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The Board

Board of Directors

Zsea Bowmani

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Kristen Prata Browde

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Taylor Brown

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Alexander Chen

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Ezra Cukor

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Maddy Dwertman

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Chinyere Ezie

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Jay Larry

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Malita Picasso

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Ryan Rasdall

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Lucas C. Vaughn

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Raymond Wendell

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Alexander Weinstein

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Tamia “Mia” Perez

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Rook Ringer

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Rafael Langer-Osuna

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D Dangaran

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Sam Ames

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Zsea Bowmani

Zsea Bowmani (@LiberationGreen) is a civil rights attorney and legal scholar with a focus on race, gender, reproductive justice, human and animal rights, environmental justice, and the law. Zsea recently served as the Tawani Transgender Rights Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Illinois. His work there included impact litigation and policy work in employment discrimination, policing, prisons, youth and schools, and healthcare access for transgender and gender nonconforming people in Illinois and throughout the Midwest. Zsea also worked in support of transgender employees in the U.S. District Court case Boyden v. State of Wisconsin.

Prior to working at the ACLU, Zsea was the first If/When/How Reproductive Justice Fellow at the National LGBTQ Task Force in Washington, D.C., where he helped develop the organization’s intersectional Reproductive Justice and LGBTQ work across state, federal, and training program areas. He also reviewed the Task Force’s joint amicus briefs, drafted talking points, and developed social media and educational materials for U.S. Supreme Court cases Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt and Zubik v. Burwell. As a Fellow, Zsea authored the first-of-its-kind LGBTQ Reproductive Justice Advocacy Toolkit. In addition to his legal work, Zsea’s scholarship includes an award-winning paper on the use of racial and sexual stereotypes in U.S. asylum cases of queer individuals fleeing persecution, published in Georgetown’s Journal of Gender and the Law, and the intersection of cisgender and reproductive justice. A native of Los Angeles, Zsea received his B.A. from Stanford University and his J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law. In his free time, Zsea enjoys writing fiction, hiking, biking, fashion, and baking vegan desserts. Back to Top

Kristen Prata Browde

Kristen Prata Browde is a Family Law attorney based in Westchester County, New York. Kristen is a graduate of Fordham University Law School, where she also served as Writing and Research editor of the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Law Journal. Kristen holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University (B.A., Government & Philosophy – 1972).

She has written on a variety of legal topics, including First Amendment issues, authoring “Warning: Wearing Eyeglasses May Subject You to Additional Liability and other Foibles of Post-Diana Newsgathering – An Analysis of California’s Civil Code Section 1708.8” 10 Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal 697 (2000). She has also written on a variety of topics for American Lawyer Media’s publications. (These articles were written under her former name.) Kristen, a current co-chair of the NTBA Board, is also President of the Boards of Directors of the LGBT Bar Association of New York. She serves as a director of Equality NY,and is also a Trustee of the AFTRA Retirement System. Kristen’s other life is in politics. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the New York State Council on Women and Girls, appointed by New York’s Governor Cuomo, and is a member of the Westchester County Women’s Advisory Board and the Chappaqua Central School District Financial Advisory Committee. Kristen is also a candidate seeking the Democratic nomination for the New York State Assembly, seeking election in the state’s 93rd District. Kristen lives in Chappaqua, New York with one of her two sons; the other is in college in Europe. Back to Top

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is a Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest legal organization dedicated to advancing the full civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people living with HIV. Taylor previously served as the Tyron Garner Memorial Law Fellow at Lambda Legal, pursuing litigation, policy advocacy, and public education addressing inequities in law and policy for African American LGBT people and African American people living with HIV. Taylor began her career at Lambda Legal as a legal intern in the Transgender Rights Project in Lambda Legal’s New York City headquarters. Taylor is particularly passionate about access to healthcare and education equity for transgender people and the intersection of LGBT/HIV status with race and socio-economic status.

Taylor received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. At UNC-Chapel Hill, Taylor was a Carolina Covenant Scholar. At Cardozo, Taylor was a Nathaniel E. Gates Scholar. She served as Vice President of Cardozo OUTLaw and she was involved with the Minority Law Students Alliance and Black Law Students Association. During law school, Taylor worked on death penalty appellate litigation at the Georgia Resource Center, served as a legal intern in the Transgender Rights Project at Lambda Legal’s National Headquarters and was a 2016 Holley Law Fellow at the National LGBTQ Task Force. Back to Top

Alexander Chen

Alexander Chen (@alexanderlchen) is a nationally recognized transgender civil rights attorney who is currently an Equal Justice Works Fellow (sponsored by Salesforce.org and Baker McKenzie) at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, one of the nation’s leading LGBT advocacy organizations. Alexander is also a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, where he teaches the Law School’s inaugural course on Gender Identity and the Law.

