Dennis Altman, AM FASSA
Dennis Altman is the son of Jewish refugees, and a writer and academic who first came to attention with the publication of his book Homosexual: Oppression & Liberation in 1972. This book, which has often been compared to Greer’s Female Eunuch and Singer’s Animal Liberation was the first serious analysis to emerge from the gay liberation movement, and was published in seven countries, with a readership which continues today. Since then he has written thirteen books, exploring sexuality, politics and their inter-relationship in Australia, the United States and now globally. Mr. Altman is Emeritus Professor and Professorial Fellow in the Institute for Human Security at LaTrobe University in Melbourne. He was President of the AIDS Society of Asia and the Pacific (2001-5), and has been a member of the Governing Council of the International AIDS Society and a Board member of Oxfam Australia. In 2005 he was Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard, and has been has been a visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, New York University and Chicago University. He was listed by The Bulletin as one of the 100 most influential Australians ever [July 4 2006], and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia June 2008. In 2013 he was awarded the Simon and Gagnon Award for career contributions to the field of sociology of sexualities by the American Sociological Association’s Section on Sexualities. He is an Ambassador for the Human Rights Law Centre and Patron Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives and the Gay and Lesbian Fund of Australia.
Dr. Eunice Avilés Faría, PsyD.
Dr. Eunice Avilés has a doctorate in Clinical Psychology, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a Gender Specialist, a certified Sex Educator, and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist. She is a full member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). She began her career in Puerto Rico performing clinical work and research with children who were victims of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. In 2005 she moved to Massachusetts, where she completed her internship in Clinical Psychology, began her training in gender therapy and served as President of the Human Rights Committee for a residential program for mentally disabled individuals. Additionally, she was an appointed member of The AIDS Foundation of Western Massachusetts. Dr. Avilés has been a featured guest on many television, radio and online media outlets, discussing gender identity issues and the results from her research study about the needs of the transgender community in Puerto Rico. Her private practice with the transgender and gender non-binary community includes the evaluation and treatment of children, youth and adults presenting with gender dysphoria. Dr. Avilés’ general practice focuses on the treatment of depression, anxiety, trauma, substance abuse, impulse control disorders, and the emotional consequences of bullying (for youths and adults) and other social issues. She specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of sexual dysfunction as well as sexual orientation issues. Dr. Avilés is currently in private practice in Worcester and Amherst, Massachusetts. She provides services in both English and Spanish and strives to be sensitive to cultural differences. In 2015, she founded Transcending Identities, an institution committed to improving the quality of life for transgender and gender non-binary individuals through research, professional training and consulting. Through her work Dr. Avilés has helped companies and organizations establish a respectful workplace, free of discrimination. She continues to work towards her life’s goal of ensuring that these individuals are treated with dignity and respect.
Ally Bolour, MBA, J.D.
Ally Bolour is a prominent immigration attorney based in Los Angeles, California, and leader working in the field of LGBTI, immigrant, and refugee communities across the United States and worldwide; his work benefiting these communities through advocacy for immigration law reform. Mr. Bolour is an Elected Director at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) as well as an alumni of the Board of Trustees at the American Immigration Council in Washington, DC. Within AILA, he has held leadership positions in the Gay & Lesbian Interest Section, HIV Working Group, and the LGBT Working Group. Additional affiliations include the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Lawyers Association, OutRight Action International, Immigration Equality, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Centre, HIV & AIDS Legal Services Alliance, the LGBT Bar Association, and the Human Rights Campaign. Mr. Bolour holds a Juris Doctor from Southwestern University School of Law, and a Masters of Business Administration from California State University. He is fluent in Persian.
Ken A. Collinsworth, M.D.
Ken A. Collinsworth is a practicing Cardiologist and Internist in Marin County, California. Dr. Collinsworth graduated from Occidental College with a Bachelor’s in Biology, and from the University of Chicago – School of Medicine. He subsequently trained at Stanford University as an intern in medicine, resident in medicine, fellowship in cardiology, and was also the Chief Medical Resident at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Collinsworth currently practices at Kentfield Rehabilitation and Specialty Hospital and Marin General Hospital. He has been a supporter and financial contributor to the Born Perfect campaign in association with the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), which aims to outlaw forced sexual orientation conversion therapy for minors. Additionally, Dr. Collinsworth has been involved with the No Bully campaign as a benefit house party for the organization and through financial contributions. Dr. Collinsworth is a Board Member of Spectra Project.
