plans on attending law school with a focus on immigration.
Steve Cha is a Health Educator with APAIT Health Center. Steve’s work in advocacy and education dates back to his college days, where he interned at the LGBT Resource Center at UC Davis. His passions have since lead him leadership positions within organizations such as Asian Pacific Islander Pride Council, GAPSN, and KUE. In addition to his advocacy work, Steve also dabbles in writing; he has contributed to publications such as Hyphen Magazine and the Examiner.
Gloria Chan is currently the President and CEO of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS), whose mission is to promote Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) participation and representation at all levels of the political process, from community service to elected office. Before this post, Ms. Chan spent five years working on Capitol Hill advocating on behalf of AAPI communities. Her last position on the Hill was executive director of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), a caucus of over 40 Members of Congress.
Jason Chan joined the staff of CAAAV in September 2011 after working as an active volunteer of Chinatown Tenants Union since 2009. Before joining CAAAV staff, he worked at the China Institute as a Program Manager of the Adult Chinese Language and Tutoring Program. Contact Jason at email@example.com.
Sunu P. Chandy is a social justice activist, attorney, poet, & new mother. As a senior trial attorney with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (U.S. EEOC) she serves as a civil rights attorney litigating in the public interest for workers’ rights. She is also working towards completing her MFA in Creative Writing – Poetry. Sunu has held several Board of Director positions including LeGal (Lesbian and Gay Law Association), ALP (the Audre Lorde Project), and SAWCC (the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective). Sunu began the journey towards starting a family over ten years ago and was overjoyed to bring her two-year-old adopted daughter home from India in October 2011. Sunu & her partner are raising Satya in Brooklyn, New York, with much encouragement from loving folks, near and far.
Elena Chang is an organizer and performer, striving to continue her work as an artist and activist to shed light on various social, political, and humanitarian issues. Elena has also directed as a visibility advocate for the Asian Pride Project, an online platform to share stories of family and friends of LGBT Asian and Pacific Islanders. She is thrilled to be working with fellow “queer-eans” on such a meaningful publication.
Anj Chaudhry is a genderqueer, mixed race desi activist and community organizer. An Atlanta-native, Anj’s understanding of race, gender, and sexuality and love of sweet tea were influenced by their Southern upbringing. Anj now lives in Jackson Heights, NY, where he works as the Lead Community Organizer for Chaya Community Development Corporation, a South Asian housing and economic justice organization. He serves on the boards of SALGA NYC, the Queer South Asian organization, and the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA). In their spare time, Anj enjoys cooking and bhangra dance.
Dennis Chin is a steering committee member of the Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY). He works at the Center for Social Inclusion, a policy strategy organization working to dismantle structural racism. He also serves on the Board of Directors of CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities. Dennis is based in Queens, New York and in his spare time, loves to dance! @denniscchin
Vanessa Coe is the Lead Organizer at API Equality-Northern California.
Kelly Collins-McMurry is one of the original co-founders of the GLLU. She worked for Metropolitan Police Department in May 1992 before she helped start the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU). Kelly received her Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Ohio University and graduated summa cum laude in 1984.
Alain Dang is a demographic researcher, writer, and urban planner based in Cupertino, California. He has authored a number of groundbreaking studies, including Living in the Margins: A National Survey of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Asian and Pacific Islander Americans and Black Same-Sex Households in the United States: A Report from the 2000 Census for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute. His autobiography is featured in Kevin Kumashiro’s Restoried Selves: Autobiographies of Queer Asian Pacific American Activists.
Ben de Guzman
Ben de Guzman has been a leading voice for over a dozen years both locally and nationally on a range of issues in the AAPI and LGBT communities, including: civil rights, veterans and immigration policy; leadership training and development; and advocacy and organizing. He currently serves as the Co-Director for Programs at the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA). In this capacity, he manages the policy and programmatic work for the federation of the more than 30 AAPI LGBT groups around the country addressing racism, xenophobia and homophobia. As the National Coordinator for the National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity (NAFVE), he ran the successful legislative campaign to achieve payments for and recognize the military service of Filipinos who fought under the United States during World War II. As a non-profit consultant, he has worked with clients such as OCA, APIAVote, and the National Federation of Filipino American Associations.
Erwin de Leon
Erwin de Leon is a research associate at the Urban Institute and a columnist at Feet in 2 Worlds, an immigration news website. He is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, the Nonprofit Quarterly, and WNYC’s It’s a Free Country. He is the foreign-born half of a binational couple that shares the challenges faced by thousands of gay binational couples in the U.S. He lives with his husband, Rev. John Beddingfield, in Washington, D.C.
Jess Delegencia, MA, MDiv, a citizen of both the United States and the Philippines, is currently the executive director of World Bridges, an Oakland-based non-profit serving young adults of color affected by US urban poverty. He is also a PhD candidate in Organizational Leadership at Eastern University in St. Davids, PA, where his research is focused on Filipino leadership and LGBT advocacy in Christian organizations. Jess was a full-time minster with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for over 12 years, serving as Area Director (2002-2004), Regional Program Director for the Global Urban Trek program in the Philippines and Asia (2004-2008), and a national diversity consultant (2002-2008) in API leadership development and ministry. Jess is the co-founder of Kapwa, a Filipino American para-church organization in Berkeley, CA. He is also a sought after speaker and teacher, having preached or facilitated workshops in Mexico, Thailand, South Africa, Canada, United Kingdom, and the Philippines. Jess has travelled to over 50 countries in all regions of the world, having lived, studied or worked in southern Africa, southeast Asia, India, and Mexico.
