Each year, Georgia Equality welcomes new members to the Board of Directors and new student interns to our offices. They each bring their own unique sets of skills and talents to our organization and our community, and we are happy to have them. Read more about our newest additions below, and if you see them around, say hello!
New Board Members:
Derek has been a Georgia resident since 2007 and currently resides in Norcross, Ga with
his husband and son. He works as a Finance/Inventory Analyst for Comcast Communications and has over 6 years experience in Supply Chain/Procurement. He is currently serving as a member of the Southern Advisory Council and sits on the administration board for FCO (For Couples Only). Derek has organized several events for LGBT couples and their families in hopes to developing a strong sense of community. Derek is a native of Lafayette, Louisiana and truly understands that representation is extremely important and that his commitment to the LGBT community is not an option but that it is his duty.
Rowan Feldhaus has been an Augusta, Georgia resident since a the late 90s. He is currently serving in the United States Army reserves while pursuing a Bachelors in Sociology with a minor in International Relations and Business Management at Augusta University. He is a part of the University’s Undergrad Student Government Executive Board and member of the LAMBDA Alliance group to help provide an inclusive campus to all students of various race, age, ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual orientation backgrounds. He is currently conducting undergrad research on the doing gender theory within the trans community. He is also part of a CSRA transmen group which helps provide resources and support to transmen throughout their transition.
Kirsten Ott Palladino
Kirsten Ott Palladino is an award-winning editor and writer, as well as the author of the forthcoming wedding planning book for LGBTQ couples, EQUALLY WED (Seal Press/Hachette Book Group, May 2017). She’s the co-founder and editorial director of equallywed.com, the world’s leading digital LGBTQ wedding magazine. She blogs about trauma recovery at foragedwellness.com. Palladino has been profiled on both CNN and in The New York Times. A seasoned journalist in the media industry for 15 years, Palladino’s work has appeared in Atlanta magazine, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, The Atlantan, Creative Loafing, The Sunday Paper, Entrepreneur magazine, ARTNews magazine, Art & Antiques magazine, The Knot, Executive Traveler magazine, the Huffington Post, and more. She was recognized as one of Glamour magazine’s Hometown Heroes for 2015. Palladino has an open door communications policy on Twitter at @kirstenop and Facebook at fb.com/kirstenpalladino.
Dr. Aby Parsons
Aby Parsons joined the Georgia Equality Foundation Board in 2016. She is founding director of the LGBTQIA Resource Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology where she develops programs, policies, and practices that support the inclusion and wellbeing of LGBTQIA faculty, staff, and students. Prior to her role at Georgia Tech, Aby worked for the Offices of LGBT Life and Health Promotion at Emory University where she also completed her Ph.D. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with research focused on gender, race, and sexuality in contemporary southern culture. Aby has served in volunteer roles for Georgia Equality, the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center, and Feminist Women’s Health Center, and is now a sought-after speaker and educator in the fields of queer and trans inclusion. She holds a Bachelors in American Studies and a Master’s by Research from the University of Central Lancashire in England.
Dr. Allen Ward
Dr. Ward is a higher education administrator and adjunct faculty member. Currently Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at Clayton State University, Dr. Ward previously served in deans’ positions at Brown University, Boston University and Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. He also served on the graduate faculty at Bridgewater State University (Massachusetts) in the Department of Counselor Education. Originally from Tennessee, Dr. Ward received a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Tennessee Tech University and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Miami.
Jonathan Wesley is a liberation theologian who strongly encourages authentic living. A native of Newark, NJ, Jonathan is truly an example of what resilience looks like. He has a book entitled “God Said Differently” which addresses the reconciliation of sexuality and spirituality. He is an ordained and licensed Elder under the United Progressive Pentecostal Church and serves faithfully at The Vision Cathedral of Atlanta.
Wesley is a social justice advocate, educator, and spiritual guide that specializes in the spiritual formation of marginalized populations. He currently serves as a faculty member and as a Statewide PREA Monitor/ LGBTQ Specialist with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice. Wesley has earned a BA in Sociology, M.Ed in Higher Education Administration, Masters of Religion (Emory University), and is a Certified Pastoral Counselor. He will be pursuing a Ph.D in 2017. He loves to work with people and is a servant leader by theory as well as practice. He lives by the mantra “If I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living will not be in vain.” To find out more about J.Wesley, visit his website at http://www.jwesley.org
Antonio White Born In Augusta, GA, where he graduated from Glenn Hills High School. He furthered his education at Savannah State University where he received a B.S. in computer science technology and also received a diploma in Information Technology from Augusta Technoical College. Antonio is very active in the LGBT community in Augsuta and is currently on the Augusta Pride Comittee. He also is the Manager Of Edge Night Club and Owner of Abaq Proudtions. Antonio is committed to promoting unity, visibility and self-esteem among lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender persons in the Augusta area.
Cain Williamson joined the board of the Equality Foundation of Georgia in January of 2016. Cain is a lifelong resident of Georgia having grown up on the coast, graduated from Georgia Southern University with a degree in political science and moved to Atlanta after graduate school in 1999 to take a job at the Atlanta Regional Commission where he still works. Cain is also involved with the Atlanta Pride Committee and lives in Inman Park with his husband Jack and their dog, Clyde.
Warner Robins, GA
Justine Ingram is a senior at Clayton State University majoring in Psychology and Human Services. After graduating from Clayton State in May 2017, she plans on attending graduate school to obtain a Master’s in Social Work.
Justine enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering with local dance teams in the Middle Georgia area. She is involved in many community engagement activities through her school ‘s PACE program (Partnering Academics with Community Engagement) and even was granted the opportunity to volunteer with the National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI Central Georgia) to raise money for housing and life skills training for the mentally ill.
As an intern under the transgender inclusion officer (Chanel Haley), Justine plans on developing new skills that will help her further her knowledge about the issues surrounding the LGBT community. She plans on becoming more active with advocating for the Transgender Community, her local and State Government, as well as collaborating with community programs that encourage the advancement of the transgender community. Justine is extremely passionate about the lack of social and government support that the transgender community receives, and through Georgia Equality hopes to find more pertinent information and resources to help close the gap between the transgender community and the rest of society. She is excited about working with Georgia Equality this semester and is looking forward to the amazing opportunities that this organization offers.