Tag Archives: Cathy Kapua

Entering a new year with new staff at TJFP!

Images left to right: Cathy Kapua and Mattee Jim, 2017 TJFP Community Grantmaking Fellows; Micky Bradford, Úmi Vera, Zakia McKensey, Sammie Ablaza Wills, Priyank Jindal, 2019 Community Grantmaking Fellows; Demian Yoon at 2019 Philly Trans Wellness conference.

We are pleased to introduce Cathy Kapua and Demian Yoon as TJFP’s newest staff members, and Zakia McKensey as part of our brilliant facilitation team!

In 2017, Demian arrived at our office eager to volunteer and help in anyway he could. Even though we weren’t yet set up to handle volunteers, Demian proved to be patient and dedicated. He showed up week after week to assist with admin related tasks, quickly becoming an invaluable teammate. We are so lucky to have him onboard as the new Administrative Assistant!

That same year, former grantee Cathy Kapua joined the 2017 Community-led Grantmaking Fellowship crew. After completing her Fellowship, Cathy enthusiastically agreed to work with us a contractor helping us welcome and provide training as well as one on one support to our grantmaking fellows in 2018 and 2019. Cathy already came to TJFP with a long  track record of devotion and care for trans communities and trans justice. We’re overjoyed Cathy said yes to us one more time, and we’re honored to have her vision and leadership as our new Deputy Director!

Over the course of several years Cathy and Demian have given so much of themselves to make TJFP what it is today, and we can’t imagine doing this work without them.

Passing the Torch!

When TJFP was brand new and just starting to get up and running, we realized we would need an experienced, talented facilitator to help create a space for our community-led panel to make difficult and thrilling decisions selecting grantees and their award amounts. Having seen Nico Amador in action while facilitating for the Leeway Foundation’s artist and organizer funding panels it was obvious to us that he was ‘the one’! And he’s been facilitating TJFP from the very beginning! At first he facilitated solo before Andrea Jenkins and Glo Ross joined the facilitation team.

And now as we move into our 8th year Nico will be working closely with Cathy Kapua and 2019 TJFP Community Grantmaking Fellow Zakia McKensey, onboarding them and passing the torch to our new TJFP facilitation team! What a legacy of brilliant and fiercely dedicated facilitators!

Zakia has been a long time powershouse in Richmond, Virginia as founder and executive director of Nationz Foundation. Zakia is also a former grantee of TJFP and we can’t believe she said yes to joining us. We’re still fanning ourselves!

We invite you to celebrate this fabulous news with us by welcoming this dynamic team  Zakia, Cathy, and Demian to TJFP! We couldn’t be more proud to continue trusting and centering the leadership of Black, Indigenous, Brown, people of color who are trans, gender nonconforming, and non-binary! 

 

Cathy Kapua, Deputy Director

Cathy has worked with the transgender community since 2003, first starting off as a Peer Educator at Kulia Na Mamo, then eventually moving on to become the Transgender Service Manager at the Hawaii Health & Harm Reduction Center. Cathy is proud of her academic accomplishments in the University of Hawaii- West Oahu where she received a B.S. in Public Administration and continues to use these skills to help her Native Hawaiian community. She has been successful in advocating for transgender programming and providing culturally competency trainings throughout the nation but prides herself mainly on being a role model for younger transgender women in Hawai`i.

 

Zakia McKensey, Community Grantmaking Facilitator

Zakia is a native of Richmond, Virginia. She has been an active member of the LGBTQ community. For many years Zakia was a national performer and pageant competitor. She is a former Miss Gay Black America,  Miss Black National, Miss International Supermodel, Miss Godfrey’s and Miss Virginia Capitol Pride. She has worked for Fan Free Clinic where she was instrumental in creating the Transgender Clinic as well as Richmond City Health District, where she was a Disease Intervention Specialist and also the 1st African American Transgender Women to ever work for the health district.

October of 2015 she opened the Nationz Foundation a 501C3 organization that provides advocacy for transgender individuals as well as offering HIV/STI testing, Food Pantry, Emergency Housing and other supportive services to the Greater Richmond Metropolitan Area. Recently she acquired an RV to create a mobile testing unit to offer her services in communities where transportation is a barrier to access testing or safer sex items and food.

Zakia also works for the Virginia Anti-Violence Project where she serves as the Transgender Advocate, assisting individuals who have experiences of violence. She was named a 2018 Outstanding Virginian, by Equality Virginia. Zakia was honored with a Firework Award by Virginia Pride in 2018. In her free time she enjoys time with family and friends, traveling, competing and attending pageants, cooking and spending time with her dog Japan.

 

Demian Yoon, Administrative Assistant

Demian Yoon received his BA in English and minored in Religion at Haverford College. Since then, he’s worked in education (both indoor and outdoor) and currently splits his time between roles as an Administrative Assistant at Trans Justice Funding Project and a Trust & Safety Assistant at DonorsChoose. He is a New Yorker born and raised, now living in Brooklyn, and enjoys science fiction, educational podcasts, hiking, and spending time with his loved ones.

 

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Behind the Scenes: Thank you to our 2019 Grantmaking Coordination Team!

