Staff

GSA Network Staff

  David Bracamontes, Administrative Manager

Born and raised in Los Angeles, David now calls Northern California home. His organizing, planning and activism began as a student leader with the MultiCultural Center (MCC) of Humboldt State University.  After earning a degree in Communication as well as working in sexual assault prevention education and alcohol and other drug prevention, David returned to the MCC as the Program and Outreach Coordinator.  The role solidified David’s passion for planning and organizing that contributes to authentic positive social change. In 2007 David transitioned his work to residential housing programs in the college and university settings working with The Art Institute of California, Humboldt State and San Francisco State Universities. David’s personal and professional passions combined when he became a founding member of the Eureka Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.  Currently David serves the Bay Area as a member of the San Francisco Sisters. David is thrilled to join the GSA Network team where the organization’s mission aligns with his personal passion.
     
  Ginna Brelsford, Co-Executive Director

Originally from Juneau, Alaska, Ginna is a highly qualified administrator with progressive leadership experience, who managed GSA Network’s finance and operations as Finance and Administrative Director before becoming Co-Executive Director.  Ginna joined GSA Network’s staff in 2011 where she has served as a member of the Executive and Management Teams.  A graduate of Smith College, Ginna has over 10 years of nonprofit financial and operations experience having previously been employed at MassEquality, Nonprofit Finance Fund, and Environmental Justice Coalition for Water.  In her tenure at GSA Network, Ginna has overseen organizational human resources and operational needs in a rapid expansion of staff and infrastructure, including expansion to another state. When not at GSA Network, Ginna enjoys traveling around California's wine country with her wife, Jill.
     
  Christopher Covington, Southern California Local Community Organizer

As a proud product of Long Beach, California. Christopher Covington has dedicated his life to a future where all students who have historically been marginalized, made invisible, and unheard are uplifted and empowered to challenge and deconstruct the systems of oppression. As a multi-racial, gay young man of color growing up in poverty he was determined that he would not be boxed in by the limitations others placed on him. His dedication and determination to advancing issues and creating real systems change led him to begin organizing his community. He is honored to have grown from organizations such as the California Conference for Equality and Justice, Khmer Girls in Action, Every Student Matters Campaign, The California Endowment and the National Dignity in Schools Campaign. He specialized in building true partnerships between students and members of City Councils, School Boards, California State Legislature and the U.S. Department of Education on issues of inclusion, working families, school to prison pipeline and restorative justice that led to major policy wins.
     
  Anna Davis, Southeastern Regional Organizer

Anna C. Davis was born and raised in Mississippi, and has been a youth organizer there for over ten years. Anna first became involved in youth organizing at college where she led the university’s Gay Straight Alliance. Recognizing a need to connect to other youth leaders in the state, she and several other young leaders started the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition (MSSC). She went on to study mass media, race, and culture and holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a master’s degree in mass communications from The University of Southern Mississippi. Recently, Anna has been working as part of the Better Together Cohort of Southern-based Racial and LGBTQ Justice organizations. As a Southern organizer, Anna works to lift up Southern voices in national discussions about social justice work as well as working to reframe national dialogues about the South to highlight the communities of resistance which have always existed there. 
     
  Alexander De Leon, Queer Youth Justice Organizer

Alexander is a Los Angeles native with an investment in the civil rights movement, with an emphasis on queer identities.  His introduction to racial and economic justice was organizing on the buses and schools for the now amended municipal code 45.04, a daytime curfew law hindering targeted youth, with the Labor Community Strategy Center. He passionately believes justice with empowerment in working class communities of color is needed, as illustrated in the intense symptoms present and in view of the everyday steps in the re-imagining of a better safer tomorrow. In his role as a GSA Network’s Queer Youth Justice Organizer, Alex works to intensify the presence of GSA Network in East LA, South LA, and Long Beach through sustained site visits and relationship building. In addition, he co-leads and expands our Queer Boys and Men of Color fellowship working closely with those fellows in preparing their schools’ GSA club’s engagement in school discipline and education justice campaigns. When not organizing he enjoys dancing, site seeing, and art expressions demonstrated through media, paintings, and individuals themselves.
     
 

Rhina Ramos, Director of California Programs

Rhina Ramos was born in El Salvador, and arrived in the US at age 14. Since very early in life, Rhina learned that justice is only attainable by a lifelong commitment to defend human rights.  Being an immigrant, Rhina experienced first hand the pain of invisibility. Her professional life includes being a labor rights lawyer, a social justice organizer and trainer. Fueled by her dream and passion to fight for social justice, Rhina graduated from Hofstra University School of Law in 1995. She led the legal department at a workers’ center in Long Island, New York, where her team recuperated over half a million dollars in unpaid wages and benefits owed to immigrant workers. During her 19 years of work in the non-profit sector, she has worked tirelessly for education justice, ending mass incarceration of people of color, labor rights, immigrant rights, domestic violence prevention, environmental justice and international solidarity. She served as the Director of Programs at The Ella Baker Center (EBC) for two years as part of their Executive Team.  At EBC, Rhina had the opportunity to support the work on local, statewide and national campaigns to end the mass incarceration of youth of color including the Books Not Bars Campaign. She holds a Masters in Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Rhina became an ordained minister by the United Church of Christ (UCC) in May 2012. Since December 2011, she created and is leading the first Latino Immigrant Open and Affirming LGBTQ UCC congregation of Northern California. She currently serves on the board of two non-profits that do environmental justice and LGBTQ Advocacy in El Salvador, EcoViva and ALDES (Legal Assistance for Sexual Diversity in El Salvador).

