(“The Mighty Rebekah”) Rebekah was featured on Marvel's Hero Project for her work and advocacy around LGBTQ+ rights. I've been spreading a message of hope and creating positive change through education, advocacy, and visibility for 3 years now. I work with legislators, I lead workshops for people who work with LGBTQ+ youth, and I am a GenderCool Champion working to replace misinformed opinions about trans youth with positive real life interactions in business and media.
Domonique Noel (she/hers) serves as part of a team of Community Cancer Control Specialists at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. She leads HPV and LGBT health education efforts for the team including education on HPV vaccination, cancer screening, disparities in cancer prevention and outcomes and the co-infection of HIV and HPV.
With a background in HIV counseling, sexual health education and LGBT advocacy, she also leads training on LGBT cultural competency, including LGBT terminology and providing LGBT-affirming healthcare.
For more information about the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, click here.
A retired NJ educator with over 40 years of experience, Gordon Sauer (he/him)
works with a number of LGBT organizations including SAGE (a national organization which supports LGBT+ older adults), GLSEN, and GAAMC (NJ’s oldest LGBT organization).
As Professional Development Coordinator for GLSEN Central Jersey, Gordon organizes and presents school workshops to teachers, administrators and student groups on making schools safer for LGBT+ students.
For more information about SAGE, click here.
Steven Koumoulis (he/him) teaches History at Middletown High School South. He is a Board Member of GLSEN Central NJ and the Education Director for Make It Better 4 Youth. He is also the Secretary of the Middletown Township Ed. Association and the Corresponding Secretary of the Monmouth County Education Organization. He also serves on the Professional Development Committee for the NJEA.
For more information about Make It Better 4 Youth, click here.
Kristina Weiss is a middle school counselor and a GSA advisor. She received her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from Rowan University. Her research focuses on LGBTQ advocacy and school counselor preparation when working with marginalized populations. Kristina on the executive board of GLSEN South New Jersey and a member of the GSA Forum planning committee.
John Marron is a semi-retired agnostic Buddhist, artist, writer, father, householder, cat lover & progressive LGBTQAI+ activist. He is chair of the Highland Park Arts Commission, Board member of Main St, Give a Hoot ( Teen Food Pantry), Windows of Understanding, HP Artist Collective & teacher at Osher Lifelong Learning Inst at Rutgers.
Anthony is the creator/host/producer of Queer Teen Podcast: Encouraging the next generation of Queer Youth from across the world to stand up for what's right. He has interviewed Queer humans from India, Africa, America, Canada, and everywhere in between. It is important to give a big voice to the Queer community and to let them tell THEIR stories. To learn more about Queer Teen Podcast, click here.
Aruna Rao is the proud mother of a transgender child who is dedicated to creating a loving, inclusive world for LGBTQ+ people. Aruna is the founder of Desi Rainbow Parents & Allies, an organization dedicated to creating awareness of gender and sexual diversity among South Asians. She also serves on the National Board of PFLAG.
Shannon Whittington, is a clinical nurse educator and a certified speaker with the John Maxwell team. Her areas of expertise include Servant Leadership, LGBTQ+, and Diversity & Inclusion. Shannon has presented virtually and live to various organizations and conferences across the nation, delivering extremely well-received presentations on leadership, women empowerment, and LGBTQ+ inclusion.
Dr. Kara Ieva
Dr. Kara Ieva is currently an Associate Professor in the Counseling in Educational Settings program at Rowan University. Her educational career spans over 20 years as a former Spanish teacher and professional school counselor. Kara’s areas of research interest include promoting equity and wellness in education for children and adolescents of marginalized populations: in the areas of college and career readiness, social/emotional development, and group counseling. She provides professional development to K-12 school counselors, teachers, and administrators on how to embed social/emotional development into curricula and strategies for cultivating a safe and welcoming mental health and neurodiverse culture in schools.
Lana Leonard is a queer and non-binary journalist for LGBTQIA+ magazine Out in Jersey, as well as an activist in Asbury Park and Ocean Township. They have exhibited spirit and fought for the rights of BIPOC LGBTQIA+ GNC youth since youth themselves as well as cultivating intersectional change in their local community through conservation, local police reform/abolition, through groups like Save32Acres and others. Lana has affiliated and worked with organizations from GLSEN Central NJ, Asbury Park Transformative Justice, Food not Bombs, Rays of Hope, Asbury Park Affordable Housing Coalition and has won awards for their intersectional work through She Will Speak Series, Raise your Voice Scholarship (2019). Amid organizing and writing Lana continues to finish their degree in Journalism at TCNJ where they will soon graduate.