Coming off of a very full grantmaking weekend of trans justice in action, we’re feeling extremely grateful for every applicant, grantee, grantmaking Fellow, and the behind the scenes team who’s been holding it down over the last several months.

The Trans Justice Funding Project is cared for, tended to, and loved by some of the most incredible humans, including many of you!

We want to extend an extra special thank you to our fabulous team of contracted coordinators as they onboard, trained, and cheered on this years Fellows, coordinated countless logistics, and facilitated the heck our seventh grantmaking panel.  We are so lucky we got to work with these folks as they are some of the most talented organizers on the planet! They made community-led grantmaking look eassssssy!  (And it’s not!)

 

Cathy Kapua, Community Grantmaking Fellowship Coordinator

Cathy has worked with the transgender community since 2003, first starting off as a Peer Educator at Kulia Na Mamo, then eventually moving on to become the Transgender Service Manager at the Hawaii Health & Harm Reduction Center. Cathy is proud of her academic accomplishments in the University of Hawaii- West Oahu where she received a B.S. in Public Administration and continues to use these skills to help her Native Hawaiian community. She has been successful in advocating for transgender programming and providing culturally competency trainings throughout the nation but prides herself mainly on being a role model for younger transgender women in Hawai`i.

Cristina Herrera, Community Grantmaking Meeting Coordinator

Cristina founded the Translatina Network back in 2007, in order to organize and empower the transgender immigrant community through leadership development and education. Over the years she has served on countless panels, committees, and boards in order to provide expertise on effective HIV prevention and community organizing. Cristina has been presented with awards and recognition by NYC DOH, The AIDS Institute, City Council , the Queens Borough President and many organizations.

Cristina was formerly the Trans Program Coordinator at the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (The Center), where she worked for eleven years. She oversaw the workforce development program that is specifically designed to meet the needs of the TGNC community. She has been working in the field of HIV prevention, advocacy and community organizing for almost 20 years.

Glo Ross, TJFP Community Grantmaking Facilitator

Glo Ross is originally from Los Angeles, CA and currently lives in Atlanta, GA. As a full-time gender-queer lover of all animals and the earth, Glo is committed to building the world we all deserve to live in by organizing power in our communities and actively practicing compassion for all beings day to day. Currently, Glo works in the public sector as a policy analyst on environmental issues. In previous lives, Glo directed campaigns at FIERCE! to build power among LGBTQ youth of color in New York City, has helped lead anti-police brutality organizing in Atlanta, and has facilitated numerous youth organizing trainings for college students across the country. In the past eight years, Glo has also supported community-based organizing strategy through technical assistance and issue research. When not facilitating or conducting research, you can find Glo hiking with their pups (two lovable rescued pit bulls), trying out a new vegan recipe, or road-tripping to the beach.

Nico Amador, TJFP Community Grantmaking Facilitator

Nico Amador grew up in California and is now a trainer, organizer and writer based in Philadelphia. Nico got his start as a trainer working with
youth around issues of oppression and leading workshops on the impacts of militarism and the prison industrial complex on people of color. As part of the Fellowship of Reconciliation’s Nonviolent Youth Collective, Nico helped to train volunteers preparing to do human rights work in Colombia, led week-long retreats on nonviolence and social justice, and organized a California arts and education tour.

As part of Training for Change, Nico has led workshops in the US, Canada and Europe for groups such as Choice USA, Iraq Veterans Against the War, the Energy Action Coalition, Greenpeace, the National Youth Advocacy Coalition, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Earth Quaker Action Team, the New Sanctuary Movement, Prometheus Radio Project, and the Diverse City Fund.

Nico is also an experienced community organizer who has participated in grassroots efforts for prison abolition, urban farming, and keeping casinos out of residential neighborhoods. Most recently he led a campaign that successfully changed a policy that was causing harassment of transgender riders on Philadelphia’s public transportation system.

He has authored articles such as “Lessons from the Borders: Empowering Participants with Disabilities and Transgender Participants” and “Into the Streets! Training as a Tactic” and has published poetry in a few small journals and anthologies.

 

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Introducing 2017 TJFP Community Grantmaking Fellow, Cathy Kapua!

cathykapuaTJFP is so excited to introduce the first of our six Community Grantmaking Fellows, Cathy Kapua!

Cathy Kapua hails from O`ahu, Hawaii and has worked with the transgender community since 2003. Cathy started as a Peer Educator and Employment Specialist at a transgender social service organization called Kulia Na Mamo. She then moved on to become an HIV Prevention Specialist at the Life Foundation working with transgender women who engage in survival sex work. Cathy has since worked on several federally funded projects specific for the transgender community and has provided culturally competency trainings to medical service providers in an effort of raising awareness of the needs of the transgender community in Hawaii. Cathy is currently the Kuaana Project Coordinator at the Life Foundation offering a variety of social services to the Native Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Island transcommunity by utilizing peers to empower others within the transgender community. Being a role model for the young transgender community in Hawai`i drives Cathy’s passion to continue her advocacy within the healthcare and social service fields. For more information on the Kuaana Project, please visit the website at www.kuaanaproject.org

We’re looking forward to building with you Cathy!

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