Our Staff

| September 28, 2011

Meet our incredible staff of dedicated professionals, working with volunteers across the state to ensure equal rights for all!


BRO 06 04 14 -57 Jeana Frazzini, Co-Director:
Jeana Frazzini serves as Co-Director of Basic Rights Oregon, working to ensure that all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Oregonians experience equality by building a broad and inclusive politically powerful movement, shifting public opinion, and achieving policy victories. Jeana served as the Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon for seven years, until she transitioned to the Co-Director in April 2015. During her tenure, Basic Rights Oregon has won the freedom to marry for all couples in Oregon, increased access to transgender-inclusive healthcare through private and public insurance, passed the Oregon Safe Schools Act, and successfully defended and implemented non-discrimination and domestic partnership laws. In addition to achieving policy victories, Basic Rights Oregon has built longstanding relationships with coalition partners, leading to a more inclusive statewide LGBTQ movement. Under Jeana’s leadership, the organization has developed a strong racial justice component, prioritized ally work, and trained activists across the state to fight for social justice for all Oregonians impacted by discrimination. Jeana’s work at Basic Rights Oregon continues a lifelong passion of fighting against injustice. Growing up in rural Eastern Washington, Jeana experienced first-hand the confusion, fear and isolation that many LGBTQ people face. Since college, Jeana has worked as an advocate for progressive causes spanning human rights to environmental justice. After six years as political director for the Death with Dignity National Center, Jeana first joined the Basic Rights Oregon staff in 2005 as Development Director. (Pronouns: She/Her)