At NCLR, Alexander’s work focuses on expanding the rights of transgender people through litigation and policy advocacy in education, employment, health care, housing, prisons, and juvenile justice and child welfare settings. Alexander is a member of the legal team litigating the transgender military cases Doe v. Trump and Stockman v. Trump. He also co-drafted AB 2119, a bill making California the first state to guarantee access to transition-related health care for trans youth in foster care. Alexander has received numerous awards for his work, including being named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Law and Policy, and one of the 40 Best LGBTQ+ Lawyers Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association. Alexander received his B.A. from Oxford University, his M.A. from Columbia University, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was the first openly transgender editor of the Harvard Law Review and worked on trans issues at the Department of Justice, the ACLU LGBT Rights Project, and the National Center for Transgender Equality. He clerked on the Ninth Circuit for the Hon. M. Margaret McKeown, and in the Southern District of California for the Hon. Gonzalo P. Curiel. Back to Top

Ezra Cukor

Ezra Cukor is civil rights attorney. He is currently a staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights. Before joining the Center, Cukor served as a staff and supervising attorney at the New York City Commission on Human Rights where he spearheaded policy and enforcement initiatives designed to expand civil rights protections for New York City’s diverse communities with a focus on LGBT communities and gender discrimination. Previously, Cukor represented low-income LGBTQ New Yorkers in employment, housing, and name change matters as a staff attorney in the LGBTQ Law Project at New York Legal Assistance Group.

In 2018, the National LGBT Bar Association recognized Cukor as one of the best LGBT Lawyers Under 40. Cukor is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Harvard Law School. He is an active member of the New York City Bar Association and founding board member of the National Trans Bar Association. Back to Top

Maddy Dwertman

Maddy Dwertman is an associate at Baker Botts LLP and represents clients at the trial and appellate level in a broad range of complex litigation matters. Maddy maintains a pro bono practice focused primarily on the provision of legal services to the transgender community. They have represented several transgender asylum seekers in immigration court proceedings and serve as a supervising attorney with the Gender Affirmation Project, which provides pro se assistance with name and gender marker changes. Maddy serves on the Council of the LGBT Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and previously served as Vice-Chair of the Austin LGBT Bar Association.

Maddy is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Texas School of Law where they served as Pro Bono Director of Outlaw. Prior to law school, Maddy worked with queer communities as an educator and organizer at various nonprofits in Baltimore City. Back to Top

Chinyere Ezie

Chinyere Ezie is a Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights and a nationally recognized civil rights lawyer who specializes in trans rights advocacy and racial justice work.

Prior to joining The Center for Constitutional Rights, Chinyere was a Staff Attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center, where she brought cases defending the rights of LGBTQI Southerners, including trans prisoners’ rights activist Ashley Diamond. She also served as a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where she litigated trans employment discrimination cases and secured a $5.1 million jury verdict on behalf of workers who were subjected to religious harassment. Chinyere is a William J. Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, where she was President of Columbia Outlaws and served as Editor in Chief of the Journal of Gender and Law. In her free time, Chinyere enjoys photography, graphic design, and spending time with her wife and puppy. Back to Top

Jay Larry

Jay Larry is an associate at a large Houston-based law firm, where his practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, Exchange Act filings, and corporate governance matters. Jay has counseled clients regarding multibillion dollar sales of cross-border pipeline systems, target acquisitions by special purpose acquisition companies, and debt and equity offerings.

