Presenter Biographies

Thursday, October 15, 2020

State of the Issue

Kathleen Thomas (they/she)

Biography:
K (Kathleen) has worked with survivors of sexual and relationship violence since 2010. They have worked with victims of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, childhood domestic violence, child sexual abuse, stalking, campus sexual assault, and human trafficking in many capacities. As Clinical Training Manager for North County Lifeline’s Project LIFE, K provides psychotherapy to survivors of trafficking in San Diego County. Kathleen also provides training to collaborative partners, community members, and other service providers on human trafficking identification and services, trauma-informed care, cultural responsiveness, and best practice. Kathleen is also an adjunct faculty member of Bastyr University in the Counseling Psychology and Naturopathic Medicine programs. When they aren’t advocating for social justice, K can be found cuddling with their dog and playing Animal Crossing!

Jen LaBarbera (they/she)

Biography:
Jen currently serves as the Education & Advocacy Manager at San Diego Pride, where they manage the organization’s education & advocacy programs, community partnerships, civic engagement, and international diplomacy work. As a proud queer biracial Black femme of color, she works on the dual fronts of policy advocacy and grassroots & community organizing to move us closer to equity, justice, and liberation for all people. In addition to their role at Pride, Jen also currently serves as the Secretary of the GLSEN San Diego chapter’s Board of Directors and as a District Vice President for the US Association of Prides. Prior to joining San Diego Pride, Jen worked as a librarian and archivist in San Diego, Boston, and Denver, and has over 15 years of experience as a political and community organizer and advocate for LGBTQ+ equality and reproductive justice in California, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, and Massachusetts.

Plenary Panel - ARTivism

K (Kathleen) Thomas (they/she)

Moderator

Biography:
K (Kathleen) has worked with survivors of sexual and relationship violence since 2010. They have worked with victims of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, childhood domestic violence, child sexual abuse, stalking, campus sexual assault, and human trafficking in many capacities. As Clinical Training Manager for North County Lifeline’s Project LIFE, K provides psychotherapy to survivors of trafficking in San Diego County. Kathleen also provides training to collaborative partners, community members, and other service providers on human trafficking identification and services, trauma-informed care, cultural responsiveness, and best practice. Kathleen is also an adjunct faculty member of Bastyr University in the Counseling Psychology and Naturopathic Medicine programs. When they aren’t advocating for social justice, K can be found cuddling with their dog and playing Animal Crossing!

 

Cameo Adele (she/they)

Panelist

Biography:
Cameo Adele is a black bi-racial queer artist and activist who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. She recently hosted a 10 week virtual live discussion forum entitled “Privileged POC” geared towards educating non-black people on the prevalence of anti-blackness and privilege in their individual cultures. The platform supplied vocabulary and sociological understanding of complex race theory to those who were seeking better ways to show up in their everyday lives as active anti racists. She and a collective of black queer artists in her community have recently dropped their fashion/visual art brand entitled “Q-Unit”. Their goal is to uplift and empower their community through the celebrated creation & representation of black queer art.

Jax Spurgeon (he/him)

Panelist

Biography: Jax Spurgeon (He/Him) is a young transgender activist who devotes his time to helping fellow queer youth navigate a hetero-normative adult-led world. He founded and now leads his school’s GSA and is a Youth Ambassador with San Diego Pride. Jax is likely to be found jamming out to a wide variety of rock music, playing guitar, and digitally drawing in his free time. Many forms of art, including digital and traditional drawing, writing, and creating music, work as powerful therapeutic tools for Jax.

Erik Benson (he/him)

Coming soon!

Robyn Alcantar (he/they)

Presenter

Biography: Hey everyone! My name is Robyn Ness Alcantar, I’m 24, born and raised in San Diego. I’m a Gemini, a twin, and I’m also a transgender woodworker. I started woodworking in 2018, at the University of San Diego while trying to get a degree in Visual Arts. At the time, I was facing a lot of trauma that I experienced during my medical leave from school (2016-2017). However, It was during my visual art classes that I created the sculpture that sparked my passion for woodworking, as well as finding a safe space to heal from my trauma through art!

Friday, October 16, 2020

2.1: Plenary Panel - Providers

Jessica Williams, PhD (she/her)

 Moderator

Biography:
Jessica Jamese Williams, PhD is an an Atlanta native, a Black feminist, an advocate of gender equity and human rights, and a leader with a passion for social justice and empowering from the margins. Coming from a wellness approach, Dr. Williams has proven her ability to empower and increase leadership capacity by creating and facilitating authentic and empathic relationships, specifically among marginal, and digital and virtual teams and audiences.

