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Leadership

Board of Directors retreat (October 2016), Ovid, Enzi, Garrett missing

Key coordinating leadership is provided by Chris Paige (Executive Director) and Louis Mitchell (Senior Program Developer), and Tahnee Jackson (Operations Coordinator) but the majority of the impact of Transfaith™ is achieved by a variety of volunteers and advisers working together in a spirit of collaboration.

Board Members

Transfaith Board Retreat (February 2016)

The board of directors of Transfaith (legally the Interfaith Working Group) takes overall responsibility for safeguarding the health and well-being of the organization. Current board members include:

Yahya Alazrak (Nominations Chair)

Yahya is a second generation radical queer, the child of a very active trans muslim faith leader. Yahya's spiritual journey began in Sunni Islam; sojourned in Unitarian Universalism; and is now walking a path of Sufism, Radical Christianity, and Quakerism. Although they were a student of religion at Guilford College, their calling and passions lie in organizing for racial and economic justice. They currently work at Resource Generation as a National Organizer and Coordinator of POC Programs. Being a part of Transfaith allows Yahya to serve communities of faith and the trans community in ways that are close to their heart, but for now are not a part of their day-to-day organizing. Yahya brings with them a passion for organizational development and strategic planning.

Transfaith Planning Retreat (April 2012)

Ovid Amorson (Secretary)

Ovid Amorson Moves and allows himself to be Carried from one moment to the next via Love. He identifies in a number of ways including queer, trans, brown, Black, nonconforming, fluid, ethereal, creative, sensitive, spiritual and Awake. In addition to being a Mad Artist and an excellent Childcare Provider, Ovid is a native Philadelphian, a library card holder and user, a very unprofessional dancer, a mentor to and collaborator with various queer youth, and someone who has strong needs for Music, Circles, and Growing, Cooking, and Eating Fruits and Vegetables. Ovid spends a lot of time thinking about race, gender, class, sexuality, faith, and the intersections thereof. He believes in Love and he believes that restroom signs should picture toilets, not Humans. 

Garrett Garborcauskas (Finance Committee)

Garrett is a trans man who was raised in the Roman Catholic Church. His faith journey meandered from Catholicism, to Unitarian Universalism, to the UCC, to the Episcopal Church. Garrett has found a home in the Episcopal Church, and is considering pursing ordination. Garrett grounds his theology strongly within the Liberation Theology mindset, believing that social justice and Christianity go hand-in-hand. Garrett was a Chemistry and Classical Studies double major at Smith College, and currently works as a research scientist at a hospital in Boston. He would like to pursue both a medical degree, and a divinity degree sometime in the future. Although different professions, Garrett views both medicine and religion as ways to serve underprivileged communities. Currently, in addition to his job, Garrett works on educating healthcare providers to become more trans friendly. He is especially passionate about the intersections between race, gender, socioeconomic class, and access to healthcare. In his spare time, Garrett enjoys singing with the Boston Gay Men's Chorus.

Jamie Goddard (Board Chair)

Jamie Goddard is a cis-female ally. She brings her passion for a more compassionate and equitable world to serve Transfaith and its mission. Jamie finds her spiritual connection through nature, meditation, dance, hiking, yoga, her children and friends. Jamie lives in Berkeley, California, where she is a consultant in organization effectiveness, change management and leadership, helping for-profit and non-profit organizations and individuals to energize around executing strategies to fulfill their goals and dreams. 

Chris Paige (Executive Director)

Chris is an OtherWise-identified organizer who has had a historic role in transgender religious organizing. Chris is passionate about racial equity, body justice, and spiritual community. Chris Paige served previously as publisher of the award-winning progressive, ecumenical Christian magazine, The Other Side. Chris has a Bachelor's degree with a triple major (Math, Computer Science, and Religion) from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. 