Prior to joining private practice, Jay interned at Transgender Law Center in Oakland, California. His scholarship includes a journal article published in the Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society. Jay earned his J.D. and Certificate in Law and Business from Vanderbilt Law School. He completed his undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University, where he was a Gates Millennium Scholar (through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) and a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar. At university, he majored in English and History Interdisciplinary Studies, with a concentration in Victorian-era England, and minored in Film Studies, Spanish, and Philosophy. In his free time, Jay enjoys travelling, especially to the U.K., Germany, Greece, Jamaica and Cuba. Back to Top

Malita Picasso

Malita Picasso is the Skadden Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union, LGBT & HIV Project, where she advocates on behalf of transgender elders who experience discrimination and harassment while seeking elder-specific medical care, housing, and other aging services. She graduated in 2019 from CUNY School of Law, where she served as 2018-2019 Editor-in-Chief of the CUNY Law Review, and 2017-2018 President of the Student Government. She was also the 2019 recipient of the Dave Fields Prize for Student Achievement and Leadership. In addition to these activities, Malita’s maintained her commitment to working with and on behalf of transgender people through several internships at Brooklyn Defender Services, ACLU Racial Justice Program, and the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

Malita is originally from Southern California, and received a B.A. in Feminist Studies from Stanford University before moving to Brooklyn, NY. Prior to pursuing her J.D., she fought to protect the rights of New Yorkers as a paralegal at the New York Civil Liberties Union. Apart from her advocacy work, Malita enjoys cooking delicious Mexican food and looking at pictures and videos of cute dogs. Back to Top

Ryan Rasdall

Ryan Rasdall is currently in his last year of law school at Northeastern University School of Law where he is the recipient of the Public Interest Law Scholarship. While in law school, Ryan co-chaired the Black Law Students Association’s Kehmet Chapter and was also involved with the Queer Caucus. During his three years, Ryan has completed internships with NYU Langone Health Office of General Counsel, Locke Lord LLP, and Goulston & Storrs PC. Ryan will be joining Goulston & Storrs’s Corporate Law group in the Fall of 2020.

Prior to law school, Ryan worked for four years as a Legal Assistant for the Transgender Rights Project at Lambda Legal’s Headquarters in New York City. Before joining Lambda Legal, Ryan was a Patient Navigator at Harlem United Community AIDS Center where he provided direct services to LGBTQ youth and adults. Ryan earned his B.A. in Women & Gender Studies from Smith College in Northampton, MA. Ryan also sits on the board of the Jim Collins Foundation, a foundation that provides funding for transgender individuals seeking gender-affirming surgeries. Ryan is originally from New York City and currently resides in Boston, MA with his cat Kramer. Aside from attending law school, Ryan enjoys hiking, driving, group spinning classes, and listening to podcasts. Back to Top

Lucas Cameron Vaughn

Lucas Cameron-Vaughn grew up between Memphis, TN and Atlanta, GA (where he never felt like he quite fit in). Lucas grew up in historically invisible Southern communities including indigenous communities and queer communities in the Delta region. He became interested in social justice activism at a young age after becoming aware of the violence and stigma leveled against his family from colonization to the Indian Removal Act of 1830 up to the stereotypical mascots of our current times. Lucas worked in the visual arts and as a musician for the majority of his life as a young adult. He found community with trans and gender nonconforming people (where he finally felt like he did fit in). He graduated from the University of Memphis with a degree in Political Philosophy and a concentration in Economics, magna cum laude.

The decision to attend law school was made after Lucas witnessed the indignities suffered by trans people at the hands of Southern law enforcement. Many of his close friends were victims of hate crimes or had no recourse for erasure of their legal existence. He graduated from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Lucas fights hard to make the law more equitable for all people. After law school, he completed a Children’s Defense and Health Policy Research Fellowship with the University of Memphis School of Law where he successfully co-counseled with ACLU-TN and Just City to change the nearly 200-year-old Tennessee “safe keeper” statute that allowed children, pregnant women, and people with disabilities to be held in solitary confinement for years prior to trial. His project focused on trauma-informed advocacy for children charged with crimes as adults. In law school, he clerked at Transgender Law Center in Oakland, CA, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee in Nashville, TN. He spent his time at TLC assisting with prison reform for TGNC prisoners and legislative policy change. At the ACLU-TN, he worked on many cases including Doe v. Hommrich—a watershed class action ending solitary confinement for youth with mental disabilities in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. Lucas established Collective Justice Legal Group, P.C., the only civil rights focused law firm in Memphis, TN in 2017. He currently litigates federal civil and criminal matters at the trial and appellate level. He also practices immigration law. Back to Top

Alexander Weinstein

Alexander Weinstein is a second-year student at Boston University School of Law. He serves as the Co-President of OutLaw and is one of BU’s Public Interest Scholars. Alexander is passionate about constitutional law and indigent criminal defense, and will work in the Wrongful Convictions Clinic and Criminal Clinic this year. He interned at the Fair Labor Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office in Summer 2019.