Rev. Adam Dyer (he/him)

Panelist

Biography:
Rev. Adam Lawrence Dyer is the Lead Minister at First Parish in Cambridge Unitarian Universalist, Cambridge, MA, the Unitarian Universalist Chaplain at Harvard University and a member of the Cambridge Black Pastor’s Alliance. He is the author of Love Beyond God a collection of poetry and reflections focused on black identity and liberal religion and recently contributed to the new collection of essays, Body Battlegrounds: Transgressions, Tensions, and Transformations (Chris Bobel, Samantha Kwan, eds.) Rev. Dyer maintains his own blog, Spirituwellness.org, which explores the relationship between bodies, faith and politics. Previously, Rev. Dyer worked with PolicyLink, the PICO Networks and the UU Justice Ministry of California advocating for racial, economic, gender and health equity as well as speaking about equity and LGBTQ inclusion. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the Pacific School of Religion.

Victoria Pickering (she/hers)

Panelist

Biography:
Victoria Pickering is the Director of Advocacy at the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault in Kansas City, Missouri. She has been a long-time advocate for survivors of gender-based violence in the Kansas City area, starting her work in the field 15 years ago working weekends in a domestic violence shelter and volunteering for a rape crisis hotline while obtaining her B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In her current role, Victoria manages MOCSA’s Advocacy and 24-hour Crisis Line Services, and works to improve the community’s response to survivors by training professionals on trauma-informed and inclusive services and advocating for systems and policy change. Additionally, Victoria sits on the Membership Committee of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and serves as the coalition’s Regional Liaison to the Kansas City Region. Outside of her professional work at MOCSA, Victoria is the Secretary of the Next Generation Advisory Board of the Midwest Innocence Project.

Nora Alwah, MA, LPC (she/her)

Panelist

Biography:
Nora is passionate about fiercely challenging systemic oppression and empowering people to reclaim their unapologetic truth and innate power. She is a somatic psychotherapist and coach, a social justice educator and adjunct faculty at Naropa University.
In her private practice, Nora specializes working with marginalized populations, including people of color, bilingual individuals, immigrants, queer people, and transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.

Providing LGBTQ Affirmative Mental Health Care for Survivors: Interventions and Best Practices

Tasha Colin (she/they)

Presenter

Biography:
Since moving to Los Angeles almost 10 years ago, Tasha has become passionately involved in queer activism and education. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a minor in Queer Studies from Antioch University Los Angeles, and recently obtained her Master’s degree in Psychology at Antioch University Los Angeles, with a double specialization in LGBT Affirmative Psychology and Applied Community Psychology. She also worked at the Los Angeles LGBT Center for many years, working as the Program Coordinator for their youth development and mentoring program LifeWorks, and conducted LGBTQ proficiency trainings all across Los Angeles. She is also the co-founder of Expanding Identities Development, an LGBTQ training and consulting company based out of Los Angeles. Tasha previously worked as a therapist at Peace Over Violence, an agency that provides services to survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, and currently works as an LGBTQ therapist for youth 12-18 at a residential facility.

Envisioning New Worlds: QT Arts Practice as Intervention within the Movement to End Sexual Assault

Jadelynn St Dre (she/her/hers)

Presenter

Biography:
Jadelynn St Dre is an interdisciplinary performance artist, community organizer and trauma therapist based in Oakland, California. As a queer, biracial, Latinx, cis-femme survivor, she works collaboratively with non-profit organizations and collectives to spark dialogues which envision a world without sexual assault, seeking to uplift the voices of those often forgotten or silenced within the mainstream movement. In addition to her artistic and clinical work, St Dre has been a guest lecturer at UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley, is adjunct faculty of the EXA program at CIIS, and continues to serve as a member of the Operations Board and Leadership Team of the Monument Quilt (Baltimore).

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Deconstructing Gender and Mental Health: Trans and Non Binary Identities

Van Ethan Levy (they/them/theirs)

Presenter

Biography:
Van is a queer, non-binary, trans, AFAB (Assigned Female at Birth), NBPOC (Not Black Person of Color). Their goal is to help provide education so that we can create safer and more affirming spaces for people and ourselves to explore all aspects of ourselves. Van is an author of an interactive book called Exploring My Identity(ies) and is available on amazon. Van finds it important to trust and validate ourselves and others on ours/their experiences. Their hope is to assist in helping you learn how to hold and help others learn to heal themselves with one’s unique and individual skills.

Mirror Memoirs: LGBTQI+ Child Sexual Abuse Survivors Ending Rape Culture

Jaden Fields (he/him/his)

Presenter

Biography
Jaden is an LA-based organizer, cultural worker, and educator dedicated to cultivating healing-centered spaces for marginalized communities. Jaden is the incoming Co-Director of Mirror Memoirs, an oral history and national organizing project that uplifts the healing and liberation of queer, trans, intersex, and non-binary Black, Indigenous, and people of color (QTIBIPOC) who are survivors of child sexual abuse. His work has included designing and leading programs for trans folks to access health services, training government agencies to better serve transgender people, and policy advocacy at the city and county level.

