Joe Hawkins is a noted Oakland California based community organizer, LGBTQ advocate, non-profit executive, event producer, and social entrepreneur. Joe was named by Business Equality Magazine as one of the Top 50 over 50 LGBTQ Legacy Leaders for 2019 and the San Francisco Business Times: 2022 Selisse Berry - Leadership Legacy Award. In addition to his many accomplishments, Joe is a co-founder and former co-chair of Oakland Pride and was voted Grand Marshall of both the San Francisco and Oakland Pride Parades. He worked as the Director of Administration at AIDS Project of the East Bay (APEB), served on the Ryan White Planning Committee and was a founding organizer of the East Bay AIDS Walk. Joe also created California’s largest and longest running Black LGBTQ Film Festival and produced California’s longest running LGBTQ Hip-Hop event that lasted 25 years. He currently produces California’s largest and longest running gay and bisexual men of color getaway held annually in Palm Springs, California.
In 2017, Joe co-founded and is the CEO of the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center, Oakland's first all inclusive, intergenerational LGBTQ service center and a new model for service provision in Oakland. In 2014, the City of Oakland presented Joe with the Mayor's Proclamation, naming a day in his honor and in 2017, the Northern California chapter of the ACLU honored him with the Grover Dye award, their highest award for community activism. In 2018, his vision for LGBTQ wellness programming resulted in the LGBTQ center receiving the American Psychological Association's Presidential Citation Award. Joe loves living in Oakland and the Bay Area and in his free time enjoys camping on the beach, touring California and spending time with his son and three beautiful grandchildren.
Radio personality and event host Christie James has been rocking a radio mic since 2004. Christie, a military, and radio vet can be heard daily as the host of one of the country's only all-female morning shows "Morning Drive With ChristieLive" on 80s+ @ 103.7 FM in San Francisco. You can also hear Christie playing dance anthems on PRIDE Radio nightly on the iHeart Radio app. If you're in the mood for Hip-Hop and Throwbacks, check her out on V101.1 in Sacramento and JAMN 107.5 in Portland.
Christie is also a standout community member, donating time to support causes that are near and dear to her heart. As a member of the LGBTQ community, Christie produced the women's stage for San Francisco Pride for 7 years, Oakland Pride for 5 years, and is currently on the board of Oakland PrideFest. She is ingrained in her community. When she isn't working you can find her....working!!!! Blame it on the Virgo tendencies. On her off time she can be found DJing aboard Olivia cruise lines, and weddings and community events.
Sean Sullivan is the only person in Oakland to entitle two emergency homeless shelters in the City of Oakland. He has been an advocate on LGBTQ issues during his entire 20 years in Oakland.
Sean is currently the co-owner of Bar & Restaurant Expo's LGBTQ Venue of the Year 2020-2021, The Port Bar. When Oakland Pride announced they were unable to produce a live event in 2021, Sullivan created Pridefest Oakland which safely brought together thousands of queer bay area residents to celebrate LGBTQ Pride with Grammy Award winning singer Mya.
Sean is proud to work with other OUTstanding LGBT leaders to continue Pridefest for the community as a new annual celebration.
Val Klein, VP of Marketing + Activation, iHeartMedia San Francisco and PRIDE Radio.
Val is a media and marketing professional with over two decades of experience in the Bay Area. Her work with iHeartMedia includes being the sponsor liaison with the San Francisco Pride, Oakland Pride and Silicon Valley Pride. She was also Executive Producer for the award-winning webcast and broadcast video production of the San Francisco Pride Parade from 2006 - 2013. Val has been a proud resident of Oakland (Laurel, Montclair) since 1999.
Entrepreneur & owner of Ardila Presents Entertainment, a company he created with the mission of providing equal opportunities to the local LGBTQ+ artist in the bay area.
He currently produces Love: The Tea Dance at The Valencia Room in San Francisco, ENERGIA at the Port Bar in Oakland, and Co-produces the legendary Sunsation Sundays Tea Dance at Oasis in San Francisco. His parties are full of diversity, love, and energy. He involves sponsorships with local LGBTQ+ owned businesses and local LGBTQ+ organizations in favor of our beautiful community.
