Updated: Nov 8, 2020
1. In less than a minute, tell us who you are and why we keep hearing good things about you.
I am the Executive Director of Safeguarding American Values for Everyone (SAVE/SAVE Foundation). In this role, I work to advance SAVE’s mission to promote, protect, and defend equality for people in South Florida who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. I am forty-four years old, and in my life journey I have been involved with businesses and nonprofit organizations that have an impact on both the local and national levels. Public service has always been an integral part of my life, focusing on organizations that promote human rights and the educational advancement of people of color and the LGBT community.
2. What were the pivotal roadblocks and challenges you encountered along the way that helped you define your path?
The greatest challenges in my life that have defined my path are related to overcoming self-doubt. I am a pretty privileged person given my gender, skin, education, and general place in the world, so I really can’t attribute too much to externalities. Overthinking and being harsh on myself are limiting factors in being able to be productive, but over time learning to be kinder and gentler with myself has propelled my ability to excel and to help others excel as well.
3. Why did you choose this field? Who were your role models? And what pushed you to learn and become who you are?
Choosing to work in the nonprofit sector was attractive because of the impact that it can have on the day-to-day quality of life experiences of people. Through nonprofit work, I am able to focus on the betterment of society and on some of the most pressing issues in our society. Working within the LGBT human rights movement has been a blessing, and I recognize that I stand on the shoulders of giants who came before me. They all inspired me in one way or another. They were active in the movement at a time when it was not easy or safe.
4. What is your legacy? Do you care about leaving a legacy?
That is tough to think about at forty-four years of age. I do, however, think that my legacy lies somewhere at the individual level with people with whom I have worked with as a peer colleague, mentor, or as part of a team. I hope that in one way or another they had a positive experience with me and that I taught them something that helps enrich their lives.
5. What can we all do right now to make this world a better place?
Focus on family and friends and how we can support one another to achieve our goals. Share with your circle of friends and family what you are up to. We are part of a wonderful and resourceful world. Without looking to help or to be helped, those resources and the vast network of talent goes to waste if they are not tapped into.
6. In less than a minute, without sounding like a used car salesperson, tell us where to find you, and what is the next big thing that everyone should be anticipating from you.
I think being accessible is an important part of who I am. Whether I’m messaged through Facebook, email, text message, or a call, I make time to connect with people. So, I’m virtually available all the time. Over the next few years, the LGBT rights movement will be defined by the topic of religious freedom. We are not G-dless people, and religion should not be weaponized to discriminate against anyone.
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