Alan Guttirez, Program Manager, is a queer Latin@ who grew up in Hollister, California. He traveled to the Bay Area as a teen and was subsequently lured to San Francisco as a Sociology major at San Francisco State University. His experience as a sex worker fueled his desire to work in humanizing community based health settings that are rooted in harm reduction. Upon graduating SFSU, Alan has worked at Tenderloin Health, The Trevor Project, Instituto Familiar de la Raza and the St. James Infirmary. In his free time, you’ll find Alan working in a printmaking studio, at queer art and performance events, and hanging out with his cat roommate, Lemmy. Alan can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x125 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blake Summer(ASW), Youth Advocate, is a genderqueer/trans, queer-identified person and has been an advocate in the queer/trans community since grade school. Originally from the Deep South, Blake graduated from Florida State University with their Master’s in Social Work (MSW) and currently is registered as an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ASW) in the state of California as they gather therapy hours to become licensed as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Blake has experience in working in mental health settings relating to queer youth, HIV, domestic/sexual violence, human trafficking, substance misuse and chronic homelessness. Blake’s utilizes their personal experiences (within the queer/trans community) and experiences as a mental health professional to empower and mentor LGBTQIA youth to find their passions, strengths, resources and leadership role(s) within their communities. Blake also works after hours with the SF Therapy Collective as a Psychotherapy Intern, providing mental health services in a queer therapy setting. When not in the office Blake can be generally be found outside hiking, learning a new skillset, chopping wood, and/or appreciating all of the cute dogs/animals of the world. Blake can be contacted at email@example.com | 415.703.6150 x135
Latina-Indígena who was born and raised in San Francisco. A graduate from Mills College with a BA in Ethnic Studies, she identifies as an athlete, artist and activist. She wrote her senior thesis, “Decolonization and Wellness,” to emphasize culture, community, ceremony, and creative expression as vital for healthy living. She is excited to continue to build and strengthen her ties and networks in the Bay Area with LYRIC through her work empowering youth with the Sequoia Leadership Institute and in SFUSD middle and high schools. Her passions include mural painting, Non-Violent Communication (NVC), cross-cultural understanding, community gardening and healing. Chloe can be reached at 415.703.6150 x134 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Cris P. Youssef, Data Analyst, is a queer, Egyptian/Filipino/Japanese transgender man from Southern California, where he strived to create culturally competent workshops, discussions, and support for queer youth. He is deeply passionate about social justice issues and has always tried to integrate them into his work somehow. Being raised in the L.A. area, he then moved to San Francisco to attend SFSU and get his M.A. in Social Psychology, focusing on work on prejudice and discrimination toward trans spectrum people. Since graduating, he has also been involved with HIV activism and research focusing on health and well-being. As a former LYRIC intern, Cris is excited to rejoin the team as a youth advocate and give back to the community that helped him so much when he first moved to the Bay Area. When he’s not focused on work, he’s usually spending time with his animal children, stuffing his face with good eats, and enjoying artsy fartsy things. Cris can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x129 or email@example.com.
Denny David is the Deputy Director here at LYRIC. He grew up in Seattle, WA and became involved in social justice issues at a young age, learning about labor issues, urban poverty, economic globalization, and U.S.-Mexico border policy. He attended Grinnell College, where he earned a B.A. in Religious Studies, continued to do work around globalization issues, and became involved in anti-sexual assault work. In 2002, he interned with LYRIC’s Health and Wellness Team and was hired as a Program Coordinator shortly after graduating from college in 2003. He was promoted to Program Director in 2006, and to his current position in 2009. He is passionate about anti-oppression issues and seeks to support young leaders who work for social justice. Denny can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x128 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gustavo Banuelos, Youth Advocate, is a Chicano Queer born in Los Angeles, California to Mexican/Salvadoran immigrant parents. His past experience is non-profit work in housing services for people with HIV/AIDS of San Francisco. Most work dealt with homeless individuals and individuals at-risk of homelessness. He hopes to bring his experience and passion for housing rights to LYRIC and advocate for housing needs of youth. As a self-taught artist he likes to spend his time making art and seeks to incorporate part of his identity and community in his art. He spends a lot of time with his dog, going for hikes and enjoys cooking. Gustavo can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x115 or email@example.com.
