Gabriel Foster, Co-founder and Executive Director
Gabriel Foster is a black, queer, trans, ‘momma’s boy’ who’s returned to his home Seattle, WA, most recently from New York. From age fifteen to twenty-six he went from a program constituent to program staff in the American Friends Service Committee’s GLBTQ Youth Program. Gabriel has worked with the Northwest Network of bisexual, trans, lesbian & gay survivors of abuse helping to create their youth programming in Seattle; at SPARK Reproductive Justice Now with LGBTQ youth of color and allies in Atlanta, GA; the Leeway Foundation, supporting women and trans people creating art and social change in Philadelphia, PA and provided outreach for the Johnathan Lax Fund at the Bread and Roses foundation in Philadelphia, PA. Gabriel is also a former staff member of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a retired disco dancer extraordinaire and lover of memes!
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.
Marin Watts, Director of Operations and Communications
(He/Him and They/Them)
Marin is a queer, trans, Pilipinx-American multimedia artist who is deeply committed to social justice and moving resources to grassroots and trans movements. Over the years, they have been involved with many grassroots media projects, as an artist and media educator. He is constantly exploring art and media as a tool for change and can often be found getting messy in his art studio. When he’s not in the office or the studio, he can be found walking his sassy dog at Prospect Park in Brooklyn with their partner or adventuring on a bicycle.
Nicole Fernandes, Administrative Director
Nicole has strong experience in administrative roles, including roles in nonprofit and grassroots organizations. Some of Nicole’s experience includes serving as an Information and Referral Specialist at The Center and most recently serving as the Finance and Administrative Associate at Funders for LGBTQ Issues. When she isn’t working, Nicole loves to play with her acrylic paints and tend to her plant babies. She is very excited to bring the skills she’s learned along her journey to serve the trans community.
Demian Yoon, Database & Communications Coordinator
Demian Yoon is a bi and trans Korean-American from New York. After studying English and Religion at Haverford College, he has worked in education (both indoor and outdoor) and philanthropy (both queer-focused and not), and is thrilled to be working at TJFP, his political home. Currently, he resides in suburban Connecticut with a partner and two sweet fur babies–a dog and a geriatric cat. In his free time he writes, takes long walks, and makes a mean frittata.
Karen Pittelman, Co-founder
Karen is the author of Resource Generation’s Classified: How to Stop Hiding Your Privilege and Use It For Social Change and co-author of Creating Change Through Family Philanthropy. In 1999, she dissolved her $3 million trust to co-found the Chahara Foundation, a fund run by and for low-income women activists in Boston. She’s been organizing people with class privilege ever since. She lives in Brooklyn where she works as a writer and a writing coach, and sings with her country band Karen & the Sorrows.
Community Grantmaking Panels
Each year, we bring together a new group of trans and gender non-conforming activists from across the country to choose our grantees.
2021 Community Funding Fellows
Candi Brings Plenty (They/Them/Theirs)
The Two Spirit Nation was not only just an encampment at the Očeti Šakowin camp at Standing Rock during the NoDAPL movement, it was a movement within a movement. Candi Brings Plenty is a Two Spirit Water Protector and Land Defender, who initiated Two Spirit visibility and awareness during the largest historical gathering of nations while decolonizing ceremonies and reclaiming space in sacred circles for Two Spirit relatives.
Candi Brings Plenty, Wakinyan Tunwanpi Iyoyanpa Win (Bright Lightening Womxn), is an Oglala Lakota Sioux, Queer Indigenous, Non-binary Two Spirit. They are a protector of the sacred and activist for Indigenous justice. Their red lipstick is their war paint, as they take their place on the frontlines as a Two Spirit Warrior Queen. They continue to educate and advocate throughout Turtle Island sharing their experience as a frontline Two Spirit Water Protector and as a Land Defender. They are a fierce Missing and Murdered Indigenous People’s advocate. They are a Spiritual & Wellness Practitioner who elevates traditional methods of trauma healing.
Candi Brings Plenty is a direct descendent of Crazy Horse’s band and is an ancestral survivor of the Wounded Knee Massacre. They continue to stand in the face of the colonizer to protect the sacred and Unći Maka. They currently live in the Black Hills, in Rapid City, SD where they work as the first ACLU Indigenous Justice Organizer for the South Dakota, North Dakota & Wyoming region. They are incorporating Indigenous methods and constitutional rights to bring awareness and protection for frontline warriors to exercise their civil liberties.
