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About Us

Our Mission

The mission of the NEW Pride Agenda (NPA) is to advance the economic, health, racial, and gender identity justice needs of marginalized LGBTQIA+ individuals in the state of New York.

NPA believes that LGBTQIA rights are civil rights and impact the most important aspects of everyday life from housing to employment. Working with a diverse network of communities and elected officials, NPA serves to educate members of the LGBTQIA community and allies, as well as the general public, about our legal protections and rights.

Our Work

The organization’s accomplishments include advocacy that resulted in the NYS Executive Branch mandating over 340,000 state employees to receive Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act (GENDA) cultural competency training—a first in the nation; ensuring the repeal of the “Walking While Trans” ban was included in 2021 Executive Budget; state funding for LGBTQ health and human services; securing insurance coverage for PrEP access, and more.

Civic Engagement and Public Education Program (CEPEP)

The NEW Pride Agenda has developed a Civic Engagement and Public Education Project (CEPEP) which will work to reengage LGBTQ individuals and allies in neighborhoods across the state about LGBTQ legislative protections and priorities.

Our Staff

Elisa Crespo

Executive Director of NEW Pride Agenda

Elisa Crespo is a trans Latina advocate and former public servant who has fought to promote civic engagement and elevate the LGBTQ community’s voice in halls of power. Prior to becoming the first executive director of the New Pride Agenda, Elisa served as Education Liaison to the Bronx Borough President’s Office and made history by becoming the first transgender woman of color to run for public office in the Bronx. Under her leadership, the NEW Pride Agenda spearheaded a statewide coalition whose advocacy resulted in a $3 million dollar Transgender Wellness & Equity Fund, making New York the second state in the country to establish a fund of its kind. Elisa graduated from John Jay College obtaining her Bachelors in Political Science and a minor in Human Rights. Ms. Crespo and her efforts have been featured in numerous media platforms including LGBTQ Nation, OUT Magazine, Marie Claire and NBC News. Most recently, Elisa was recognized for her contributions to social change by being listed in City and State’s 2022 “40 under 40” list. She currently lives in the Bronx with her partner and has no furry loved ones.

Kei Williams

They/Them

Program Manager

Kei Williams (they/them) is a BLACK queer transmasculine visual artist and community organizer. Born and raised in Upstate New York and a founding member of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, they have helped build some of the most powerful movements of our time. As a part of Movement Netlab, a practice-centered ‘think-make-and-do tank’, they worked to develop conceptual and practical tools based on decentralization as a framework for organizers, activists, and researchers in order to bring us closer to a society of beloved community. A lifelong responder to injustice (the grandchild of labor activists), Kei is an abolitionist organizer whose work has spanned across issues such as racial and gender violence to mass incarceration and jail building to climate jobs and justice with their aim being to transform culture from the individual into a global systemic analysis of structural oppression through the lens of intersectionality. They serve as a curator, designer, and walking tour guide with Black Gotham Experience, a storytelling project documenting the impact of the African Diaspora on New York City. They are a 2021-2022 Fellow with the Mellon Initiative for Inclusive Faculty Excellence at the New School. Kei currently lives in Queens, NY with his dog Spartacus and 12 inherited plants. Follow Kei @blackboikei on IG and Twitter.

Jocelyn Bula

She/Her

Program Coordinator

Jocelyn Bula is a Puerto Rican woman of Transgender experience born and raised in New York. She is a three-time college graduate, with two Associate Degrees and a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Jocelyn is a well-known figure in the Ballroom Scene, which began in New York City and is now a global phenomenon. Jocelyn is the Mother of the International House of Milan and is known for being on the hit show “Legendary” on HBO Max.