Marita Etcubañez is Director of Programs at the Asian American Justice Center, a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. AAJC’s mission is to advance civil and human rights for Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all. Marita’s work includes facilitating and directing the work of AAJC’s attorneys and program staff, coordinating with communications, development and operations departments, and working in partnership with the affiliates of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. Prior to joining AAJC, Marita was Director of Legal Services at the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center in Washington, D.C. Her experience providing direct legal services to low-income communities also includes assisting labor pool workers as part of the Homeless Persons Representation Project in Baltimore, Maryland, and advocating on behalf of migrant and seasonal farm workers with Texas Rural Legal Aid. Marita received both her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Michigan.
Rebecca Fox is a Program Officer in the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Program at Wellspring Advisors, LLC. Prior to this, she was the director of the National Coalition for LGBT Health, leading organizations nationwide working together to improve the lives and health of LGBT people through advocacy, outreach and education. She also taught human sexuality at the George Washington University. Prior to coming to the Coalition, Fox worked as the Assistant Director for Public Policy at SIECUS, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.
She serves on the boards of Choice USA, a national organization that mobilizes and supports the diverse, upcoming generation of leaders who promote and protect reproductive choice. She has also served on the boards of the Washington Area Clinic Defense Task Force (WACDTF), a local organization working to ensure access for all women to reproductive health services, and Generations Ahead.
As a queer, genderqueer, biracial sexuality educator, CJ Frosch often finds themselves facilitating understanding about the beauty & difficulty of being “in the middle” or fluid. Currently Director of Education & Training at Planned Parenthood of Maryland, CJ has been teaching youth & adults about sexuality for over 6 years professionally with Planned Parenthood affiliates. They have presented at the NGLTF Creating Change Conference, APPLE Drawing Water from a Deeper Well Conference, & various other sexuality-related conferences about gender nonconformity, sexy safer sex, & navigating consensual sexual experiences.
Dana Ginn Paredes
For over 15 years, Dana Ginn Paredes has worked to build the movement for social justice by organizing for racial justice through welfare rights and advancing civic engagement in communities of color through campaigns to support affirmative action, immigrant rights, reproductive justice for young women and youth, and LGBTQ rights. Upon joining the staff of Forward Together in 2003, she initiated the development of the organization’s local program for young Asian women and led field research that supported the passing of comprehensive sex education policy for public schools in California. Currently, Dana leads the culture shift work for Forward Together’s Strong Family Initiative, which includes the transformative mind-body movement building practice, Forward Stance. Dana was a 2009 fellow of the National APAWLI Program of The Center for Asian Pacific American Women and a 2007 fellow of the Women’s Policy Institute of the Women’s Foundation. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.
Christopher Goeken, Esq.
Christopher is not only an adoption attorney who specializes in LGBT adoptions, but he’s also the proud father of kindergartener adopted with his partner. Christopher has handled adoptions throughout the NYC region for all kinds of families, and has trained other lawyers in the adoption process. Before opening his law practice, he was the Communications Director for the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. Christopher assisted in the legal challenge to onerous changes in asylum law while with the ACLU Immigrant’s Rights Project. He is a member of the Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Christopher was honored for his work by Immigration Equality for his pro bono activities in 2006.
Naomi focuses on the Movement Advancement Project’s LGBT movement research analyses and public policy work. Prior to joining MAP, Naomi was the 2008-2010 Peter J. Cooper Public Policy Fellow at the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, where her research focused on adoption and foster care, domestic partner benefits, and issues affecting older LGBT Americans. Her work has been published in the Journal of Health Psychology, Archives of Sexual Behavior, Journal of Family Theory & Review, PolicyMatters, Michigan Journal of Public Affairs, and TaxNotes.
Heron Greenesmith is Legislative Counsel at Family Equality Council, a national organization working for full equality for the one million parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender raising two million children. Heron works on legislative and regulatory policy at the local, state, and federal levels, including foster care and adoption, safer schools, and relationship recognition. A graduate of American University Washington College of Law and the University of New Hampshire, Heron has written on transgender workplace discrimination and the invisibility of bisexuality, as well as numerous topics for the Family Equality blog.
Tom Hayashi is currently serving as the 11th Executive Director of OCA National Center. Founded as “Organization of Chinese Americans” in 1973. (He is the first openly gay OCA Executive Director of mixed ethnicity.) Before joining the executive leadership of OCA, Tom lead an organizational development firm by the name of Capacity Empowerment as its Principal providing services and counsel to nonprofit, government, and private sectors. He brings over 18 years of combined professional experience as a former health care provider/administrator, fundraising executive, educator, and community activist to his coaching practice. Through combination of personal and professional experience in the community Tom has pursued his passion for progressive social change by applying his expertise to further the cause of over 80 nonprofit organizations and government agencies as consultant, staff, and leadership volunteer locally, regionally, and nationally often speaking on leadership development and organizational capacity building. Moreover, he has received a number of honors from the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, and United States Congress for his leadership and excellence in community empowerment efforts. In 2009, he was appointed as the first Asian Pacific American to serve as a Commissioner for the City of Long Beach Economic Development Commission. Currently, Tom also serves on the board of APIA Scholarship Fund, Rainbow Dragon Fund Steering Committee, Mosaica Nonprofit Services, the Learning Community & Technology Advisory Committee, and Socio-Ecological Justice & Diversity Committee of Fielding Graduate University. Tom earned his B.A. in Social Studies from Thomas Edison State College, and post graduate studies in Health Policy Research from University of California Los Angeles, Nonprofit Marketing and Fundraising from California State University Long Beach, Instructional Technology and Curriculum Development from California State University East Bay and Human & Organizational Development from Fielding Graduate University. He has also served as adjunct faculty and trainer in the College of Extended and International Education at California State University Dominguez Hills, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and School of Education and Professional Development Center at Antioch University in Los Angeles. His personal interests includes road cycling, hiking & camping, contemporary art, domestic and overseas travel, and being a shameless foodie.
