Recently, several of our member organizations welcomed new leadership to their teams. These incredible leaders will help to expand our movement in bigger and brighter ways across the country. Let’s congratulate our member organizations and welcome these new leaders!

Christian-FuscarinoChristian Fuscarino
Executive Director, Garden State Equality

Christian Fuscarino has been an activist and organizer in the LGBT community for over a decade. Christian’s story of immersing his early years in LGBT advocacy and education began with formal training through the Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Education Network (GLSEN). At GLSEN, Christian worked with high school Gay Straight Alliances (GSA) for several years. In 2007, Christian joined the Pride Connections Center of New Jersey as a program developer serving gay inner-city youth. That same year, he won a student Emmy award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his End the Silence public service announcement. In 2008, Christian founded The Pride Network, a national leadership development non-profit.

In 2013, Christian joined Alan van Capelle, former Executive Director of Empire State Pride Agenda, serving as his digital strategist at Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. They focused on mobilizing Jews to advance social issues by speaking out against injustice and inequality.  One of the organization’s greatest accomplishments was a campaign that resulted in California Governor Jerry Brown signing The Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Christian most recently served as the Communications Director for the Educational Alliance, a non-profit organization that aims to break the cycle of poverty for low-income children and families through preschool, after school and college prep programs.

Christian recently moved back to New Jersey from Brooklyn where he was living with his partner, Aaron Williams, a tennis instructor, now serving in the Marines.

Brian C. Johnson
CEO, Equality Illinois

Brian C. Johnson serves as a Vice President at Leadership for Educational Equity, a national organization that works to get teachers and former teachers more politically and civically active. Johnson, a former public school teacher, has spent more than a decade leading high profile advocacy campaigns, including those centered on social justice and youth issues.

Brian received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 1999 and a law degree and master’s degree in business from Stanford University in 2005. Between earning his undergraduate and advanced degrees, Johnson was a classroom teacher for two years, which led to his work as executive director for Teach for America in Los Angeles, Executive Director of Larchmont schools and to his work in Chicago as Vice President of regional impact at Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) since 2012. He is also currently the LGBT chair of the Princeton Club of Chicago and is a member of Education Policy Working Group for Secretary Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. His expertise extends to building political coalitions, boosting organization membership, and both raising capital for and managing seven-figure budgets.

As CEO of Equality Illinois, Brian will oversee the three entities that make up the organization, each with its own board of directors: Equality Illinois Institute, the 501 (c)(3) arm that focuses on education of the public, media and policy makers on LGBT issues; Equality Illinois, the 501 (c)(4) entity that advocates policies; and the Equality Illinois Political Action Committee, which endorses and supports political candidates on the state and local levels. In his current position, Johnson has experience with all three types of non-profits. Brian will assume his new post on June 1.

Patrick-PaschallPatrick Paschall
Executive Director, FreeState Legal and Equality Maryland

Patrick Paschall is the Executive Director of FreeState Legal Project, Maryland’s legal advocacy organization for the low-income lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community. Raised by a low-income single mother and the first in his family to attend college (and later law school), Patrick knows first-hand the many barriers that struggling families face, from housing and healthcare to employment and education.

Prior to joining FreeState, Patrick was Senior Policy Counsel at the National LGBTQ Task Force where he led an aggressive policy portfolio focusing on federal administrative policy and state/local non-discrimination legislation, including a deep focus in health care, housing, employment, criminal justice, anti-violence, and religious exemption issues. Patrick earned his J.D. at Hofstra University School of Law, where he was awarded a coveted LGBT Rights Fellowship – the only law school fellowship in the country dedicated to training the next generation of legal advocates on LGBT issues. He has had a varied career in LGBTQ activism, having worked for the National Center for Transgender Equality, Lambda Legal, Family Equality Council, Pride at Work, and others.

Patrick was elected to serve his community in 2013 as an elected official on the Hyattsville City Council where he wrote the Hyattsville Human Rights Act, making Hyattsville the first jurisdiction in Prince George’s County to pass a transgender-inclusive non-discrimination law. In addition, Patrick drafted and passed a measure that made Hyattsville the second jurisdiction in the country to lower the voting age to 16. As a Council Member, Patrick focuses his initiatives on voter engagement, collective bargaining rights, environmental sustainability, and policies that benefit low-income workers and their families.

Join us in congratulating these incredible leaders on their new positions and we hope to see them in person very soon!

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Mel King

Mel King is the Development and Operations Manager for Equality Federation, the national strategic partner to state-based organizations working to win equality in the communities we call home. In this role, he manages the individual giving program and the donor database, as well as operations for the communications department and internal systems. He also serves as the board liaison.

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