Shear Avory

They/Them

NYC Community Organizer

Shéár Avory (they, them) is a Black and Indigenous nonbinary trans femme, creative visionary, published researcher, and social justice advocate. Since the age of thirteen, Shéár has been a leading voice of youth activism and has become one of the most politically influential youth leaders in America. They’ve previously served President Biden as the 2018 Biden Fellow for LGBTQ Equality at the Biden Foundation in Washington, D.C. and advocated for an equitable New York City as a Policy Associate at the Office of the New York City Public Advocate. They’re credited for co-founding the nation’s first and only Trans Wellness Center in Los Angeles, California through a one-million dollar annual grant awarded by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; successfully lobbying for the repeal of the Walking While Trans Ban in California and New York; advocating for the passage of New York State’s Raise the Age for Homeless Youth Act; and for contributing to a National PREA Resource Center policy for TGNC young people in juvenile detention. Prior to joining the New Pride Agenda in 2022 as the NYC Community Organizer, Shéár was a Policy Associate and Organizer at the ACLU and continues to serve on the New York City Task Force on Issues Impacting TGNCNBI People In Custody.

Johnathan "Jaszi" Alejandro

He/Him

Community Health Coordinator

Johnathan Alejandro, also known as “Jaszi,” is well-known in the New York region for his HIV/AIDS advocacy work. Jaszi is a male-identified pansexual social justice activist and has been working in the healthcare field, particularly within HIV prevention and awareness work for much of his life. Growing up as the youngest of six kids, the Nuyorican Bronx native grew up with the desire to change the world. Throughout his adolescence, Jaszi worked with organizations such as The Hetrick-Martin Institute and F.I.E.R.C.E, where he took an interest in the issues that impact at-risk LGBTQ youth: Homophobia, Transphobia, Homelessness, and HIV/AIDS. After contracting HIV as a teenager, Jaszi developed a passion to educate the world on the realities of living with HIV and began working towards ending HIV stigma. As a young adult Jaszi co-chaired the NYS Department of Health’s AIDS Institute Young Adults Consumer Advisory Committee (YACAC) which was a group of statewide consumers that reviewed and revised educational materials and clinical guidelines for adolescent health care, as well as facilitated workshops and spoke at conferences nationwide. Jaszi has been recognized for his HIV advocacy work and was offered a 5-year modeling contract with Better World Advertising where he became a spokesmodel for the nationally known campaign “HIV Stops With ME.” Jaszi became the face of a new generation of young people living with HIV and became an inspiration to many. Jaszi also served as the original spokesmodel for one of GMHC’s largest social marketing campaigns, “I Love My Boo,” an anti-homophobic public awareness campaign that promoted healthy relationships amongst POC & MSM. The campaign was featured in various publications and on billboards throughout the entire NYC Public Transit System. The campaign won the award for the Most Outstanding Social Marketing campaign at the GLAAD Amplifier Awards. Jaszi’s success as a spokesmodel led him to become a full-time Community Health Specialist at GMHC, where he helped launch the first official youth drop-in center called CLUB 1319, an after-school program for young MSM ages 13-19 to have a safe space and receive trainings on job readiness, HIV prevention and awareness, and LGBTQ+ rights. Jaszi aspires to live in Hawaii one day, but until then, he is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing at Lehman College and resides with his dog dynasty of miniature pinschers that he breeds and trains in his spare time.

Our Board

Imara Jones

Co-Chair of the NEW Pride Agenda

Founder of Translash Media

Paul Butler

Secretary & Treasurer of the NEW Pride Agenda

President and Chief Transformation Officer of New America

Victor Sanchez

Virtual Design & Construction Systems Administrator at Wegmans

Julian Kline

Director of Policy at Tech:NYC

Kyle Ishmael

Partner at Back Chamber Consulting LLC

Doug Wirth

Co-Chair of the NEW Pride Agenda

CEO of Amida Care

Cynthia Dames

Development Chair

Principal at Cynthia Dames Consulting

Joe Pressley

CEO of Hetrick-Martin Institute

Liz Cooper

Professor of Law at Fordham University

Chai Jindasurat

VP of Policy at Non Profit NY

The NEW Pride Agenda has currently made introductory trips to Rochester, Buffalo, and Albany, to introduce The NEW Pride Agenda, meet upstate colleagues, hear local perspectives on LGBTQ priorities, and recruit local board members.