Gabrielle Claiborne, Chair
OUT Georgia Business Alliance
Transformation Journeys Worldwide
Gabrielle Claiborne is Co-founder and CEO of Transformation Journeys Worldwide, an inclusion training and consulting firm with a transgender focus. She travels extensively, helping cutting-edge organizations position themselves to attract and retain the best talent, foster collaborative working environments, thus maximizing innovation and directly impacting the bottom line by creating fully trans-inclusive cultures. Some of her clients include Home Depot, Sun Life Financial, Royal Bank of Canada, Comcast, Mercedes Benz, UPS, Kaiser Permanente, Cox Media, WarnerMedia, New York City Pride, the Atlanta Hawks, Georgia Tech and the Centers for Disease Control, among others.
Gabrielle has been an out and active transwoman since 2010. She served on the Executive Board of Atlanta Pride for the past 5 years, and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Mentorship Committee on the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s TGX Task Force, as Co-Chair of the Trans Affairs Committee on the City of Atlanta’s LGBTQ Mayoral Advisory Council, as Inclusion Chair and Secretary on the Board of the Out Georgia Business Alliance and as Advisory Board Member of Out Front Theater Group. In 2020, she published her memoir meets self-help book Embrace Your Truth: A Journey of Authenticity. In 2019, the Atlanta business Chronicle acknowledged her as their Diversity & Inclusion “Outstanding Voice” Award recipient and she delivered a TEDx talk for Centennial Park Women TEDx, Building Your Courage Muscles. In 2018, Gabrielle received the Georgia Small Business Administration’s LGBT Small Business Champion Award in recognition of her efforts in advancing LGBT business ownership. In 2015, Gabrielle was chosen as Atlanta’s Best Trans Activist, and her work was featured in Forbes in 2018 and the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2017.
Recently, Transformation Journeys Worldwide was honored to be chosen as the Out Georgia Business Alliance 2018 Small Business of the Year, and received the Atlanta Hawk’s prestigious 2019 True Comes in All Colors award for their cutting-edge inclusion work. The firm is also proud to be an NGLCC certified LGBT Business Enterprise.
Gabrielle holds a BS in Mathematics from Emory University and pursued a degree in Civil Engineering at Georgia Tech. She is the proud parent of three adult children and lives in Atlanta.
Dorian Rhea Debussy
Ace and Aro Alliance of Central Ohio
Dorian Rhea Debussy, Ph.D. (she/her) is the inaugural Director of External Affairs at Equitas Health, which is a federally designated community health center and one of the largest LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS serving healthcare organizations in the country. In her role at Equitas Health, Rhea is responsible for setting the government and community relations agenda for the agency.
Prior to joining Equitas Health in June 2022, Rhea enjoyed a decade of service in higher education, which began in public university settings in Connecticut. Most recently, she jointly served as the Associate Director for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Kenyon College—where she specialized in fostering LGBTQ+ inclusion and equity on campus—and as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Kenyon College. For two years, Rhea also concurrently served as the founding Executive Director of the Ace and Aro Alliance of Central Ohio, which is the state’s first organization focused upon serving the asexual and aromantic community.
Rhea actively writes about issues affecting LGBTQ people in the military and LGBTQ+ politics more broadly. Most recently, Rhea served as the lead author for the newly updated and expanded third edition of Freedom to Serve: The Definitive Guide to LGBTQ Military Service (forthcoming; Washington, D.C.: Modern Military Association of America), which is the most comprehensive guidebook on issues affecting LGBTQ service members across all branches of the military.
Passionate about accessible academic writing, Rhea frequently publishes non-academic articles on LGBTQ+ political issues. Her work has been published by The Conversation, The Associated Press, BUST Magazine, and The Gay & Lesbian Review among others. Additionally, her forthcoming book project is currently under contract with Columbia University Press.
As a nationally recognized advocate for trans-inclusive athletic spaces, Rhea was selected for the inaugural cohort of the NCAA’s Division III LGBTQ OneTeam Program, which is the organization’s first nationwide LGBTQ+ inclusion program. For nearly three years, she served as one of less than 55 facilitators across the country, and she facilitated trainings for hundreds of coaches, athletics administrators, DEI professionals, fellow facilitators, and student-athletes across multiple colleges and states during that time. In January 2022, she resigned in protest from that role, following changes to the NCAA’s transgender participation policy.
