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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.