Achim Jeremiah Howard, born and raised in Washington, DC, is all about paving the way for others. He is the founder of DC TransMen Rising and the first trans minister at the Bethel Christian Church of Washington, DC. Achim is a member of Alpha Omega Kappa Fraternity, Inc., and sits on the board of directors at Whitman Walker Health in DC. In addition to his activism and advocacy, Achim has fought in the workplace for cultural competency trainings and is the first trans person to be a member of Union Local 891 Cement Masons in DC.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Arianna Lint is a “refugee” Latina Transgender Woman who just started her own organization, Translatina Florida Chapter. Previously, she served as the Director of Transgender Advocacy at SunServe, a South Florida not-for-profit social service and mental health agency serving the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Community. At SunServe, she connected transgender residents with employment opportunities, safe housing, social networks and medical services. She has served on the board for Translatin@ Coalition, is a speaker for Bristol-Myers Squibb and SAVE, is Chair of the Community Empowerment Committee of the HIV Broward planning council (a part of Transaction Florida group of Equal Florida), and has also recently become a Member of the Trans (T+) National Advisory Board. Arianna is originally from Peru, where she lived through her graduation from Law School at San martin de Porres University.
Bré Anne Campbell is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Trans Sistas of Color Project – Detroit (TSOCP). Founded in 2015, TSOCP’s mission is “to uplift, impact and influence the lives and welfare of transgender women of color in Detroit.” In 2012 she was recognized as one of twelve LGBT leaders of color by Model D Media and Between the Lines Magazine. Later that year, Bré became the first trans woman of color to sit on the board of an LGBT people of color organization in Michigan. She has ten years of HIV testing and counseling experience with the Horizons Project, a youth specific HIV testing and care program in collaboration with Wayne State University School of Medicine and Detroit Medical Center. She also a published researcher and has worked closely on several research studies at the Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities (SexLab) at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. In the summer of 2016, Bré was featured in Empowered: Trans Women & HIV, a new video series about love, life, and HIV among trans women. Bré also serves on the board of PWN-USA and as an ambassador for Greater Than AIDS. She also serves as an Executive Producer of a forthcoming documentary exploring the narratives of TWOC in Detroit.
Diana Feliz Oliva has worked in the field of social services and public health for almost 25 years. Her work began in 1994 with the County of Fresno – Department of Social Services to her new position as HIV Community Liaison at Gilead Sciences, Inc. in 2017. In addition, Ms. Oliva has more than 15 years of experience in working with the HIV + positive communities which include, women, MSM, transgender individuals, sex workers, mentally ill, substance users, homeless individuals, incarcerated adults, youth, elderly, people of color and undocumented individuals.
A graduate of Columbia University with a Master’s Degree in Social Work in 2005, her particular interest has been advancing the development of public policy that addresses community-level health and social problems. Turning her daunting personal challenges and barriers into the very basis of her activism, Ms. Oliva has become an effective social advocate and role model. Her work is shown giving voice and visibility to not only the HIV + positive communities, but also to the multiple, overlapping communities her life has touched.
Evonne Kaho is a spiritual activist and educator. A blue color transgender woman who is also a survivor of domestic violence, Evonne struggles against pain and injustice with an open heart. Evonne has a BA in Business from Alcorn State University and a Master’s in Business Administration, Technology and Management from the University of Phoenix. She is the CEO and founder of the first Black Transgender nonprofit in Mississippi, Love me without Limited 4 life. She also serves on the National Advisory Board of Positively Trans, a project of Transgender Law Center and the HIV planning Committee of Jackson Medical Mall. She is affectionately known around the world by those who love her as “Mommy Trump” or “Mother Blessed”.
New Orleans, LA
From having immigrated to the United States as a child; coming out in high school; being diagnosed with HIV a week before her 21st birthday to finally making the decision to risk everything and transition to her true self, Jada Cardona has used adversity to hone the skills she needed to become a leader in the Transgender and Latinx communities. She previously worked with the Louisiana Department of Health – STD/HIV Program and is the first openly transgender person hired full time by the State of Louisiana. Jada is the founder of Transitions, Inc., sponsored by Trans United Fund, which focuses on the unique issues facing the Queer Latinx population in New Orleans, LA. Jada has tirelessly fought for recognition and rights for transgender people and has represented and championed her community nationally as well as locally. Jada is led by her passion and believes that all people, including transgender and gender non-conforming individuals deserve to lead honored and dignified lives free from stigma and judgement.