Divinity Banks has been performing for 11 years gracing stages across the United States, to name a few Chicago,Orlando Florida,Ohio, and Atlanta Georgia, as well as recently venturing out to perform on The Royal Carribean cruise ship, while raising awareness for equality for all genders, sexual orientations, religious beliefs, and disabilities and safe sex. She is known as “The Dancing Diva of New Jersey” being known for her high kicks, flips, splits, and all around high energy.
Sven is a queer Enby educator, gardener, and chef by day. Magic Dyke by night! They live for spreading awareness about drag kings and exploring gender through drag. Sometimes Sven dresses as Magic Dyke for Queer Kitchen events and cook in drag! Collectively, with the help of students, local artists, non-profits, and community members, they have started creating queer spaces, teaching queer inclusivity in the class, growing gardens, and learn about food through the integration of art
Erik Esqueda is the Graduate Program Coordinator for the Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities. Currently working on his Masters of Education in College Student Affairs at Rutgers and is committed to supporting LGBTQ+ and other minoritized students in college after graduation in Spring 2021.
Chelsea is a graduate of St. Johns University where she received a B.S. in Public Relations. Currently focusing on college access and student support, as the Graduate Program Coordinator for the Office of Major Events and Programs, she is working towards a Masters of Education in College Student Affairs from Rutgers University
Eric R. Anglero
Eric Anglero (he/him and they/them) is the program coordinator for Princeton's LGBT Center. Eric helps facilitate and manage support and discussion groups, handle training across campus, works with campus partners, and helps with the Peer Education program. Eric received their master's degree in American Studies from Stockton University. After receiving his degree, Eric became an adjunct professor of history at Rowan College, with a focus on African American History. Shortly after, Eric was hired at a non-profit(CANDLE) in New York to coordinate LGBTQ youth services for Rockland County. During this period, he was the coordinator of the New York State LGBT Network's Youth Services committee and handled training for hundreds of state employees and local organizations on LGBTQ cultural competency. Eric is a consultant for Howie the Harp in Harlem, NY, and remains a consultant for CANDLE's youth services programs.
Dr. Scholar Lee
Dr. Scholar Lee is a Black man of trans experience. Professionally, Dr. Scholar Lee has 15+ years working with underprivileged and vulnerable populations in various settings. Educationally, Dr. Scholar Lee, received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and his Bachelor of Science in Justice and Law Administration with an emphasis in Legal Studies. Furthermore, Dr. Scholar Lee obtained his Master of Science in Management and Organizational Leadership. He is an honored member of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), Tau Upsilon Alpha National Organization for Human Services Honor Society, Alpha Chi Chapter, and the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH). Currently, Dr. Scholar Lee is pursuing his Ph.D. in Human and Social Services, where he will receive both a Master's and Doctorate degree in Philosophy from Walden University. Therefore, with Dr. Scholar Lee's personal experiences overcoming life's obstacles as a man of trans experience, mixed with his professional acumen, he is more than qualified to educate, elevate, and empower our LGBTQIAA+ youth to continue being great and be AUTHENTIC in the process!
William Placek, MSW, LSW
William joined PFLAG Jersey Shore in 2012 after the birth of his first son. William, a gay man whose family disowned him for his sexuality, has always had a passion for helping families navigate the coming-out process in hopes of keeping families together. He began his time volunteering with PFLAG Jersey Shore as co-facilitator of our LGBTQ Toms River Support Meeting and overseeing fundraising & community outreach for the chapter. William became President of the chapter in 2018. William is an avid LGBTQ activist and connects with community leaders to develop new programs and promote the mission of PFLAG Jersey Shore. Now with two sons ages 6 and 8, William works towards leaving a more loving and accepting world as his legacy.
Liz Millemann, MA, LPC, ACS
Liz Millemann, MA, LPC , ACS has been employed at OPC for almost 8 years & has worked in the counseling field since 1995. Liz is currently a program manager at OPC. Liz was formerly employed as a clinician at the CYMCA, Maxim and had a private contract with DCPP serving youth and families involved with the children system of care. Counseling has always been her passion.
