JD Davids, Co-Director (he/him)
JD is a health justice strategist for networks of disabled and chronically ill people. He’s worked with many pivotal groups, including ACT UP Philadelphia, Coalition for a National HIV/AIDS Strategy, Health GAP, Health Not Prisons Collective, HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, Positive Women’s Network – USA and the U.S. Caucus of People Living with HIV, and as an advisor to NIH, CDC, and health departments. As a queer and trans person living with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS), Long COVID and other complex chronic conditions, he writes and hosts conversations for The Cranky Queer Guide to Chronic Illness, is on the board of #MEAction and is a member of the Patient-Led Research Collaborative.
Emi Kane, Co-Director (she/her)
Emi Kane is a chronically ill educator, researcher, editor, and organizer. She spent many years working for a large university and a small foundation on health and migration, reparations and redistributive justice, and how people think and learn. She is also a former National Collective member for INCITE, a feminist of color anti-violence network, a co-founder of Survived and Punished, and a proud member of the Allied Media Projects board of directors. A deeply devoted East Coaster, Emi has somehow spent the last 20 years living mostly in CA. She loves to talk about ideas, share meals with friends, and keep her hands in multiple projects at all times. Above all, she thinks that relationships of trust are the most important political tools we have, and tries to live and work in ways that reflect that belief.
Gabriel San Emeterio LMSW, Senior Fellow (they/she/he)
Gabriel is a queer activist raised in Mexico City and living in New York City for the past 23 years. They hold a BA of their own design in Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies from CUNY, focused on Gender Studies and Community Organizing. Following their commitment to social justice, Gabriel obtained his graduate degree with honors from the Silberman School of Social Work with Community Organizing as a method of practice and a certificate in Social Policy. Gabriel’s passion for liberatory community work guides her life efforts, which include advocacy and grassroots organizing around policies and issues that affect the LGBTQIA+ community, welfare rights, and people living with HIV, ME/CFS and other fatiguing illnesses such as Long COVID.
Voula O’Grady, Community Management Specialist and Organizer (she/her)
Voula is an educator, designer, and organizer whose work has focused on health and wellness, youth development, collective care and community building, queer cultural organizing, arts education, and other social justice projects.
Celia Alario coaches changemakers, thought leaders and social justice activists to cultivate greater vitality, wellbeing, joy and authentic expression. After years as a communications and media strategist for human rights, climate and environmental justice movements, she integrates mind/body/spirit wellness into her public speaking trainings, encouraging clients to find balance across the four pillars of health (food, mood, movement and rest) while managing her own chronic autoimmune conditions. Find her at celiaalario.com and on Instagram @celiaalario.
Mark Aurigemma has more than thirty years experience in international public health communications, media, strategic planning and advocacy, with a focus on HIV/AIDS. His clients have included the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; Fondation Merieux; GAVI Alliance; Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; iPrEx Study of HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis; International AIDS Society; Kaiser Family Foundation; National Institutes of Health; Task Force for Child Survival; World Bank; World Health Organization; and UNAIDS. Mark coordinates media operations for major international conferences including the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) and HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P).
Cecilia Gentili is the founder of Transgender Equity Consulting (TEC), which is committed to building the leadership of trans women of color, and to the centering of sex workers, immigrants and incarcerated peoples as experts in creating a more just world. A noted actress and spoken word performer, she also played the role of Ms. Orlando on Pose from 2018-2021. Originally from Argentina, Cecilia found her passion for advocacy and community service as an intern at the NYC LGBT Community Center. From 2012 to 2016, she managed the Transgender Health Program at the Apicha Community Health Center. She is a contributor to Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community, is a board member for Transcend Legal and Translatina Network, and was one of the lead plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case that affirmed the rights of trans people to health care access. Throughout her career, Cecilia has trained thousands of people on issues including LGBTQ inclusion, immigration, drug use, sexual health, trans sensitivity, and intersectionality.
