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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Jessica McKinnon is recognized and respected in the transgender community as a inspirational speaker and advocate for transsexual and transgender people. Having successfully transitioned in her gender role with her employer in 2006, Jessica has made numerous public and media appearances. Jessica McKinnon is the Chair of Capital Trans Pride 2009. She also serves on the Out&Equal Capital Region Affiliate Council and moderates the DC Metro Area Gender Identity Connection (MAGIC). Jessica was interviewed by CNN and Fox News regarding ENDA, featured in Marie Claire Magazine, and is a regular DC101 radio personality.
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.