we've got thE best people



TENA HAHN-RODRIGUEZ (she/her/hers) - Interim Co-Managing Executive Director

Tena (she/her) is a community organizer, educator, and entrepreneur. North Omaha is her home and the people her community. Prior to Black & Pink National, Tena served as a founding member of REVEL, a cornerstone of the Omaha LGBTQIA2S+ inclusive-space scene. With Heartland Pride, she created space for Omaha to invite in national talent. Most recently, Tena’s work with Inclusive Communities led to more accessible educational programming. Always looking to expand her skillset, Tena recently completed the American Express Converge Academy and is in the current Nonprofit Executive Institute. Tena brings a wealth of justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion experience to Black & Pink National. She is excited to bring her passion for trans and queer youth of color to this role, and expand services for system-impacted youth on a national level!

JASMINE TASAKI (she/her/hers) - Interim Co-Managing Executive Director

Jasmine Tasaki (she|hers) is a staunch advocate and community organizer for transgender women and issues affecting trans rights, health, and housing. Through her work, intersectionality has become very important to her. Jasmine has worked as a PrEP navigator, an HIV counselor, Sexual Health Educator, and Cultural Competency Facilitator for the Memphis Police Department. She was also the first leader of trans experience in the National Urban League of Young Professionals (Health Literacy and Advocacy Chairperson, Memphis Chapter), and an Ambassador for the Black AIDS Institute. Ms. Tasaki is also the Executive Director of the first trans-led organization, WeCareTN, in Memphis. Jasmine works closely with the community to meet the needs identified by the community. She has been featured on the cover of Focus magazine, and wishes to bring even more attention to the needs of the community. Jasmine believes that “support is the foundation you stand on, values are the directions you walk by, and relationships are the garden in which you grow.”

ANDREW ALEMAN (he/him/his) - Deputy Director of People Power & National Partnerships

Andrew Aleman, PLCSW (He|Him|His) is a Clinical Social Worker and Independent Consultant from Omaha, NE. Andrew’s local and national work is always based in dismantling systems of power and creating spaces for those who lack access and privilege. His professional experiences include: Supporting LGBTQ+ youth and young adults, mental health therapy, case management for individuals living with HIV/AIDS, supporting system impacted youth, policy and advocacy work surrounding sexual health and domestic/sexual violence, community based training and sexual health education, and teaching in the Grace Abbott School of Social Work. 

To ensure his work is always connected to community efforts, Mr. Aleman serves on multiple boards and committees. These roles include Co-Chair for the GLSEN Omaha Board of Directors, Board Member for SIECUS Sex Ed for Social Change, Policy Committee Member for ALCU Nebraska, and member of the National LGBT/HIV Criminal Justice Working Group. In response to his community-based work, Mr. Aleman has been recognized by his community with the 2018 Heartland Pride Brad Fuglei Impact Award, 2019 Young, Black, and Influential Award for Advocacy, and the 2019 Ten Outstanding Young Omahans Award.

AJANI WALDEN (he/they) - Communications & Social Coordinator

Ajani Walden is a queer, Black, trans rights advocate & tech enthusiast. Before
joining the staff at Black & Pink National, he delivered LGBTQ sensitivity workshops to educators, school administrators, healthcare professionals and students. He has appeared on several panels talking about trans rights and health issues and has also developed and led workshops for trans youth. Ajani is now behind the scenes making an impact in communications and social media. “I believe that LGBT youth should be able to see themselves in their advocates. Representation matters. I just want to be the person I needed when I was younger. I want a trans kid to look at me and see my scars and know they can survive because that’s what scars are…a sign of survival.”

TJ King (he/they/them) - Admin & Outreach Coordinator


TJ King is a passionate advocate dedicated to empowering marginalized communities and effecting positive change. With an unwavering commitment to social justice, TJ’s journey has been marked by tireless advocacy and impactful contributions.
Born and raised in Nebraska, TJ King is deeply rooted in his community. His dedication to advocacy began early, and he has since become a driving force in various spheres, particularly in championing the rights of those living with HIV and individuals who have been formerly incarcerated.

