King Chan is a rising junior at Long Beach City College, with plans to transfer and pursue degrees in global governance and economics, with a concentration in theology. Raised by immigrant parents in Long Beach, California, King’s introduction to activism began with a successful grassroots effort to halt the demolition of his city’s biggest library. King worked in Washington, D.C. for U.S. Congresswoman, now U.S. Senator, Tammy Baldwin (D-WI); has worked with the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute; and has just finished efforts on behalf of the Trevor Project’s National Youth Advisory Council and the California Department of Mental Health’s LGBTQ Disparity Project. King is an elected Delegate to the 78th Assembly District of the California Democratic Party, and serves as Vice-Chair on the California Young Democrats’s LGBTQ Caucus. Z[H]e also facilitates programs and trainings on behalf of the California Conference for Equality & Justice (CCEJ), to a wide array of audiences, from elementary school students, to elected officials and corporate leaders.
King swears he is never too busy and somehow manages to attend community events with his closest friends, read up on current affairs, watch indie/foreign films, work on political/issue-based campaigns, and is both an avid public transportation user and enthusiastic café connoisseur.
Jos Charles is a southern California writer and founding-editor at THEM – a trans* literary journal. After a Bachelor of Music from Biola University they had queer mystical vibrations; Jos is making amends with their situation. They are published (and/or publications forthcoming) with literary journals BLOOM, Radioactive Moat, EOAGH, as well as variously online. Sometimes they write for BitchMedia.
Amanda Lee or A.L. Genaro describes themself as “a 28 year old, fat, disabled, bigender, bi/pan/fluid/queermo, poly, half Native, more Southern, poor Christian activist that has an abnormally large heart and a love of people, words, and stories.” They first experienced Soulforce when the Equality Ride came to North Central University in Minneapolis in 2006. After reaching out on Soulforce’s online forum, they came out, and was expelled from North Central in May 2009 for their sexuality, gender expression, and involvement in activism. A.L was a 2010 Equality Rider, which they went on to share the same message that was shared with them: “God loves and affirms you as you are.” The message that “saved my life over and over again.”
Drew Heckman is a graduating senior at Brown University with majors in Sociology and Gender & Sexuality Studies. He served as the Head Chair of Brown’s Queer Alliance and also chaired the 2012 iteration of IvyQ, an annual pan-Ivy League conference for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) students. Since founding The Queer Nebraska Youth Networks in 2010, Drew has been returning to his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska during his school breaks to continue to build this community group that provides peer-led social events for LGBTQ+ youth under 25 in Nebraska and connects them to relevant resources and opportunities in their local communities. The QNYNs have provided over 500 youth members with about 30 peer-facilitated events and was supported by both a 2012 C.V. Starr Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship and a 2013 Sustaining Impact grant from Brown’s Swearer Center for Public Service. When home, Drew also serves as a Speakers Bureau panelist for the local chapter of national organization PFLAG (Parents, Family, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and recruits and teaches the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Popular Opinion Leader class at Nebraska AIDS Project, where he interned in 2011. Drew also founded and co-facilitated Comprehensive Allyship Network at Brown, a student group that seeks to provoke productive discussions about identity and equip people with the skills they need to confront racism, classism, heterosexism, sexism, and other forms of oppression in society.
Jeffrey Hoffman is a New York City-based composer, conductor and keyboardist. An accidental activist, he is the founding Executive Director of BJUnity, the affirming alternative for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Questioning, Intersex and Affirming Straight alumni and students of Bob Jones University. As an alumnus of Bob Jones Elementary School, Junior High and Academy, Jeffrey knows firsthand how fundamentalism has resisted desegregation and gender equality. He knows the deep pain and despair of growing up (secretly) gay in an environment where the spiritual leadership regularly mocks “homosexuals” and calls for public stoning of gay and gender-non-conforming people. He is a full-time Episcopal church musician whose faith in Jesus Christ informs his desire to see the Church exchange the spiritualized politics of a bygone era and the superficial moralizing of fundamentalism for a profound new ethic living out the Great Commandment of Jesus to “love one another as I have loved you.”
Jeana Huie is a 28 year old community organizer with 15 years of grassroots activism experience and a life-long passion for social justice. Currently ze is a full time student at the University of Arkansas and volunteers with CAR (the Center for Artistic Revolution). Jeana is the Safe Schools Coordinator and Trainings and Curriculum developer for CAR. Previous roles Jeana has filled at CAR include Youth Program Coordinator, board member and board chair. Jeana represents CAR in several national and regional working groups. Jeana draws from her experience in the social justice movement as well as her work in several other fields including childcare, emergency medical work, 911 dispatching and summer camp organizing to approach all aspects of their life as holistically as possible. Jeana lives in Little Rock, Ar. with their wife Brett, three children, 2 dogs and some of the best friends they could ever imagine.
Diana Law: Diana’s professional background is in diversity and social justice education, particularly in the context of higher education, student affairs, and youth development. She is committed to the Christian faith communities around her and in all of these endeavors, she is dedicated to the promotion and practice of intersectional justice. Originally from Atlanta, GA, Diana presently resides in Brooklyn, NY where she continues to grow her love for music, food, and people from all walks of life.
Sylvia Niedner is an Interfaith Minister through the Order of Universal Interfaith. Sylvia has worked with the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, West Ohio AIDS Ministry, Planned Parenthood, Equality Ohio, and MoveOn.org. Sylvia was national co-facilitator of the Portland/American Heritage Caravan of the Campaign to End AIDS. Her first Soulforce action was at the United Methodist General Conference in Cleveland in 2000, and she has participated in several other national and local actions since then. Important aspects of her spiritual practice include facilitating and teaching reiki, and sharing peace and healing energy through origami and gemstone beadwork.
Sakara Remmu’s passion for social justice, public policy and community organizing guide her efforts as an advocate, ally, and writer. She has worked for over 15 years in Washington state as a program manager and advocacy trainer for grassroots, county and state-wide organizations to increase sound policy and stable funding for critical human services including programs to end and prevent hunger, homelessness, and domestic violence, and organizations supporting immigrant families, workers’ rights, and LGBTQ youth and families. During the 2012 election, Sakara worked with grassroots organizations across Washington to increase voter registration in low-income and communities of color.
Sakara is the founder of Confronting Intersections, a website created to identify, explore, and increase awareness of the connections between systemic, social, and cultural “isms,” and social justice, civil and human rights issues. Sakara has contributed as a featured commentator for KBCS Radio, Real Change News, and as a guest columnist for the Seattle Times.
When not working, Sakara is otherwise boringly normal; she is mother to 3 and lives in the greater Seattle area. She is unabashed in her love for birds and her cat, is a bookworm and news wonk. If chocolate is a verb, she does that too.