Gender Illumination serves to create safer spaces for Trans, gender queer, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people through the tools of education and policy change and to facilitate opportunities for people to explore their own personal gender stories and identities. Gender Illumination is committed to working from a place of intersectionality and acknowledging how racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and classism are directly connected.
Ariel Vegosen Founder and Director Professional Gender Inclusivity Trainer, workshop facilitator, writer, educator, mentor, performance artist, and consultant. Ariel is the founder of Gender Illumination and for over 15 years has facilitated trainings, workshops, and retreats for organizations, corporations, nonprofits, schools, communities, and faith based groups. This work has taken Ariel all over the US and internationally. Ariel has facilitated Gender Inclusivity Trainings for major tech companies as well as major policy institutes. Ariel is an ordained Hebrew Priestess and ritualist. Along with gender justice, Ariel's work focuses on intersectionality, commitment to working from an anti-oppression lens, and creating communities across diverse cultural backgrounds. Ariel loves to play with pronouns, bring joy into all aspects of life, and creatively spark conversations and connections. Ariel is available for workshops, performing, teaching, coaching, and speaking engagements.
Elsa Asher, MS, CD (DONA) Birthing Beyond the Binary Coordinator Narrative Medicine educator, somatic practitioner, storytelling artist, ritual facilitator, and full-spectrum doula. They hold a Masters of Science degree in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University, a DONA doula certification, and is a graduate of the 700-Hour Prenatal, Birth and Attachment Therapy Practitioner Training Program. Elsa is Faculty in Narrative Medicine at Touro University California and Dominican University of California. For more information: https://birthingbeyondthebinary.com/about/
LiatMelnick Educator and Curriculum Writer is an educator and curriculum writer for Gender Illumination with a focus on faith based experience. Liat earned a B.A. from Goucher College where they studied Religion, Psychology and Judaic Studies. As a graduate of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality's Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training, Liat currently coordinates and manages retreats and guest teachers Jewish meditation in a variety of settings. Liat serves on the advisory board of Stony Point Center and the Community of Living Traditions, a multi-faith intentional community dedicated to the practice and study of hospitality, nonviolence and justice. They are involved in the National Havurah Committee, small scale farming, and enjoy playing basketball.
Christina Tibbs Intern and Panelist LGBTQ activist, panelist, public speaker as well as singer/performing artist, Christina Tibbs is a well rounded young trans woman with a unique perspective on life. Having lived on four continents, she has an in-depth perspective on different cultures and the navigation of LGBTQ individuals in all walks of life. Born and raised in South Africa, Christina has always had a deep sense of who she was. She is a racially mixed, bilingual trans woman of color. Having faced many hardships in her life, she advocates a positive outlook on one's challenges and fiercely spreads the words of universal acceptance. Christina was one of the youngest to medically transition in America having had both top and bottom surgery at age 16. She has used her privilege to make a difference in every way she can towards her community by mentoring, volunteering and raising awareness for those less fortunate.
Q Wilson Trainer and Educator Q brings non-profit and corporate experience to a deep reserve of skills and practice gained from group leadership in a range of organizations from small business through Fortune 500, conferences, workshops, and academia. Q holds a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of South Carolina with a specialization in public relations. He has held his ATD Trainer certification since 2012. With a background in activism spanning two decades, Q has consistently worked to support community ties, and build bridges between communities using the powerful presence of authenticity, a gift for rapport and trust building, and an understanding of the value of relationship capital. Q is able to create comfortable learning environments especially when exploring challenging topics such as gender identity, LGBTQ culture, and gender expression. He has a passion for exploring the intersectionality of complex identities in the workplace, starting with his own and using this as a foundation for trust and credibility.
Shalonda Ingram Strategist.Designer.Producer Shalonda is a social entrepreneur committed to empowering communities and artists. As the Founder of Nursha Project Shalonda designs place-based strategy outcomes that aid and encourage free exchange between audiences, artists, enterprises and communities while co-expanding their collective capacities to serve for change. Shalonda's early work founded the social enterprise “Born Brown: All Rights Reserved” to promote understanding and collaboration among people of color of diverse origins. Bb:ARR and various original works counter oppressive media with messaging and produce experiences that evokes self-acceptance and self-love. Currently Shalonda produces events, media and assets with+for True.Do.Good.ers throughout the globe.
Kat Macías Curriculum Editor Kat Macías is a queer Puerto Rican and Cuban Jew-by-Choice with an intersectional anti-oppression praxis. They recently completed a M.Ed. in Higher Education from Merrimack College. Kat researched and developed a Queer Students of Color Leadership Development Curriculum. Most recently, they served as the Multicultural Achievement Peer Program (MAPP) Coordinator at Middlesex Community College where they managed a program that directly supported low-income, first generation, international, and undocumented students of color. Kat was part of the JOIN for Justice Fellowship and worked at Keshet for two years leading community building programs and LGBTQ+ inclusion trainings. Kat also enjoys reviving family recipes, dancing in kitchens, and creating art.