Gabriel Foster, Co-founder and Executive Director
Gabriel Foster is a black, queer, trans, ‘momma’s boy’ living and loving in New York. Prior to making his way to the Eastern Time Zone, he worked in Seattle, WA with the Northwest Network of bisexual, trans, lesbian & gay survivors of abuse helping to create their youth programming. 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. Before arriving in New York, he worked 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. Over the next year he hopes to reincorporate art, crafting making, and a whole lot of laughing.
Marin Watts, Director of Operations and Communications
Marin Watts is a queer, trans, Filipino multimedia artist who is deeply committed to social justice. Before joining TJFP’s team, he provided media education and skills to LGBTQ youth throughout NYC, Atlanta, and Oakland through a variety of grassroots projects. Since 2014, he’s been documenting the annual community-led grant-making process and the work being done by grantee organizations across the country as part of TJFP’s From the Ground to the Sky Tour. In 2015, he was also a TJFP community grantmaking panelist. Marin lives in Brooklyn and in his playtime he’s making a mess in his studio, working on his personal art practice.
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.
2018 Community Funding Fellows
Keiva Lei Cadena
Keiva Lei Cadena is a Native Hawaiian Transgender Woman. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and has called Honolulu, Hawaii home for the last 20 years. She works as the Community Engagement Coordinator at Life Foundation in Honolulu, where she plans and facilitates programs, retreats, events, and groups, designed to empower, educate, support, and cultivate leadership and advocacy amongst the HIV+ community across the state of Hawaii. She has been living with HIV since August of 2014. Keiva works tirelessly across the country focusing on the decriminalization of HIV, eliminating stigma amongst and against the HIV+ community and rejecting the marginalization of human rights for the Trans community, especially Trans Women of Color. She sits on the Positively Trans National Advisory Board and is a 2017 graduate of NMAC’s Building Leader of Color – BLOC Program. At home, along with her partner Kevin, Keiva cares for her 16 year old daughter Maddisen and her 1 year old granddaughter Makayla. She is strongly connected to her Native Hawaiian heritage and is an award winning Hula dancer since the age of three.
Bré Anne Campbell
Bré Anne Campbell is a black woman of trans experience from Detroit, Michigan. She is the co-director of Trans Sistas of Color Project- Detroit, the first trans lead organization in Michigan dedicated to uplifting and impacting the lives of trans women of color living in the state. Bré is also very active in national HIV work, serving on the board of the Positive Women’s Network-USA and onto national advisory board of Positively Trans. She can be seen in the upcoming web series The Femme Queen Chronicles, a series written and produced by black trans women.
Ezak Amaviska Perez
Ezak Amaviska Perez was born and raised in and around Los Angeles, CA. They are a Two Spirit, Hopi Native American and Latinx community organizer. They have been leading trainings locally in LA as well as nationally for the past 12+ years. He is currently the Organizational Director of Gender Justice LA (GJLA). GJLA is a member-based, grassroots social justice organization for and led by gender non-conforming, gender fluid, two spirit, questioning, and trans people of color in LA. He is currently helping to create the first Indigenous Pride LA and was recently honored by the Sons & Brothers Portrait Series for Native American heritage month. He’s a part of a party collective called THroz, creating pop up fun-draiser parties in LA. Ezak believes that self-care & community care are critical and essential to be able to do this work for the long haul. He loves spending time in nature and thrifting.
Shawn Reagor was born and raised in Montana. He started getting involved in advocacy work while studying Chemistry at Carroll College. Since then he has facilitated multiple trans and nonbinary support groups across the state, spoken at major conferences, testified on the state and municipal levels, and has been featured in articles and videos. Shawn is the director for the Montana Gender Alliance and works at the Montana Human Rights Network. He has worked on campaigns to prevent anti trans bathroom bills from passing in two states and which includes serving as the campaign chair in Montana. Shawn is especially devoted to providing support and building community for trans and nonbinary folks living in rural areas. He coauthored a journal article examining the effects of living in rural areas on TGNC people’s wellness. In his free time, he enjoys camping with his wife, Kasandra, and cat, Copernicus.
Isabel Sousa-Rodriguez was born in Bogota, Colombia and moved to Miami with their family at the age of 6. They began community organizing against deportations and for immigration reform in 2007 and have since become the Membership and Organizing Director and the Florida Immigrant Coalition. Isabel has a Bachelor’s in Sociology from the University of South Florida and as a graduate student at the City University of New York, they published academic articles detailing the effects of legal status and marginalization on undocumented mothers and on immigrant adolescents in the transition to adulthood. From 2015 through 2016, they were the state coordinator of New York’s Mexican Initiative on Deferred Action. They also serve on the Board of Unite for a Fair Economy.
Everette R.H. Thompson
Everette Thompson has over 20 years of experience in community organizing, organizational development, and movement building. He’s a Southerner by birth and choice, and has dedicated his career to strengthening organizational infrastructure in the South. Currently he serves as an Organizer with the Interfaith Organizing Initiative–an initiative that focuses on building strategic denominational support for congregation-based organizing on a national, state and regional level. Everette has a wide array of experiences serving different types and forms of organizations. Justice is his ministry and creating a welcoming table for everyone to dine in their divine ways is his call. Everette lives in East Point, GA with his greatest joy, Elijah, his sun and his much smarter wife Evelyn.
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.
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.
Our Support Team
“Taffy,” as she is known by the transgender community, hails from the leeward side of O`ahu, Hawai`i. She has worked with the transgender community since 2003, first starting off as a Peer Educator and Employment Specialist at Kulia Na Mamo, then moving on to become an HIV Prevention Specialist at the Life Foundation. She has worked on several other empowering projects specific for the transgender community over the past decade. 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 the young transgender community in Hawai`i.
Contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org