Aaron Anson is an inspirational writer and new thought coach who is married and lives in Washington, DC with his partner Oliver. He has appeared on several radio shows and spoken at a number of literary events around the country. Raised a black devout christian in the south and endeavoring to uphold instilled beliefs, he married and fathered two children before accepting that he was inherently a gay man. His fascination with the arts, world cultures, and all of humanity has led him to travel six continents. He has participated in relief efforts around the world and several missions that address homelessness.
Born and raised in the nation?s capital, Ben Privot unavoidably discovered his interest in social issues at an early age. Throughout his educational career, Ben had always found school to be a great place to start making civically-minded strides. The unique social atmosphere unifying a classroom education with extracurricular activities provides students a continual praxis where they can find success upon many platforms. So, he put the formula to the test. Ben majored in Women and Gender Studies and one extracurricular dedication after another eventually culminated in one of his greatest achievements: an award winning workshop which gets students excited about exploring consent. Now Ben is going back to school: this time to impact schools the way they have impacted him.
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.
Cornelius Baker has been a committed advocate at the local and national level for nearly two decades. He is currently a senior communications advisor and project director for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease?s National HIV Vaccine Research Education Initiative at AED. He also serves as the National Policy Advisor for the National Black Gay Men?s Advocacy Coalition which is dedicated to addressing the exceptionally and unacceptably high rates of HIV infection among black gay men. From January 2000 through December 20004), Cornelius served as the Executive Director of Whitman-Walker Clinic. Previously, Cornelius served as the Executive Director of the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA), an appointee at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President George H.W. Bush and as an aide to Washington, DC City Councilmember Carol Schwartz. He is currently a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services? Panel on Clinical Practices in the Treatment of HIV and serves on the boards of the Black AIDS Institute, Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Center for Nonprofit Advancement. In January 2006, he was nominated to serve on the Washington, DC Taxicab Commission by Mayor Anthony Williams and confirmed by the city council to a three-year term.
Born and raised in Alexandria, VA, David embraces many identities: a Queerman, a Leather shaman and kink evangelist. An IT project manager and strategist, and a survivor — 30 years with hydrocephalus, 28 with HIV, 27 from an abusive relationship. In 2007 David co-founded the Rainbow Response Coalition to address intimate partner violence among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning people in the DC area.
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.
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.
Ed Andrews is a psychotherapist, lecturer, and writer with extensive experience working with the LGBT Community with issues of mental health and addictions, aging and development, illness and loss. He specializes in working with the mental health and recovery issues of gay men across the lifespan usign both CBT and DBT techniques
Guy-Oreido Weston has worked full-time in HIV/AIDS programs since1986. At present, he is a consultant in private practice that assists community-based organizations with developing and evaluating organizational infrastructure and programs. He is also a writer of essays, op-ed, and short stories about HIV and LGBT issues, whose work appeared the Philadelphia Gay News, Arise Magazine, and the Washington Informer, among others. As a speaker and workshop facilitator, he has presented on a broad array of topics, including, but not limited to various HIV/AIDS issues, cultural competency, HIV and LGBT issues with faith communities, community mobilization, and community planning.
Jay Dunning is a, 23 year old, women?s studies major at Montgomery College. Born and raised in South Africa and currently residing in DC. She hopes her unique experiences and growing up LGBT in Africa will further enable her to help young LGBT people better understand and love themselves through poetry, spoken word and short stories. Jay promotes the importance of having someone to talk to, who understands young LGBT people?s fears and concerns. She also promotes sex positive education. Helping young people embrace and enjoy their sexuality without guilt and embarrassment, while educating them on the importance of safe sex habits. She caters best to high school aged audiences and young adults, looking for relatable, real life guidance on coming out, relationships, bullying, sex positivity, feminine hygiene, gender identity, sexual orientation and generally surviving the most awkward years of your life. Jay aims to keep her talks informative but light and casual. Creating a free flowing safe place for youth to talk about issues they may not feel comfortable discussing with other adults in their lives.