Tianna Kalogerakis, Board Chair
Bianca Pichardo, Vice Chair Tamara Brenes, Treasurer
Wit Lopez, Secretary
Nikki López is a queer latinx poet and activist with over ten years of youth advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree at Bryn Mawr College and received her Masters of Fine Arts at Rutgers University Newark. Intentionality and intersectionality are keystones of her work as an activist, where she advocates strongly for marginalized communities in spaces where visibly queer, female, and Latinx person are rare. She was a 2012 Leeway Foundation Art and Change grant recipient and as a creative writer, social justice is central to her work where she has taught a number of youth writing workshops teaching participants how to utilize writing as an organizing tool. Keystones of her work are youth leadership development, HIV/AIDS prevention, and formerly served on the LGBTQ School Advisory board through the Mayor’s office of LGTBQ Affairs in Philadelphia.
Geraldo is a self identified gaymer, Anime lover, and Otaku Puerto Rican, who was born and raised in Philadelphia! His hobbies include hanging with friends, singing, and living life with a confident mindset. Geraldo does the work that he does because “I love giving back to the community and trying to make a difference in my community even if it's a small one. I love what our mission here at Galaei is and I would love to spread the love we have to the community."
Jorian is an HIV tester and counselor born and raised in Philadelphia and an advocate for youth leadership. He is part of the storytelling photograph project, The GranVarones and is one of the faces of Galaei's citywide campaign, Positivo which seeks eliminate the stigma around Gay Latino and HIV related issues, through highlighting stories, community members and spirit that embodies acceptance, pride, family, respect, beauty and resilience. He is a former Youth Resource Fellow from Advocates for Youth in Washington D.C. and was the 2016 Dale L. Grundy Youth Leader Recipient for the University of Pennsylvania's CFAR CAB’s 13th Annual Red Ribbon Awards. When Jorian is not working on changing society he loves to watch anime, read, or hang out with his loved ones and friends.
Sergio Morales is the senior tester for the Counseling, Testing and Referral (CTR) program and the Operations Coordinator at Galaei. Sergio has been passionately invested in queer nonprofit work for over 10 years. Sergio is dedicated to HIV work in Philadelphia and community-lead efforts to improve the quality of life for queer Latino communities. He is the 2017 DVLF Hero Award Recipient.
Milan Nicole Sherry is a Black Trans Revolutionist from New Orleans, La. As a Founding Member of the organization BreakOUT, she has been integral to her community development and campaign victories since 2010. In 2011, Milan completed an internship with BreakOUT! before being hired through a partnership with the city's workforce development program, Job1, and eventually, came on to staff full-time as a Youth Organizer in 2013. Since then, she has met with the Department of Justice multiple times about community experiences inside New Orleans Parish Prison and with the New Orleans Police Department and helped lead BreakOUT!'s We Deserve Better Campaign, which resulted in the passage of policies in the NOPD to prohibit racial and gender profiling by the police. Milan also participated, led, and coordinator numerous other campaigns including; NO Justice! Campaign with Women With a Vision and the Center for Constitutional Rights, Human Rights Watch report; In Harms Way, about discriminatory policing practices in New Orleans and the links to high rates of HIV transmission, BreakOUT!'s publication,We Deserve Better: A report about policing by and for queer and trans youth in New Orleans and a report in partnership with Forward Together and the Ella Baker Center, Who Pays: The true cost of incarceration on families.
Milan performs in a theatrical performance, "Say My Name, Say My Name" with the nationally acclaimed theater company from New York, Ping Chong + Company and has performed in New York, Baltimore, Jackson, and New Orleans. In response to the numerous killings of Black transgender women in the United States, Milan started the media campaign, #BlackTransLivesMatter and organized the first New Orleans Trans March, led by transgender and gender nonconforming youth of color. In 2013, Milan graduated from the Center for Third World Organizing Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program and received the 2013 NOLA Unity Award for her work in the New Orleans LGBTQ community, in 2014 she also received the POC Leader award and the 2015 Equality Louisiana Rising Star Award. Milan is a National Board Member of Positively Trans, a program of the Transgender Law Center and also co-founded, co-created The Trans March of Resilience TMOR.
