We are a small team of talented professionals with a vast range of skills and experience. We are passionate about the work, and very much look forward to collaborating with you!
Sarah (They/She) is the first Executive Director of the HLWF, & brings more than 15 years experience serving the LGBTQ+ and HIV communities in Western Pennsylvania. Sarah is a National expert in LGBTQ Child Welfare and has provided numerous seminars and keynotes to help providers improve practice to better serve LGBTQ+ individuals. Sarah’s educational background includes a BA in Cultural Studies & Psychology, an MA in Leadership & Organizational Transformation, and a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Community Health Promotion. In 2018, Sarah was selected to serve on the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, the first of its kind in the nation. Sarah has also served on the City of Pittsburgh LGBTQIA+ Advisory Council and was recently honored as part of the 2019 class of “Pittsburgh 40 Under 40”.
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J. Coley Alston
Coley, (They/Them) is the Program Director of the Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation. Coley is an expert in supporting LGBTQ+ youth and has led innovative youth initiatives in various roles over the past 6 years. They believe in using data to drive change in policy and culture. Coley’s educational background includes a BS in Natural Sciences and a Masters in Public Health with a certificate in LGBT Individuals’ Wellness from the University of Pittsburgh. Coley was inspired to pursue an MPH degree due to the health disparities experienced by Black LGBTQ youth and families, and has dedicated their work to improving outcomes and implementing systemic change.
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Thomas, (They/ Them) is a national social justice activist. Prior to their role at Hugh Lane, Thomas served as the LGBTQ+ policy associate at the Biden Foundation. Thomas managed a national public education and storytelling campaign, facilitated youth round tables centering the experiences of young people with inter-sectional identities, and provided technical assistance and research support to other national youth-serving organizations working to implement LGBTQ+ inclusion and equity into their programs, policies, and practices. Thomas also served as a Congressional Intern for Congresswoman Karen Bass. Thomas continues to use their personal experience and knowledge to educate and ignite change for all youth.
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Emani (She/Her) is a Counselor (NCC) who provides individual therapy services to LGBTQ+ clients. In addition to supporting individual clients, Emani also serves as the lead clinician for the Steps 2 Connect Intervention. Steps 2 Connect aims to support caregivers who are struggling to affirm their LGBTQ+ children and provides support, education and information to process grief and loss, improve communication and enhance relationships within LGBTQ+ families. Steps 2 Connect is meant to support any family member or caregiver that an LGBTQ+ young person would like to build a connection with or improve a relationship.
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org