For press requests for our team, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rev Alba Onofrio | Reverend Sex
Rev Alba Onofrio (aka Reverend Sex) is a Southern Appalachian First-Gen Latinx Queer Evangelical Femme Resister who lives and loves in la Lucha with QTPOC folks as a Spiritual Healer and Bruja Troublemaker to subvert systems of domination, combat spiritual terrorism, reclaim the Divine and the erotic, and eradicate shame and fear wherever they are found. They hold a Masters of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School, where their studies focused on the theologies of sex, embodiment of the Divine in the queer colonized body, and sexual ethics based in queer desire. Alba has also worked in the immigrants rights movement for over a decade, previously serving as the Executive Director of El Centro Hispano, the then-largest non-religiously affiliated grassroots community center in North Carolina. As the former spiritual strategist for Soulforce and co-founder of the Sexual Liberation Collective, Reverend Sex continues to work for Queer Liberation all over the place, but most fondly in the US South and in solidarity with the Global South.
Nadia Arellano Tapia
Director of Latin American Programming
Nadia Arellano Tapia is an intercultural facilitator from Mexico City with a background in human rights and feminist theologies. Nadia accompanies the family members of victims of violence, and also works with feminist women of faith and religious communities open to the LGBTIQA+ community as they mobilize against religious fundamentalisms and spiritual violence. She is passionate about learning, asking questions, reading, and thinking aloud with others.
Assata de la Cruz
Director of Community Outreach
Director of US Programming
Assata de la Cruz is a Black and Indigenous Queer mama still proudly living on her ancestral lands just outside of Africatown, Alabama. Through academia, she studied Journalism and Communication with a minor in Theology at Springhill College and through her community, she is a continuous student of Herbalism, Curanderismo and Yoga. In addition to being the Director of Community Outreach for Soulforce, she is the Executive Director of Savage Daughters, where she uses her apothecary, birth work, spiritual services and content creation to expand the way we view medicine. Her unwavering passion for justice is reflected in her 20+ years of organizing experience with various organizations creating a world where Black, Indigenous and Muslim women are safe to exercise self determination over their lives, free from white Christian Supremacy. Living in an interfaith family, she describes herself as an offering of alhamdulillah and hallelujah while still being firmly rooted in her traditional Yoruba and Indigenous spiritual practices.
Director of Ruckus and Operations
As Director of Ruckus and Operations, Meg provides administrative, logistical, and analytical support to the Soulforce team. They are an introvert who cherishes the behind the scenes element of this role in the organization. As a survivor of Spiritual Violence, they are passionate about all Soulforce has to offer. Meg received their Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2017 and joined the team here in 2020. Originally from the New Jersey Shore, Meg now lives in North Carolina.
Karina Vargas Espinoza
Director of the Institute on Spiritual Violence, Healing & Social Change
Karina Vargas Espinoza is Costa Rican, and an educator, feminist theologian, linguist, and psychologist. She holds a Master’s Degree in Global Leadership from Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California, and a Master’s Degree in Studies of Social and Family Violence from Universidad Estatal a Distancia located in San José, Costa Rica. She currently serves as Director for the Institute on Spiritual Violence, Healing and Social Change, a project of Soulforce. She is also a professor of Liberation Theologies at the Center for World Education and Experience at the University of Augsburg in Minnesota. Among her main research focuses are the power dynamics involved in spiritual-religious violence and therapeutic processes to support survivors of these forms of violence.
Ale Ara Medina
Digital Media Strategist
Ale Ara Medina is a sociocultural facilitator and audiovisual producer, with an academic background in Political Science, Sociology, and Queer & Feminist Theologies. They are a researcher and consultant in political communication, human rights, feminism, and the political participation of young people. They are also a facilitator of Feminist Self Defense workshops for women, girls, and non-binary people. They are passionate about baking, spoken word poetry, practicing parkour, and spending time with their fur-babies.
