Speakers Bureau

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Rev. Jason Carson Wilson is an authorized United Church of Christ minister. Wilson serves as Justice & Peace Policy Fellow in United Church of Christ, Justice & Witness Ministries’ D.C. office, where he lobbies for just domestic policies. He also serves as adjunct minister at Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C. Wilson is also a member of Dignity Washington. He’s a graduate of Chicago Theological Seminary, where he founded the Bayard Rustin Society. Wilson is a former newspaper reporter.

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64 , a proud, open and out, Black Gay retired Washingtonian.

Cedric has been out all his life and volunteering most of my life. Cedric currently is a activist and volunteer for gay elders, in the community and assist elder family members.  Currently, collects food from food banks to share with others.  Gives out information on health care, housing, city programs, free events, savings programs and more.  Cedric gives comfort and prayer via phone calls or visits ill persons he knows.  Cedric first stared in the fight and education of HIV/AIDS in 1989 when he attended a support group for those HIV+ with Group Health.  There he learned of the Inner City AIDS Network (ICAN) and took a class to became an educator with the class #4 in 1990.   From there, a volunteer for many years with Food and Friends and Whitman Walker Clinic.  

Being HIV+ for over 30 years Cedric has volunteers and gives support and time to the community. One of Cedric’s proudest moment was being a volunteer with the 2012 International AIDS Conference held here in Washington, DC.

 

  • Ambassador for the DC Office on Aging
  • Ambassador for A.A.R.P.  –  D.C.  chapter
  • DC Dept. on LGBT Affairs supporter
  • THE DC ( Gay ) CENTER supporter and volunteer
  • D.C. Goverment,  D.O.H. / HIV/AIDS Adim. ( HOHSTA & HOPWA ) supporter and advocate
  • Housing advocate & volunteer with the * Equal Rights Center &  National AIDS Housing Coalition  
  • Us Helping Us, HIV supporter
  • HIV/AIDS & Seniors advocate
  • SAGE Metro – DC and supporter
  • Supporter of the DC Rainbow History Project
  • DC Long-Term Care volunteer with Ombudsman Program of AARP
  • Graduate of the C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team ) program ( including Red Cross first aid training )
  • Mental Health advocate  *  Suicide Prevention certified
  • Honoree of “OUR HEROS” Exhibition 2015
  • Supporter of the Inner Faith Conference of Washington, DC.
  • Volunteer and supporter of Mary’s House for Older Adults
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Marpheen is currently living and interning n Washington, D.C., and will be a visiting student at Howard University School of Law for his final semester of law school. He will receive his J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law in May 2017. He holds a Bachelors in Political Science and gradauted from the University of Southern Maine cum laude and a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science National Honors Society.

He was born in California to Cambodian-Chinese refugees in 1991. His early childhood was spent transitioning between his single mother and godparents until about 1995, when his godparents moved to Texas and he moved with his single mother and 3 younger siblings to Portland, ME. In 1999, he was placed in fostercare with his sister Tanya (the two youngest had already been placed in foster care). They spent a year at that home until a scandal broke out alleging that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services was engaged in racist practices by taking children of color and placing them with white families.

Despite being happy with their first foster family, Marpheen and Tanya were transitioned into a group home in Windham, ME, and stayed there for 15 months before moving to a foster home in Gorham, ME.

Around 2003, they were reunited with their two younger siblings and later adopted by the same family in 2005. He took classical piano lessons, played soccer, and was involved in his Church.

Marpheen graduated high school in 2009 and attended Valley Forge Christian College for his first year. A decision to begin coming out as gay to friends and family led to his transferring to the University of Southern Maine and declaring a Political Science Major. Since then, he has been involved in several leadership positions and politics.

In his spare time, Marpheen enjoys playing the piano, his acoustic, writing and poetry, and catching up on the news.

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Alexandra Chandler is a transgender woman serving openly as a senior analyst and leader within the Intelligence Community. Alexandra is also an advocate for equality for LGBT people, especially transgender youth, immigrants and people of color. She enjoys providing her perspective on leadership and communication as a woman and a LGBT person, mentoring younger LGBT and national security audiences, and discussing domestic policy challenges including education, healthcare reform, and income inequality. She has presented on leadership, career development, LGBT and transgender issues in numerous Intelligence Community forums, the Rainbow Families conference, Columbia University SIPA, Rutgers University, Yale University, and Capital Trans Pride. She has also published in the Washington Post and appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition.

Alexandra led the Intelligence Community’s analytic effort against the maritime proliferation of WMD and arms smuggling from 2011-2016. Inspired by living in NYC as a law student through the 9/11 attacks, Alexandra started her career as an intelligence analyst in 2004. In 2006 she was the first employee ever to complete a gender transition while working at the Office of Naval Intelligence. Alexandra came out to the general public in February 2017, in which she used her story as a call to Americans to reject the fear and hate on the rise in society since the 2016 election. She is a member of the Intelligence Community LGBT Pride employee resource group, a member of the Truman National Security Project Defense Council, and the Vice President of her child’s school PTA. From 2008 – 2013, she served on the Board of Directors of Whitman Walker Health, including as Vice Chair, and helped guide the organization to sustainability and Federally Qualified Health Center status as a member of the Quality Assurance Committee. Alexandra graduated from Brown University in 1999 with a B.A. in International Relations, and from Brooklyn Law School in 2002. She is married to Catherine, her high school sweetheart and partner of 22 years, and they have two children.