     
  Alan Ratliff, National Network Manager

Alan was born in Honolulu, Hawai'i to a military family. Inspired by his Filipina mother's immigration story, his Midwestern father's involvement with workers’ unions, and his own experiences growing up in southeastern Virginia, Alan developed a passion for racial, economic, and social justice. Working to empower youth in communities of color and LGBT communities through programming, community organizing, policy and research,  Alan served as the Youth Programs Manager at the Asian Community Development Corporation, worked as a Policy Fellow with MassEquality and the Massachusetts Commission on GLBT Youth and was the LGBT Outreach Coordinator for the Ohio Democratic Party.  Alan received his Bachelors in Political Science and minor in Asian American Studies from the Ohio State University, his Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Northeastern University and his Masters of Public Policy in Social Policy from the Heller School at Brandeis University. His graduate research focused primarily on the impact of policy on youth with intersectional identities. While not at GSA Network, Alan enjoys playing volleyball and hanging out with his pug Bibingka.
     
 
Tomas Rodriguez, Project Coordinator, Safe and Supportive Schools Project 

A Sacramento native, Tomas's experiences growing up in a low-income household informed his dedication and belief in work that empowers individuals. His roots in social change began as a high school student during the passage of Proposition 8. Witnessing the varying social injustices that marginalized communities faced, he sought opportunities to get involved and fight for justice. While attending San Francisco State University, he served as a Corps Member and Team Leader in Jumpstart, an early education organization focusing on closing the educational achievement gap. During this time, he worked as a grassroots fundraiser on behalf of American Civil Liberties Union, focusing on LGBT-rights campaigns. Tomas developed his interest in working with queer youth as a Research Intern for the Beyond Bullying Project, a digital storytelling project that aims to unravel LGBTQ sexuality issues in high schools. Having earned a BA in Sociology and minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies from SFSU, he has a passion for understanding the experiences and intersectionalities of queer people. When not working he can be found cooking at home, riding his bike, or lip syncing guilty pleasures on BART.
     
 

Mustafa Sullivan, Director of National Programs

Mustafa was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and moved to the Bronx eleven years ago. He has been a lead organizer and director of Sistas and Brothas United youth organizing program for nine years. He is a founder of the Urban Youth Collaborative and the Leadership Institute high school. In April 2010, he joined the Alliance for Educational Justice as the National Campaign Organizer but was also a founder of AEJ in 2008. He continues to work tirelessly to build an ongoing national movement of youth leaders to reinvent America's schools! He is also very active in his community and leads an intergenerational group focused on queer liberation in the Bronx. Outside of his organizing work he has been writing for over ten years on plays, poems, and short stories that show people the power they have inside. He believes the world can change using three ingredients: love, light, and revolution. He uses tools to build the next generation of our movement’s leaders using compassionate agitation, fearless strategy, carribean black gay muslim warrior wisdom, and tells moving stories of suffering, sacrifice, and ultimate triumph.

     
  Ronnie Veliz, Southern California Program Manager

Ronnie Veliz, born in La Libertad, Peru and raised in the San Fernando Valley of California, is a queer migrant of faith who advocates and organizes for youth empowerment, racial justice, and LGBTQ liberation. Ronnie joined the GSA movement while attending LA Valley College in 2007 and has a degree in Psychology and a background in public education. From his student activism to contributing to the passage of the FAIR Education Act, conversion therapy ban, and the TRUST Act, Ronnie has built coalitions with LGBTQ students, immigrant youth, and youth with disabilities in communities of color. Ronnie has led several grassroots campaigns for health and public safety across California and mobilized thousands of youth and parents with the campaign Pathway to Citizenship in Bakersfield. He has previously served as a counselor at Bienestar; teacher assistant at LAUSD; health educator at Instituto Familiar De La Raza, and has led grassroots campaigns to help release undocumented queer youth from immigration detention centers.
     
  Christopher White, Director of the Safe and Supportive Schools Project

Chris was raised in Odessa in the desert plains of West Texas, where “real” men played football or worked on oilrigs. Growing up as an effeminate, smart, gay boy and inspired by the determination of his teen parents, he has chosen a life-long career of activism, advocacy, and research with regards to LGBT rights and sexual/reproductive health and rights, particularly for young people.  Chris earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) and went on to earn an MA from New York University in human sexuality education before returning to UT for his doctorate in health promotion.  He was the cofounder of the Gay Youth Media Project, a collaboration between OutYouth Austin and the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival, and his research has focused on preparing teachers and others who work with young people to meet the needs of LGBT youth.  He was most recently the Director of Education and Training at the National Sexuality Resource Center at San Francisco State University and is adjunct faculty in the Human Sexuality Program at Widener University.  When he’s not striving to promote the health and well being of young people, Chris can usually be found at a dance class, riding his bike, or exploring the Bay Area.
     
  Geoffrey Winder, Co-Executive Director

Geoffrey is a homegrown leader of GSA Network with over 15 years of youth organizing experience.  Before becoming Co-Executive Director, he served as the Sr. Manager in the Racial and Economic Justice program, a program he developed and led since its inception. Geoffrey has been working with GSA Network since his time as a youth council leader in 1999.  He joined GSA Network’s full time staff in 2008, as Administrative Manager before transitioning to a Program Manager overseeing the development of GSA Network’s new Racial and Economic Justice program in 2011.  Under his leadership the program has developed into a signature program raising GSA Network’s national profile, by building intersectional collaborations that connected the experiences of LGBTQ youth to the school to prison pipeline and leading the work to change the narrative on punitive policies to bullying.  As an ‘expert in the field,' Geoffrey has represented GSA Network on panels hosted by Ford Foundation, Gill Foundation, The California Endowment and in the federal hearings by DOE’s Office of Civil Rights on issues facing LGBTQ youth of color in schools.  
     

 

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