Before law school, Alexander worked on impact litigation for the LGBTQ+ community as a legal assistant at GLAD. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 2016 with a B.A. in Government. His senior honors thesis, which proposed a method for removing hate speech from First Amendment protection, won the Bennett Essay Prize in Political Theory and Public Law. While in college, he held internships at the New Hampshire Public Defender and the New York Civil Liberties Union’s Long Island chapter. Back to Top

Raymond Wendell

Raymond Wendell is an attorney at Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho, a boutique litigation firm in Oakland, California. Raymond represents plaintiffs in wage-and-hour, employment discrimination, disability access, and consumer rights class actions. Previously, he clerked for the Honorable Marilyn L. Huff in the Southern District of California. In 2013, Raymond graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He is a 2007 graduate of Georgetown University.

Raymond has been selected as a “Super Lawyers” Rising Star since 2017. He has spoken on panels and authored publications on topics ranging from trucking law to LGBT+ rights. In his free time, he enjoys camping, rock climbing, and playing banjo. Back to Top

Tamia “Mia” Perez 

Tamia “Mia” Perez is a law student at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Clinical Psychology and Chemistry from the University of South Carolina, where she actively participated in advocacy work within the Carolina Equality Alliance, an organization with an emphasis on protecting civil liberties affecting marginalized communities.

She currently serves as the President of the Health Law Society, Director of Operations for the Black Law Students Association, and the Co-Events Director of OutLaw at her law school, where she leads several community service initiatives that provide access to healthcare and legal resources to marginalized communities who would otherwise not have access to these resources. She is also a student ambassador of Dreambuilders of America’s Youth where she has consistently provided mentorship and resources to disadvantaged youth and members of the community for over a decade. She has presented as a student panelist within a workplace discrimination forum sponsored by the New York State Bar Association in addition to moderating a CLE on Gender Identity and Expression: Creating Inclusive Spaces which was also sponsored by the New York State Bar Association. Mia is extremely passionate about advocacy and has interned at Murtha Cullina LLP, Avangrid, the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and the Honorable Bill Henderson within the Eighth Judicial District Court. Further, she has led pro bono initiatives at her law school such as the Name Change Clinic, which has helped dozens of trans and GNC individuals within the community. As a Black woman of trans experience, she has personal knowledge of issues affected the trans and GNC community such as workplace discrimination, access to healthcare, housing, and legal services. She believes that legislative initiatives, community outreach and advocacy are vital to combating social injustices that have disproportionately affected the LGBTQ community and people of color. She will sit for the New York State bar next year after graduation and has an interest in Health Law, Intellectual Property and Civil Rights. Back to Top

Rook Ringer 

Prior to attending law school, Rook worked as a military intelligence analyst in the US Army, and later for many years as a private investigator. Rook attended Florida Coastal School of Law under a full scholarship, and has a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in Forensic Science. She worked throughout law school, writing motions and appellate briefs for various law firms, as well as assisting in criminal trials. She is a gifted writer who has written many appellate briefs for multiple district courts of appeal, as well as for the Florida Supreme Court. Rook is a Florida native and licensed to practice in all Florida courts.

Rook is also admitted to practice in the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western District of Arkansas, United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western District of Texas, the Western District of New York, the Eastern District of Michigan, the Fifth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal, and she also handles civil rights cases in federal courts around the United States. As a Transgender woman herself, Rook’s passion is for civil rights, particularly with respect to Transgender and other LGBT discrimination cases. In addition, she spent three years working in criminal defense, and understands the importance of “watching the watchmen” and making sure that when those tasked with enforcing the laws overstep their bounds and engage in abuse, brutality, and misconduct, they are brought to heel under the law. When she isn’t fighting in court, Rook is usually riding her motorcycles, arguing on the Internet, or attending synagogue. Back to Top

Rafael Langer-Osuna

Rafael Langer-Osuna is a partner at Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP where they focus on two distinct areas of commercial litigation. On the one hand, they try cases in state and federal courts for and against foreign sovereigns. On the other, they litigate disputes involving the internet, including data breach and data privacy matters, as well as cases arising from online defamation, the use of copyrighted materials on social media, hacking, and software licensing conflicts. Rafael is barred in California and Florida and has been admitted to practice before the Fifth and the Ninth Circuits as well as several district courts throughout the country.