Tina Habib is Managing Director and co-founder of the Action Lab. Tina is working to build the Action Lab into a vibrant space where social justice activists and community organizers gather to reflect, plan, and find sanctuary. As a co-founder of the Center for Popular Democracy and its first Director of Operations, HR, & Finance, Tina built and rapidly scaled up all aspects of CPD’s infrastructure upon its founding in 2012. Tina also worked for nine years at the International Education Resource Network (iEARN-USA), where she held various positions, including CoExecutive Director. While there, she designed and implemented pioneer public diplomacy initiatives through the State Department, developed for North American students and their peers throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia following 9/11.
Pato Hebert is an artist, teacher and organizer. His work explores the aesthetics, ethics and poetics of interconnectedness. He is living with Long COVID after first becoming sick in March, 2020. Since 1994 he has worked in grassroots HIV efforts at local and transnational levels, engaging with social movements and community organizations to develop innovative approaches to HIV mobilization, programs, advocacy and justice with queer communities of color. He has worked for the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (now MPact Global Health for Gay Men’s Health and Rights), AIDS Project Los Angeles (now APLA Health) and Proyecto ContraSIDA Por Vida. He curated exhibitions at the International AIDS Conferences in Vienna (2010), Melbourne (2014), Durban (2016) and Amsterdam (2018). His creative projects have been presented at Beton7 in Athens, the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo in Quito, the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, the Songzhuang International Photo Biennale and IHLIA LGBT Heritage in Amsterdam. Hebert serves as Chair and teaches as an Associate Arts Professor in the Department of Art & Public Policy at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, where his students have twice nominated him for the David Payne-Carter Excellence in Teaching Award.
Vanessa Johnson, JD
Vanessa, a longtime leader in federal HIV policy, is the Director and co-founder of Ribbon Consulting Group, whose mission is to improve community and resident health. She directs capacity building programs providing training, technology transfer, and education to organizations and individuals that serve people with hidden disabilities and chronic health conditions, with a particular emphasis on people living with HIV, designing innovative programs and interventions, leadership development initiatives, and collaborative relationships. She has created and delivered skills-building training for gender-responsive service delivery, trauma-informed recovery approaches, and leadership development, including sharing lived experiences associated with HIV, trauma, and identity. She has created several useful prevention interventions for women living with and affected by HIV, such as Catch a Rising Star (disclosure of HIV Serostatus), Common Threads: Creating a Community of Storytellers, and The ME Circle: Micro-enterprise Collectives.
Laura Mintz, MD, PhD
Laura Mintz, MD, PhD is a primary care physician scientist who focuses her clinical and research work on the health of LGBTQAI+ Primary Care. She is a graduate of the MetroHealth med-peds residency program. She came to medicine from a career in public health and community organizing focused on HIV, incarceration and the sex trade and street economies. Her current research is focused on transitions of care for sex and gender minority (SGM) persons, inclusion of trans and gender expansive communities in large database studies, chronic pain in SGM persons, leadership in medicine, and expansion of SGM community concerns in medical education. She’s an avid knitter, cook and forager.
Tangie Murray, Senior Vice President of the 4A’s Foundation, is an accomplished marketing, communications, and nonprofit leader. She has led high-profile strategy, advocacy and messaging campaigns to foster positive social impact and promote diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging. She is lauded for her ability to foster strategic partnerships, influence thinking, and apply emotional intelligence and cultural competence to her interactions with a range of stakeholders in arts, education and entertainment nonprofit and social impact spaces. In her former role as Executive Director of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, she raised over $30 million in support of the organization’s mission. Tangie also serves as strategic advisor to the Black Artists + Designers Guild, and is a member of American Ballet Theatre’s ABT RISE (DEI) Advisory Council. A staunch champion of artists, Tangie worked with the Obama White House on ACT/ART, an initiative created to harness the power of contemporary art to inspire social change, as well as on the President’s Committee for the Arts & Humanities.