In addition to her role with Equitas Health, Rhea also currently serves as a Lecturer in the Dept. of Political Science at The Ohio State University at Newark, where she teaches courses on international relations; a member of the Greater Columbus LGBTQ Health Coalition, which is a community-led working group that is focused on improving health outcomes for LGBTQ+ people living and working in Columbus, Ohio; a member of the Advisory Board for the TGX360 Initiative of the OUT Georgia Business Alliance, which is the Georgia’s first transgender-focused economic empowerment initiative; and an organizational representative to the Public Policy Council of AIDS United, which is a national non-profit organization dedicated to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States.
Chanel R. Haley
In 2008 after taking a crash course in political campaign training, that training was immediately used in helping to elect the nation’s first African-American OUT lesbian elected to a general assembly, Simone Bell. Becoming the weekend volunteer coordinator for that campaign, and later office manager and volunteer coordinator for future campaigns. Later, during 2010-2014 the Senior Legislative Aide to Georgia State Representative Simone Bell.
Chanel is the first African-American Transgender person hired by the Georgia House of Representatives assigned to four Republicans and three Democrats. Appointed to the City of Atlanta Human Relations Commission by Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell in 2014. Later to be elected Chairperson in 2016-2018. Making her the first Trans-person to chair any City of Atlanta constituted board. She secured a 20k budget, the first for the Commission. The Human Relations Commission is the governing board for Atlanta’s nondiscrimination ordinance. The position with the commission gave her the authority to facilitate Trans* Humility Training at all the homeless shelters within Atlanta city limits. She is co-author of the “S.L.E.E.P. training manual” for the City of Atlanta. And was the only Trans-person appointed to the City of Atlanta’s HOPWA Modernization Advisory Committee and is a certified Out & Equal Workplace Advocate Trainer. Chanel served four years as the secretary of Georgia’s State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, coauthoring “Disability Rights and Civil Rights in Georgia” report. Elected 2017-2018 Fulton County Democrat Post Seat Holder At-Large. Elected as a 2018 Delegate to the State Democrat Convention and elected a district level Delegate to the 2020 Biden Democrat National Convention. In 2017, Chanel Haley became the first Trans-person to be listed in Real Times Media “Who’s Who in Black Atlanta” 17th edition. She is a 2018 graduate of the City of Atlanta Citizens Police Academy conducted by the Atlanta Police Department. In 2019 Ms. Haley joined the Advisory Council to Recovery Resources of Atlanta Midtown Covenant Community, Inc. And has served on the Executive Committee of Trans Housing Atlanta Program (THAP) for four years. In 2020, Chanel joined the Screening Committee for Out on Film.
As the Gender Policy Manager for Georgia Equality, Chanel leads efforts that ensure nondiscrimination legislation and policies in the broad areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, law enforcement, safe schools, access to health care, education and voter registration access is inclusive of transgender and gender variant individuals and communities. And helps to build relationships with businesses and corporate environments that may have little or no LGBT background and experiences throughout the state of Georgia. She works with Elected Official’s and policymakers locally and statewide. By request, Chanel has been contracted to facilitate sensitivity training and police interactions by National Center for Victims of Crimes for the city of Philadelphia, and a Chicago affiliate. And regularly participate in police scenarios with Recruits for the Atlanta Police Academy. With appearances at 15 universities on 17 campuses, including Yale University. She currently facilitates “Trans* 101 “Humility” Trainings by request custom for any type of organization. In 2016 and 2017 her facilitating included the Federal Bureau of Prisons. In 2018, Ms. Haley designed a one-year Leadership Academy cohort of Transmen and Transwomen with a $200k grant. Where they learned: to effectively communicate about the transgender community, acquire confidence in public speaking, coalition building, civic engagement, policy fundamentals, gain a proficient understanding of government and how to communicate with elected officials advocating for themselves. At the end of the two separate one-year classes, the 21 participants are now able to apply their newly acquired skills to any career field. The grant has been renewed for two more years. Chanel Haley holds certification in Diversity & Inclusion from Cornell University, SCHRM, HRCI approved.
Jamie Anne Harrell
Jamie Anne Harrell (she/her) is the business intelligence and data analytics lead at Goizueta Business School where she earned her MBA in 2016. Jamie leads the financial reporting and analytics department at Goizueta, and is responsible for the school’s operational data analytics strategy. She and her team designed and continuously improve the school data warehouse, reports, and visualizations that enable our leadership team to make data informed decisions.
With over 20 years of experience in the hardware and software industry, Jamie has held VP positions in two public companies and has co-founded and sold two self-funded software startups. After selling her first company to MIVA Inc., Jamie served as the vice president and general manager of the MIVA Small Business Solutions division, a provider of e-commerce software for online retailers. Holding P&L responsibility, Jamie was responsible for the business turnaround and sale of the division to a private equity group. Subsequently, while vice president of product at Inuvo, Inc., she was responsible for the ALOT applications marketing business, where she managed $25 million in annual revenue and the search partner relationship with Google. Additionally, she holds 3 patents on data allocation algorithms on shared communications networks.
