I have been a fierce advocate for social justice and civil liberties issues for 5 very creative years. A sample of issues I have organized around include the reproductive health needs of queer women, sexuality within disabled communities and queer people of color politics. I am a co-founder of American University’s Students for Choice and have served as Treasurer for our queer group Queers & Allies.
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.
Dr. Selma Massey is the Founding Pastor of WHOSOEVER Ministry which began 1996 as a Christian television show for the LGBT Community in Southeast Michigan. In 2003 Dr. Selma, as she is known, opened the first of two churches in Detroit, Michigan and in an area suburb.
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.
Rev. Jason Carson Wilson is an authorized United Church of Christ minister. Wilson serves as Justice & Peace Policy Fellow in United Church of Christ, Justice & Witness Ministries’ D.C. office, where he lobbies for just domestic policies. He also serves as adjunct minister at Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C. Wilson is also a member of Dignity Washington. He’s a graduate of Chicago Theological Seminary, where he founded the Bayard Rustin Society. Wilson is a former newspaper reporter.
“Dear Nexus, dismantling white supremacy one question at a time”
Nexus (he/him/his) was born and raised, and has lived his entire life in the traditional territory of the Anacostans and the Piscataway, which many now call Washington, DC. He is Black and Filipino American, and a queer cisgender man who is ethically non-monogamous. Through Dear Nexus, he is committed to dismantling white supremacy through individual coaching, organizational consulting, and community gathering. Nexus helps nonprofits align anti-racism work to the mission, vision, and values of their organization. And he believes that this work can only be done well when it incorporates a harm-reduction lens and includes healing and accountability. Nexus endeavors to work for justice intersectionally, as we cannot dismantle white supremacy without achieving queer liberation. He is adept at speaking for groups of all sizes, and thrives in tailoring the work for the audience and community it’s presented to.
Laya Monarez is a transgender bisexual latinx artist, musician and transgender activist. She studied art at the George Washington Corcoran School of Art and Design where she received her BFA in Fine Art focusing on Painting and Sculpture. Laya has had many art shows through the DMV area and has worked on several murals as well. Her artwork is inspired by science, surrealism and social justice movements. Here activism is rooted in her need to uplift transgender people and educate the public on transgender issues.
Laya’s LGBTQ Activism started with her volunteer work with the DC Trans Coalition where she helped to train police on Trans sensitivity. While working with the Human Rights Campaign on their membership and operation teams Laya trained new employees on Transgender issues. Laya has also given presentations at the bisexual Because Conference in Minneapolis, the Capital Building, Princeton University and the White House Among others. One of her proudest moments is helping to introduce a bill to decrminalize sex work in Washington DC. A bill she thinks will especially help keep black and brown transgender sex workers safe and healthy.
Please send her an email if you’d like to invite her to speak at your event or train your team on transgender and gender issues. You can also view her artwork at layamonarez.com