Iimay Ho is a queer, Chinese American, Southerner who loves Korean BBQ and living at the intersections. She currently lives in Arlington, VA. She’s a member of the steering committee for the Rainbow Dragon Fund, the first giving circle for LGBTQ APIs in the country.
Alice Y. Hom
Dr. Alice Y. Hom is the Director of the Queer Justice Fund at Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP). Alice currently serves on the board of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. She co-edited with David Eng an award-winning anthology Q & A: Queer in Asian America and has published articles in various journals and anthologies including, AAPI Nexus Journal, Amerasia Journal, and Psychological Perspectives on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Experiences.
Weijie Huang is an alumni of Harvard University. He is one of the co-founders of the Queer Asian Forum (QAF) at Harvard.
Sine Hwang Jensen
Sine Hwang Jensen is a 25 year-old mixed race, queer women of Asian descent, and a MOONROOT contributor.
Shivana is a legal advocate, community organizer, and artist. In May 2011, she graduated from Emory University School of Law, where she was Co-Chair of Law Students for Reproductive Justice, on the executive board of Emory’s LGBTQ legal association, and led service trips for the Emory Public Interest Committee. She has been a legal clerk at the New York State Division of Human Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. From 2006 to 2008, Shivana worked with Sakhi for South Asian Women, a non-profit dedicated to ending violence against women of South Asian origin, as an intern and then as a Volunteer Coordinator. While at Sakhi, she spearheaded efforts to expand the organization’s reach into neglected communities, namely New York City’s Indo-Caribbean population. In 2007, Shivana co-founded Jahajee Sisters, a New York-based movement-building organization, led by Indo-Caribbean women, that seeks to foster women’s empowerment through dialogue, arts, leadership development, and grassroots organizing. She currently sits on the Jahajee Sisters Steering Committee. Shivana is also a classical Indian dancer and a spoken word poet, who seeks to use her art to illuminate women’s trauma and resilience. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Fordham University.
Siunyoo Kim was born in Korea in 1960 and studied English and English Literature at Sacred Heart College for Women. She immigrated to Chicago in 1985 and studied Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is an advocate for LGBT rights in the Korean community and the Application Developer for a living. She lives with her domestic partner Agnes Harley and her two children, Bee and Kai.
Aakash Kishore is a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at UCLA, where he studies how the psychosocial experience of discrimination influences biological processes of illness and health. Aakash is also a former board member of FTM International and Satrang. He currently serves on the Chancellor’s Committee on LGBT Affairs at UCLA as well as on the Board of Directors for Gender Justice LA, a grassroots organization that aims to secure the health and safety of low-income transgender people of color in Los Angeles.
Nick Kor is a program developer for Minnesotans United for All Families. Nick was recently honored with OUTFront MN’s “25 under 25” Award.
Prerna Lal is a Fiji-Indian who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. As an openly queer and undocumented immigrant, Prerna is concerned with building spaces and using her limited resources to elevate marginalized voices. As a Co-founder of DreamActivist, she helped to build a vibrant and historic network of immigrant youth online, which has mobilized thousands into action nationwide. She has also helped with the creation of many local immigrant youth groups, providing direct support, mentorship, and advocacy to individuals caught up in the immigration dragnet. She is currently a rising 3L at The George Washington University Law School in Washington D.C., while also serving as a Board Member for Immigration Equality, an organization that advocates for the rights of LGBT immigrants, and working as a law clerk at Benach Ragland LLP, the best immigration law firm in the country.
Kevin Lam is first generation American born Laotian & Vietnamese, and identifies as a gay male. Originally from Poughkeepsie, New York, he moved to Providence, RI to work with the Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM) as the Program Manager. He works with youth to address the need for visibility of the Queer Southeast Asian Community in Providence, as well as nationwide.
Dr. Thai Lee is the chief resident at the University of MN Department of Family Medicine. He currently serves on SOY’s Advisory Board.
Ben Leong serves as co-chair for the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA). He also is part of the Board of Directors for the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center.
Ryan Li Dahlstrom
Ryan Li Dahlstrom/RLD is a mixed race gender-fabulous organizer, bridge builder, trainer, and facilitator who grew up in Minnesota and now lives in Oakland, CA. He has worked at the intersections of LGBTQ, youth, and anti-violence movements for the past decade. He currently works at GIFT (Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training) and is a board member of Community United Against Violence (CUAV), a San Francisco-based queer and trans anti-violence organization. Ryan Li is dedicated to building and imagining an interconnected and inter-dependent world in which we all can be our whole, liberated, fierce selves in real and transformative ways. He’s grateful for all the people and communities past and present who remind him that this is indeed possible. His everyday work is guided by a belief in the power, strength, and resilience of queer and trans people of color.
Aries M. Liao is a co-founder and steering committee member of Q-WAVE and the Asian Pride Project. She is a social worker by profession and currently serves on the board of NQAPIA. Aries is committed to attaining gender, racial, and economic justice, community building, and addressing the larger mental health issues for API communities. She currently works for the Center for Specialty Therapy at YAI as a mental health therapist, Yeshiva University as an adjunct professor; and the Social Work Education Consortium as a researcher.