Jamie was the first openly transgender graduate of Goizueta Business School. She is a keynote speaker on diversity, equity and inclusion, and also speaks on technical topics including higher education data analytics strategy (NACUBO Analytics Conference, 2019). Her DE&I speaking events have included moderating Goizeuta’s Out in Business panel, and keynote sessions at the Atlanta Women Who Code affiliated conferences in 2017 and 2018 (WeRise), and 2019 (Refactr.Tech). Notably, she was the keynote speaker at The Center for Civil and Human Rights / LGBT Institute’s Diversity in Business Forum in 2017.
In 2018 Jamie received the prestigious Atlanta Business Chronicle inaugural Diversity and Inclusion award for Outstanding Voice, and in 2019 she was named Transgender Advocate of the Year at Emory University. She currently serves as member at large on the Goizueta Business School Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Council. As a community organizer, she also volunteers to run the Atlanta Trans Social Group.
Jamie was past PTA co-president at her daughter’s elementary school, is the proud parent of two wonderful daughters, Sparrow Nicole and Anna-Christina Harrell. She is a self-produced musician with her debut instrumental album “Memories of Home” released on December 21, 2020.
Southern AIDS Coalition
Trans Housing Atlanta Program
Justine Ingram, a native of Warner Robins, GA, currently works for Southern Aids Coalition, as a Capacity Building Specialist. In her former role, Justine was the first-ever Transgender Coordinator for the Fulton County Board of Health located in Atlanta, Georgia. At Fulton County Board of Health, Justine was responsible for planning, organizing, and promoting public health education programs and curriculum addressing the needs of the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming community of Fulton County. Justine trained over 300 medical and social service providers on culturally sensitive care as well offered technical assistance to community-based organizations to increase the accessibility of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming individuals. In addition, she led the Nationally recognized video project, The Conversation: Transmen and their Sexual Health Needs, which brought awareness to the specific sexual health needs and concerns of the Trans Masculine community. Justine received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology & Human Services from Clayton State University where she was a member of Partnering Academics and Community Engagement (PACE) program. Through PACE, Justine was able to utilize classroom curriculum and implement that knowledge in the community through health fairs and various other community engagement events.
Through Clayton State University, Justine was granted an internship with Georgia Equality’s Gender Policy Manger, Chanel Haley. Justine was able to learn not only how to advocate for the Transgender & Gender Non-conforming community but more importantly how to facilitate needed conversations with community members, social service and healthcare providers , and allies to address the disparities that often lead to discrimination, anti-Transgender violence, as well as engagement into risky behaviors. Justine has worked as a Case Manager for Trans Housing Atlanta Program, where she was responsible for finding housing and other supportive services for Transgender and Gender Non-conforming individuals who are currently homeless or at risk of losing housing. Justine also worked as a Care Navigator for Atlanta/Fulton County Pre-Arrest Diversion Initiative, where she provided wrap-around services to individuals living with mental illness, substance abuse, and extreme poverty in effort to reduce recidivism and increase program participant’s quality of life. In addition, she was responsible for training Atlanta Police Department officers on how to correctly identify individuals with quality of life issues and successfully link them to wrap-around services.
Justine currently sits on the Executive Board for Trans Housing Atlanta Program and is fundamental in making executive decisions that affect THAP’s Transgender/ Gender Non-confirming clients housing and other supportive service’s needs. She recently was granted the opportunity to serve on the Board of Director’s for the Equality Foundation of Georgia whose mission is to organize and mobilize LGBT+ residents and allies to advance equality in urban, suburban, and rural communities across the State of Georgia.
Justine has developed a strong passion for the advancement of all people and WILL help shape a future free from stigma, discrimination, and social exclusion, especially within rural communities across the South. She will be completing her Master of Management in Non-Profit and Human Services from Shorter University in December 2021 and plans on utilizing these skills to make the South more equitable for all communities.
TRANScending Barriers Atlanta
Dionne Kettl is a dynamic bilingual, biracial Black Millennial who focuses her considerable talents on creating workplace equity and inclusion for trans and gender non-conforming (TGNC) persons of color. Along with being an associate trainer with Transformation Journeys Worldwide, Dionne works as an HR manager for a metro Atlanta company. In every setting, her work is informed by her experiences as a Black trans woman and her professional and educational background in HR Management.
