Mohita Abbaraju is currently a sophomore at UMass Amherst studying WGSS, Journalism, and Education. She is also involved with the Women of Color Leadership Network, Five College Femmes, and various programs through the Stonewall Center. Her interests lie in understanding how colonialism and the construct of the nation state informs and shapes various forms of oppression, as well as the resistance work of marginalized peoples in response to such forces. In her free time, she sings and plays the piano and ukulele.
Nathalie Amazan is an undergraduate student at UMass Amherst who studies Political Science, Legal Studies, and Philosophy. Her primary interests are how the criminal justice system, policing, prisons, and economic inequities disproportionately impact communities of color. Her work on campus involves engaging students in political activism through the Center for Education Policy and Advocacy (CEPA), advocating and educating students on various queer and trans issues through the Stonewall Center, and co-organizing the Prison Abolition Collective (PAC). She plans to continue political advocacy and community organizing work post undergrad, and pursue a law degree to practice criminal defense and immigration law.
Genny Beemyn, PhD. (moderator) regularly writes, speaks, and consults on the experiences of trans college students and how campuses can develop trans-inclusive policies and practices. They are the director of the Stonewall Center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the Trans Policy Clearinghouse coordinator for Campus Pride (www.campuspride.org/tpc). Genny has written or edited ten books/journal issues, including The Lives of Transgender People (Columbia University Press, 2011) andA Queer Capital: A History of Gay Life in Washington, D.C. (Routledge, 2014). They are currently working on a book entitledCampus Queer: Addressing the Needs of LGBTQ+ College Students (Johns Hopkins University Press) and an anthology entitledTrans People in Higher Education (SUNY Press).
Joan E. Biren or JEB is an internationally recognized documentary artist and activist. Biren was a member of The Furies collective. Her work has chronicled the lives of LGBT people for more than 30 years. JEB is the author of two groundbreaking photography books: Eye to Eye: Portraits of Lesbians (1979) and Making a Way: Lesbians Out Front (1987). Her films include No Secret Anymore: The Times of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon and For Love and For Life. JEB was the video producer for the 1993 March on Washington and made the official documentary A Simple Matter of Justice. Biren’s papers are at the Sophia Smith Collection.
Laura Briggs (moderator) is a professor and chair of the department of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts. She's also a long-time activist, wrote for Gay Community News and was a member of the civil disobedience committee of the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
Umayyah Cable is currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the programs of Asian American Studies and Middle East and North African Studies at Northwestern University. At Northwestern, Umayayh teaches interdisciplinary courses in Arab American studies and cinema and media studies, such as “Arab American Arts and Cinema” and “Film Festivals: Art and Activism in the Public Sphere.” They previously served on the executive board of the Arab American Studies Association, which included managing the association’s web and social media activities in the role of Web Coordinator.
BC Craig began their activism in the early 1980s, training activists in civil disobedience as part of the Philadelphia-based Movement for a New Society. In 1986, they spent a year at Seneca Women’s Peace Encampment, and joined the national steering committee for a civil disobedience action at the 1987 Gay and Lesbian March on Washington. In 1990, BC moved to New York City, and began working with ACT UP, principally on direct action aimed at pressuring governments, city, state, and local, for treatment and services for PWAs. Later, they worked against police brutality, and organized with Occupy Wall Street. Since the recent presidency, as a member of Rise and Resist and in coordination with Housing Works and Center for Popular Democracy, BC has been active in fighting attacks on immigrants and healthcare. They travel nationally to train others in civil disobedience and demonstration logistics and organization.
Jennifer DeClue (moderator) is assistant professor in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender at Smith College. Her research focuses on queer studies, black feminism, and visual culture. Jennifer’s most recent publications appear in the anthology No Tea No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies as well as the Black Issue in TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly. Jennifer’s current research project, Ghosts of Visual Culture: Archives of Violence and the Black Feminist Avant-Garde, examines cinematic works by black women cultural producers who visualize archives of Reconstruction and Jim Crow era violence as well as imagine a past in which black women’s sexuality and desire has a place in the archive of U.S. racial formation.
Kenyon Farrow is an award-winning writer, activist and strategist. He is currently the Senior Editor for TheBody.com, a website for news, information and analysis on HIV in the United States. He is the former U.S. and Global Health Policy Director of Treatment Action Group, and former Executive Director of Queers for Economic Justice. He will soon publish a collection of his essays and speeches entitled, Black in A Rainbow World.
Gil Gerald, a naturalized US citizen, arrived in late 1967, at age 17, to pursue higher education. In college he participated in the Anti-War Movement. Post-graduation he became involved in what was then called the Gay Rights Movement. He was a founder and the first paid Executive Director of the pioneering National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays. He also served as a founding Board Member and Incorporating Officer of the National Minority AIDS Council. Gil also served on the Steering Committee of the 1987 March on Washington. His life and movement work is partially captured in several published anthologies.
Joan P. Gibbs is a long-time activist, attorney, and writer. Joan became involved in the movement in the fall of 1968 as a high school student in New York City. She has devoted her legal career to the practice constitutional, civil rights and immigration law, and has worked at the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College. Her writing has appeared in a number of publications, among them, Pambazuka News, The Journal of Community Advocacy and Activism, The Daily Challenge, Our Times Press, Sinister Wisdom, Iowa Review, and Azalea, the first magazine published by and for lesbians of color in the United States, of which she was the founding editor.
