Lara is a Chicago based consultant, youth worker and organizer. Since 2001, Brookshas been a part of projects and organizations that support LGBTQ youth, survivors of violence, and youth experiencing homelessness. Currently, Brooks is a driving
force behind the Chicago Youth Storage Initiative, a coordinated, citywide storage
solution for youth experiencing homelessness. Brooks consults, trains, and teaches on accessible and visionary program design, program and system evaluation, harm reduction, and community accountability practices.
Kate focuses both her activism and professional work with nonprofits and community groups on social, racial and economic justice. She is currently employed as the Chief Operations Officer at Hackman Consulting Group, where she manages the organization’s marketing, communications, infrastructure and finances. From 2011-2014 she was proud to job share the role of Executive Director at PFund Foundation, an LGBT community foundation serving the Upper Midwest and based in Minneapolis, MN. Over their four years at PFund, Kate and her co-Executive Director Susan Raffo led organizational efforts to advance LGBT racial equity work, lift up LGBT aging issues, and increase the ability of regional funders to support innovative but under-resourced LGBT organizations across the Upper Midwest region – all while significantly growing the organization’s donor base. Prior to joining PFund, Kate served as Director of Development and Communications at nonprofits serving low income youth, youth of color and/or homeless youth including The Bridge for Youth in Minneapolis and Mikva Challenge in Chicago, and as the LGBT Community Coordinator at Oberlin College in Ohio. Kate received her BA in Philosophy from Oberlin College in 2003, and currently lives in Richmond, VA with her partner of 10 years.
Bran has worked in the non-profit field as an organizer, political educator, trainer, and organizational development consultant for almost 15 years in New Work City and nationally. A former co-founder and then co-director at FIERCE, Bran worked with young people to devlop campaigns and directly organize on issues including but not limited to housing inequalities, loss of public space, gentrification, and violence. As a former fellow of the Open Society Institute, Bran developed The Education for Liberation Project as a way to sustainably train and retain ac tive community members. Much of Bran’s perspective on organizing and effective leadership has also been shaped by his international travel as a U.S. representative to multiple yuth and world festivals.