Producer, Teología Sin Vergüenza
Special Events Coordinator
Rú Romero is is an audiovisual producer, an anthropologist, facilitator of workshops with a gender and human rights perspective, and promoter of sexual health among women of sexual dissent and plurisexualities. Have worked within non-governmental organizations and institutions, as a researcher, consultant, and as producer for videos, films and diverse projects. They are always learning from the art of the joke, the absurd, the stand-up, and the art of the drag king with which is building a spirituality that is non binary with a touch of witchiness. Is an eternal lover of their companions, cats and dogs.
Maura Fernández Salas
Maura is a Cuban resolvedora and eternal immigrant who grew up steeped in Presbyterian church-led social work and Protestant liberation theology. She holds a BA in Anthropology & International Development Studies from Trent University in Canada and a Masters in International Development from the Graduate Institute of Geneva in Switzerland. Constrained by both international organizations and NGO structures and limitations, Maura shifted focus and finally found a place where her lifelong dedication to social work and liberation could flourish when she joined our team. At Soulforce, Maura serves as our Fundraising Manager, and is able to join her dedication to Global South internationalism and solidarity with a commitment to a truly decolonial theology.
Andrea Cappa, our Queer Latina logistical maestro with an academic background in International Business, Marketing, and a Master’s in International Development. Simultaneously, she shares her passion for language as an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) Teacher with a mission to turn language barriers into mere speed bumps on the global communication highway. Her ability to seamlessly blend logistics with education showcases her versatility and adaptability. Beyond the workplace, Andrea finds joy in scuba diving, and exploring the depths of the ocean. Camping and gardening are her earthly delights, with a green thumb so impressive, even plants applaud. Andrea’s compassion extends to our furry friends, as a dog owner and sitter. In the grand tapestry of her life, Andrea’s passport is woven with vibrant threads of adventure, always ready for the next journey to unfold.
Illustrator and Designer
Bryony is an illustrator and designer with her MA in Modern History from King’s College London. Originally from Maryland, she attended college at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, where a semester abroad in London turned into life as an immigrant when she met her husband. She believes in creating beauty where you can, and loves the chance to use her skills to support the work of Soulforce with detailed illustrations and thoughtful design.
CasSandra Calin is a Black-Cuban healer in Richmond, VA, who is passionate about spirit work, mental health, indulgence and pleasure, and sustainable diligence. CasSandra has worked in healing and mental health since 2011 and currently works as a clinical therapist. CasSandra’s passion for social justice keeps the systemic and institutional forms of oppression at the front of her mind when thinking about how best to heal and liberate queer and trans Black and Brown people. She is overjoyed to be a part of Soulforce’s work to sabotage white Christian Supremacy, by bringing a trauma informed and culturally responsive lens in order to support an organizational culture of steadiness, sustainability, and spirit.
CasSandra was a member of the 2015-16 Soulforce Southeast House Fellowship and understands firsthand the power of reminding LGBTQ+ people that we have unlimited access to divinity because we are a manifestation of it. When she is not working or drooling over Soulforce, she pursues hobbies as a writer, songbird, chef, and crafty-creator.
tsharre sanders (name only, no 3rd person pronouns*) is a Southern Black queer femme from Selma, North Carolina. tsharre has worked in educational institutions as a youth serving professional since 2016, and recently became a full-time student at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. After tsharre’s thesis defense in December 2020, tsharre deemed it necessary to have more of a theological grounding to do the work tsharre aspires to do with Black queer youth and their families. tsharre also works part-time as a Program Coordinator with Q Christian Fellowship, an organization dedicated to fostering spaces of radical belonging especially for queer Christian folks. Two of tsharre’s favorite things are karaoke and line dancing because they spark communal joy.
*if absolutely necessary, you may use she/her or they/them pronouns to refer to tsharre.
Cole Parke-West is a queer & nonbinary trans person, rooted in Durham, North Carolina. Soulforce became their first political home when they climbed onboard the 2008 Equality Ride bus, and they’ve been learning, growing, and transforming alongside the organization ever since. They subsequently participated in a second Equality Ride in 2012, and joined the Board in 2020.