(“The Incredible Elijah”) is a 12 year old community activist, advocate, and public speaker and an ordained minister. In the first grade Elijah learned one of his classmates was experiencing child abuse. He assisted her in getting help but this placed a burden on his heart. After learning of the power in marching from historical leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Congressman John Lewis, Elijah organized his first annual child abuse awareness march at the age of ten (2018). Since then, he extended his community involvement by raising money to develop two pediatric safe rooms at a local hospital, which will convert an uninviting, cold hospital room into a safe, welcoming space for children who have experienced trauma and abuse.
(“Genius Gitanjali”) After learning about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, Gitanjali invented an easy-to-use and inexpensive device to detect lead contamination in water. She received America's Top Young Scientist and was featured on "Marvel's Hero Project" alongside Rebekah Bruesehoff for inventing her device "Tethys". Gitanjali is also the inventor for Epione - a device for early diagnosis of prescription opioid addiction using genetic engineering and is conducting research at the University of Colorado and "Kindly" an anti-cyberbullying service using AI and Natural Language processing. She was honored as TIME Top Young Innovator for her innovation sessions she conducts globally which has inspired around 28000 students in the last 2 years.
Dr. Christine Hamlett
Dr. Christine Hamlett is a black transgender woman who has worked fearlessly to make public schools safe for all students, especially those who are transgender and gender non-conforming. She has earned an educational doctorate in the Department of Educational Leadership at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, May 2019. Dr. Hamlett has been a classroom teacher of high school history for more than 25 years in the Newark Public School District. Dr. Hamlett received a M.A. from Montclair State University in Student Personnel Services. She worked for many years as a school counselor before assuming a Central Office post as Supervisor of Attendance. She received a State Certification in administration from Kean University. She retired from Newark Public Schools after serving the district for 42 years. Dr. Hamlett has been celebrated as a certified Trainer of Trainers by GLSEN. She facilitated and conducted many workshops throughout New Jersey, training school leaders in the NJEXCEL Leadership Program. Dr. Hamlett is presently a board member of GLSEN Central New Jersey. Her research foci include educational leadership, diversity issues, inclusion of transgender and gender non-conforming students in our schools with equality, equity and liberation.
Anthony Mazakas is an agender individual currently enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers New Brunswick. They are pursuing a major in Social Work and a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies. Anthony has worked on projects with multiple organizations including GLSEN, HiTOPS, PFLAG, and the Trevose PA branch of Suez. They have also worked with various schools (including their former elementary, middle, and high schools) in formulating policies for assisting transgender students. After graduation, Anthony hopes to work either with the HIV/AIDS population or in a pediatric care facility.
Anastasia Willis has worked in the HIV prevention field for over 9 years. Ms. Willis has become a visible advocate for the transgender community and has helped bring awareness to HIV within the LGBTQ communities. She continues to grow and demonstrates her talents as a legend in the New Jersey Ballroom Scene and a past member of the House of Jordan and House of Ebony. Also, as a freelance artist, Ms. Willis specializes in oil paintings, graphic design and comic book art. Through her advocacy work, Ms. Willis has facilitated transgender support groups that have openly touched on topics such as gender identity, transphobia, sex work, drug use, gender transition, injectable silicone, hormones, HIV, STDs and safer sex. She has made history in New Jersey, by becoming the first
trans-woman to implement SISTA. S.I.S.T.A. (Sisters Informing Sisters About Topics on AIDS) is a peer-led, skill-building intervention project to prevent HIV infection in African American women.
Khloyei Chanelle Galloway
My name is Khloyei Chanelle Galloway. I’m a 30 yr. old African American transgender woman of color, with a mission to bridge the gap amongst women of all walks of life. We live in a world where women are hated, mistreated, unwanted, and unloved! For years we’ve been socialized to think we are second to men, less than, and only good for catering to the wants and needs of a patriarchal society. Because of this we have forever been in battle, hating each other, and putting each other down, all while not truly loving who we are as women and not realizing how powerful we are together! Today I stand to break this chain and to bring a stop to this unseen curse. In the words of the most powerful influential women I know, if we are going to heal, let it be glorious! Women have been doing this work for decades, and I stand to continue to do this work worldwide. Being recognized by my peers, other educators, and influencers who share the same passion for change is an honor. “Ubuntu” means I am because you are. A person is a person through people. I am what I am because of who we all are. Let’s continue to stand up in this fight and remember to be “fearless,” and always remain humble even in the highest heights of “ growth.”