TJ’s work with organizations such as Black and Pink is a testament to his belief in the importance of intersectional activism. His collaborative efforts aim not only to raise awareness but also to enact tangible change, ensuring that marginalized voices are heard and respected.

Beyond his work with specific organizations, TJ has been instrumental in shaping legislative policies concerning the formally incarcerated. His advocacy extends to the realm of restorative rights, where he tirelessly works to create a more equitable and just society for all.

In addition to his advocacy work, TJ has been a steadfast advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, serving on numerous boards and platforms to promote inclusivity and diversity. He firmly believes that diversity should not merely be a concept but a lived reality, and he strives to turn this belief into action.

With a heart full of passion and a dedication to social justice, TJ King continues to be a beacon of hope and change in his community and beyond. Through his tireless efforts, he exemplifies the transformative power of advocacy and serves as an inspiration to all those fighting for a more just and inclusive world.


Darryl Brown, Jr. (he/him) - Senior Director of Programs and Advocacy


Darryl Brown, Jr. is a nationally recognized author, sexual health educator, spiritual life coach and teacher, as well as the only out gay black pastor in the state of Nebraska.  Formerly the Founding/Senior Pastor of Kingdom Builders Christian Center for 14+ years as well as the former Director of Reconciliation & Restorative Practices at Planned Parenthood of the Northern Central States, Brown’s work is at the intersection of spirituality & healing, black advocacy/liberation, and LGBTQ+ identities. His most recent book, I’m Positive, I Forgive You (How I Forgave the Man That Gave Me HIV) candidly reveals how he navigated his shocking HIV diagnosis and after four years, made the decision to forgive.

Darryl is excited to now step into the role of Senior Director of Programs and Advocacy at Black & Pink National. Serving and being  in community has been a way of life for Darryl.  As a result, he is proud to have been recognized within his own community with awards including the Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s “Change Maker Award” (2020), Omaha Jaycee’s “Ten Outstanding Young Omahans Award” (2021), YBI’s “Young Black & Influential Award” (2021), and Black & Pink National’s  “Kuwasi Balagoon Award” (2021).

Seeing the total person “living in wellness, liberation, & abundance” is the desired outcome of all of Brown’s work.

JO'VON ISAIAH (he/him/his) - Support Services Manager

Jo’Von (he/him) is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, earning a BMS in Women and Gender Studies, minoring in Black Studies and Public Health. Jo’Von identifies as a Queer Black Cis Male with He/Him/His pronouns. He has always been dedicated to providing direct services and aid to the folks in his LGBT community/family. Jo’Von is always asking questions because there are never enough sufficient answers for why the LGBT community experiences such disproportionate abuse and oppression. He aims and strives to be the healthiest version of Jo’Von Isaiah he can be for himself and his community.

KENNA BARNES (she/they) - Advocacy Manager

Kenna has worked as a sexual health educator for both youth serving professionals and young folks for over seven years. She believes that queer and trans people should have full lives that center joy and pleasure. Kenna works to abolish the prison system, dismantle anti-LQBTQ+ policies, advocate for reproductive justice, and organize their community to make that a reality.

BROOKE MONACO (she/her/hers) - Wellness Coordinator

Brooke is a 500RYT and Trauma-Informed Certified yoga instructor in Omaha, Nebraska who followed her love for all things health, wellness & yoga after breaking her T12 in 2015. She started at Black & Pink National as a volunteer yoga instructor in 2018 – & as the class sizes grew, Brooke came on to help build a Wellness Program. Her heart has always been with abolition, BLM, LGBTQ rights, feminism & dismantling white supremacy – & loves that her two passions in life have collided. 

DAWSON JOHNS (they/them) - Inside Member Support Coordinator

Dawson Johns, BSW (They/Them) is a recent graduate from Creighton University, currently operating out of Omaha, NE. They graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree of Social Work with a minor in Criminal Justice, hoping to find a career focused on researching and supporting affirming legislation for the LGBTQIA2S+ community. As a nonbinary, trans feminine person, Dawson enjoys devoting their time to learning more about identity and thus understanding how identities interact with systems like the government, status quo, and higher education to name a few.