Father Donal Godfrey, S.J.
Fr. Donal Godfrey, pastoral theologian and author, is a Jesuit Priest and the Associate Director for Staff/Faculty Spirituality at the University of San Francisco. He holds a Bachelor’s in Philosophy from the Milltown Institute of Dublin, a Master’s in Theology from Regis College – University of Toronto, a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, and a Doctorate in Ministry from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA. Fr. Godfrey has been called to the Irish Bar, is a member of the California province of the Society of Jesus, and a Chaplain at the University of San Francisco. His book Gays and Grays: The Story of the Gay Community at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church discusses the inclusion of the LGBTQ community within the Christian churches. He has an extensive experience of ministry with, and for, the LGBTQ community in many countries.
Rabbi Steven Greenberg
Rabbi Steven Greenberg is described as the first openly gay Orthodox Jewish rabbi, since publicly disclosing his sexual orientation in the Israeli newspaper Maariv in 1999. He has a rabbinic ordination from the Orthodox rabbinical seminary of Yeshiva University in New York, and a Jerusalem Fellowship with the Mandel Institute – studying educational policy issues and researching rabbinic attitudes toward homosexuality. He has worked with communities around the world to make Orthodox Judaism more inclusive of the LGBTI community. Rabbi Greenberg is the author of the groundbreaking book Wrestling with God & Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition, which won the Koret Book Award for Philosophy and Thought. He works part-time as Eshel’s co-director, is a part-time faculty member of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, and is a Senior Teaching Fellow at the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL).
SJ Langer, LCSW-R
SJ Langer is a writer and psychotherapist in private practice in Manhattan. He holds a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and a Master’s in Social Work from New York University (NYU). In addition to private practice, he is a faculty member of the MPS Art Therapy program at the School of Visual Arts. Previously, he worked as an adjunct professor of graduate social work at both Adelphi University and NYU. He is a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Working Group on Gender at Columbia’s New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI), and the Executive Committee for the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy (ICP) Psychotherapy Center for Gender and Sexuality (PCGS). His most recent academic article: Trans Bodies and the Failure of Mirrors, was the co-winner of the Symonds Prize from the journal Studies in Gender and Sexuality in 2016.
Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie
Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie is the founding spiritual leader of Lab/Shul NYC and the creator of Storahtelling, Inc. An Israeli-born Jewish educator, writer, and performance artist, he received his rabbinical ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 2016. Rabbi Amichai is a member of the Global Justice Fellowship of the American Jewish World Service, a founding member of the Jewish Emergent Network, a consultant to the Reboot Network, and a member of the URJ Faculty Team. He was a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Israel (2008-2009) and serves on the advisory committee of Faith House Manhattan. Rabbi Amichai has been hailed as “an iconoclastic mystic” by Time Out New York, a “rock star” by the New York Times, a “Judaic Pied Piper” by the Denver Westword, a “maverick spiritual leader” by The Times of Israel and “one of the most interesting thinkers in the Jewish world” by the Jewish Week. In 2016 The Forward named him one of the thirty-two “Most Inspiring Rabbis” in America.
Jenni Millbank is Distinguished Professor of Law at University of Technology Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. She is a leading international expert on gender, sexuality and law, whose research spans across the disciplines of family, reproduction, and human rights law. Professor Millbank has long been an advocate for LGBTI refugees, contributing numerous research publications on the topic over the past twenty years. She has been at the forefront of the development of international thinking concerning gender based persecution, working with the UNHCR and other organizations in policy development and litigation to ensure equitable treatment in refugee status determinations (RSD) for women and those fleeing violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). Professor Millbank holds a PhD in Law from the University of Kent, and a Masters of Law from the University of British Columbia.
Perry Rhew, J.D.
Perry Rhew is a private consultant who retired from public service. He was the Senior Executive Service Chief of the Administrative Appeals Office and then the Chief of the Office of Intake and Document Production, in the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A former federal and elected state court trial judge, he previously served as the Chief US Administrative Law Judge for the Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA). He received a BS degree in Psychology from the Southeast Missouri State University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law. Judge Rhew and his husband, Terry Chasteen, have worked throughout their 32 years together within the LGBTI community. He is a co-founder of DHS Pride, the first LGBT employee group at DHS and now the largest employee group of its kind in the federal government. He is also a member of the first LGBT Work Group established at DHS headquarters to improve inclusion of LGBT persons in departmental policy. Mr. Rhew has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Capital Pride as well as the former Chair of the Reconciling Ministries Network of Northern Ohio, a ministry dedicated to raising awareness of LGBT issues within the Methodist Church.