Alison enjoys dancing, photography, drinking bubble tea, learning, eating greens from her garden and other pursuits of love and community. Public health is a passion and she spends days in Philadelphia researching community mobilization focused on HIV prevention for young gay men. She is a proud founding member of hotpot! and the co-chair of the board of the National Queer Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance. She is queer and mixed race.
Stacey Long is the Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (The Task Force), the country’s premier social justice organization fighting to improve the lives of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people (LGBT). The Task Force is committed to establishing legal protections, economic stability for LGBT individuals and families across the nation and creating positive, lasting change and opportunity for all. As Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Stacey pursues an LGBT social change agenda of achieving policy and legislative wins in employment, housing, health care, education and anti-violence. The Task Force’s campaign to end employment discrimination operates on the belief that everyone deserves the right to have a job with a living wage, based on their skills and qualifications, not based on who they are or whom they love. The organization also works to change laws and policies that deny same-sex couples the same rights and benefits as opposite-sex couples. Stacey engages the LGBT movement beyond its traditional boundaries of sexual orientation and gender identity to include issues such as pay equity, reproductive rights, racial profiling, and immigration reform. Stacey serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations and is actively engaged with her local community. She received a bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies from Vassar College and a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Samir Luther is the Director of Leadership Initiatives at the Victory Institute and runs the Presidential Appointments Project and the International LGBT Leadership Conference. He launched the Victory Congressional Internship to develop promising LGBT college leaders from around the country through internships on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Prior to Victory, Samir managed the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index from 2004-2010 and created groundbreaking resources for employers to recruit and retain talented LGBT workers. A proud native of St. Louis, Missouri, Samir now resides in Washington, D.C.
Oskar Ly is a Hmong Artist and Organizer. She was the former Interim Director at SOY and now volunteers as a community activist.
Glenn D. Magpantay
Glenn is the Co-Director for Development at NQAPIA. He brings to this work 25 years of experience in the LGBT movement, and 12 years specifically working with local LGBT API groups, including being co-chair of the Gay Asian & Pacific Islander Men of New York. He organized the first ever testimony before The White House Initiative on Asian Americans & Pacific Islander in 2000. He was named as one of Instinct Magazine’s “25 Leading Men of 2004,” in the magazine’s Nov. 2004 power issue. In 1994, he spoke at the National March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation. Professionally, Glenn is the Democracy Program Director at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund where he practices voting rights law. AALDEF has filed briefs with federal and state courts in support of same-sex marriage and civil rights of lesbians and gays. He has written on the intersection of gay rights and traditional civil rights law in a number of law reviews and public reports. Glenn attended the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook on Long Island, and as a beneficiary of affirmative action, graduated cum laude from the New England School of Law in Boston.
Andy Marra is a Korean American adoptee and an openly transgender woman that is nationally recognized for her work in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and Asian Pacific Islander communities. She joins Nodutdol with nearly 10 years of experience in program development, communications, fundraising, organizing and advocacy. Previously, Marra served as the Senior Media Strategist for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) where she was responsible for leading work in states with high-level legal, legislative and political developments where long term and emergency public education and communications planning was crucial.
Darryl Maxwell is the Managing Attorney for the DC Bar Pro Bono Program’s Community Economic Development Project. The Community Economic Development Project provides pro bono counsel to community-based nonprofits, disadvantaged small businesses, and low-income tenant associations and limited equity co-ops. Among his duties, Darryl matches nonprofit organizations, tenant associations, and small businesses with ongoing pro bono legal representation. He conducts trainings on legal issues that pertain to nonprofits and small businesses. He also manages the Small Business Brief Advice Legal Clinic, which gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to meet with volunteer attorneys to discuss their legal issues. This program was awarded Small Business Initiative of the Year by the Washington DC Economic Partnership in 2010. Prior to working with the DC Bar, Darryl worked in private practice. Darryl is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the George Washington University Law School. He is a member of the ABA Forum on Affordable Housing & Community Development and a Board member of the Washington Bar Association’s Young Lawyer’s Division.
Moof Mayeda serves as the Senior Field Organizer for the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. After growing up in Orange County with a 1.5 generation Japanese mother and Sansei father, Moof moved to Los Angeles and graduated from UCLA with a double major in mathematics and microbiology. As an organizer for the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force for the last 8 years, they have worked on a variety of electoral campaigns for social justice and LGBT liberation in 10 different states. Moof has big love for NQAPIA because being at the 2009 conference helped them be their full self as a queer, Asian American, gender non-conforming person.
Rae and Morgan Meneses-Sheets
Rae Meneses-Sheets is the Senior Speech Pathologist for Hannah More School, which provides academic, vocational and therapeutic programs to students whose needs require a specialized school setting. Rae is an adjunct instructor at her alma mater Loyola University. Morgan Meneses-Sheets is the Program Manager at the Reproductive Health Technologies Project where she is responsible for managing and directing the abortion technologies program and overseeing RHTP’s work to restore coverage for abortion care. Morgan has spent the past twelve years advocating on behalf of reproductive health, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender equality, environmental protection and health care access. Morgan & Rae live in the Baltimore area with their daughter and their two pugs.
Joy Messinger is a queer/bisexual Korean adoptee and social & reproductive justice advocate living in Chicago. She is currently the Reproductive Justice Project Coordinator for the Chicago chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, the country’s only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing, and policy advocacy organization for Asian and Pacific Islander women in the US. Professionally. She is the Manager of Sexual Health Education at the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent where she oversees the organization’s peer education, professional development, and health research initiatives. In addition to her community work with NAPAWF-Chicago, Joy is also a Board Member of NQAPIA, a Core Member of Invisible to Invincible: Asian Pacific Islander Pride of Chicago, and a volunteer birth doula supporting women through natural and low-intervention childbirth. In her free time, she writes on adoption, bisexuality, and intersectional activism and can be found online at seoulsisterreturning.blogspot.com and @msjoyluckclub.
