Sexuality & Gender Spectrum Forum
On Thursday, January 19, 2017 in the Jones Conference Room, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology's Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) will be hosting a Sexuality and Gender Spectrum Forum with Joe Morales, Diversity Coordinator to raise awareness and discuss various topics in the LGBTQIA+ community. Below, you'll find you the Bio's of the panelists.
Joanne M. Carroll is the President of TransCentralPA; an organization committed to providing advocacy and caring support for transgender individuals, their significant others, families, friends and allies. TransCentralPA also provides gender education and information to businesses, organizations, educational institutions and governmental agencies. She has been a member since 2001. No longer actively employed; however, she continues to maintain a small web design business that is the last remaining segment of a major multi-media company she owned and founded. In her years of active employment, she served over 20 years on Active Duty in the United States Air Force, retiring as a Master Sergeant (E-7). During her career, she served in a number of major air commands, including Air Force Special Operations as an Air Commando conducting counter-insurgency operations in NE Thailand. Following her military career, she worked for 18 years in the hospitality industry starting as a hotel night auditor and worked her way up to general manager.
Joanne attended Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, Midwestern State University, in Wichita Falls, Texas, and the Community College of the Air Force at Randolph AFB, in San Antonio, Texas. Her major was Political Science, with a split minor of Business and Accounting. She has three daughters, and five grandchildren as well as four stepchildren. She is active in her church, First Reformed UCC in Lancaster, where she serves as Vice-President of the Leadership Team. In other churches, she has served in a variety of ministries. Public service has always been a major part of her life, and has held the office of President of several local tourism and hotel/motel boards, and was at one time the Chairman Elect and Vice Chairman of her local Chamber of Commerce.
She is on the Board of Directors of Equality PA, a member of the LGBT Steering Committee for the Pennsylvania Youth Congress, an active member of Lancaster County Embrace, a group providing support to congregations that affirm LGBTQ persons of faith. She is also a member of
the Penn Central UCC Open and Affirming Ministry Team as well as Equality PA Faith. Joanne is a rated Air Force Master Instructor and is a Vietnam era veteran. She received many awards and decorations during her military career that included; Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm, Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Melody is currently a Lancaster City resident. She arrived in Lancaster County almost 30 years ago having grown up in the Mennonite mecca of Harrisonburg, VA. She came out at the age of 40. Her two sons Jeremy and Jonathan live in Philadelphia, as well as her girlfriend. She recently completed almost 8 years as the VP of Programs and Initiatives at the Lancaster County Community Foundation. Her leadership sparked the “Ah-Ha Project; Creative Solutions to Real Problems” and launched a new approach to the way the Community Foundation engages with its grantee partners and community at large. Over the years her community engagement has included the LGBT Center Board, Lancaster Pride Board chair, Lancaster
Common Roads Advisory Committee, Millersville University President’s Commission for Gender and Sexual Diversity and one of the Poverty Commission Work Groups. . . to name a few. As of Jan 31, she will be stepping into the role of Executive Director for the Jon Bon Jovi Soul
Foundation in Philadelphia and eventually moving to Philadelphia to buy a house with her girlfriend.
Adanjesus “A.J.” Marin
Adanjesús Marín got his start in the Civil Rights Movement at age 12 in Beaumont, Texas when he organized a student walk-out in response to one of his teacher’s attempts to segregate his class. It was during the ensuing struggle that led to the teacher’s successful removal that Marín
first learned the power of collective multiracial direct action and organizing. In his grade school life, Marín went on to lead many student struggles, fulfilling various roles including Chair of San Antonio Students United for Justice and Assistant Director of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), San Antonio District. At 15, forced to drop out of school due to economic reasons, Marín went to work full time for his first union. Using his youth to his advantage, Marín organized hundreds of school janitors and bus drivers, slipping onto campuses undetected having organizing conversations while workers were on break. Since that time Marín has worked relentlessly in the youth, student, tenant, immigrant, and worker social justice movements.
As a student leader in New York City, Marín cofounded the Student Liberation Action Movement of the City University of New York(CUNY), leading struggles against tuition increases, police brutality and murder, and in defense of CUNY's affirmative action Open Admissions policy. While Rudolf Giuliani was mayor, Marín was arrested over 10 times for civil disobedience and direct action, including the shutting down of the Brooklyn Bridge in reaction to acquittal of the police officers who murdered African immigrant Amadou Dialo. Marín went on to become the National Coordinator of the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition, leading one of the largest national student strikes in US history against the war in Iraq.
In his 20 plus years working in the Labor Movement, Marín has organized many different types of workers ranging from Janitors to College Professors. As the Organizing Director of the NY Independent Farmworkers Center, Marín won the first ever union contract in the state for
farmworkers. As an International Organizing Lead for UNITE! Marín organized hundreds of industrial laundry workers throughout the Southwest.
In the Immigrant Rights movement Marín co-founded the Asociación Tepeyac de Nueva York, which became the single largest Mexican organization in the New York State with over 45 neighborhood committees. As Struggle Director for the Asociacíon, Marín organized a one day work stoppage December 12, 2000 of over 5,000 Mexican workers demanding immigration reform and equal treatment as workers. Since moving to Pennsylvania in 2004, Marín has worked for SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, where he has represented workers in hospitals and nursing homes and currently serves as the Director of Member Political Engagement and Mobilization.
Marín was recently elected Co-chair of Pennsylvania Pride at Work, the AFLCIO LGBTQA constituency group. Prior to that, he served as President of Equality Pennsylvania, leading that organization during the recent court victory for marriage equality, and the election of the first out State Representative. Soon after moving to Lancaster city in November of 2009, Marín founded the LGBT Organizing Committee, which organized a large public march in support of equality. The following summer, when County Commissioner Scott Martin announced his plans to abolish the County Human Relations Commission, Marín as Chair of the Lancaster City Human Relations Commission organized and lead the Lancaster Committee to Defend Civil Rights(LCDCR). In November 2015 Marin became the Director of Make the Road Pennsylvania, an organization currently based in the Lehigh Valley that organizes in the Latino community around issues of immigration, civil rights, worker justice, and LGBT equality.