Cole currently works as a statewide community organizer for Carolina Jews for Justice, dedicated to building a powerful progressive Jewish justice movement in the South. Prior to joining CJJ, they spent five years working as a research analyst at Political Research Associates, a social justice think tank dedicated to understanding and interrupting right-wing extremism, including white supremacy, misogyny, xenophobia, antisemitism, and the Christian Supremacy that fuels it all.
Rev. Rhina Ramos
Rev. Rhina Ramos leads Ministerio Latino in Oakland, CA. Her call to ministry was to create a space where Latinx LGBTQI immigrants are welcomed and loved and started Ministerio Latino in December 2011. Rhina has 25 years of experience in non-profit work. Before being a full-time pastor, Rhina has been a lawyer, a community organizer, a facilitator and instigator. Originally from El Salvador, she is proud to come from the land of volcanoes.
Eric Enrique Borja
Eric Enrique Borja is the direct descendant of political revolutionaries and labor organizers. Eric grew up listening to his parents speak about El Salvador, about the political climate before the revolution, and about their organizing experience with students and workers before having to leave for the United States. Every day, Eric does his best to honor his family’s legacy through his work as National Digital Director for Somos Votantes and Somos PAC.
Eric brings to his work 10+ years of organizing online and offline, as well as researching the intersection of technology and social movements. As a PhD student, Eric used both qualitative and quantitative methods to understand how movements, like Occupy, the Arab Spring, and Black Lives Matter, used social media to organize people. Then, after his graduate program, Eric led on the Digital strategies of national, state, and local advocacy, legislative, and electoral campaigns. Eric brings a deep love and hope for technology’s potential to liberate us, and a strong commitment to honor his family, his ancestors, and his communities.
Orion Johnstone (they/he) is a transgender faggot living on Lenape land (Yonkers/NYC). They are devoted to the question: “Who and how might we be together most bravely and joyfully in light of our collective liberation?”, and learning from / working alongside Soulforce over the past several years has been transformative for them! They channel their love as a community minister, theatermaker, composer, and sex educator, and they are currently writing a musical about Jesus in which the whole cast is Queer and everybody plays Jesus at some point. They studied Theater at NYU Tisch, Justice Ministries at Auburn, and they were a part of the founding cohort of Alt*Div. You can learn more about them at www.orionjohnstone.com.
We are so honored to be in the movement with these strategic partners, collaborators, and friends:
- Political Research Associates
- Transform Network
- Bend the Arc
- Highlander Center for Research and Education
- Southern Crossroads
- Center for American Progress
- Catholics for Choice
- Women’s March
- Akira Media
- Paul Southwick Law, LLC
- Blueprint NC
- The Freedom Center for Social Justice
- Anti-Racist Research Collective
- Observatory for the Universality of Rights Coalition
- Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
- Vanderbilt Divinity School Carpenter Program for Religion, Sexuality, and Gender
- McCormick Theological Seminary
- Duke University Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity
- The Law, Rights, and Religion Project at Columbia Law School
- Proyecto Encuentros de Gracia y Bienvenida UCC
- El Ministerio Latino, Plymouth United Church of Christ Oakland
- Red de Teólogas, Pastoras, Activistas y Lideresas (TEPALI)
- ICM Libres por Amor, México
- Grupo Espiritual Cuir de Puebla, México
- Comunidad Luterana Santísimo Redentor, México
- Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, México
- Abriendo Brechas de Colores, Cuba
- Q de Cuir Revista, Cuba
- ICM Matanzas, Cuba
- ACCEDER, Costa Rica
- Universidad de Costa Rica
- Ecumenicas por el Derecho a Decidir, Honduras
- Purisaq Warmikuna, Perú
- Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, Argentina
- Groundswell Fund
- Urgent Action Fund
- Borealis Philanthropy
- E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation
- Collaborative for Gender and Reproductive Equity
- Southern Vision Alliance
- And a huge thank you to all our private donors and comrades, without whom this work would never be possible.