Kham Moua is the current Board Chair of SOY. He is also a Program Coordinator at Hmong American Partnership.
Becky L. Monroe
Becky L. Monroe currently serves as the Acting Director of the Community Relations Service (CRS), a component of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she works with law enforcement and local government officials, community leaders, and federal agencies to support those leaders in addressing tension associated with allegations of discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin. CRS also works with these leaders to help communities develop the capacity to more effectively prevent and respond to violent hate crimes committed on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or disability.
Mala Nagarajan has been involved in the South Asian LGBTQ community building for almost 20 years, from co-moderatoring international listservs such as Khush and SAGrrls to co-founding Trikone-NW, a community organization serving LGBTQ South Asians in the Pacific Northwest. Mala and her partner, Vega, had a Hindu wedding ceremony in 2002 and were plaintiffs in the 2004 marriage equality lawsuit against King County and Washington State. Mala is a Board Member and former Co Director of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), and she has served on a number of community boards, including Equal Rights Washington, the City of Seattle Women’s Commission, and Seattle PFLAG. As the 2008-2009 Task Force LGBT Policy Fellow, she investigated movement-building and organizational development challenges in queer people of color organizations. Mala is the founder of Creative Collaborations, a nonprofit support organization.
Linda Nguyễn is a cultural worker and MOONROOT contributor.
Van Nguyen is a teacher in the suburbs of Philadelphia who has been an active organizer in the local community for the past few years. She is a Planning Committee member of the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference and Day Manager of the conference’s Children’s Camp. As a self-identified trans-feminine genderqueer dyke using she/her pronouns, she is also a Steering Committee member of hotpot!, a Philadelphia-based queer API women/transfolk activist and support group. She was a keynote speaker at the 2nd Annual LGBTQ Womyen of Color Conference on the topic of identity and community in 2010. She is actively seeking opportunities to be an educator both inside and outside of classrooms in order to foster a new generation of leaders.
Rev. Trinity Ordona
Rev. Trinity A. Ordona, Ph.D., has a 45-year history of grass roots activism in people of color and queer communities promoting grass roots organizing strategies in local, national and international arenas. She is co-founder and board member of numerous initiatives and has received several awards including the UCSF Chancellor’s Award for Public Service, Northern California GLBT Historical Society Award for Individual Historic Achievement and the BACW Lesbian of Achievement, Vision and Action Award. Trinity has been a college instructor since 2001 and taught undergraduate and graduate college courses on history, culture, politics, social movements, sexuality, ethnicity, health and relationships as it relates to women, communities of color and LGBTQI people. In 2003, Trinity was ordained as a minister and now devotes her organizing work to survivors of abuse and sexual violence teaching self-healing mediation classes and organizing all-day workshops on various non-traditional healing practices. In 2008, Trinity was named among “The 20 Most Influential Lesbian Professors” by Curve Magazine.
Pauline Park (paulinepark.com) is chair of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA) (nyagra.com), a statewide transgender advocacy organization that she co-founded in 1998, and president of the board of directors of Queens Pride House (queenspridehouse.org), which she co-founded in 1997. Park also co-founded Iban/Queer Koreans of New York (now defunct) in 1997 and served as its coordinator from 1997 to 1999. Park led the campaign for passage of the transgender rights law enacted by the New York City Council in 2002. In 2005, Park became the first openly transgendered grand marshal of the New York City Pride March.
Ami Patel is a current graduate student in Asian American Studies at UCLA. Her broader research interests include arts activism, demographic shifts in education, and critical pedagogy. Ami has been active in community based policy and advocacy and creative work since her undergraduate career. Although her first medium is poetry and she has dabbled in film, Ami aims to be a multidisciplinary artist and educator. She is co-founder of the Satrang Youth Group.
Bupendra Ram: I was fortunate to have a high school teacher who knew about the Dream Act and AB540 and help me get the information I needed know. The South Asian community finds conversations about an individual’s undocumented status to be taboo. My plan is to go into South Asian spaces and have these uncomfortable conversations because even with our undocumented status, there are ways for us to achieve our dreams. I want to be like my high school teacher for the South Asian community and share with them the numerous paths anyone can take ways to get a higher education, papers or not. When I entered the DREAM Act movement, I was exposed to an intersection of identities. As queer-undocumented students we first start our struggle at home. Before we knew that we were undocumented, we fight the stigma of being queer within our family. I jumped into the queer undocumented movement to create a space to empower both identities.
Suma is currently the Coordinator of the South Asian Gay and Lesbian Association (SALGA), and Coordinator for the South Asian National Helpline, a collaborative effort of South Asian LGBTQ groups around the nation. Suma also works with the Asian Pride Project, an online Queer API effort that aims to bring forth the stories of queer APIs to families and our greater communities.
Mark Ro Beyersdorf
Mark Ro Beyersdorf is a queer, second-generation, mixed-race Korean American activist. He is currently on the staff of the Educational Equity and Youth Rights Project at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) in New York City. He is also active in the local AAPI and queer communities as a member of Nodutdol, a progressive Korean diasporic organization, the Board of Directors of CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, and the Coordinating Committee of the Dari Project, an organization that works to increase awareness and acceptance of LGBTQ people of Korean descent in Korean American communities.
Che Ruddell-Tabisola is the Federal Associate for Freedom to Marry and supports the campaign’s Washington, D.C.-based work to overturn the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” and end federal marriage discrimination.
