Alan Guttirez, Program Director, 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.
Alex Vila, Learning and Development Associate, bio forthcoming
Chloe X., Youth Advocate is a bilingual, bi-racial, multi-cultural, tri-ethnic and two-spirit Irish-Palestinian-Xicana-
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. Chloe continues to build and strengthen her ties and networks in the Bay Area with LYRIC through her work to support youth to empower themselves with the Access and Engagement team through one on one advocacy, accompaniment and group facilitation. 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 email@example.com
Cris Pajatin Youssef, Data and Evaluation Manager, is a queer, Egyptian/Filipino/Japanese trans man from Southern California, where he strives to create culturally competent workshops, discussions, and support for LGBTQQ youth. 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 prejudice and discrimination toward those who identify as and/or experience being on the trans and/or gender non-conforming spectrum. Since graduating, he has also been involved with HIV/AIDS activism and research focusing on health and well-being. As a former LYRIC intern and participant himself, Cris rejoined the LYRIC team as a Youth Advocate and sought to give back to the community that helped him so much when he first moved to the Bay Area. He then transitioned to the role of Data Analyst then to his current position, and is excited to combine elements of his experience in research, evaluation, and direct service work. When he’s not focused on work, Cris is 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 x 112 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
Gustavo Banuelos, Program Manager, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com
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. Jodi can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x119 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.
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.
Priya Suman Aswathi, Youth Advocate, previously worked as a Survivor Advocate with Manavi—the first anti-violence program in the United States for South Asian survivors of violence for five years. During her time at Manavi she coordinated the crisis hotline, conducted support groups and worked with immigrant survivors of family violence and sexual assault, including LGBTQI survivors. She also coordinated legal clinics, participated in and conducted trainings for volunteer advocates emphasizing on issues of immigration, limited English proficiency, disability rights and LGBTQI rights in the context of South Asian communities. She was faculty with the Advocacy Learning Center where as a trainer she provided technical assistance for serving survivors of violence, especially immigrant survivors, to participating national anti-violence organizations and coordinated the site visit component of the course. Priya studied law in India during which time she worked with a criminal lawyer conducting research on cases involving issues of human rights and trafficking. She has experience in activism and community organizing. She has worked on issues of sexuality and reproductive health and rights, illegal arrests of human rights activists and forcible displacement of indigenous communities. Prita can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.