Elise Roy lost her hearing at the age of 10 and doctors have never been able to explain why. Determined to continue to live the normal life that she had already begun, she refused to lower herself to the new sub-par standards that society began placing on her. Teaching herself using only her textbooks, Elise was accepted to Brown University. While at Brown, she was recognized as one of the nation’s elite athletes. At 24 she became one of just 44 deaf lawyers in the United States. At 25 she became an advocate working at the United Nations, where she helped to author the first international Human Rights treaty of the 21st century. Since then, she has traveled the world working with diverse groups, speaking, motivating, and advocating on their behalf. She has had her personal essays published in Curve magazine, in Eyes of Desire 2: a Deaf GLBT Reader, and has spoken at Pride events.
My main focus is on issues regarding race, class, gender, feminist issues, conflict and negotiation in relationships.
Jose Gutierrez is founder of the Latino GLBT History Project, the DC Latino Pride and co-founder of the Rainbow History Project and Diccion Queer. He worked for seven years as a medical case manager at La Clinica del Pueblo helping clients living with HIV/AIDS. In 2014 he received the Jose Sarria medal of honor from the DC Imperial Court for his multiple contributions to our LGBT community and in 2015 contributted to the book Queer Bown Voices, with an essay entitled ” We must preserve our Latino LGBTQ history”. Currently Jose is pursuing his BS in psychology at the University Ana G. Mendez, in 2014 and 2015 he served as a Latino Commissioner for the Office on Latino Affairs, OLA.
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.
As an active athlete in the international wrestling community and Group leader for Rainbow youth alliance Akil is unlike many of his counter parts. His focus in life is making a change in the way LGBT youth are seen and the life that athletes are sometimes seen to be forced into to make. Akil works as a youth advocate when he is not on the wrestling mats trainning for the Olympics.
Deedria Faulkner has been a committed public health advocate at the local and national level for nearly a decade. She is currently working as an International Health Educator for a health education and health screening provider. Along with providing outreach in Haiti, she was nominated and became a member of the Western Conference International Committee which builds teams for volunteer missions. Her overall passion is to help change the lives of individuals and family??s worldwide living with HIV/AIDS through education and awareness with the focus of eradicating HIV and AIDS. She received her Bachelor of Science in Public Health from The University of North Carolina where she also worked as a Peer Health Educator for The Public Health Department. In 2008, she worked with the Ujima Project, a mobile STD screening clinic and Needle Exchange Program aimed at identifying HIV and STD-infected individuals and linking them into care and prevention operated by the Baltimore City Health Department, Johns Hopkins University, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has also worked to improve the health and wellbeing of the citizens of East Baltimore City while working as a Community Health Worker for Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute. Furthermore, she is committed to preventing new HIV infections and eradicating AIDS through research, advocacy, and treatment. She has completed the NCDHHS HIV Counseling, Testing and Referral Certification along with several refreshment courses. She presently volunteers for several HIV/AIDS organizations in NC and Washington, DC. She is presently developing a non-profit organization which provides free testing, counseling and referrals while focusing on a holistic approach to care that supports the spiritual, physical, mental, and social wellness of all that are affected by HIV and AIDS.
Jennifer Chapin is an active member of GALAXe Pride at Work, Xerox Corporations recognized employee resource group for LGBT employees and allies. She serves as the Chapter President for Greater Washington, DC. and Vice President of Education. She has held many different assignments in her 14 year Xerox career working with customers in many states and countries around the world. Currently working with customers in the Baltimore/Washington, DC metro area providing account improvements, workflow process charts and client associate training. She has done multiple presentations on iGen Operator training and recently two presentations on gender identity at Stevenson University in Maryland and the University of Maryland, College Park. She is an advocate for equality and volunteers with Equality Maryland to educate others about equality issues in the community.
Dr. Ruthie is dedicated to spreading sex-positive information, advocacy and community building to all adults. No matter where you live or the nature of your sexual experiences, Dr. Ruth Neustifter is a recognized relationship expert specializing in sexual communication and education as well as recovery from intimate partner violence. University instructor, published author, respected presenter and dedicated activist, Ruth Neustifter holds a doctoral degree in Child & Family Development with specializations in Couples and Family Therapy and Qualitative Research.
Manuella Hancock is a lawyer who has worked on issues of discrimination in the workplace, and tax, health care and retirement planning for LGBT families and individuals. Manuella also has significant experience as an advocate and counselor on the issue of same sex domestic violence. As a daughter of an immigrant, Manuella has worked with the mono-lingual latino community to make legal issues accessible through language and cultural translation.