Press Release from GALAEI:
In 1989, under the revolutionary leadership of founder David Acosta, GALAEI (the Gay and Lesbian AIDS Education Initiative) opened its doors. GALAEI was founded to confront the pain, hurt, and fear resulting from the loss of LGBTQ+ Latinx lives to the HIV/ AIDS crisis. The call to action for advocacy, resources, and education was not a request, but an urgent necessity. GALAEI met the needs of the time, but new challenges demand new approaches, and GALAEI has evolved.
In 2020 GALAEI began the crucial search for a new permanent executive director. It was imperative that new leadership continue the important racial and social justice work of our elders and ancestors, and evolve GALAEI to meet the new needs of our communities.
After a robust and thorough search, GALAEI is elated to announce Ashley L. Coleman as the new Executive Director of GALAEI . Ashley brings more than 20 years of experience in social justice and racial equity. She is focused on dismantling white supremacy, systems of injustice, and uplifting the voices of those most marginalized in our community.
Mikah Thomas, GALAEI Operations Manager, passionately expressed, “I knew a strong person with marginalized intersectional identities was needed to best support GALAEI , someone deeply rooted in striving to break down barriers for QTBIPOC, who would continue fighting for our community both behind the scenes and on the frontline!” The Board concurred.
Omar Martinez, GALAEI Board Member, stated “The future is Black women. We are thrilled and honored to have Ashley Coleman leading the writing of GALAEI next chapters in history.”
“GALAEI unanimously selected not only a highly qualified candidate, but an individual who is deeply committed to our local LGBTQ+ communities” stated Board Member, Gabriel Martinez.
Among GALAEI’s growing family, we are also excited to welcome Olga Ramos, the newest member of the Board of Directors. Olga brings a wealth of experience and history as a former GALAEI long-standing volunteer. Welcome to the next generation of GALAEI , a QTBIPOC radical social justice organization. We are fully committed to widening our embrace to all Queer and Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Color and to cultivating positive change for our people, together. Under new leadership, GALAEI will focus on combating white supremacy, QTBIPOC health disparities, HIV/AIDS, educational inequity, and housing insecurity. As we embark on this new chapter, GALAEI is dedicated to providing a home for Queer educational services, community wellness, and healing historical harm.
Join us virtually Saturday, May 15th, 2021 for GALAEI’s reintroduction to our community. May 15th will be an all virtual day filled with workshops, conversations, dance parties, and a more in-depth look at all of the new programming and services for our community by our community.