Brooklyn born with an Afro-Caribbean background, Nala Toussaint works to advance the social and economic well-being of African Descendants, with an urgent focus on queer, same-gender loving people, transgender, and non-binary people, and ultimately the entire community. She has done extensive work as an outreach liaison, conducting safe sex intervention activities for youths & young adults, and coordinating educational and job development services at renowned LGBT public service organizations.
Nala Toussaint currently is the TGNB Health Advocacy Coordinator at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. She engages and mobilizes transgender and gender non-binary (TGNB) patients and their a allies - as well as external community members - to advocate for policies that will expand access to gender-affirming health care and services while addressing racial inequities.
In 2015, she served as the Co-Chair for the Young Women Advisory Council under the administration of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito & New York City Council. Nala has lead and brought many differently-identified young girls to the table to contribute to the launch of #SheWillBe campaign. As a result of her passion and leadership, she continued her work as the co-program coordinator at Girls for Gender Equity until Aug 2018, where she co-facilitated groups that created spaces for young cisgender and transgender girls, and gender non-conforming individuals between the ages 13-24 to be uplifted through kinship while learning about government policy, media, and philanthropy.
In addition, she is the founder of Reuniting of African Descendants (R.O.A.D). R.O.A.D is a grassroots initiative invested in shaping the equitable, personal and collective development, and achievement of African descendants. Each year, R.O.A.D seeks to mobilize at least 10 individuals to work collaboratively to transform queer and trans communities in Africa through cultural exchange. R.O.A.D approaches this cultural exchange and community building work by cultivating a cross-continental and inter-generational travel experience that focuses on healing, apothecary teaching, and entrepreneurship opportunities.
An advocate and activist for the transgender / gender non-conforming community for the past 14 years, she has done plus size modeling as well as some acting. Chanel International is a well-known public figure with in and out the community, she is known through her many years of hosting and entertaining around the club scene, special events and private events.
For many years Chanel Lopez worked at the “New York Anti Violence Project” with LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual and Domestic violence, a position she held close to her heart being a survivor of sexual & domestic violence herself.
She has had numerous documentaries done on her as well as receiving two “Certificate of Merits” by the Bronx Burroughs president himself “Ruben Diaz Junior.
The First trans woman to be honored by the organizers of the Dominican Parade with the “Trail Blazer Award”. She is also the title holder of two pageants the “Miss long Island 2010” & “Miss Fame Magazine 2016-2017”
Today Chanel Jessica Lopez is the Transgender Communities Liaison for the NYC Commission on Human Rights, making her the only openly trans women of color working for government. Chanel’s aspirations are to run for office either for “City Council” or “Public Advocate Speaker” and be recognized as an
influential transgender leader.
LaLa leads the ACLU’s advocacy and organizing work to support and empower transgender and nonbinary people.
LaLa spoke at the White House for the first Women’s History Month briefing that included transwoman, the last briefing on transgender people under the Obama administration, and also testified at the first Congressional forum on violence against transgender people. In 2015, LaLa was featured on the Advocate’s Trans 100 list.
As chair of the policy and working group committee for Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), LaLa was part of passing Intro 541 which addresses unconstitutional searches by the NYPD.
Recently, LaLa created the first Trans Discrimination Survey in New York City to collect data on trans people’s experiences in employment. The findings were released in City Hall Park alongside City Council officials and TGNC leaders.
She was previously Lead Organizer at the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) where she led AVP’s public community organizing work by doing advocacy, outreach and networking on behalf of LGBTQ New Yorkers who have experienced violence.
Mateo has 15 years of experience as an advocate and social worker within LGBTQ health and community settings. His approach to healing work is informed by his training in trauma informed systems.He received his Masters in Social Work from Silberman School of Social Work with a focus on creating trauma informed systems shifts in organizations. This training, along with his own experience, provided him with insight on the role of organizations in creating and perpetuating trauma, and the capacity of organizations to be healing spaces where community is a practice.
Raised and held by compassionate elders, Mateo is continually guided to understand the power and practice of committed, deliberate, interdependent community. He brings a variety of healing tools cultivated through his own experience in community, non-profits, city government, and navigating trauma.
Established in 2019, we are a collective of Queer/Cuir transfeminist anti-racist language workers who come from experiences of migration and diaspora.
We work to support cultural, artistic, community organizing and political spaces in prioritizing and practicing language justice through a lens of gender inclusivity, decolonizing our tongues and self- determination. We seek to build with groups and communities who, like us, are in a process of unlearning and healing. A lot of this is done through our work of interpreting, translating, facilitating workshops and developing curriculum.
We have years of experience working in all areas of social justice and have an intentional commitment to build language justice in cultural work and at the intersection of disability justice.
We believe language justice work should be creative and joyful and be nurtured as an integral part of movements that seek liberation and justice.
With 18 years in social justice education and services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identified individuals, Lyndon Cudlitz provides training and technical assistance for healthcare providers, educational institutions, businesses, organizations, government agencies, and LGBTQ+ groups.
Lyndon's background also includes services for survivors of violence, Deaf services, 10 years as a firefighter/EMT, and founding & directing youth leaderships camps in Maine, New York, and Missouri.