Nancy Haque, Co-Director:
A long-time social justice activist, Nancy Haque joined the Basic Rights Oregon staff in April 2015 as the agency’s first Co-Director. Nancy has more than 18 years of professional experience, including seven years as the Building Political Power Director at Western States Center, where she led a voter organizing training and empowerment project and managed the 2013 Racial Equity Report Card for Oregon. Previously, Nancy spent eight years working on economic justice issues, including stints with Portland Jobs with Justice, National AFL-CIO and National Jobs with Justice. The daughter of immigrant parents from Bangladesh, Nancy is the first member of her family born in the United States.  She credits growing up in the DC area and having an awesome older brother with giving her inspiration and opportunity to become politically engaged at a young age, starting with a Rock Against Reagan concert in 4th grade. She furthered her activism when she moved to the Pacific Northwest in college, studying at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.  She also holds a Master’s of Public Policy and Administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A member of the Basic Rights Oregon Board of Directors from 2011-14, Nancy worked as a consultant on the organization’s strategic planning process in 2014. She and her partner, Dianne, live in multigenerational household with their young son and Dianne’s mom. (Pronouns: She/Her)
BRO 06 04 14 -61 Cameron Mathews, Finance Director:
Cameron brings over five years of financial and operations management experience in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors to his role as the Operations Manager at Basic Rights Oregon.  Originally joining staff in the Summer of 2012 as the Trans Justice Fellow, he returned in August of 2013 to manage the behind the scenes financial, human resources, and operations processes.  With his Bachelors in Public Policy and Administration, soon to be Masters of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management, and his potentially unhealthy obsession with information systems,  Cameron is well equipped to ensure that all internal processes are as efficient, effective, and strategic as possible.  When not drooling over the endless possibilities of Excel spreadsheets and databases, Cameron enjoys spending time with his tiny evil dog, critically analyzing variations of the zombie apocalypse, and forming outfits around the dapper sock-suspenders his mother bought him. (Pronouns: He/Him)
Court Court Morse, Organizing Director:
Court started her career in activism at PSU as student body president, working to advocate for access to hire education with the Oregon Student Association. She first started at Basic Rights as an intern to empower and train youth to affect change. Court also had a hand in working to pass the safe schools act as well as play a role in a tele-fundraising program. She has gone on to work on four candidate and ballot measure campaigns to elect LGBT folks & allies to office, protect the environment, and work on the freedom to marry. Court is from Wisconsin where she has eaten an extraordinary amount of cheese, and also ran the nation’s oldest student association. Court brings a multi-view lens as a gender-non-conforming queer Anishinaabe Ojibwe Two-Spirit woman and will continue to dedicate the rest of her life to advancing social justice and peace. (Pronouns: She/They)
BRO 06 04 14 -112 Amy Herzfeld, Movement Building Director:
Raised in Idaho, Amy has deep roots in social justice activism. She started volunteering for LGBT rights campaigns at the age of 14 and never looked back. Amy has been active in progressive movement building in the West for over 12 years and her roles have included Executive Director of the Idaho Human Rights Education Center and Oregon State Director for Working America. Amy has also served as Board Chair for Western States Center since 2007. She’s deeply passionate about building political power for LGBT communities and centering racial and gender justice in our work. Her professional experience ranges from human rights advocacy and labor organizing to electoral management and award-winning journalism. Amy’s honored to be a part of Basic Rights Oregon’s mission and team. (Pronouns: She/Her)
BRO 06 04 14 -119 Cathy Abbruzzese, Donor Outreach Coordinator:
Cathy has worked directly with our supporters and volunteers since 1996. She raises over $100,000 annually in grassroots contributions, and provides a vital link between Basic Rights Oregon supporters and the organization’s daily work. She served as a field organizer to defeat the anti-gay Measure 13 in 1994 and Measure 9 in 1992. Originally from New York City, Cathy brings over 35 years of grassroots organizing and outreach experience to Basic Rights Oregon. As staff elder and card-carrying member of AARP, she enjoys being treated with “the right respect” and prefers the title “Goddess.” (Pronouns: She/Her)
BRO 06 04 14 -47
Nico Quintana, Policy Director:
Nico Quintana is an Oregon raised trans, queer, Chicano, organizer, activist, trainer and policy advocate. For the past 8 years, Nico has been working in Washington, DC and has worked with the DC Trans Coalition, TransLAW, Congressional Hunger Center, Center for American Progress and on Capitol Hill with the Congressional Progress Caucus and Rep. Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey. As an organizer, Nico worked with the DC Trans Coalition on issues of trans health care, economic justice, police violence, and poverty. Nico was one of the leads of DCTCs health and economic justice campaign and organized the 2013 rally for trans health equity in DC. With TransLAW, Nico helped lead community engagement and leadership work and started the first client leadership council to ensure trans folks receiving trans legal services had power in decision making about services. As fellowship advisor for the National Hunger Fellowship Program, Nico mentored and trained youth activists committed to racial equity and anti-poverty policy work. Prior to Nico’s work with the Hunger Center, Nico was an author for the Center for American Progress Report, “On The Street: The Federal Response to Gay and Transgender Homeless Youth”. Nico is a formerly homeless queer youth with personal experience with poverty and systemic violence and is deeply committed to racial and economic equity, movement building, solidarity, leadership development and mentorship. Nico loves strawberry shakes, queer dance parties, enchiladas, showtunes, bikes, kittens, flowers, and most all vegetables. (Pronouns: They/Them)
Phoenix Phoenix Singer, Trans Justice Policy Fellow:
Phoenix is a graduate from the Native American Youth Association Early College Academy in 2011. As soon as she became a student at Portland State, she joined student government and the Oregon Student Association. Her history of legislative and policy advocacy as a board member of the Oregon Students of Color Coalition and the Oregon Student Equal Rights Alliance led to her involvement with Basic Rights Oregon as a 2013 performer for Front and Center. Phoenix is a multiracial, Indigenous, Jewish, Radical, Punk Rock, Trans Woman dedicating her life to liberation and justice when she isn’t blogging, skating or listening to Drake. (Pronouns: She/Her)
Curtis Espinoza, Trans Justice Policy Fellow:
Curtis first came to Basic Rights Oregon as a volunteer in 2012, fundraising for both the Equality PAC and for the Marriage Equality program. Curtis also both interned and worked as a staff member in the finance department with Oregon United for Marriage. After completing a month long job with Basic Rights Oregon as the Equality PAC Volunteer Coordinator in 2014, they accepted an internship with the Oregon Bus Project working closely with the measure 88 campaign to provide drivers’ cards to undocumented workers. As a native of Portland, Curtis has a strong dedication to seeing their beautiful Oregon live up to its full potential as a fully diverse state and will continue to work within the social justice movement until we get there. Curtis describes themselves as a genderqueer, Glee addicted Portlander who loves to shop, write and snuggle with their cat Mr. Pickles. (Pronouns: They/Them)
BRO 06 04 14 -24 Kathy Formella, Lead Organizer:
Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Kathy adventured to the Northwest for college and fell in love with the beauty and the culture. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Willamette University. After graduating, Kathy became an intern with Basic Rights Oregon, and was later hired to work on winning the freedom to marry in Washington. She enjoys spending what little downtime she gets stargazing, hiking, bungee jumping, and the occasional (or more than occasional) karaoke session. (Pronouns: She/Her)
Goodwin_Diane_Head_Shot Diane Goodwin, Communications Director:
The daughter of an Irish immigrant, Diane Goodwin has dedicated her adult life to fighting for fairness and equality.  She brings more than 25 years of communications and organizing experience to Basic Rights Oregon. Diane grew up in the Chicago region, and graduated from Illinois State University. She played her first active role in politics by registering voters in the early 1990s. She has since volunteered for more than a dozen campaigns in Chicago, Los Angeles and Portland. After serving as a volunteer Neighborhood Team Leader for President Obama’s re-election team, Diane was hired as the Oregon Field Director to lead the statewide organizing effort. Her professional career includes stints at Lewis University, Howard Brown Health Center, the LA Gay & Lesbian Center, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Hill and Knowlton, Inc., and TriMet.  Diane served in three roles in her 11 plus years at TriMet , the Portland region transit agency, most recently creating a grassroots advocacy program to support transit. She joined the Basic Rights Oregon team in December 2014 to lead the Communications team. (Pronouns: she/her)
BRO 06 04 14 -31 Khalil Edwards, Lead Organizer:
Khalil was born and raised in Portland, OR. A proud member of the LGBTQ community here in Portland, OR, he has volunteered and supported Basic Rights Oregon and other local organizations in their efforts toward LGBTQ equality and fighting injustice for many years. His passion for education and strong belief that knowledge is power led him to become a teacher. Upon receiving his Master’s Degree from Portland State University’s Graduate Teacher Education Program in 2004, he moved to Southern California where he taught Middle School and High School English for three years. In 2007, he made his way back to Portland. Since being back in Portland, he has been involved in health equity for all Oregonians and working to improve the lives of Black LGBTQ in our community. He is excited about all the things happening around social justice in Oregon and fortunate to be a part of it. In addition to joining the team at Basic Rights Oregon, he is also the Coordinator for the Black Chapter of PFLAG Portland. An avid Robert Jordan fan and karaoke enthusiast, on his down time from work and volunteer commitments you can usually find him with a book or mic in his hands. (Pronouns: He/Him)


Category: About Us