Rafael dedicates a significant amount of time to studying and bettering the world around them. They maintain an active pro bono practice including drafting amicus briefs in impact litigation on behalf of the trans community, assisting the Transgender Law Center’s asylum efforts, extracting information from police departments regarding discriminatory policing practices, working for environmental groups, winning cases for local charitable organizations, and helping to improve gender equity. In addition to serving as a board member with Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (the Bay Area’s LGBTQ bar association also known as BALIF), where they are Co-Chair of BALIF’s Programming and Community Activism Committees, Rafael also currently serves as a non-binary support group facilitator, the Vice President of the Western Cave Conservancy, and as an advisory board member for the Squire Patton Boggs Foundation. Rafael was born in Bolivia, grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has lived all over the country. They earned degrees from Carnegie Mellon University (BA), UC Berkeley (MA in Education), and Duke (JD/MA in East Asian Studies) and studied in Hong Kong SAR and Nanjing, China. In their spare time, Rafael parents two teenagers, reads voraciously, practices Daoist arts, cooks vegan meals for friends, gardens, and surveys California’s caves and reefs. Back to Top

D Dangaran

D Dangaran joins the Board after being an NTBA member, mentee, mentor, and overall fan since its founding. D is a Filipino-Black non-binary trans femme / fairy hailing from and rooted in Wahiawa, Hawaii. They aim to bring the aloha spirit to everything that is their kuleana, of which trans community building is a vital part.


D is a first-generation college graduate of Yale College, where they were a student leader in QTPOC community-building, sexual health activism, and consent education. After college, they worked as a Dean’s Fellow at Yale-NUS College in Singapore, where they organized campus events focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. D received their J.D. from Harvard Law School, where they juggled student practice opportunities in tenant advocacy, prison legal assistance, and the family and domestic violence clinic with their academic pursuits. As a board member of HLS Lambda, they co-planned a conference focused on the intersection of LGBTQ communities, feminism, and the criminal legal system, entitled “Fighting the (Q)arceral State.”

They were an articles editor on the Harvard Law Review, for which they published student articles about restorative justice for sexual assault, healthcare access for trans people in prison, and Native Hawaiian land reparations. They interned at the Lawyers for Human Rights in South Africa, the GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project, and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. D served as a law clerk for Judge Corinne Beckwith on the D.C. Court of Appeals and they are currently a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

This Fall, they will return to Washington, D.C., as a Movement Lawyering and Litigation Fellow at Rights Behind Bars, where they will use constitutional claims to counteract the violence and neglect that trans people face in jails, prisons, and immigration detention centers. D loves to sing, dance, and laugh–loudly. They welcome dialogue, debate, and discussion with anyone interested in reaching out: ddangaran11@gmail.com.uat.

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Sam Ames

Sam Ames (they/he) is a civil rights attorney, author, and national advocate with over a decade of experience fighting for LGBTQ rights, with a focus on transgender youth and conversion therapy. Sam served as the Interim Executive Director of Trans Lifeline, an organization that provides direct emotional and financial support to transgender people in crisis. They also served as the Interim Executive Director at Our Family Coalition, an organization working to advance equity for the full and expanding spectrum of LGBTQ families and youth.

They started out their legal career as a Staff Attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, where they were the founder of the Born Perfect Campaign to end conversion therapy and served primarily on constitutional cases involving employment discrimination, marriage equality, and family law. Sam additionally served a year as a hospital chaplain at UCSF Medical Center. Sam holds a Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard University, with a focus on Religion, Ethics, and Politics; a J.D. from George Washington University Law School, with honors; and a B.A. in Psychology and Theatre Arts from the University of California Santa Cruz, cum laude. They served as the Senior Articles Editor on the Federal Circuit Bar Journal and were the recipient of the 2012 Thurgood Marshall Civil Liberties Award. They are a member of the Professional Advisory Group and has also served on the boards of the Prisoner Reentry Network, TransLaw, and the First Unitarian Church of Oakland. Sam has testified in state legislatures, Congressional events, and the United Nations Committee Against Torture; and has been featured in the NY Times, LA Times, Teen Vogue, Newsweek, BBC, The Guardian, TIME, VICE and MSNBC. Outside of work, Sam writes children’s books on the places where science, history, and social justice intersect – from sharks and octopuses to the untold history of abolitionists in the United States. They are also a consultant on LGBTQ issues worldwide, an avid AIDS LifeCycle rider, a Shakespeare nerd, and an evangelist for their home state of California. Back to Top
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