Che has served in LGBT public education and advocacy since 2006. He managed research and special projects for the Human Rights Campaign, where he directed the organization’sEquality Forward study about the lives and experiences of LGBT people of color. He was also a field organizer for the California No on Proposition 8 Campaign and for marriage equality in New Hampshire. Most recently he headed the U.S. Census Bureau’s national outreach to LGBT Communities and facilitated the Our Families Count Partnership. Che holds a masters degree in international conflict analysis from the University of Kent at Brussels and lives in Washington, DC with his husband.
Maya Rupert joined the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) in 2010 to advance NCLR’s federal policy and legislative priorities. Maya’s work includes advocacy in many areas including federal legislation and regulations on housing, family policy, health, and employment. Maya has also been a regular contributing writer to a number of media outlets—including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Huffington Post—where she frequently addresses the intersection of race, sexual orientation, and gender identity. She has been recognized by national outlets like Ebony Magazine and The Root for being one of the most influential African-American leaders in the country. Maya received her B.A. from U.C. Santa Barbara in 2003, and her J.D. from U.C. Berkeley (Boalt Hall) in 2006. In 2007, Maya clerked for the Honorable Eric L. Clay of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to joining NCLR, she was an associate with Sidley Austin LLP’s Los Angeles office.
Nick Sakurai has over a decade of experience strengthening social justice movements by developing the skills and leadership of passionate people, and by creating more powerful and resourced communities through quality management, community organizing, and engaged philanthropy. In the past, Sakurai has been a director in a national advocacy non-profit, has worked in higher education, and has created the first-ever LGBT Student of Color National Summit. Sakurai is currently Associate Director at the University of Maryland’s LGBT Equity Center, and has conducted consulting work for a variety of organizations, including OCA (formerly Organization of Chinese Americans), APIA Scholarship Fund / Gates Millennium Scholars, National Center for Transgender Equality, a top European business school, and a Latin American international development NGO. Sakurai has also provided pro bono web design and fundraising support to an NGO in Pakistan working to assist trans people, hijras, and sex workers affected by the 2010 floods. In addition, he has provided fundraising support for an LGBTQ youth activist in Nigeria and a leadership workshop for ESSEC, a top business school in France. In 2001, Sakurai had the opportunity to study sexuality, gender, and identity in Amsterdam and to complete an independent study project focusing on gay/bi youth of color in the Netherlands, primarily of Islamic diaspora or Afro-Caribbean heritage.
Prerna Sampat (Pronouncer: PRAY-ruh-NAH sum-PAHT) is an organizer and media strategist based in Brooklyn, New York, by way of Chicago and Mumbai. Over the past decade, she’s helped shape a number campaigns for economic justice, racial justice, immigrant rights, and QTBGL rights – both professionally, and as a volunteer. Prerna currently works at ALIGN, a coalition of labor and community groups organizing to build a more just and sustainable New York. She also serves on the Movement Building Team at Sylvia Rivera Law Project, an organization that works for the rights of transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming people.
Aneesa Sen is an LGBTQ and economic justice activist who lives in New York city. She has several years of experience working with support for South Asian LGBTQ people in the tri-state area. Revolution is her idea of fun.
Holiday Simmons is the National Community Educator located in the Southern Regional Office of Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people with HIV. With a background in social work, education, performing arts, and activism, Simmons has worked with youth in foster care, taught GED, managed education initiatives, and facilitated numerous creative writing and spoken word workshops with groups of youth, LGBT people, women, and Africana and Latino communities both in the United States and abroad.
Charlie Solidum has been an educator, speaker, and activist in NYC’s transmasculine community for nearly a decade. His personal journey in coming out to his mother and sister has informed much of his intersectional work serving queer APIs and communities of color. As a trans Pinoy-American, Charlie has been repeatedly humbled by finding support in surprising places.
Rohan Sooklall has been an activist in the South Asian queer space in New York City for over a decade. Originally from Guyana, he held various positions on the board of SALGA. In 2010 he co-founded SANGAM, an LGBTQ organization with a specific Indo-Caribbean focus. Rohan is interested in bringing a queer voice to the table in space where, traditionally, it has been either absent or unwelcome.
Dave Stupplebeen serves as the Media and Communications Coordinator for the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, where he is responsible for responsible for distribution of key Banyan Tree Project products. In 2007, he graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in Political Science.
Sivagami (aka Shiva) Subbaraman is the first Director of the LGBTQ Resource Center at Georgetown University. She has presented at several national conferences on her experiences in doing LGBTQ work in a Catholic/Jesuit context. Prior to coming to Georgetown, she worked as Associate Director, Office of LGBT Equity, at the University of Maryland. She has also taught at Macalester College, Drake University, and University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Her primary areas of research are African American, Asian American, and Chicana feminist theories and literatures, and has taught several courses on feminist theories, including on queer women of color. She has published on popular culture including an article on “Catalog-ing Ethnicity: Clothing as Cultural Citizenship” in the journal Interventions. She has written and spoken extensively on the issue of part-time and adjunct labor in the academic world, and she has organized them on their behalf. Her article “(In)Different Spaces: Feminist Journeys from the Academy to a Mall” is included in Women’s Studies on Its Own edited by Robyn Weigman (Duke University Press, 2001). She is a feminist activist and serves on the board of several local community organizations. In her varied career, she is most happy to report that she also managed a coffee shop for several years that allowed her to continue her scholarship in a way that being an adjunct professor could not. She has also realized, much to her consternation, that there lurks “a geek” in her humanities soul.