Christian A'Xavier Lovehall is known for his poetry, music, and freedom fighting. Stage persona: Wordz the poet emcee has dedicated his career to creating art for social change. As an artist, he is committed to providing positive and uplifting messages for people of color not normally heard or seen in mainstream media, releasing several albums, a documentary and a poetry chapbook entitled, "Black, Trans & Gifted." In 2011, Christian founded and organized the Philly Trans March, an annual rally and march towards trans equity. In 2012, he became an expert panelist and consultant for Philadelphia's LGBTQIA Initiative, a program under the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities that advocates for LGBTQI people in recovery. In 2013, Christian became a Certified Peer Specialist and has worked as a Recovery Specialist at Morris Home, the nation’s first residential program for trans and gender variant individuals in recovery from alcohol and other drugs. In 2015, Christian co-founded the National Trans March of Resilience aka TMOR. Today,Christian continues to live his life spreading a message of peace, love and hiphop “by any means necessary."
Francisco Cortes is the Youth Programs Manager at Galaei. A Mexican Immigrant and Gay Philadelphian, Francisco received his Bachelors of the Arts in Psychology with a minor in LGBT Studies from Temple University. Francisco is the youngest appointed commissioner to the Mayors Office of LGBT Affairs commission where he supports the office in identifying the needs of marginalized LGBTQ Philadelphians and advocating for effective ways to distribute city resources to those most in need.
Francisco is also selected fellow for the 2017 HRC 360, a national capacity-building fellowship program for young nonprofit leaders working to end HIV. He serves as a board member at Juntos, an immigrant-rights, immigrant-led organization in Philadelphia. Francisco is passionate about queer and trans, Latinx and Black youth empowerment and leadership development and utilizes his platform to create and support initiatives that fuel his passion.
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel- Maya Angelou” is the quote Sabrina Smalls lives by. Completing her Master’s degree in Social Science with a concentration in Community Practice, Policy & Advocacy from Bryn Mawr College, Sabrina knew she would use her acquired skills and knowledge as an avenue to make a difference in people’s lives. Working with marginalized youth since she was a teenager, Sabrina made it her goal to educate youth on the importance of self-love, as well as, how to make a compassionate difference in society.
Sabrina’s professional experiences have been diverse, and she takes extreme pride in not being “classically trained” to be just ONE thing. Personal goals and invaluable experiences have shaped Sabrina into an unconventional professional who has contributed to many different industries. Whether it be Program Development, Youth Education, Training, Community Engagement/Advocacy, Clinical Research, Strategic Planning, or even Accounting & Finance, Sabrina’s mission has always been to make a difference by meeting people/tasks where they are at.
Chía (better known as Cota) is a gender and sexuality non-conforming indigenous person by way of Muisca territory in so-called Colombia though they were born in the U.S.. Before moving to Philadelphia, they lived in Boston for five years where they studied photojournalism at Boston University and became involved with various LGBTQ+ people of color centric organizations including the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition as the HUES Program Manager and Boston GLASS as a Peer Leader. Through this work they did program and youth leadership development, event planning, outreach, and HIV/AIDS education and prevention. For over a year, they have been engaged in organized anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, and anti-imperialist struggle as a member of the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement, the mass organization of the African People's Socialist Party. They also write and proofread for The Burning Spear Newspaper, the longest-running black power newspaper in the country and the oldest revolutionary publication still in existence. Their political work is guided by the theory of African Internationalism, the worldview of the African working class developed by Chairman Omali Yeshitela of the APSP. They believe that self-determination is the highest expression of democracy and to be self-determining means moving from a place of power. And it is about time we as colonized, oppressed peoples take our power back!