Leadership & Staff
Kiara St. James
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Kiara St. James has been a community organizer and public speaker for over 20 years. She has been instrumental in changing discriminatory shelter policies that affected the Trans community, and presented workshops concerning marginalized communities at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria and the United Nations, as well as many other conferences and academic institutions. For the last 17 years, Kiara has also been coordinating meetings with legislators to discuss the importance of passing the Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act, a bill that will enrich the lives of all New Yorkers by ensuring they receive equal protection under the law. Kiara is the Founder and current Executive director of the New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG inc), A grassroots 501c-3 non-profit organization, that is Trans-led and intent on creating new opportunities for the Trans community, through various partnerships and innovative initiatives.
Tanya Asapansa-Johnson Walker
Co-Founder & Policy Liaison
Tanya Asapansa-Johnson Walker is a 55 year old, Honorably Discharged U.S Army Veteran with 28 years of experience as an LGBTQ activist. Despite the threat of discrimination and violence, she has three years of education from the College of Staten Island, where she studied (insert). Previously, she worked for seven years as a Case Manager in a Transgender transitional housing program. She is a feminist who has fought tirelessly for the rights of women, and continues to fight for the rights of all transgender and cisgender documented and undocumented individuals. She is a member of the Stonewall Democrats, the Black & Latino Coalition, and the GENDA Advocates Coalition with Governor Cuomo’s Staff. Tanya has traveled to different places in the world and has developed an understanding of many different cultures.
Director of Policy & Programs
Amanda has worked in the nonprofit field in both a direct practice and research capacity. She has evaluated large citywide pilot programs working at Columbia University and the City University of New York (CUNY). Before transitioning into a more quantitative role, she worked at the Center for the Study of Social Policy developing a youth well-being framework while conducting Participatory Action Research (PAR) with marginalized communities throughout New York City. She is currently on the Board of Directors for Evaluate for Change, a nonprofit that provides capacity building around evaluation for nonprofit professionals. Amanda holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work & Public Policy from Columbia University in the City of New York.
Sasha Rodriguez Kolodkin
Sasha has been an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ community since 2010. From 2014-2016, she served as an executive board member of the SUNY Purchase LGBT Union, where she helped oversee the drafting and implementation of a schoolwide trans-inclusive housing policy. She has, and continues to be, a peer-mentor for members of her community, and volunteers with PFLAG’s Safe Schools Initiative in her spare time. With a background in playwriting and theatre direction, she is dedicated to creating performance art that is socially relevant and radically experimental.
Ivy is a non-binary person of color with a burning passion for social activism. Born and raised in Corona, Queens, they currently study social work as an undergraduate and Long Island University in Brooklyn. Their goals include helping educate their community, creating social support for people of TGNC experience, and promoting events to help the community grow and thrive.
Oscar Noel Fitzpatrick
Oscar is a Theatre maker and trans activist from Ireland who has recently moved to New York. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, where his primary focus was theatrical design, political performance, and research into new digital media. Oscar is a long serving activist and educator, taking part in campaigning for Gender Recognition through self declaration & the Irish vote for marriage equality. Oscar is focused on creating intersectional accessible education in gender and sexuality. Oscar has previously worked with the Transgender Equality Network Ireland and is passionate about including the stories of trans and GNC people in art and history. After a violent incident Oscar has been campaigning for hate crime legislation in Ireland, to include trans identities as a protected minority within legislation. Oscar is also a passionate activist for the intersex community, and has been campaigning to criminalize medical intervention on intersex infants.
Josephine is a unisex Transgender-female of color, born and raised in Harlem, NYC. She has a big passion on Political Advocacy and has been a crucial advocate for the policy change and planning for Transgender and Unisex identified folks in NYC since 1996. Her goals in doing advocacy work has always been to educate, mobilize, and empower her sisters.