Women's Issues

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A Veteran who transition while on active duty, a Friend of our communities, and Advocate for LGBT+ Rights.

Mia Mason has successfully served for twenty years with the United States Navy, the United States Army, and the District of Columbia National Guard.

Throughout her career, she has served onboard USS Kitty-Hawk CV-63 for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom for three tours of duty. She also served onboard USS Bataan LHD-5 for aid in efforts of Hurricane Katrina. Her previous units included AIMD Oceana and Mid Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC) Calibration Center. Her daily skills of responsibilities included testing, troubleshooting, 3M repair, calibration and preventive maintenance for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) equipment that is used with any aircraft to include the Consolidated Automated Support Systems (CASS) variants. Overall, she completed three years of oversea duty and sea duty. Her efforts awarded her the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (NAM), Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Arrowhead Device and Humanitarian Medal for her efforts.

Thus, with her broad skill set, she quickly adopted various technical expert jobs within the Army as Company Intelligence Analyst for counterinsurgency or counterinsurgency (COIN) Operations. Therefore, during mid-deployment, she focused her role toward Fire Command Controls to assist in aid of countering any Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) Emplacements with Area of Operations. With this success, she became employed as the Battalion Electronic Warfare Officer (EWO/EW) to provide Joint Tactical Operations Command training, Expert Infantry Badge (EIB) Training, and EW protection to counter against Remote Controlled Improvised Explosive Devices (RCIEDs). During her two deployments to Afghanistan, SGT Mason received the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB), several Army Achievement Medals and Army Commendations, while protecting and aiding Commands with Afghan-partnerships against any IED threats.

Upon return home from deployment and discharge, she became a Contractor for the United States Coast Guard. There she served as Item Manager and Equipment Specialist to oversee and manage any C4ISR equipment to include induction, replacement, procurement, and budgeting for Long Range Enforcers.

SGT Mason joined the District of Columbia National Guard in 2013 and served as Calibration Technician with the 104th Maintenance Company before she transferred to the 352nd JAG Team Support and later to the National Guard Bureau, Legal Support Office to head up international operations.

Mia has previously run for Public Office in Maryland and supports Women rights, Poly-relationships, and anyone with disabilities.

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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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Dr. Chloe Schwenke is a Quaker human rights activist, development practitioner and academic with over three decades of international experience, nearly half of it while living in developing countries. She has worked in a senior capacity with some of the leading American development organizations, and as an independent consultant, on projects of USAID, the US State Department, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank. Her scholarly interests include human rights and human dignity, LGBTI issues, gender equality & female empowerment, and leadership ethics.

Chloe is also openly transsexual, and works closely with transgender activists around the world. She currently is a member of the adjunct faculty at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, and also undertakes a variety of consulting assignments in international development and human rights. In prior employment, she served as vice president for global programs at Freedom House in Washington, D.C. and earlier still as a political appointee for the Obama Administration at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Chloe received her Ph.D. in public policy at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland at College Park, where she was chosen as Alumnus of the Year for 2013. She was also a recipient of theNational Center for Transgender Equality?s National Public Service Award in 2013. She is the parent of two children.

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Jackie DeCarlo has lived in the DC area for almost 20 years. Her volunteer activities have revolved around her faith community at the Friends Meeting (Quaker) of Washington and professionally she has been a leader and manager of nonprofit programs focused on economic justice. A frequent public speaker and published author, Jackie is interested in helping build awareness and understanding between faith-based and other groups committed to pursuing American values of freedom, respect for difference, and equality.

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Hello, my name is Sara Cahanin. I am a licensed therapist in Maryland and currently, I work at Cheltenham Youth Facility in the school as a therapist. I also have a private practice. In addition to my work as a therapist, I have been a high school English teacher and also, have taught writing at a community college and private college in New York State. In 2006, I started a non-profit organization called, Martin Lyon Lesbian Support Services in Ithaca, New York. It was very successful and met the unmet needs of the lesbian community. We had planned to open it up to all GLBT people, but due to the economy the organization ceased operations. I feel that I have a lot to offer the GLBT community as a speaker and look forward to speaking soon to our community. Thanks for reading!
For more information, please visit my website at http://www.saracahanin.com.

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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.

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Michele Zavos is a long-time LGBT activist and attorney who has represented thousands of clients in her 30-year career. She is a pioneer in creating legal protections for members of the LGBT community and their families. She speaks often on legal issues regarding marriage, adoption, estate planning, children, and contested domestic matters. She has received numerous awards for her work in the LGBT community, including from Wanda’s Wills, the Whitman-Walker Clinic, Capital Pride, and the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club. American University’s Washington School of Law also named her Outstanding Adjunct Professor in 1999.

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My main focus is on issues regarding race, class, gender, feminist issues, conflict and negotiation in relationships.

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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.

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