Vega Subramaniam is a social justice activist based in the DC area. Vega has been involved in LGBTQ organizing since 1983 when she came out as a lesbian, and she has been involved in the South Asian queer community since 1997. She is a co-founder of Trikone-NW, an organization supporting LGBTQ South Asians in the Pacific Northwest. She has also volunteered with a variety of LGBTQ organizations, including Trikone (San Francisco), Pride Foundation (Pacific Northwest), and NQAPIA (national). In 2004, Vega and her partner Mala were one of the plaintiff couples in Washington State’s marriage equality lawsuit. Professionally, Vega has taught sociology and worked in student services at Penn State University, Western Washington University, and the University of Washington. Currently, she is the director of the Collaborative Project of Maryland, a nonprofit organization that offers an alternative dispute resolution process to low-income families in Maryland.
Sangeeta is a licensed psychotherapist and Board-Certified Music Therapist and teaches at Duke University. A bisexual, Indian American woman, she is a co-founder of Asian Queers and Allies (AQUA) in North Carolina and has worked with children, teens, and adults for over twenty years.
Judy Tan is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, UCSF. She earned her Ph.D at The University of Connecticut in social psychology and received her B.A. in psychology and economics at Mount Holyoke College. She is also the Creator of API Daily Diary Project. Her areas of research also include the relationship between Sexual Self-Labels, Race-Based Attraction, and Preference for Social Hierarchy Among a Sample of Gay Asian Men.
Julie Tang is a young Cambodian woman. She has been involved with PrYSM: seaQuel (Southeast Asian Queers United for Empowerment and Leadership) for the past four years. She is the Youth Coordinator for seaQuel, and has done immense work in addressing the issues of the QSEA community, including the creation of the QSEA Report.
Larry Tantay is a community health education coordinator at the Asian & Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS from the Greater New York City Area.
Ed Tepporn served as the HIV Program Manager of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. Currently, he represents the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum as the Vice President of Organizational Capacity Building. He earned his B.A. in Biology and Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis and attended George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University.
Monica Thammarath is the Senior Program/Policy Specialist in the Office of Minority Community Outreach (MCO) at the National Education Association (NEA), where she serves as the liaison between the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and NEA’s more than 3 million members. Prior to the NEA, Ms. Thammarath was the Education Policy Advocate for the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) where she was the only full-time Washington-based staff person focused on education policy for the AAPI community. In addition to overseeing SEARAC’s Education Program, Ms. Thammarath was co-chair of the Education Committee for National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) and co-chair of the Grassroots Committee for the Campaign for High School Equity (CHSE). As a result, Ms. Thammarath was the community point person on AAPI education issues to the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), the U.S. Department of Education, and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI). Ms. Thammarath’s work is grounded in her experience organizing as a college student and providing services locally around access to affordable and high quality education. Ms. Thammarath currently serves as the Chapter Liaison on the National Governing Board of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and represents the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) on the Executive Board of the State Federation of Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO. The daughter of refugees from Laos, Ms. Thammarath was born and raised in Southeast San Diego, California and is a proud product of California’s public K-16 education system. She graduated with university and departmental honors from the University of California at Berkeley with a BA in Social Welfare, BA in Political Science, and minor in Asian American Studies. She has been trained by the United States Student Association, the Center for Progressive Leadership, and will begin the Masters in Public Administration Program at American University next fall. When not organizing, analyzing policy, or lobbying, you can find Monica at home playing with her two cats or figuring out how to make Asian food vegetarian, in Virginia or Maryland hiking, or at an airport waiting for a plane to go do one of the things listed above.
Liz Thomson is a Vietnamese adoptee and identifies as bisexual female, who has lived all her life in the Midwest. She appreciates how everyone has complex, but beautiful multiple and intersecting identities, and loves when it “all comes together.” She’s been an active member in this year’s Chicago Dyke March Collective; Chicago i2i, the API LGBTQQ community organization; and a Board Member of NQAPIA. Professionally, she enjoys working at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Gender & Sexuality and recently taught an Asian American Gender & Sexuality course through UIC’s Asian American Studies Department. She earned a Master’s Degree in Women & Gender Studies at Roosevelt University.
Trung Tieu, Project Coordinator – PepsiCo, currently serves as Co-Chair for PepsiCo’s National LGBTA Steering Committee, Co-Chair of the NGLCC’s Corporate Advisory Council, and as a Council Member of the Chicagoland Out & Equal Affiliate. He previously served as the Co-Chair for the Chicago chapter of EQUAL (PepsiCo’s LGBT ERG), the boards of the Windy City Performing Arts, and Milwaukee LGBT Community Center. He received PepsiCo’s prestigious Harvey C. Russell Inclusion Award (2008). Trung holds a B.A. and M.A. in Communication from the UW-Milwaukee where he focused on “coming out” and identity construction. Trung is a proud graduate of the UCLA Anderson School of Business LGBT Leadership Institute.
Kay Ulanday Barrett
A CAMPUS PRIDE 2009 Hot List artist, Kay Ulanday Barrett is a poet, performer, educator, and martial artist navigating life as a disabled pinoy-american transgender queer in the U.S. with struggle, resistance, and laughter. Based in NY/NJ, with roots in Chicago, K’s work is the perfect mix of gritty city flex and Midwest open sky grounded in homeland soil. In ensemble and in solo work, K has featured in colleges and stages internationally; from the NJ Performing Arts Center to Musee Pour Rire in Montreal, The Brooklyn Museum to The Loft in Minneapolis, K’s bold work continues to excite and challenge audiences. Recent Honors include: Chicago’s LGBTQ 30 under 30 awards, Finalist for The Gwendolyn Brooks Open-Mic Award, Windy City Times Pride Literary Poetry Prize, and a contribution in Kicked Out Anthology. K turns art into action, as a dedicated activist who works with LGBTQ youth and adores remixing recipes. See K online at: kaybarrett.net and on twitter @kulandaybarrett.