Kevin Henderson (moderator) is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is also a student in the program for Advanced Feminist Studies through the Department of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies. Kevin studies queer, feminist, and critical race theories, the regulation of sex and intimacy, and the history of political thought. He has given public lectures on the policing of public sex, HIV/AIDS activism, and stranger intimacies. He is currently researching a project related to the historical formation of leatherdyke sexual ethics. Kevin is the ViiV Point Scholar.
Emily K. Hobson is the author of Lavender and Red: Liberation and Solidarity in the Gay and Lesbian Left (University of California Press, 2016). A scholar of radical movements and LGBTQ history in the postwar United States, she serves as Assistant Professor of History and Gender, Race, and Identity at the University of Nevada, Reno, and as current Co-Chair of the Committee on LGBT History. Her work in progress includes an anthology of primary source documents of US radicalism from 1970 through 2001, co-edited with Dan Berger, and a second book on HIV/AIDS activism in prisons in the 1980s and 1990s United States.
Kwame Holmes is Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. Holmes earned his PhD in Modern American History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research engages the intersection of race, sexuality, class identities and politics within the history of the modern city. He is the author of “What’s The T: Gossip and the Production of Black Gay Social History,” Radical History Review, Spring 2015. Holmes is completing his book manuscript, Chocolate to Rainbow City: Liberalism and Displacement in the Nation’s Capital, 1957-1999.
Jim Hubbard has been making films since 1974, including United in Anger: A History of ACT UP, a feature length documentary on the AIDS activist group, and Two Marches, contrasting the 1979 and 1987 Marches on Washington for Lesbian & Gay Rights. Sarah Schulman and he created the ACT UP Oral History Project and co-founded MIX NYC - the New York Queer Experimental Film Festival. Under the auspices of the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS, he assembled the AIDS Activist Video Collection at the New York Public Library and curated the series Fever in the Archive for the Guggenheim Museum. In 2013-14, he curated a series of AIDS activist video for the New York Public Library to accompany their exhibition Why We Fight: Remembering AIDS Activism.
Jason Lydon is a Unitarian Universalist community minister. Jason is the founder and former National Director of Black and Pink, an open family of LGBTQ and/or HIV+ prisoners and free world allies who support each other. Jason has been actively engaged in abolitionist organizing for well over a decade, with specific attention to the needs of LGBTQ prisoners and survivors of sexual violence behind bars. Jason recently relocated to Chicago and is now coordinating the National LGBT/HIV Criminal Justice Working Group and serving as a Senior Advisor to The Vaid Group.
Gerry Scoppettuolo has been active in gay liberation and organized labor since the mid 1970’s. He is the founder of GALA (Gay and Lesbian Activists of Northampton 1982-1985) and initiated Nashville’s first LGBT march in 1988 and was a co-founder of ACT UP/Nashville at that time. He is a co-founder of GALLAN/Pride at Work AFL-CIO (1988) in Boston and was the east coast coordinator of the Coors Boycott in the 1980’s. He currently volunteers as the HIV Homeless Advocate at the Boston Living Center and is an adjunct faculty for Labor Studies at Cambridge College in Boston.
Dean Spade is Associate Professor at Seattle University School of Law. In 2002, he founded the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a non-profit law collective that provides free legal services to low-income transgender, intersex and gender nonconforming people and works to build trans resistance rooted in racial and economic justice. He is the author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law (Duke University Press 2015). Spade is the recipient of the 2016 Kessler Award from CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies and Gay Studies for his transformative impact on the field of LGBTQ Studies.
Marc Stein was a member of the New England Organizing Committee of the 1987 March on Washington and the coordinating editor of Gay Community News in Boston in 1988 and 1989. He is now the Jamie and Phyllis Pasker Professor of History at San Francisco State University. His books include City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves: Lesbian and Gay Philadelphia (2000); Sexual Injustice: Supreme Court Decisions from Griswold to Roe (2010); and Rethinking the Gay and Lesbian Movement (2012). He is currently working on two books: Documenting the Stonewall Riots: A Primary Source Reader (forthcoming with NYU Press in 2019) and Queer Public History: Essays on Scholarly Activism.
Carmen Vázquez was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Harlem, New York. Carmen was the Founding Director of the Women's Building in San Francisco, helped found the Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center in San Francisco, and the LGBT Health & Human Services Network, a coalition of over 55 organizations and groups in New York advocating for LGBT Health and Human Services. She is a founder and principal author of Causes in Common (a national coalition of Reproductive Justice and LGBT Liberation activists) and of the Pride in Action programs at Empire State Pride Agenda. She is the recipient of an Honorary law degree from CUNY School of Law. Her papers are part of the permanent collection at the Sophia Smith Archives at Smith College. She is currently Director of the LGBT Health Services Unit with the AIDS Institute of the NYS Department of Health and lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Jessica Wender-Shubow is full-time president of the Brookline Educators Union, a Massachusetts local of 1000 members. Her perspective on the struggle against the corporate takeover of public education appears as “Expanding the Fight for Education” in the March 2017 issue of Jacobin magazine online. She has taught Women’s History, the history of radicalism in the US, and race, gender and science at the college and secondary levels. In 1987, she served as national staff of the 1987 “Out & Outraged: Non-Violent Civil Disobedience at the U.S. Supreme Court For Love, Life & Liberation.” She has been a nonviolence trainer since the early eighties when she was part of Women’s Pentagon Action.