Omar Sharif Jr., MSc.
Omar Sharif Jr. is an activist, model, actor, and grandson to the international film icon Omar Sharif. As a vocal advocate in the LGBTI community, Sharif Jr. has pushed for better human rights and partnered with various advocacy groups. In 2012, he publically came out in a letter published in The Advocate, where he directly confronted the homophobia in his home country of Egypt. Sharif Jr. is the former national spokesperson for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and current Ambassador for The Human Rights Foundation (HRF), citing personal experience in an effort to highlight the importance of promoting acceptance and advancing equality through media. Most recently, Sharif Jr. gave a speech sharing his experience coming out at the 2016 Oslo Freedom Forum, a global platform for human rights defenders to share their stories. He holds an advanced Master’s in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics. He is currently based in New York.
Dr. Melba Sullivan, PhD.
Dr. Melba Nicholson Sullivan is a clinical and community psychologist. She is a graduate of Howard University, and earned her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a specialization in Developmental Psychology. She completed a Global Mental Health Certificate with the Harvard Program for Refugee Trauma, and a clinical internship and postdoc at Duke University. At Duke’s Center for Child and Family Health, she worked with children, couples, and families negotiating histories of neglect, abuse, and trauma. At Northwestern University, she directed the Family Institute’s Community Outreach Program, taught in the Marital and Family Therapy and Counseling Psychology programs, and served as Resource Director for the law school’s Cook County (Chicago) Juvenile Court Clinic. Dr. Sullivan has also created a counseling center at the American University of Nigeria in Yola, Nigeria, which is currently the largest refugee camp for survivors of Boko Haram. She serves as an advisor to numerous organizations including the Center for Victim of Torture’s National Capacity Building Project, the Refugee Asylum and International Operations team within the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, New York University Medical Center, and Bellevue Hospital Center’s mental health training programs. Her areas of expertise include working with survivors of trauma, torture, and other human rights abuses- particularly LGBTI survivors.
Daniel Wohlfeiler, M.J., M.P.H.
Daniel Wohlfeiler is the Director of the Building Healthy Online Communities Project, which seeks to improve HIV and STD prevention on dating websites and mobile apps by bringing together governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, researchers, and site and app owners. Mr. Wohlfeiler has worked for 30 years in HIV and STD prevention, focusing on building environmental and structural interventions, as well as engaging communities and businesses to reduce disease transmission among gay and bisexual men. For eight years, he has directed programs at the Stop AIDS project in San Francisco, California. Mr. Wohlfeiler has served as Chief of the Office of Policy and Communications at the STD Control Branch in the California Department of Public Health since 1998. He has worked in Central America for the World Health Organization (WHO), and the AIDS Control Program of Catalonia in Barcelona. He speaks fluent Spanish and Catalan, and holds a Master’s in both Journalism and Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. & Imam Ludovic Zahed, PhD.
Dr. & Im. Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed is a writer, scholar, and the founding imam of the first European inclusive mosque in Paris, France, with the goal of accommodating both the LGBT and feminist Muslim communities. He is the first French Muslim man to be civilly married with another man. As a teenager, he studied in a Salafi madrasa in his hometown of Algiers, Algeria. He went on to pursue a Master’s in Cognitive Psychology and Doctorates in Anthropology, Social Psychology, and Social Sciences and Religious Affairs in the School of Higher Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris, France, performing a doctoral study on how “Sexual Minorities are at the Vanguard of Changes in the Islam of France”, and publishing his social psychology doctoral thesis about LGBT Muslims facing obscurantisms and homo-nationalisms. He is the only theologian in the world to establish such links between humanities, gender studies and religious sciences. He is the author of several activist articles about Islam and homosexuality and has written several books translated in different languages, amongst which a book on Homosexuality and Islam: “Qur’an and the flesh”. He is the founder of the group Homosexual Muslims of France (HM2F), founder of the first association of young people living with HIV/AIDS in France (JHs), founder of the of AIDS Children World Tour organization (TDMES), founder and spokesman of French Muslims for Progressive Values (MPF), and founder member of the network MTE against discrimination towards Muslim mothers wearing scarf. He is also a founding member of the Global Interfaith Network (GIN). He is now director of CALEM (research, trainings, editions) and researcher in infant-neuropsychology at the Marseille Northern Hospital (Southern France).