we've got thE best people
MEET OUR STAFF & BOARD
MEET OUR STAFF
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!
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.
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.”
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.”
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!
Bryanna Jenkins (she/her)
Bryanna A. Jenkins serves as the Staff Attorney for TLDEF’s Name Change Project. Before joining TLDEF, Ms. Jenkins was a Civil Rights & Employment Fellow at Cohen, Milstein, Sellers & Toll PLLC. She also served as the 2020-2021 George N. Lindsay Fellow at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Ms. Jenkins received her B.S. from Morgan State University, her M.A. from the University of Baltimore, and her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law. Ms. Jenkins also published Birth Certificate with a Benefit: Using LGBTQ Jurisprudence to Make the Argument for a Transgender Person’s Constitutional Right to Amended Identity Documents in the CUNY Law Review.
TAYLOR STRELEVITZ (they/them/theirs)
Taylor thrives in a good conversation about how the world works and why we do what we do. For this reason, they love their work at the Alaska Humanities Forum on the Conversation Programs team. Taylor moves from a place of trust and decolonization, with a firm belief that reconnecting to one another and the ground we stand on is fundamental to abolition. They live in Anchorage, AK with their awe-inspiring partner and two impulsive dogs.
FELICIA CARBAJAL (they/them/theirs)
Felicia is a queer Latinx, values-based community organizer, social entrepreneur, abolitionist and manifestor. They have over two decades of movement building experience within intersectional communities. As a formerly incarcerated person they know first hand the failings of the injustice system and actively work to dismantle all systems of oppression. They have been honored in The Advocate Magazine’s 40 under 40 LGBT leaders for their intersectional work in marriage equality and cannabis. In 2020 they were recognized as a Latinx LGBTQ role model by Honor 41. They’re a sought after public speaker and thought leader on the subjects of equity, abolition, economic development, marijuana/cannabis health & equity and intersectional community building.
SHARINA GORDON (she/they)
Sharina Gordon, born and raised in South Florida, is the queer child of Jamaican and Indian immigrants. While working at her college’s Student of Color and LGBTQ Centers, she became politicized after a close family member was incarcerated. For the past 10 years, Sharina has been doing social justice education consulting at K-12 schools, non-profits, community centers and corporations. They are currently completing their Masters at Teachers College, focusing on a critical, abolitionist civics curriculum at the secondary level.
Causha A. Spellman-Timmons (They/them)
Causha (They/Them) is a Black, Queer, Non-binary, polyamorous human. They are a passionate activist & visionary, social (justice) worker, abolitionist, educator, facilitator, public speaker, consultant, & officiant. After tiring of surviving the industrial complexes of our society, Causha committed to their own health & well-being, and recommitted to water, land, & community for their own personal work/life/love balance. They currently serve on the steering committee of, and as the board secretary for, Willow Permanent Real Estate Cooperative and as well as the founder of CAST CoCo, a coaching & consulting firm dedicated to a healing-centered, social justice approach to life (and work).
Kerry Guerin (they/she)
Kerry (they/she) is a tranfemme non-binary advocate and law student. In 2023, they will graduate from Stanford Law School and return to their roots in community organizing in California. 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 work aims to support impacted communities, particularly low-income communities of color, to empower themselves and succeed in their own future’s creation.
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.
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.
ALEXIS VIDA RANGEL (she/they)
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 is currently the chair of her union, NCTE United, and works as Policy Counsel at the National Center for Transgender Equality, where she builds collaborative relationships with advocates, decision makers, and issue experts to build a society where all trans people can thrive.