Michael Barajas was born and raised in the projects of South Los Angeles, CA, before making the move to the Bay area in 2010. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley with B.A.s in Integrative Biology, Public Health, and Molecular Toxicology. Michael has a strong tie to the East Bay and Oakland Community as he led efforts at the Berkeley Free Clinic, Street Level Health Project in East Oakland, and worked closely with organizations seeking to expand Latino representation in the sciences. Michael has been in the HIV field over 11 years, most recently working with agencies such as the San Francisco Health Department, UCSF, and the CDC. His focus is deeply rooted in research, clinical rollouts, and care management, with a specific focus on communities of color and trans folks. Michael helped with the research and rollout of PrEP in the early 2010 and developed a true passion to end the HIV epidemic.
Michael currently resides in San Francisco and works as a Community Liaison for Gilead Sciences, where he focuses on community education, capacity building, and identifying gaps/barriers in the community that Gilead can help remedy.
A public service professional with over 15 years’ experience with deep and broad relationships throughout local and state government agencies, elected officials, businesses, foundations and non-profits. As an LGBTQ Latino, I am passionate about finding equitable solutions to the Bay Area’s most challenging issues.
I work at San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District and serve on the board of Pridefest Oakland. I have received numerous awards including San Francisco Business Times, Business of Pride OutStanding Voices 2019; Mass Transit Magazine, Top 40 Under 40 and San Francisco Business Times, 40 Under 40.
Janelle Luster (She,They) is an award winning community organizer and transgender activist native of the San Francisco Bay Area (Oakland).. Janelle is passionate about the community, and has been organizing and advocating for the rights of transgender people, PLWH and Sex workes locally and nationally. Janelle currently serves as Program Supervisor of Trans Vision, an LGBTQ specialty clinic within Bay Area Community Health located in Fremont, CA.
In addition to her seat on the PrideFest Board, she was recently appointed Treasurer on the Board of Directors for San Francisco Pride, to bring diversity and inclusion to the historically white organization. Janelle grew up attending SF Pride with friends and believes that with her seat on the board she can be a voice for the community.
Janelle cofounded Oakland Trans March in 2019 along with other local trans leaders, an annual protest and resource fair taking place the first weekend of September, in which has been deemed Transgender Pride Week by the City of Oakland kicking off Oakland Pride Month.
Janelle co-leads TRANScend Retreat , an annual retreat designed for and by trans* and genderqueer folks. Our Vision is to build community with one another. We achieve this by deepening our ability to self-organize, creating paths of resilience, redefining resistance, collective healing, socializing and further deepening our social justice movements.
Valentino Carrillo also known as Valentino Presents is a well known Promoter and Club Owner in Northern California. He currently owns La Frontera Mexican Restaurant in the Fruitvale District as well as Que Rico Nightclub in Downtown Oakland, CA where he employs over 50 people between the two. Valentino has produced and managed stages at several prides including Oakland Pride, San Francisco Pride, Pride Night Great America and Rainbow Festival in Sacramento, CA. Prior to opening his own venue he was the Marketing and Operations Director for Club 21 and Club BNB until he resigned in 2019 to set out and produce events at other venues throughout Northern California.
Jessie Ray Spivey is a Sacramento native and transplant to Oakland, who spent his previous years in public service and volunteering in the community. Jessie serves as Operations Manager at The Oakland LGBTQ Center and Co-Facilitator of Black Connect, a support group for Queer Black cis and trans masculine men. He is also the creator and founder of The Doudad, a full circle birth Doula practice that amplifies the voices of men in birthwork.
Lauren Wilson has been actively engaged in LGBTQ organizing, policy development, and community-building for over a decade in both Washington, DC and the Bay Area. In her day job, Lauren leads government and public affairs for Pacific Gas & Electric Company in San Francisco, building relationships and partnering with Bay Area government, business, and community leaders. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and has a master's degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University. Lauren lives with her spouse, kiddo, and dog in Oakland.
In addition to serving on the Pridefest Board, Lauren is a member of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce's Policy Committee and a member of the LGBTQ Victory Fund's Victory Campaign Board, a national group of community leaders who work to elect more openly LGBTQ individuals to public office.
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