Dominique Morgan (She/Her)
Dominique is an award-winning artist, activist, and TEDx speaker. As the Executive Director of Black and Pink, the largest prison abolitionist organization in the United States. She works daily to dismantle the systems that perpetuate violence on LGBTQ/GNC people and individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Partnering her lived experience of being impacted by mass incarceration (including 18 months in solitary confinement), with a decade of change-making artistry, advocacy, and background in public health, she continues to work in spaces of sex education, radical self-care, and transformative youth development with intentions of dismantling the prison industrial complex and its impact on our communities. Ms. Morgan is a 2020 Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award recipient, NAACP Freedom Fighter Award recipient, and 2020 JM Kaplan Innovation Prize recipient. Her new album Pisces In E Flat Major is available on all platforms and her book “Sex Ed for System Facing People” will be available Jan 2022. Find out more about Dominique at www.dominiquemorgan.com. Check out her TEDxTalk on Resilience
Ola is a trans masculine queer of Edo and Yoruba descent, who was born in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and now resides in Houston, Texas. Ola is the Co-Director for the Black LGBTQ+ Migrant Project and has been a community organizer for many years, including working with Transgender Law Center, the Audre Lorde Project, Uhuru Wazobia (one of the first LGBT groups for African immigrants in the US), Queers for Economic Justice and Sylvia Rivera Law Project. Ola is a 2015 Voices of Our Nation Arts workshop (VONA) fellow, and has writings published in Apogee, Qzine, Black Looks, and the anthologies Black Futures and Queer Africa II.
Xoài is a Vietnamese trans person in a complicated relationship with womanhood. She descends from a long legacy of warriors, healers, and shamans. Her family arrived in California as refugees after the United States pillaged Southeast Asia. Her life’s work is in dreaming new futures where we are all limitless. She makes those dreams a reality as a poet, essayist, editor, and collaborative educator. Her work often explores the roots of violence and small intimacies. She is currently the digital program manager of Transgender Law Center and trans subject editor of Autostraddle. She’s also utilizing her skills to fight the deportations of Southeast Asian refugees with Mekong NYC, and is additionally serving on the board of TURNNT, which studies the factors that determine health outcomes for trans women of color in New York City. One day, she’ll be writing stories for film and TV. In the meantime, her relationship to the industry is through modeling and acting. Her idea of heaven is eating fruits beside the ocean.
Loan Tran is a migrant originally from Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam currently organizing in Durham, North Carolina. For more than a decade they have been involved in liberation struggles for migrants, LGBTQ people, communities of color, and youth and students. As a writer, their work has been included in publications such as The Solidarity Struggle: How People of Color Succeed and Fail At Showing Up For Each Other In the Fight For Freedom (2016) and Gendered Lives: Intersectional Perspectives (7th Edition, 2019). They are known for their piece, Calling In: A Less Disposable Way of Holding Each Other Accountable, released on Black Girl Dangerous in 2013. They firmly believe only a movement rooted in solidarity across identities, geographies, and issues can transform our lives. They are a member of the board of directors of the Highlander Research & Education Center; co-chair the Third Wave Fund Advisory Council; and advise the Andrus’ Family Foundation’s Visionary Freedom Fund. Currently they are spending time slowly: cooking for friends and family, writing, and digging in the dirt.
Toi T. Washington
“A person can forget what you did or said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. If I can help somebody along the way, then my living is not in vain.”
This is the mantra Toi T. Washington lives by daily. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Ms. Toi Washington is a community engagement specialist, organizer, and activist with over a decade of experience in LBGTQ rights. Ms. Washington currently works with TAKE Resource Center in Birmingham, AL. as the Director of Programs as well as the Program Developer of the Trans Women of Color (TWOC) Healing Project. With a directive on LBGTQ rights, equality and equity, Ms. Washington has successfully positioned herself to be able to effectively address issues that are systemic to trans women of color and LBGTQ individuals alike. Ms. Washington uses her platform to guide herself as well as her community both professionally and personally.
Our Support Team
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.
Our Facilitators, Past & Present
Andrea Jenkins is a Poet and Writer living and working in the Twin Cities. She is currently employed by the Minneapolis City Council as a Senior Policy Aide. As an African American, Out Transgender Woman she has faced her share of significant challenges, however she continues to move on with grace, dignity and pride. Andrea has worked on several causes to improve the the lives of young TG Women of Color, to help them realize that sex-work is not the only occupation they have to rely on. She was the Program Director for the All Gender Health Seminars hosted by the Program in Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota, and serves on the board of Out Front, MN. Nationally, she was grant panelist for the Out Fund at the Funding Exchange in New York City, and she served as a consultant for the first ever Transgender Consultation at the Centers For Disease Control in 2005. Andrea’s work work has appeared in several publications, journals and websites, including The International Journal of Transgenderism. She has performed with Leslie Feinberg, Kate Bornstien and Minnie Bruce Pratt to name a few. Andrea has a B.A. in Human Services, a M.S. in Community Economic Development and an MFA in Creative Writing at Hamline University.
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.
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.
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.