Keiva Lei 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 Hawaii Health & Harm Reduction Center 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. Keiva is also a graduate of NMAC’s Building Leader of Color – BLOC Program. Keiva is strongly connected to her Native Hawaiian heritage and is an award winning Hula dancer since the age of three.
Brooklyn, New York
Kiara St. James, has been a community organizer and public speaker for over 20 years. She has been instrumental in changing shelter policies that were discriminatory towards the Trans community, and presented workshops concerning marginalized communities at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria and the United Nations, as well as at other conferences and academic institutions. For the last 17 years Kiara has also been coordinating meetings with legislators to discuss the importance of passing Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act, a bill that will enrich the lives of all New Yorkers through creating culturally affirming spaces. Kiara is the Founder and current Executive director of the New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG inc), A grassroots 501c-3 non-profit organization, that is Trans-led and intent on creating new opportunities for the Trans community, through intentional partnerships and innovative sustainability initiatives.
Liaam Winslet is a Transfeminist Translatina activist. Having started her activism very young, as a teenager, she loves to empower trans communities around HIV education. Her passion is to bring awareness to, create, and promote positive and affirming messaging in order to advance transgender/GNC equality. She works as a consultant at Community Healthcare Network’s Transgender Family Program and other organizations in New York City. She is also a photographer and enjoys documenting the lives of her peers. Liaam is originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador. She started very young in the Trans activism it, from teenagers to currently maintains an active struggle.
New Orleans, LA
As a founding member of BreakOUT!, Milan has been an integral part of BreakOUT!’s campaign development and base-building from its inception. She completed a paid internship withBreakOUT! in 2011, then completed a job training program at BreakOUT! with the city’s workforce development program, Job1, in 2013, before coming on as a full-time staff Youth Organizer at BreakOUT! shortly thereafter. She has interviewed with PBS’s “In The Life” program, presented on LGBTQ youth in out-of-home care with the American Bar Association’s “Opening Doors” Project, and met with the Department of Justice multiple times about community experiences inside Orleans Parish Prison and with the New Orleans Police Department. Milan represents BreakOUT! in the Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition in New Orleans and has spoken on behalf of the organization at press conferences, including with Women With a Vision and the Center for Constitutional Rights about Crimes Against Nature litigation and Human Rights Watch about discriminatory policing practices in New Orleans and the links to high rates of HIV transmission. Milan received the NOLA Unity Award for her work in the New Orleans LGBTQ community in 2013 and performs in BreakOUT!’s theatrical performance, “Say My Name, Say My Name” with the nationally acclaimed theater company from New York, Ping Chong + Company. She graduated from the Center for Third World Organizing’s Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program. In 2015 Milan Launched BreakOUT!s #BlackTransLivesMatter media campaign and received the 2015 Rising Star Award presented to her by EQLA Quality Louisiana.
Recognized by President Obama in 2015, Nikki Araguz Loyd was the first adolescent to appear on national television in the 1990’s and discuss being transgender. Nikki has been advocating for HIV and Transgender awareness since 1995, when she told the world on the Sally Jesse Raphael show she was raped at 13 and infected with HIV. Following the July 4th 2010 death of her firefighter husband, Nikki was sued for the death benefits and her marriage was subsequently invalidated by a Texas judge based on her birth as a transgender person. After a half decade long battle the case was overturned on appeal and the Texas Supreme Court denied a further appeal by petitioners, sending the case back to the trial Judge for a historic reversal, creating marriage equality for transgender people in Texas before it was national law. Araguz Loyd has taken her struggles and turned them into a triumph for all transgender people by setting an example of success while assuring the legislative, judicial and procedural changes in all forms of government for the improved lives of all people regardless of their gender identity. Acknowledged as the inspiration by Harris county Sherriff Adrian Garcia for his monumental and comprehensive changes to the process with which transgender inmates are handled, Araguz Loyd uses her voice and public persona to ensure that all people are treated with equal respect regardless of their circumstance. Having been featured on ABC’s 20/20, NBC, CBS, PBS, Inside Edition and print media around the world, Nikki has happily remarried to American contemporary artist William Loyd, their family is the subject of a digital docu-series called Nikki’s American Dream focusing on the families activism and her life as a transparent. Last but not least Nikki is the founding director of TNA, Transgender National Alliance, helping families heal while focusing on trans identified people achieving the transitioned status they desire including access to name, gender marker changes and hormone therapies. She is known throughout social media as @AmericanNikki for her compassion, wit and unrivaled honest opinion.