Accomplished in the non-profit world, Dionne serves as co-founder and Deputy Director of TRANScending Barriers Atlanta, a Black trans-led 501c3 whose mission is to uplift and empower Georgia’s TGNC community. In 2018, Dionne’s non-profit released “Living in a State of Despair,” a survey report publicizing the challenges related to unemployment, homelessness, healthcare and incarceration experienced by trans and non-binary Georgians’ throughout the state.
Dionne volunteers as an Ambassador for the OUT Georgia Business Alliance and serves on the City of Atlanta’s LGBTQ Mayoral Advisory Board.
In recognition of her high impact service to the community, Dionne was honored as the OUT Georgia Business Alliance’s 2020 Next-Gen Emerging LGBTQ+ Leader of the Year.
Trans Gentlemen of Excellence
Jaye Meggs, the CEO, and Founder of “Trans Gentlemen of Excellence, Inc. was born in New York and raised in Newport News, Virginia. He graduated from Harpers Ferry Job Corps and immediately decided to serve his Country. While completing two tours overseas, Jaye realized it was imperative to start living authentically in his truth. On October 26th, 2013, Jaye officially began his transition to the man he is today.
In 2016, Jaye was first introduced to the field of Transgender advocacy when he experienced a lack of resources for the Transmasculine community. Jaye developed Trans Gentlemen of Excellence, Inc. as a National all-trans man of color organization based out of Atlanta, GA. Since then, he has done work with various community-based organizations nationwide to increase visibility and access for the Transmasculine community. Jaye has been a member of The Vision Cathedral of Atlanta working on the media team for the last seven years and serves as a Deacon in Training at The Gem Project of Atlanta. He currently serves as CFO of “The GEM Project Church” and the “CEI Educational Foundation.”
Jaye’s mission is to create a safe and affirming environment for all Transgender and Gender Non-conforming individuals through promoting health equity, safe and affordable housing, and Anti-discrimination in the public and private sector. He has spoken on several panels for economic development, transgender equality, and education. He was also featured in a documentary in 2019 called “Girlz2men” seen on Amazon Prime. In 2019, he received a “Board Member of the Year” award from the “Crystal Ball Foundation” and an “Honorary” award from a “Men’s summit” from the GEM Project Church. From 2017 to 2018, Jaye served as Trans Advisor for The Gentlemen’s Foundation, Inc’s Advisory board. From May 2019 until May of this year, he served as the Atlanta Chapter chair for “Flux” a national trans organization based out of LA. He currently serves on the LGBTQ Advisory Board for the
City of Atlanta, GA Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. He also hosts his own show “Living Out Loud with Jaye Meggs” and utilizes his platform to Educate, Elevate, & Empower a stronger community.
Dr. Kristen Peter Mork
Dr. Kristen Peter Mork is a Data Wizard for Trusted AI at the MITRE Corporation in Atlanta, GA. They support data modernization efforts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior to moving to Atlanta, they worked for Noblis in Virginia, helping with the original Health Insurance Exchanges (healthcare.gov) and similar Health IT transformations. They received their PhD from the University of Washington, and a Master’s Degree from Stanford University.
Outside of work they love tabletop role-playing games (especially Dungeons & Dragons) and hip-hop dance. They live near Dunwoody with their wife and fiancé—they have a child off at college as well. They are active in several LGBTQ+ groups, including a transgender support group and the Pride Council at MITRE.
Kristen has known they were transgender since 7th grade, but didn’t start publicly transitioning until 2018, when they moved to Atlanta. They are now fully out as non-binary.
Dr. Elijah Nicholas
Dr. Elijah Nicholas, LLC
Assigned the female gender at birth, 8-time published author, Dr. Elijah Nicholas spent over half of his life in the US Military retiring as a senior officer in 2012. Transitioning from female-to-male in 2018 came as a result of Dr. Elijah no longer being able to live his core values: Authenticity, Integrity, and Transparency. After retiring from the military and then leading ministers and pastors around the globe, Dr. Elijah found it most befitting to resign his duties as a pastoral leader in 2018, just before he began his gender reassignment.
Dr. Elijah Nicholas has created an LGBTQI+ friendly children’s book featuring Madoodle (aka Madison), a ten-year-old girl whose Uncle Pete was once her Auntie Mary. Based on Dr. Elijah’s personal experiences with family and friends as he navigated his gender transition from female to male, Dr. Elijah has brilliantly created a story of love, family, compassion, and an authentic gender expression acceptance.