They spent most of their undergraduate time dedicated to serving those in the Omaha community, volunteering their time at Lutheran Family Services, Completely Kids, and Creighton University sponsored clinics. In addition to dedicating time to the community, they also spent a majority of their educational experience researching LGBTQIA2S+ issues on a macro level. Dawson’s senior year research was specifically focused on providing services to individuals engaging in sex work, all while navigating around the heavy criminalization of the occupation. This project earned them Research of the Year, and further sparked their passion for advocating for individuals on a macro level.

YAZMEEN MAYES (she/her) - Youth Fellow


Yazmeen Mayes (she/her) is so excited to start as the Youth Fellow at Black and Pink. In this role, she and our Advocacy Manager, Kenna, will develop, design, and implement a youth-focused leadership program as part of ViiV’s Investing in the Leadership & Professional Development of YPLWHA (Young People Living With HIV/AIDS) Grant. Additionally, Yazmeen works with Common Good Atlanta, where she facilitates higher education courses for adults who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated in order to continue uplifting underserved voices and building community.

board of directors

The Board of Directors engages in collective strategic decision-making for Black & Pink National in order to advance the organization’s mission and vision. In line with Black & Pink National’s values, the Board is composed of folks that hold the lived experiences and identities of people most reflected in the work.

Meet Our Board of Directors!

C. Michael Robinson (he/they)

C. Michael Robinson, a Philadelphia-based advocate for social justice, brings a proven track record of dismantling systemic barriers to their new appointment. Recognized for their “bureaucratic brilliance” and fierce advocacy, Robinson leverages their deep understanding of power structures to empower marginalized communities.

Currently serving as Director of Community Development for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Robinson has held various positions within the state legislature and Philadelphia’s City Council. Their earlier work in New York City focused on advocating for vulnerable populations, including youth and adults living with HIV/AIDS.

Robinson’s commitment to dismantling structural racism stems from their unique “Two Cities” perspective, shaped by experiences of both privilege and abject poverty. This understanding informs their strategic approach to empowering Black LGBTQ+ communities through collective action and political representation.

Beyond their current role, Robinson actively contributes to various organizations like the Episcopal Community Services St. Barnabas Mission’s Advisory Council, The Friends of Haddington Library, and Eleutheria PAC. Their unwavering dedication to building a more equitable future is evident in their diverse engagements and ongoing impact.

Kerry Guerin (she/her)

Kerry (she/her) is a transfemme advocate and attorney. The two halves of Kerry’s heart are environmental justice and trans liberation, and she understands abolition as central to both of these visions. Kerry’s day job is as a community lawyer, advancing a Just Transition for refinery-impacted communities in California; her all-day job is being mother to her dog, Kitty. In all her work, Kerry aims to support low-income communities of color to empower themselves and succeed in their own future’s creation.

Causha A. Spellman-Timmons (They/them)

Causha (They/Them) is a Black, Queer, Non-binary, polyamorous human. They are based out of occupied Lenni Lenape land, otherwise known as Philadelphia, PA. They currently serve as the Director of Admin & People for Willow Permanent Real Estate Cooperative in Western Massachusetts and as the founder of CAST Associ8tes, a coaching & consulting firm dedicated to a healing-centered, social justice approach to life (and work). Causha is a passionate activist & visionary, SOULcial Worker, QTBIPOC Advocate, Abolitionist, Co-op Developer, Educator, Consultant, Public Speaker, Resource Mobilizer, Consultant, & Officiant. They have over 20 years of experience working with youth and families from the global majority in various capacities, systems, communities, and structures. After tiring of surviving the industrial complexes of our society, Causha re-committed to their own health & well-being by re-committing to water, land, & community for their own personal work/life/love balance, and they are committed to serving others in doing the same.