Finn Schubert (Personnel Chair)

Finn Schubert is a storyteller, an epidemiologist, and an activist. He has been practicing in the Mountains and Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism since 2009, and is a co-author of Developing Trans*Competence: A Short Guide to Improving Transgender Experiences at Meditation and Retreat Centers and a co-founder of transbuddhists.org. He currently works as a research manager at a community hospital in Brooklyn, and previously worked in the reproductive justice movement for many years, most recently helping family doctors get trained in abortion care.

Janis Stacy (Treasurer, Finance Chair)

Janis Stacy (Dakota/Cherokee) had a distinguished career as an electrical engineer with Honeywell, Digital Equipment Corporation, and Lucent Technologies, prior to transition. She is co-founder of the East Coast Two Spirit Society and has served as Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference for several years (through 2016). She has also volunteered significant time on workplace issues, including navigating transgender insurance exclusions, diversity in the workplace, and state and federal legislation. 

Community Leaders

Transfaith Community Leaders are volunteers who are committed to the values and priorities of Transfaith. They provide leadership in support of diverse Transfaith programming through service on the national Transfaith Council, through regional host committees, through stewardship of Facebook groups, and other leadership opportunities.

Elena Rose (founding member of the Transfaith Council)

J Mase III (founding member of the Transfaith Council)

J Mase III is a black/trans/queer poet based newly in Seattle by way of NYC. Mase is author of “If I Should Die Under the Knife, Tell My Kidney I was the Fiercest Poet Around” as well as "And Then I Got Fired: One Transqueer's Reflections on Grief, Unemployment and Inapproporiate Jokes About Death." As an educator, J Mase has worked with thousands of community members in the US, the UK and Canada on the needs of LGBTQIA youth and adults in spaces such as k-12 schools, universities, faith communities and restricted care facilities among others. He is the founder of the international performance tour Cupid Ain’t @#$%!: An Anti-Valentine’s Day Poetry Movement and of awQward, the first ever trans & queer people of color specific talent agency

Jonathon Thunderword (founding member of the Transfaith Council)

Jonathon is a theologian, a scholar, and a free thinker. He is an omni-faith, multi-spiritual practitioner who is a part of City of Refuge United Church of Christ (Oakland, CA), Beth Chaim Congregation (Danville, CA), and Mata Amritanandamayi Center (Castro Valley, CA). He is an ordained minister in the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries (TFAM), founder of Finding Another Right Road Authentically and Holistically (FARRAH) in California, and founder of By the Way Ministry in Virginia. He also affiliated with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Faith Network, Pacific School of Religion (alumnus), Lehrhaus Judaica (Hebrew student), Black Trans Men International, and Brothers Rising (Oakland, CA).

Mycroft Masada (founding member of the Transfaith Council)

Mycroft is a writer and artist, who is called to fat justice work. Hir “Good News: A Sermon On Fat Justice” appears in the current issue of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society (the Special Issue on Religion and Fat). In addition to being a Transfaith Community Leader, Mycroft currently serves as a steering committee member of TransEpiscopal, and previously as a board member of Congregation Am Tikva. Mycroft moved to the DC area of Montgomery County, MD from hir lifelong home of Boston, MA, in January 2014. Zie is partnered with Julia McCrossin, the masculine fatshion blogger, and co-parents a dogter. Mycroft’s central online home is MasadArts.blogspot.com.

Shani Akilah (founding member of Transfaith Council)

Shani is an organizer, social justice advocate, political strategist, teacher, thought leader and Poet. They currently work for the Youth Health Empowerment Project (YHEP) where they over see the I AM program. The I AM program works to empower LGBTQ Black and Latinx youth between the ages of 13 and 30 who are living with HIV or who are defined as being at high risk for contracting HIV. YHEP also offers social justice learning and organizing trainings, free medical care, and basic needs services to youth who are homeless and/or unstably housed. Shani also founded, Training from the Margins, a grass roots organization that consults to social justice organizations and political entities on decolonizing their organizing practices, policies, and political strategies by teaching anti-oppressive strategic movement building. They believe that each persons liberation is interconnected and that true movement building is layered and works from the intersections.


 
Leadership
Chris Paige
Louis Mitchell
Tahnee Jackson
Ilya Parker
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