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Colleen Dermody is a strategic communicator, a marketing solutions counselor and a social marketing expert. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Communication and a certification from the Search Engine Academy for search engine optimization strategy. Dermody has developed and implemented highly successful research, marketing and media initiatives for a long and varied list of corporate, non-profit and government clients including Aetna, the Michael D. Palm Center, Mautner Project, the National Lesbian Health Organization, the District of Columbia Department of Health, the New York LGBT Community Center, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline, Sunrise Senior Living, DC Tobacco Free Families campaign, and a host of others. Additionally, she has taught professional writing and management at the Master’s level for American and Central Michigan Universities.

Her 25 years of marketing and public relations experience includes serving as Vice President at Witeck-Combs Communications the nation’s premier LGBT marketing communications firm, and as Communications Director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, one of the highest profile health and nutrition advocacy organizations in the United States.

Colleen is also well known and respected for her years of work in women?s issues and progressive advocacy communications having held senior communications posts with the Feminist Majority Foundation, the National Organization for Women and the Humane Society of the United States/Humane Society International.

Dermody is an accomplished forward-thinking leader with the demonstrated drive, imagination and interpersonal skills to launch strategic communications initiatives that deliver significant gains in profit, efficiency, prestige and competitive edge. She is a success-driven change agent credited with transforming outdated communications strategies into inclusive, flexible and potent marketing campaigns. Skilled in community outreach, business case development, advertising campaigns and budget analysis, negotiating, and cultivating relationships with diverse corporate, government, NGO, trade association, and media partners. Dermody is a gifted communicator capable of quickly building trust and cooperation among internal and external groups.

Dermody is a nationally recognized diversity expert for marketing outreach to diverse markets and employee recruitment and retention efforts. She has lead efforts to develop and implement national and international strategic communications programs resulting in increased awareness, visibility, sales and brand recognition. She has lead, advised, communicated, and collaborated across divisional/geographic boundaries on behalf of executives, opinion leaders, customers, scientists, business analysts, target audiences and media.

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A 30-year community, human rights and HIV/AIDS activist/advocate in the metropolitan DC area, certified as an HIV/AIDS Peer Counselor & Educator and HIV Treatment Education Specialist; an award-winning writer and performance artist and a highly sought after lecturer and program facilitator for cultural diversity issues and concerns. Native of

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I am a second generation South Asian, raised in the Washington DC metropolitan area. As a principal and co-founder of Vega Mala Consulting, my partner, Vega Subramaniam, and I provide consulting, coaching, and training services to nonprofit organizations, social entrepreneurial businesses, and government agencies. In addition to speaking engagements, I?m available to facilitate workshops and meetings, conduct trainings, and provide organizational consultation. My experience comes from years of community building and organizational leadership – from co-founding Trikone-Northwest, an organization serving South Asian LGBTQ community in the Pacific Northwest, and serving on the founding leadership teams for Rainbow Dragon Fund, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, and the Queer South Asian National Network. I?ve also served on local, statewide, and national boards (Equal Rights Washington, the City of Seattle Women?s Commission, Seattle PFLAG, NQAPIA), and advocated on issues impacting people with disabilities, LGBTQI, and predominantly people of color communities.

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Dr. Jane Rigby is an astrophysicist in the DC area, who regularly uses the Hubble space telescope and observatories in Hawaii, Arizona, and South America. She studies black holes in the hearts of galaxies, as well as galaxies that are rapidly forming new stars. As a queer woman in science, Dr. Rigby has a unique perspective on how science works, how it fails, how barriers have fallen for women and gay people in science, and the obstacles that remain. She regularly speaks to youth groups, and encourages young people from diverse backgrounds to consider careers in science and technology

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Dana Beyer, M.D., a retired eye surgeon, is a well-known advocate for health issues as well as gender rights. She practiced medicine and surgery in D.C., Miami, Mississippi, Africa and Asia. She is currently a candidate for Maryland State Delegate, having first run in 2006. She is Vice President of Equality Maryland, former Executive Vice President of Maryland NOW, founding member of the Progressive Working Group, Maryland?s newest progressive alliance, member of the Board of Governors of the Human Rights Campaign, and board member of Mobile Med. She recently co-authored The Dallas Principles. She is currently on leave as Senior Adviser to Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg of the Montgomery County Council, to run her campaign. She lives with her two sons in Chevy Chase.

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Sapna Pandya, MPH is former Director of Programs for the South Asian Health Initiative (SAHI) at Center for Immigrant Health (CIH) of the New York University School of Medicine, which serves to help South Asian immigrants navigate barriers to health care in New York City through community-based participatory research and outreach programs. She recently relocated to Washington DC, where she is furthering her work by expanding to advocacy and capacity-building activities, including trainings and talks in the area of immigrant health. Sapna is also a co-Founder of two unique initiatives: 1) Jeena Circle, a giving circle-style foundation dedicated to raising funds for under-served South Asian immigrant communities in the United States; and 2) Humsafar International, a collective of trainers on sexual health, sexual identity and health access issues. She is actively involved in several of the area’s API LGBT communities and is passionate about addressing socio-political and economic determinants of health, particularly for marginalized communities globally. Her research and programmatic work on HIV/AIDS and gender, done over the last 10 years in India and Pakistan is ground-breaking and is something she remains firmly connected to. Sapna has a M.P.H. from the George Washington University and is an Alumni of the CORO Immigrant Leadership Training Program.

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