Arc Telos “Tay” Saint Amour (they/them)

Arc Telos “Tay” Saint Amour (they/them) is a neurodivergent, autistic, queer and trans, gender non-conforming person of Mexican Indigenous descent (Coahuiltecan), and a victim/survivor of childhood abandonment, trauma, and abuse. Although Tay’s journey through the (in)justice system started early being sexually assaulted by a police officer and later being gang-involved, their path eventually led to anti-carceral work as an embodiment of their deep belief in Native Indigenous animism, holistic affirmation and radical empathy.

 Professionally, Arc Telos spent over ten years as a business developer opening start-ups and working with established organizations to expand into new territories all over the US. Following this, Arc Telos spent another ten years active in the non-profit field, working with organizations through-out Chicago, New York, Vermont, California, and Michigan centering Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) practices and using trauma-informed and intersectionality based frameworks. They are currently the Executive Director of Youth MOVE National and the owner / founder of Arc Telos Consulting.

Telos is of course more than just their career and identities. They are deeply passionate about all genres of music, documentaries, hiking and other outdoor adventures (in which they are infamous for achieving minor injuries and the loss of shoes), absolutely refusing to be anyone other than Princess Peach in Mario Kart or Mario Party, and consider themselves to be within the top 100 of all time high context ramblers that has an opinion on just about anything and everything. They enjoy tending to the land (and infamous trail) in which they live with their partner, three kids, and two pets.

Helina Haile (she/her)

Helina Haile is an Ethiopian immigrant peace-builder interested in using a somatic trauma healing approach to public health law frameworks for prison abolition/prisoner’s rights and atrocity prevention. She views law and policy as a transformative tool for individual and communal healing especially for BIPOC communities. She is thankful for the opportunity to learn with and from folks during her term as a board member. 

A. J. Scruggs (he/they/kyng)

Mr. A. J. Scruggs is a 36-year-old black man of trans experience from the east coast. He grew up in the capital city of Trenton, NJ. Relocated to Baltimore, MD where he was molded. And then refined in Philadelphia, PA after moving there for college. In 2016 his life changed when he was confirmed positive for HIV. After meeting Achim Howard, a fellow advocate and black trans man, he became more determined to become the voice for his brothers and siblings hidden in the shadows of stigma. Starting Visible Truth 365 in late spring of 2018. He launched a movement #purple365, a social media campaign wearing purple for 365 days. The rest is history still in the making. The movement has grown into a direct service, resource and consulting organization. In addition to running VT365, AJ is in his 3rd year as the Civic Engagement Fellow for PA, with TAKE Resource Center based in Birmingham, AL. A member of Positively Trans with the Transgender Law Center. Mr. Scruggs is in his 4th year as a national trainer in NMAC’s ELEVATE program. He is also a proud member of the Philadelphia HIV Integrated Planning Council, working in planning and prevention.

Denise Cooper (she/her)

Denise Cooper is an accountant by day who resides in New Orleans LA. After being politicized during WTO organizing around police brutality, institutional racism and other issues that affect communities of color, she became a life-long advocate for social justice. Denise also enjoys movement like yoga, weight lifting, pole, and skiiing and is a 200 hour certified yoga teacher.


Vida is a queer Latiné nonbinary trans woman. As a community organizer and policy professional, Vida’s passion is helping radical progressive movements achieve structural change that liberates marginalized communities. To that end, Vida has organized around the country in areas spanning the political spectrum, and served in legislative offices at the federal, state, county, and city levels. She got her start as a college organizer in small-town Texas working toward inclusive campus policies and against anti-queer & anti-trans legislation in the Texas legislature. Vida currently serves as an appointed government official for the District of Columbia, and is the highest ranking openly transgender official in the history of District government. Her former positions include Policy Counsel for the National Center for Transgender Equality, chair of her union, NCTE United, and Deputy Voter Protection Director for the Wisconsin Democrats.

Jennifer Love Williams (she/her)

Jennifer Love Williams (A formerly incarcerated black transwoman) is an Entertainer and an Activist. Jennifer Love is the Foundress of the Jen Love Project. Miss Love is an organizer with Black and Pink NYC chapter. She also does work with The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls. Miss Love is an organizer with Reclaim Pride Coalition (Queer Liberation March). She is also a board member of Garden State Rainbow Sports.  


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