On November 8, Leeway Foundation will host the launch of a document called TransForming Inclusion: An Organizational Guide -- a resource for peer organizations, funders, and cultural organizers that provides tools for inclusion and affirmation of trans and gender nonconforming people. The guide includes best practices (pronouns, bathrooms and other access questions, etc.), examples of organizations that have undergone the process of transforming their mission/vision/work, and other introductory and intermediate level information about trans affirmation and inclusion.
Part of the launch event will include a moderated panel discussion featuring leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to trans inclusion, and will share with an audience of funders, nonprofit organizations, and community partners some critical insights from the document and why it is extremely relevant at this time. November 13-17 marks Trans Awareness Week, and Leeway hopes this event will continue to amplify this ongoing national conversation.
The event is sponsored by the CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia,Philanthropy Network of Greater Philadelphia, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the City of Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs and William Way LGBT Community Center.
About the Panelists:
Alison Gerig (she/her) is a licensed psychotherapist and culture change consultant originally from North Carolina. She supports nonprofits, executive directors, and foundations wanting to begin the process of unpacking the impacts of white supremacy and patriarchy on their organizations. Alison helps them begin to build the foundations to become more equitable and anti-racist. From 2007-2018, Alison was the executive director of Therapy Center of Philadelphia that provides affordable therapy to low-income women and trans communities. As a historically white feminist organization, Alison laid the framework for the agency to strive for trans and racial equity and they continue on this journey today. Alison has also worked in a private, psychotherapy practice since 2005, specializing in areas of gender identity, sexuality, and relational healing through a lens of social justice and ally-ship. She is trained in EMDR trauma therapy and Gestalt therapy and brings in body awareness as a method of healing and finding our personal power. As a white, cis-gender, queer ally, Alison has been committed to culture change work over the last 12 years. She has presented at conferences, events, and workshops on helping audiences strive to become trans-affirming psychotherapists and trans-affirming agencies. Alison has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania on how to build nonprofits from the ground up and was the first Health Center Director at Mazzoni Center, helping to launch the first trans health program in Philadelphia.
Celena Morrison is originally from North Carolina, and has resided in Philadelphia for approximately nine years. Providing support, education, and building sisterhood throughout the community is a passion of hers and she is devoted to making a difference in her community. She is a former Community Engagement Specialist of the Mazzoni Center. She worked as a Recovery Specialist at Morris Home. Celena also serves as a Support Specialist for the P.A.C.T.S. program, collaboration between CHOP and Mazzoni Center. She is the current Director of Programs at the William Way LGBT Community Center.
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.
Heath Fogg Davis is a professor of political science who teaches courses on anti-discrimination law, democratic political theory, and the politics of race, gender, and sexuality. As a scholar, his research and publications probe the complex relationship between individual and collective identity in contexts such as family formation and adoption, public transportation, administrative and anti-discrimination law, and urban public space. As a community organizer and activist, he collaborates with and advocates for marginalized communities including transgender and gender nonconforming people, women, people of color, LGBQ people, and low-income people.
About the Moderator:
V Varun Chaudhry is a brown trans boi originally from outside Baltimore, MD. He is an Anthropology PhD Candidate at Northwestern University and a predoctoral fellow in the Center for the Study of Women in Society at the University of Oregon. His academic work builds on years of advocacy work with queer and trans communities of color across the US. He lives in Eugene, OR with his family.