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Tune in this Tuesday, April 28, at 6 p.m. on YouTube Live (https://youtu.be/NSNQMV06b0U) and Facebook Live (https://www.facebook.com/basicrights/live) for our Queer Town Hall.

We’ll be discussing mental health support, resources, and information for the LGBTQ BIPOC, QTPOC, and QTPI communities so that we can all stay healthy and connected during these difficult times.

We’ll be joined by the following mental health and peer support specialists who will be taking your questions live, so join in!

-Gia Naranjo-Rivera (She/Her); PhD Candidate in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University who will discuss trauma-informed care

-Alexxis M. Robinson-Woods (She/Her/Hers/They/Them/Theirs); Program and Services Director for Bradley Angle who will be discussing domestic violence
-LaKeesha Dumas, CRM, PSS, CHW (Black); Mental Health & Addictions Services Division for Multnomah County who will discuss mental health and addiction

Want to share your mental health story? Leave a voicemail at 971-285-3327 and you may be featured on the Queer Town Hall.

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Contributions make the Queer Town Hall possible. Donate here: https://bit.ly/qth_give

Our Panelists
Gia Naranjo-Rivera (She/Her); PhD Candidate in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University

“Gia Naranjo-Rivera is a multiracial, LGBTQ+ equity leader and a PhD Candidate in Public Health at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, with a Brown Community Health Scholarship focused on reducing disparities. Her studies center on human development, trauma, social justice, translating research into policy and practice, and systems transformation. Gia is the Founder of Constellation Consulting LLC, offering strategic and transformative program design, research, and evaluation services at the nexus of mindfulness, science, and social justice. She works with public, private and non-profit agencies, and is a speaker-educator at local, national, and international gatherings. Gia also teaches trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness to youth and adults and is completing a yearlong mindful facilitator certification through UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center. Over the past 16 years, she has also served as a Public Health Analyst at the National Institutes of Health, advanced human rights in the US and abroad, and directed programs for at-risk youth and communities. She holds MPA and MA in International Relations degrees from Syracuse University and a BA in Political Science/Human Rights from Columbia University.

Growing up as one of 10 kids in a low-income, trauma- and adversity-affected family and community fuels Gia’s passion to ameliorate suffering, and promote healing and thriving. Her father and grandfather were human rights activists, political prisoners, and torture survivors from Cuba, and her mother is also from a high-adversity background. Gia identifies as afro-Cuban (with roots in Benin, Togo and north Africa), Taino (native Cuban), and Caucasian (west, south, and north European). She was raised practicing land- and spirit-based practices and is in a lifelong process of decolonizing, re-indigenizing, and reconnecting to her heritage. This includes engaging in global indigenous practices from Lakota and other American Indian nations, Latin America, Africa, and Asia, much of which has been learned from indigenous leaders and healers; this includes sweat lodge, smudging, vision quests, fasting, grief ceremonies, plant medicine, yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, mindfulness, and more. She considers herself a healer in a lifelong journey of healing.”

Alexxis M. Robinson-Woods (She/Her/Hers/They/Them/Theirs); Program and Services Director for Bradley Angle; alexxisw@bradleyangle.org 
“Alexxis is the Programs and Services Director at Bradley Angle, where they oversee all programs and business operations, including services at shelter, Healing Roots, the LGBTQ+ Program, the Economic Empowerment Program, and Housing Services. They were formerly the LGBTQ+ Program Coordinator at Bradley Angle, where they supervised advocates and aligned services to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ survivors in Portland, Oregon. Bradley Angle was the first IPV shelter on the West Coast, and today their services are culturally-responsive – Alexxis works to expand this model in advocacy services across Oregon. Alexxis speaks at conferences and works with agencies to align services to better meet the needs of people of color, especially transgender and gender diverse survivors and LGBTQ+ communities of color. Previously at Bradley Angle, Alexxis also worked as the LGBTQ Program Coordinator and HOPWA/VAWA advocate serving individuals living with HIV/AIDs through the Cascade AIDS Project. There they learned the intricacies of working with survivors of violence in alignment with health partners to meet their needs, and engaged in significant co-advocacy models to ensure access to care and decrease barriers for marginalized communities affected by violence. They also worked with youth transitioning into independent living with Janus Youth Programs, and has served as the board president of the Equi Institute, an integrative health clinic for trans, intersex, and gender diverse individuals in Portland. Alexxis uses her knowledge as a former police and court officer for 20 years to advocate for survivors within our legal systems, and to address the impact of systemic trauma and power and control on survivors of violence. Combined with their experience as a transgender, black woman, Alexxis is a leading advocate in a career dedicated to social justice for marginalized individuals, specializing within the intersections of LGBTQ communities of color, intimate partner violence, and those living with HIV/AIDs.”

LaKeesha Dumas, CRM, PSS, CHW (Black); Mental Health & Addictions Services Division for Multnomah County

“LaKeesha Dumas is one of the New Office of Consumer Engagement Coordinators she comes with a Wealth of Knowledge and Lived Life Experience; she is In Recovery from Substance Disorder and Mental Health.

LaKeesha is certified by the State as a Community Health Worker, Peer Wellness Specialist, Adult Addictions Peer Support Specialist, Adult Mental Health Peer Support Specialist and a Youth and Young Adult Peer Support Specialist through the Oregon Health Authority. She started off working with Systems when she was a part of the WOW Project through Healthshare , Kaiser Permanente , ORCHWA and 5 Community Based Organizations, working on Well-child checks and Mental Health. Through her Advocacy for Culturally -Specific Mental Health Services for those on the OHP, she was the recipient of the Oregon Public Health Association 2014 Emerging Leader Award. After that, she worked with CareOregon for multiple years, Providing Peer Support services to their members with complex health and social needs contracted through the Urban League of Portland and the African American Health Coalition.

Born and raised in Portland she has seen the Gentrification, Gang-Violence, Drug-Epidemic and Trauma faced by her community. Since being in Recovery she has worked tirelessly reaching back to her community to give them Hope and get them the appropriate resources to become healthier, overcome Barriers and also recover.

LaKeesha was the former Chair of The Traditional Health Workers Commission, On the Board of Directors for Healthshare of Oregon, The Behavioral Health Advisory Board, Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative, Peer Delivered Services Core Team, The Board for Portland’s Black LGBTQ Community (Newly named Sankofa Collective Northwest), Healthshare’s CAC, Vice President for MAAPPS ( Metro-Plus Association of Addiction Peer Professionals), Peer Delivered Services Core Team through the Oregon Health Authority, The Steering Committee for Oregon Recovers, and the National Advisory Council for Complex Care and Social Needs. She also Volunteers with other Organizations such as Unify Portland, Straightway Services, Enough is Enough, and also Recovery and Healing Groups ranging from anti Human Trafficking, Gang Violence & Domestic Violence to Addiction and Mental Health.

Her role helps Elevate the way the County provides services to its Consumer’s Bridging the Gap between County and Community. Helping with Technical assistance around the Department’s and Paving the way for more Peer’s with Lived- Life Experience to be a part of the County’s delivery system and at the tables where decision’s are being made about Consumer’s health and needs.”

About the Queer Town Hall
In an effort to develop community and stay connected and informed during these trying times, Basic Rights Oregon has set up weekly Queer Town Hall on Tuesday nights starting at 6 p.m. Streaming live across YouTube and Facebook, we’ll be speaking with a wide variety of experts on issues that matter most to you, including healthcare, housing, employment, discrimination, and more. It’s your chance to ask your questions and have your voice heard, so join in!

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