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.
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
“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.
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.
Alexandra is a Policy Advocate at Protect Democracy, where she leads the National Election Advocacy Team and coordinates the activities of the National Task Force on Election Crises, a cross-ideological group of over 50 civil society leaders who worked to ensure free and fair elections in 2020 and 2022, and now seek to prevent election crises in 2024 and beyond. Previously, Alexandra was a career national security professional for 13 years. Inspired by living in NYC as a law student through the 9/11 attacks, Alexandra started her career as an intelligence analyst in 2004. In 2006 she was the first employee ever to complete a gender transition while working at the Office of Naval Intelligence. She ultimately led the Intelligence Community analytic effort to disrupt the proliferation of WMD by sea, and supported many successful U.S. policy initiatives while working at ONI and at the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. After leaving government in 2017, Alexandra was the first openly transgender candidate to run for Congress from Massachusetts.
Alexandra enjoys providing her perspective on leadership and communication as a transgender woman, mentoring younger LGBT and national security audiences, and discussing the stakes of the U.S. and global effort against authoritarianism. She has presented on leadership, career development, LGBT and transgender issues for private corporate clients as well as the Out and Equal Executive Leadership Forum, Leadership Summit For Women in National Security, the Rainbow Families conference, Columbia University SIPA, Rutgers University, Yale University, and Capital Trans Pride.
Alexandra is a board member of GLBTQ Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), a member of the Truman National Security Project Defense Council, and previously served on the board of Whitman Walker Health and the Steering Committee of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. Alexandra was named by Out in National Security and New America as an Out Leader in 2021, and her writings have been published in the Washington Post, The Hill, the Yale Journal of International Affairs, and the Boston Globe. Alexandra is a graduate of Brown University with an A.B. inInternational Relations, and received her law degree from Brooklyn Law School.
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.
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.
Patrick Wojahn is a lawyer and advocate for civil rights. Patrick has years of experience in management and leadership and has served since December 2007 on the City Council of College Park, MD. Patrick has served on the Boards of Directors and as staff of various organizations advocating for people with disabilities and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and for protection of the environment. From 2005-2010, Patrick worked in Washington, DC, with University Legal Services, a disability rights organization, investigating complaints of abuse and neglect against people with mental illness and ensuring District officials provide appropriate services for some of the District?s most disadvantaged residents. Since 2010, Patrick works as a Public Policy Analyst with the National Disability Rights Network, a national advocacy organization for people with disabilities.
Dr. Sean Robinson is a Graduate Program Director and Professor in the Dept. of Advanced Studies, Leadership & Policy in the School of Education at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. His primary teaching and research areas include leadership and teaching for social justice, youth identity development, leadership development, organizational behavior, leadership in colleges and universities, and research methods. Sean has over 25 years experience in a multitude of educational settings at both the high school and university level. He has published over two dozen articles and book chapters, and presented over 50 presentations (locally, nationally, and internationally) focusing on LGBTQ identity development, media/pop culture’s impact on youth, and mentoring youth and young adults. In addition to his faculty role, Sean maintains a private coaching and consulting practice, which focuses on organizational development, strategic planning, human resource initiatives, and developing leaders. His clients are primarily entrepreneurs, non-profits organizations, and small businesses. Sean received his PhD in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies and his MBA in Management & Human Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition, he holds a Masters of Education in Counseling Psychology from the College of William & Mary. Sean’s BA is in Psychology from the University of Virginia.