Connie Utada is the State Legislative Director for NCLR. She is responsible for coordinating NCLR’s efforts to secure legislative and policy victories on the state and local level. Prior to joining NCLR, she worked as Policy Counsel for Immigration Equality to lobby Capitol Hill and key stakeholders on pro-LGBT immigration legislation. In addition, she had played a major role in campaigning for the Uniting American Families Act and the Reuniting Families Act. Before working with Immigration Equality, Connie worked as a public defender in Massachusetts, representing indigent clients charged with both misdemeanors and felonies. She earned her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law and is an alumna of Smith College with a bachelor’s degree in American studies.
Hector Vargas, JD, became Executive Director of GLMA on June 2, 2010. Vargas was previously the Deputy Director of the Education and Public Affairs Department for Lambda Legal. Before joining Lambda Legal in 2001, Vargas was a state legislative lawyer with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, where he worked with state and local activists and elected officials on legislation to protect LGBT people. Previously, he was an assistant director with the American Bar Association in the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, and prior to that, he was a national student organizing director with the National Association for Public Interest Law.
Vincent Villano is the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) Communications Manager and oversees the communications strategy and brand management for the organization. Through Campus Progress, he initiated over 150 political, cultural, and advocacy events that further progressive policies in higher education, climate change, immigration, and LGBT equality. Many of these events included teaching students across the country about campus organizing, lobbying, and communications. Vincent served on the Board for the Youth Pride Alliance. Under his leadership he developed a scholarship fund for Metro DC LGBT youth. Vincent is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. In 2008, he graduated from American University School of Public Affairs.
Laurent Widjaya is a queer Indonesian immigrant. They were a speaker in a LGBTQ Immigrant’s Rights Forum that was held in May 2010, coming full circle as an organizer within hotpot! for the 2nd forum held in May 2012. In addition, they presented workshops at the Creating Change Conference 2012 together with NQAPIA. They are working as a medical and legal interpreter and is fully active within the Indonesian immigrant community. They have supported and worked for Immigrants’ Rights, the Dream ACT, as well as repealing the PARS Agreement. Laurent is deeply invested in the freedom to live a happy queer life and wants others to have equal opportunity.
Helena became a CAAAV member as a high school youth in 1995 and joined staff in 2003 with fellowship from the Open Society Institute. She was a co-recipient of the 2005 Leadership for a Changing World Award sponsored by the Ford Foundation. Under her leadership the CTU was founded and has grown to its current size and capacity. Helena became Executive Director in July 2010. Contact Helena at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ming Wong manages the Legal Information Helpline for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and speaks with thousands of people each year who contact NCLR with legal questions. He also serves on the board of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.
Monna Wong is an NQAPIA board member and MOONROOT contributor.
Nayoung Woo, a fresh-off-the-boat South Korean and a senior at Stanford University, is the Co-President of “Queer and Asians (Q&A) at Stanford,” a group that is committed to fostering and strengthening the community of queer Asians/Asian Americans on campus and sustaining open discourse about the intersection of sexuality and ethnicity.
Theo Yang Copley
Theo Yang Copley is a fundraising consultant and blogger. Her posts can be found on the Resource Generation and Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training blogs. She has a BA in Women’s Studies and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College where she was part of student organizing efforts towards an Asian American Studies and Ethnic Studies department during the 1990’s. After graduating, she worked in Oberlin’s Multicultural Resource Center as Asian Pacific American Community Coordinator.
Luna Yasui is a Program Officer with the Equality and Opportunity Fund at the Open Society Foundations. The Fund supports racial justice, LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights and gender justice advocacy. She is responsible for the gender justice and LGBTQ rights portfolios. Yasui also oversees the Foundation’s work on low-wage worker rights. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked as an attorney and policy advocate on efforts to protect and expand the rights of low-wage workers, expand diversity in education and employment, promote language rights, protect immigrant rights, and advance LGBTQ equality. Yasui’s research and writing has been published in professional resources such as the NYU Review of Law and Social Change and Clearinghouse Review. She received her B.A. from Brown University and J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.
Miriam Yeung is the Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), the nation’s only multi-issue organization dedicated to building a movement for social justice and human rights for Asian and Pacific Islander women and girls. NAPAWF is currently focused on policy advocacy campaigns for reproductive justice, immigrant women’s rights, and anti-trafficking. Prior to this position, Miriam held numerous positions at the NYC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center including the Director of Public Policy and Government Relations and as a youth worker. While at the Center, she was able to contribute to the passage of the NYS Dignity for All Students Act, the NYC Domestic Partnership Equality Act, and empowered high school students across the city to advocate for safe schools. Miriam has also co-produced a documentary about the queer youth community of NYC entitled “I Look Up to the Sky Now.” Miriam serves on the board of Generations Ahead. She received her MPA from Baruch College and her BA from NYU. Born in Hong Kong and raised in the projects of Brooklyn, Miriam is a proud, queer, immigrant, woman, activist, and parent to two spirited young girls.
Talia Young likes to think and talk about class, race, queerness, community, parenting, teaching, and cities. She also likes to think and talk about jellyfish, food webs, salt marshes, and sustainable resource use. For her day job, she used to teach high school science in Philadelphia, and now studies coastal ecology at Rutgers University.