Ducky Jones (they/them/theirs)

Presenter

Biography
Ducky Jones is a Black, Latinx Queer Intersex Agender Disabled person who uses They/Them pronouns. They are a Co-Founding member of Los Angeles Spoonie Collective, A Mental Health Educator with Fireweed Collective doing training, workshops, and webinars from a Disability Justice lens while doing transformative justice work. They are formerly a Trainer through Community Partners on training homeless shelter to treat and help their Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming, nonbinary and intersex clients. They are a core member of Mirror Memoirs, an organization that promotes awareness of storytelling from QTIBIPOC survivors’ experiences.

Self-Love, Self-Touch: Rediscover your body through dance

Elizabeth Wong (she/hers)

Presenter

Biography:
Elizabeth is a doctoral student in Utah State University’s Combined Clinical/Counselling Psychology Program. Her research interests include identity development and multicultural psychology, and particularly, how spiritual/religious 2SLGBTQ+ BIPOC individuals cultivate positive identities in the everyday.
She was the former Managing Editor for Nuance, a youth-led, community-driven publication of art and storytelling by immigrant and newcomer youth that diversifies mainstream ideas of sexual well-being. She served as a Counsellor at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape, providing peer support to survivors of gender-based violence. Resilience, healing, embodiedness, and love are very core to what she cares about.

Conscious Communication: The Language of Feelings

Rise Diamond (she/they)

Presenter

Biography:
Lorise “Rise” Diamond is a rhetoric and writing studies graduate student at San Diego State University who earned her bachelor’s degree in communication. A grandmother, a vocational nurse, survivor of gender-based violence and spousal abuse, her academic work focuses on social and political parity for stigmatized, discredited voices. In 2015, Rise brought the national campus sexual assault campaign, It’s on Us, to the Southwestern College District, and she offers a bricolage of lived experience to the LGTBQ Survivor Task Force, which she joined in October 2019.

Youth Track: Welcome

Sabrina Van Zuiden (she/her)

Presenter

Biography: Sabrina Van Zuiden is a Prevention and Community Engagement Specialist at Center for Community Solutions. She was born and raised in the south bay of San Diego and her involvement in violence prevention began in 2014 through work with local anti-human trafficking efforts. Sabrina went on to study at the University of California, Berkeley, where she gained further experience in human trafficking prevention education, restorative practices facilitation, trauma-informed services, and sexual violence prevention. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2018 with a dual B.A. in Social Welfare and Sociology and a minor in Spanish Linguistics, which inform her current passion and dedication to the primary prevention of sexual and relationship violence. Some of Sabrina’s additional passions include pillow forts, mac n cheese, early 2000’s alt rock, and her cat, Steven.

Fin Burgess (he/they)

Presenter

Biography: Fin is a Youth Ambassador with San Diego Pride and is the current lead of the POOT (Peer Outreach & Organizing Team) within the Youth Programs. Outside of Pride, Fin is a certified Master Scuba Diver and likes to spend as much time as possible hanging out with and protecting sharks. He started diving at the age of 12 and starting getting different certifications, including rescue and search and recovery diving, shortly after. Some of his favorite sharks are tiger sharks, whale sharks, and goblin sharks, and he’d love you to know that a simple way to help protect sharks against constant overfishing is by checking your labels! Many skincare products contain squalene, which is made from shark liver. He also loves photography, especially underwater photography, as well as helping people feel most like themselves in portraits. He is passionate about music, playing both guitar and ukulele, and went to many concerts when it was safe to do so.

“Why is My Brain Doing That?” Tips for Understanding and Managing Trauma Responses

Sarah Diamond (she/her)

Presenter

Biography: Sarah Diamond is Lead Prevention & Community Engagement Specialist at Center for Community Solutions, a dual agency that provides intervention and prevention services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in San Diego. Sarah holds a Master of Education in Human Sexuality from Widener University and a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in LGBIT Studies from the University of California Riverside. She has been teaching since 2014, working with middle, high school, and college-age populations, as well as youth who are or were formerly incarcerated. Her work focuses on the intersections of comprehensive sex education and sexual violence prevention, utilizing an anti-oppression, trauma-informed, and public health framework.

Art and Resilience: How to Create to Help Reduce Stress

Gini Mann-Deibert (she/her)

Presenter

Biography: Gini is an art instructor at Solana Ranch Elementary School (K-6), located in San Diego, California. She holds a doctorate in Sociology and is also a visiting professor of criminal justice at University of Northern Colorado. Her research specialization is sexual violence. Combining her two jobs, Gini brings a wealth of empathy and trauma-informed knowledge to her art.  In addition, she is an active community leader on a variety of LGBTQIA+ serving agencies, including a board member of GLSEN San Diego County where she provides professional development trainings to educators to create safe schools for LGBTQIA+ students.