I live with my wife in the Bay Area. I've been a professional event manager for 25 years, having worked in a variety of nonprofit organizations before embarking on my career at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley 12 years ago. I have the pleasure of planning transformational immersive learning experiences for our Executive MBA students through week-long courses both domestically and internationally. When I'm not working I enjoy socializing dogs at the SPCA, watching documentary films, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
What's your connection to LGBTQ+ justice work?
I have always been involved in social justice work. In high school I was passionate about tackling hunger and homelessness. In college I turned my attention to the reproductive rights movement including time spent working at Planned Parenthood. After coming out as lesbian at age 20, my focus shifted to LGBT equality where it has remained ever since. In my 20s I led a weekly peer support group for 5 years for queer women at my local LGBT community center. In my 30s, I shifted to the fight for marriage equality, an issue that I worked on for nearly 10 years with Marriage Equality USA which culminated in the momentous victory at the United States Supreme Court in 2015. While the marriage equality victory was an incredible achievement for our movement, until we are safe to live openly and without fear of discrimination and violence, our work continues.
What is your volunteer role(s) at NEAT? What inspired you to get involved?
I became the editor of the NEAT blog and newsletter in January 2021. I am inspired by the intersectionality of NEAT's LGBT equality work and the inclusive way they engage volunteers through this important work.
What would you say to anyone considering volunteering with NEAT?
For anyone pondering involvement with NEAT, I am reminded of the famous Margaret Mead quote: “Never doubt that a group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” If you choose to spend your time with this organization, it will be time well spent.