San Francisco, CA
Octavia Y. Lewis is an activist, advocate, mother and scholar. She is currently working as a Community Ambassador with AmidaCare. As a Transgender woman of color living with HIV, she understands the intersectionality’s and nuances of the complexities of her identities and how it correlates with the world around her. While employed at the Hetrick-Martin Institute, she led all Transgender related programing and services providing the youth with transferrable skills needed to navigate the systems which are in place to assist them while teaching them to find their voices to advocate for themselves, educating ally’s on what it means to be an ally, and leading through exemplary leadership skills on living one’s authentic life unapologetically.
Octavia Y. Lewis, MPA holds an Associate in General Studies from Atlanta Metropolitan College, a Bachelors in Business Administration/Marketing from Georgia Gwinnett College, a Master’s in Public Administration/Health Services Management, and is a Doctoral Candidate in Public Policy and Administration at Walden University. She remains rooted in community issues that plagues the Transgender community through mentorship of other young Transgender youth to one day takes her place in the fight for equality. She is focused on her professional development through scholarly practice and engagement with industry leaders who are willing to not only address the disparities of the disenfranchised and impoverished but are willing to allow them a space to create solutions toward sustainability.
Ruby was born in San Salvador, El Salvador. She fled a civil war when she was 16 years old. Now 43 years old, she has lived in Washington, D.C. for the past 27 years where She has devoted the last 20 years as an advocate for the inclusion of Transgender, Gender Queer and Gender Non Conforming Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual people in main stream society. She is a self made tireless advocate and leader for social justice, her hard work has help gain legal protections in Washington, DC. She has fought for LGBT Human Rights, Transgender Liberation, Immigration Equality, Access to Health Care, Hate Crimes/violence and many other disparities and issues facing the communities that she represents. Ruby’s work has been featured by News Week Magazine 2003, Washington Post, 2003-2014, The Washington Blade, 2003-2014, Metro Weekly Magazine 2007-2014, Washington City Paper 2010/13, Washington Times, 2012, The advocate Magazine 2012, NBC Latino, 2013 and by News Channel 4, 5, 7, 9, Univision DC, CBS Radio, Pacifica Radio, National Public Radio among other media channels.
Teo Drake is a spiritual activist, an educator, a practicing Buddhist and yogi, and an artisan who works in wood and steel. He is affiliated with Off the Mat, Into the World and the organization Phallacies. When this blue collar, queer-identified trans man living with AIDS isn’t helping spiritual spaces be more welcoming and inclusive of queer and transgender people or helping queer and trans folks find authentic spiritual paths, he can be found teaching martial arts, yoga, and woodworking to children or blogging at www.rootsgrowthetree.com
Little Rock, AR
Tiommi Luckett is a human rights activist with a global influence due to her blog with “A Girl Like Me” with The Well Project where she also is the Communications Coordinator and sits on the Community Advisory Board. Identifying as a Black, binary trans woman living with HIV, Luckett’s advocacy has evolved from deeply personal conditions to include the greater struggle of dismantling racism, anti-blackness, anti-trans attitudes and policies, xenophobia, misogyny, socioeconomic and systemic oppression.
College Park, GA
Tori Cooper is an HIV Health Educator in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. Through Positive Impact Health Centers, a grantee of AIDS United’s Transgender Leadership Initiative, Tori and her colleagues created a leadership course for transgender individuals to increase participants’ HIV knowledge and to improve HIV service delivery, health and social justice outcomes for their peers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services and is currently matriculating towards her Master of Arts in Public Health. Tori also has over 25 years of experience in the HIV field beginning as a volunteer during the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.
Former Positively Trans National Advisory Board Members
- Channing-Celeste Wayne
- Tela Love
- Dee Dee Chamblee