Through the eyes of Madoodle and her friends, with appearances by parents, teachers, and other bright and inquisitive children, Dr. Elijah entertains, educates, enlightens, and most of all contributes to the discussion of gender expression. Madoodle is certainly a tool, and example, for compassionate and loving family discussions, classroom lessons, enlightening storytelling, and corporate staff engagement.
Dr. Elijah Nicholas is the founder of Dr. Elijah Nicholas, LLC where he publishes inclusive books, provides keynote speaking, and does organizational training on gender identity and transgender and nonbinary workplace inclusion.
National Center for Transgender Equality
Sybastian Smith is a 40-year-old LGBTQ+ social justice advocate, consultant, Certified Health Educator and Medical Assistant of fifteen years. Mr. Smith has a dual Academic Associates degree in Medical Office Management: Administrative and Assisting, as well as an Associates of Science degree with a health science concentration while currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree. Sybastian also possesses many certifications in LGBTQ+ health competencies to include HIV/AIDS health education. His goal is to specialize in transgender patients’ affirmative healthcare and addressing public health factors that affect the lives of the BIPOC transgender and non-binary community. Mr. Smith is also the newest edition to the National Center for Transgender Equality’s (NCTE) team and works as the National Organizer.
Sybastian was born and raised in Jackson, MS. He has now resided in Atlanta, GA for over ten years. He is a member and holds a position on the board of the national organization Black Trans Men Inc. (BTMI) and maintains leadership roles in the Black Trans Advocacy Coalition (BTAC). He also serves as staff during the annual Black Transgender Advocacy Conference held in Dallas, TX and regularly a part of yearly advocacy projects. Sybastian participates in panel discussions, ambassadorship of several Atlanta grassroots organizations, interviews and provides culture competency trainings at schools and businesses nationwide on transgender issues and topics. Mr. Smith also sits on the board of directors for Lost-n-Found Youth and SNAP Co., where he is the board’s treasurer.
Sybastian is a man of many titles and accolades professionally, socially and academically. Sybastian has been crowned Mr. Black Trans International 2018, awarded BTMI Man of the Year 2019 and is a 2020 HRC ACTIVATE program fellow amongst those esteemed achievements and accolades. Sybastian feels as a transgender man himself, he was born to help underserved communities and people who look like him. With the help of BTMI, BTAC, NCTE and several other organizations, he can help make a difference in one of the most underserved communities, the transgender community. Mr. Smith believes that open dialogue and education are the keys to erasing ignorance. The need to educate people about transgender lives and experiences is why he works so diligently to advocate for LGBTQ+ competent healthcare, equal social and economic rights.
Sybastian models his life, work, and advocacy after this famous quote, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” ~Malcolm X
Rev. Kimble Sorrells
United Church of Christ
LifeLine Animal Project
Rev. Kimble Sorrells (They/Them) is an Ordained Minister in the United Church of Christ as well as an experienced non-profit professional. Kimble has experience working in LGBTQ advocacy with the community here in Georgia, including their work with Reconciling Ministries network, The Atlanta Pride Committee, and the Mayors LGBTQ Advisory Board.
Kimble currently is the Community Programs Manager for LifeLine Animal Project at Fulton County Animal Services.
Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty
Feroza Syed (uses She/Her pronouns) is a trans activist and advocate. She is also one of the appointees to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms historic first LGBTQ Advisory Board for the City of Atlanta. After coming out to a viral facebook post as a trans woman living in anonymity, Feroza has quickly jumped into activism head on. She has worked as a facilitator for PFLAG John’s Creek, and with numerous organizations in the Atlanta area such as THC (Trans Housing Coalition), Asian Q & A (Queer and Adolescent), and DesiQ Diaspora to create a safe space for Asian and Pacific Islander youth. She has spoken at multiple schools and colleges, has been featured in magazines and articles, and recently hosted the Stonewall Pride celebrations in Atlanta in June. In 2018, she was appointed AIDAtlanta Ambassador and in 2019, she was Grand Marshal for Atlanta’s 50th Pride celebrations. She works with groups locally to help with intersectionality, specifically cultural and religious background issues targeting the Asian LGBTQ community, in order to build a safe space for that community. She also spends her time bringing light to the struggles of the trans and LGBTQ community, specifically for people of color and LGBTQ youth.
Personally Feroza is an Associate Broker for Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty. She is a Top Producer for them selling millions in real estate annually. She has two lovely fur babies Bella and Teddy. Currently she resides in NE Atlanta, and has been in the Atlanta area for close to 30 years. Contact Feroza Syed at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on facebook @ferozasyed, and on Instagram @ferozasyedatl.