Gabriel Foster is a queer, black, trans, “momma’s boy” who recently relocated to New York. Prior to making his way to the Eastern Time Zone, he lived and worked in Seattle, WA with the Northwest Network of bisexual, trans, lesbian & gay survivors of abuse helping to create their youth programming. From age fifteen to twenty-six he went from a program constituent to program staff in the American Friends Service Committee’s GLBTQ Youth Program. Before making his way to New York, he most recently worked for SPARK Reproductive Justice Now to develop a program with and for LGBTQ Youth of color and allies in Atlanta, GA and with the Leeway Foundation, supporting women and trans people creating art and social change in Philadelphia, PA. After many years of preparation and community building and crushing on SRLP as an organization, it is absolutely not possible for him to be any more excited about being at SRLP and in the Big Apple!
Before joining SRLP as the Director of Grassroots Fundraising, Avi Cummings spent several years organizing for racial justice and white anti-racist education, prison abolition, economic justice and wealth redistribution, and queer and trans liberation from Western Massachusetts to Madison, Wisconsin, and now in NYC. He learned the ropes of grassroots fundraising strategies that align with racial and economic justice as an SRLP intern. Avi loves climbing and reading tarot, and dreams about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.
Reina Gossett joined the Sylvia Rivera Law Project in July of 2010 as the membership director. Along with Gabriel Foster she staffs the Movement Building Team, working to develop SRLP’s membership and community organizing work. She believes creativity & imagination are crucial for growing strong communities and practicing self determination. She also loves making collages, watching re-runs of Battlestar Galatactica and reading anything illustrated by Diane & Leo Dillon. She blogs at reinagossett.com
Daniel McGee has been involved with SRLP since 2003. He first served on the Steering Committee and then joined the Collective Development Team before becoming a staff member in 2006. Daniel has hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine and plays trumpet with the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, a collectively-run radical marching band which supports social and economic justice efforts in New York City.
Ola Osaze is a Brooklyn-based Nigerian queer transfag activist, feminist and gender liberationist of Edo and Yoruba descent. He organized with the Audre Lorde Project’s TranJustice and Immigrant Rights Work Groups for years. He has also worked as the project coordinator of the Welfare Organizing Project of Queers for Economic Justice; school/community organizer for Make the Road New York and Bushwick Community High School; and with Uhuru-Wazobia and Liberation for All Africans, two organizations focused on the human rights and social justice movements of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Africans, both in the diaspora and on the continent. As a published writer, his pieces have appeared in blogs like Black Public Media, the Trans Atlantic Times, and anthologies, such as Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art and Thought.
Elana Redfield is a Staff Attorney with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, and the Director of SRLP’s Survival and Self Determination Project. Elana received her Bachelor’s degree from New York University in 2003, and her J.D. from the City University School of Law in 2009 with a clinical focus on immigration law. A longtime advocate for grassroots organizing strategies and community leadership in legal work, Elana co-authored “The Role of Lawyers In Trans Liberation: Building a Transformative Movement For Social Change” with Pooja Gehi and Gabriel Arkles. In her role as staff attorney, Elana assists hundreds of community members each year in name change proceedings, government identification issues, health care challenges and immigration proceedings. Elana is also one of SRLP’s primary trainers, having trained over 500 service providers in transgender awareness, criminal justice, disability justice, and immigration issues. In her free time, Elana is an avid surfer and performs in a country & western band.
Alisha Williams is a Staff Attorney with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, and the Director of SRLP’s Prisoner Justice Project. Alisha is a former SRLP legal intern and long time Collective Member. She is thankful for both of those opportunities, as they made her the snarky radical queer she is today. After graduating from Cardozo Law School, Alisha moved to Philadelphia where she remained committed to performing prisoner justice work and community organizing before returning to NYC to join the SRLP staff.
Core Collective Members
Lucas is a transgender queer bi-racial latino man, originally from Maine, who now goes to CUNY School of Law in Long Island City, Queens. Lucas got involved in the work of SRLP as a legal intern during the summer of 2012, a personal dream of his since 2001. He is excited to now be on the SRLP board and continue his involvement with SRLP. When not doing law school work, Lucas plays guitar, ukelele and piano (if he can find one), spends as much time as possible outside, and reads mystery stories.
Dean Spade is a member of SRLP’s Fundraising and Finance Team. He is a professor at Seattle University School of Law. From 2002 to 2006 he was a staff attorney at SRLP. He wrote a book about trans politics and law influenced by his experiences working with SRLP, called Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law.
Rage is a queer, muslim, South Asian immigrant and former SRLP legal intern in the Prisoner Justice Project committed to supporting folks experiencing and working hard to challenge state violence and oppression. Outside of SRLP, their work has included representing survivors of inter-personal violence on their welfare cases, family defense work for parents facing allegations of neglect due to their poverty, criminal defense representation with Public Defender offices in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens, and immigration advocacy for LGBTQI folks. When Rage is not imagining a world without cops, they are most likely watching cute animal videos (largely of goats) or doing secret bedroom karaoke to country music.
Gabriel Arkles lives in Boston, where he teaches in the Legal Skills in Social Context program at Northeastern University School of Law. He has been an SRLP collective member since 2004, and worked on SRLP’s staff as an attorney from 2004 to 2010. He is deeply honored to be a part of SRLP’s work, and wants to keep working with people at SRLP and everywhere for trans liberation, prison abolition, racial justice, economic justice, disability justice, and reproductive justice until we win! Gabriel’s articles, which are mostly about gender, race, and the prison industrial complex, have appeared in a number of law reviews and anthologies. Gabriel was on the board of the Lorena Borjas Community Fund, an organization that provides bail and bond support to criminalized LGBT immigrants in New York, and is just starting to get involved with other organizations like Black and Pink and Queer Muslims of Boston. In his free time, Gabriel cuddles his cats, reads science fiction, and plays role-playing games.
Katherine Cross is a trans Latina woman, and a sociologist of gender at the City University of New York Graduate Center, where she is currently studying for her PhD. In addition to being a proud radical trans-feminist who has written for a number of different outlets, she is a consultant in feminist journalism, and a lifelong video gamer who delights in dungeons, dragons, and everything in between. She also loves garden slugs, pizza, German opera, and 19th Century art. Katherine has been a board member at SRLP since 2011.
Mik currently lives in Albany where he works as a law graduate at Prisoners’ Legal Services. He graduated CUNY Law School this May where he participated in clinics focusing on the rights of Michigan youth in adult prisons and the rights of New Yorkers attempting to maintain welfare benefits while returning to school. Since 2009, Mik has been a helpline counselor with the Trevor Project, a national suicide and crisis helpline for LGBTQ youth. Mik formerly worked at the Ali Forney Center, an LGBTQ youth shelter, where he became invested in prioritizing the voices and experiences of those we serve, re-thinking the way we view mental health, and stopping the school-to-prison pipeline. When not attempting to understand the law, Mik can be found reading at the local library, sewing, or outside reconnecting with his mid-west roots.
Helen Stillman is based in Brooklyn, with part of her heart residing in her hometown of Seattle. Before moving to New York, Helen worked with LGBTQ youth in Washington State and central Appalachia. Helen is the Donor Program Director at North Star Fund, a community fund supporting grassroots organizing in New York City. She has been a member of SRLP’s Fiscal and Finance Team since 2011.
Alysandra is a multi-ethnic transgender woman living in Brooklyn, and hails from southern Illinois in St. Louis. Her involvement with SRLP began in early 2013, and she remains an active participant in the goings-on at the office and within the NYC transgender community.