Jamil Moises Liban-Ortañez, Program Coordinator, is a Bakla/Trans/warrior Pilipin@ who grew up in Daly City (aka Little Manila). He has lived with family who continue to inspire his life and work: Filipino freedom fighters, migrants, day laborers, cooks, musicians, and artists. Before joining LYRIC, Moe received 3 bachelors degrees in visual studies from CSU- Sacramento, focusing on issues of race, gender, and sexuality in contemporary art and culture. He has worked in cross-cultural education for the past 6 years at Sacramento State’s PRIDE, Women’s and Multi-Cultural Centers where he cultivated a consciousness for transgressive, social justice education: The practice of crafting more intentional, interdisciplinary and equitable frameworks with youth- which he plans to strengthen with LYRIC’s School-Based Initiative. Recently, Moe has worked in the San Francisco Unified School District with elementary and middle school youth on programs that celebrate and practice gender trans-formative learning. Moe organizes with badass kasamas from Anakbayan East Bay, Teacher’s for Social Justice, Green Art Workshop and the GLBT History Museum. His favorite things in the world are hanging out with his little brother, bell hooks, and everything by Pedro Almodovar. Moe can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x129 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jodi L. Schwartz had the honor of becoming LYRIC’s Executive Director in 2005. She has over 30 years of experience in nonprofit work and an ardent commitment to social justice. During Ms. Schwartz’s tenure at LYRIC, she developed San Francisco’s first LGBTQQ youth-specific case management program and facilitated the formation of the Community Partnership for LGBTQQ Youth – a seven-agency continuum of services for LGBTQQ transition age youth (ages 16-24). Additionally, she led the launch of capacity building initiatives to promote LGBTQQ youth inclusion in San Francisco’s behavioral health and workforce development systems, in San Francisco’s public schools, and in youth organizations citywide. Ms. Schwartz is an invited participant in the prestigious Gap Inc. Leadership Initiative and Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builder’s Leadership Program and was named a 2013 LGBT Local Hero by KQED/Union Bank. Before joining LYRIC, Ms. Schwartz was the Managing Director of Resource Development Associates – a consulting firm working to strengthen public and nonprofit efforts to promote social and economic justice for vulnerable populations, and the Executive Director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice – a private, nonprofit criminal justice organization she co-founded to reduce society’s reliance on incarceration as a solution to social problems. Throughout her career, Ms. Schwartz has worked with youth and their families in their struggle to disengage from the juvenile justice system, has been an advocate for youth to succeed in and out of school, and has supported youth in serving their peers and the broader community through civic activism and youth philanthropy. Ms. Schwartz began working for social justice as a teenager, during which time she was fortunate to have mentors of all ages. These relationships solidified her belief that for true social justice to exist, every generation’s contributions must be seen as invaluable. Stemming from her life experience and personal values, Ms. Schwartz believes that sustained achievement of positive social change must be a collective community effort, where everyone shares in leadership and visionary roles. She works to ensure that youth, in particular, are afforded opportunities to give voice to their stories and are supported as community leaders, now and in the future. Ms. Schwartz resides in San Francisco with her partner of 21 years. Jodi can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x119 or email@example.com.
Kim Smith is the Finance Manager at LYRIC. She grew up in Jamaica and immigrated to the US at the age of 19. She has seen many issues in her country that no one addresses and has always been a proponent for change, love and education. She is outspoken, direct, and believes knowledge is power. She attended the University of Houston; where she earned a M.S. in Accounting and went on to earn her CPA. After working with Goodwill for 5 years, she felt a sense of self-worth being able to see the change that they made in their community to enrich the lives of many. When the opportunity to work with more youth at LYRIC and the ability to see the fascinating city of San Francisco presented itself, she knew that is where she wanted to be. She believes that the youth are the future and they are the change to come. Kim can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kristina Armenakis, Program Manager, comes to LYRIC most recently from Seattle, WA and originally hails from rural South Carolina. She has over a decade of experience working with queer and trans young people in a variety of contexts, including drop-in centers, high schools, youth leadership programs, domestic and sexual violence advocacy, hate crime policy, and higher education. Kristina obtained Master of Social Work and Master of Public Administration degrees from the University of Washington, focusing on social justice non-profit management and public policy. Kristina teaches a college course on intersecting oppressions and Social Work practice rooted in racial, gender, and economic justice movements. She is passionate about supporting young people to be the leaders and visionaries of social justice movements and working at the intersections of identities and systems. In her free time, Kristina enjoys playing soccer, completing jigsaw puzzles, and hanging out with her dog. Kristina can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x121 or email@example.com
Natalia M. Vigil, Communications and Development Manager, grew up in San Francisco and is the oldest of 6 in a family of Chicano artists and community organizers. She is excited to brings her expertise as a coordinator, writer and curator to her work at LYRIC. As a San Francisco youth, she was a youth leader through Peer Resources and has continued to work with youth in social justice non-profits. Before joining LYRIC she worked for Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth and with a range of other work experiences including working with religious communities, running a women’s center, and assisting in organizing the first DREAM act lobby day and national conference in DC. In her work and art, Natalia strives to create moments of cross-racial/cultural/class collaboration. She is the co-founder of Still Here, a performance and community dialogue project that explores the experiences of Queer/LGBTQI individuals raised in S.F.Outside of work Natalia can be found dreaming and scheming with other artists, watching movies, and playing soccer with her little brother. Natalia can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x124 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicole Arteaga, Program Coordinator, is a fat queer Chicana femme. Originally from the midwest, Nicole is new to the Bay Area by way of Austin, Texas. After studying Gender Studies in graduate school, Nicole became involved in community education and QTPOC organizing circles in Austin. She is a performance artist, an educator, and a deep feeler – and believes there is radical potential for community healing through art-making. Nicole is a member of several community-based collectives working towards creating safer spaces for queer and trans folks of color. For the past two years, Nicole has been a member of an arts collective, PLUMP: fat queer femmes creating and revolting. Together, PLUMP wro
Pauline Vela, Operations & Facilities Manager, brings years of experience overseeing operations and facilities especially in the non-profit sector. She has been a supporter of LYRIC for many years and is very excited to now be a part of the LYRIC family and the amazing work it does. When she is not obsessing about streamlining a given process, Pauline will likely be in the kitchen cooking up something. She is passionate about food but even more passionate about how food gets to the table, who farmed it, who worked the fields; how food is a means to bring people together – break bread and most importantly she is passionate that food is made accessible to everyone especially those that need it the most. Access to all kinds of food should not be a trend or the next Off the Grid – its a basic human right. Pauline can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x114 or email@example.com.