Walter Naegle (BRCSJ BOARD MEMBER HONORIFIC) became interested in nonviolence & social justice issues as a 1960’s teenager in suburban New Jersey. He watched the African-American civil rights movement speak truth to power through the Christian commandments of love & redemptive suffering. At 18, he joined Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), at the same time refusing induction into the military. In 1977, he met Bayard Rustin, a Quaker & a chief strategist of the African-American struggle, & the two became partners for the remainder of Rustin’s life.
In 2013, he accepted Rustin’s posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom bestowed by President Barack Obama. He has volunteered with the GI Rights Hotline, Prisoner Visitation & Support, The Camera Club of New York, & The American Friends Service Committee. He is a co-author of the forthcoming “Troublemaker for Justice: The Story of Bayard Rustin, the Man behind the March on Washington” (City Lights).
Claire Jacobus (BRCSJ PRINCETON COMMUNITY CONNECTOR) is the very definition of “pillar of the community”, ergo: Former Chair, Princeton Human Services Commission; Chair of boards of: Rockingham Association, Princeton Senior Resource Center, Princeton Adult School, Friends of Princeton Public Library, HiTOPs; Friends of Princeton University Library; A Founder of Princeton Friends School; Past member of board of Princeton Historical Society; Board of Paul Robeson House; Advisory board of Arts Council; Witherspoon-Jackson Development Corp; Recipient of Bud Vivian Award for community service; National board of Compassion & Choices; Former counselor, Planned Parenthood;
& Excellent omelet maker.
Leticia Fraga (BRCSJ LATINX CONECTOR COMUNITARIO) was Sworn in to office on January 2018 as the first Latinx ever elected to Princeton Municipal Government. She currently serves on the Economic Development Task Force; the Local Emergency Planning Committee; the Public Safety Committee; the Public Art Review Committee; the Recreation Commission; the Transit Trust Fund; & the Youth Advisory Commission.
Born in Mexicali, Mexico, Leticia is one of eight children. At the age of 12, she immigrated to the US, settling in Washington State with her family. Very early on, Leticia learned the importance of hard work & perseverance. During their first five years in the US, she worked in the fields, side by side with her siblings & parents. With their earnings, the Fraga family was eventually able to purchase their own plot of land on which they cultivated asparagus.
For the past 13 years, Leticia has worked to advance social justice in Princeton & surrounding areas. She has served on various commissions & local non-profit boards, including Princeton’s Civil Rights Commission & the Human Services Commission. She is the former Chair of the Latin American Legal Defense & Education Fund (LALDEF); former member of the board Trustees of the Princeton YWCA; of Princeton Community Housing; & of the Princeton ‘Send Hunger Packing’ Initiative. Previous to the above roles, she worked as an Immigration Paralegal & also as a Civil Rights Specialist conducting investigations of discrimination complaints.
In many ways, Councilwoman Fraga’s story speaks to the persistent possibility of the American Dream. All the roads that she has travelled prepared her to serve in public office & to represent the people of Princeton. Her personal vision has been to make a significant & positive impact in her community by continuing to advocate for justice, equal rights & access to basic needs for all.
Steph Salvador (BRCSJ (SUB)URBAN GARdENER & FOOD EDUCATION SPECIALIST) is an ESL & urban education teacher, graduating with a Masters in Education from TCNJ. Although accepted into a PHD program for Sustainability Education, Steph realized she wanted to focus her work on education & community programs to encourage revitalization in her own community. As a teacher & community soldier, she is dedicated to social & environmental justice, whether in growing a school community garden to provide inner city youth fresh food along with food education or in her dedication to sports development to promote wellness. Steph is also committed to education & awareness of gender/sexuality as the founder & manager of the WYG Project, a media outlet promoting visibility & inclusivity of all LGBTQ+ individuals. With the help of the BRCSJ, she created the first middle school GSA in Perth Amboy, NJ, & is now part of the NJ LGBTQ Curriculum Integration Team. Steph is an ardent believer in promoting love & acceptance as tools to foster wellness & change thereby creating a sustainable future for us all.
Don Dew (BRCSJ Differently-abled intersection coordinator) was employed in the hotel management field for 11 years before becoming disabled with intractable epilepsy in 2003. In 2005, he began advocating for services for people with disabilities to have a choice to remain in their homes & communities. He is a certified paralegal & mediator with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Don has been the Executive Director of Disabilities Resource Center of Siouxland since 2012. He has held many prestigious positions & received much recognition for his work in both the differently-abled & the LGBTQIA communities & the intersection thereof including: the Accessibility Chair for the National March for Equality in Washington, D.C.; the national Paul G. Hearne Award; the Human Right Campaign’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee; the Paul G. Hearne Award by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD); the War Eagle Human Rights Award; the National Council for Independent Living (NCIL) 2017 Regional Advocacy Award. Don also co-founded Siouxland Pride Alliance, the only LGBT resource center in the northwest Iowa area.
Jeffrey E. Joyner (BRCSJ Gay Games REp.) is Senior Counsel within the Office of General Counsel, US Department of Commerce. He graduated from Princeton University (AB, Political Economics) & the University of Notre Dame Law School – International Program (South Bend, IN, & London, England) & received his Masters of International Public Health from the George Washington University School of Public Health, with a concentration on LGBT Health Issues. Jeff served several years on the Board of Directors & Executive Committee of the Whitman-Walker Clinic (as Board Secretary), a non-profit community health center in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area with a special expertise in HIV/AIDS & LGBT healthcare. He has also worked at the United Nations in Vienna, Austria (UNCITRAL) & in the DC office of a Chicago-based, multi-national law firm. Jeff currently serves as a Senior Counsel within the Office of General Counsel, US Department of Commerce, & has been a three-time recipient of the Department’s Gold Medal, the Agency’s highest recognition of distinguished performance characterized by extraordinary, noble, or prestigious contributions that impact the mission of the Department of Commerce &/or one or more of its operating units. Jeff was also a Silver medalist at the 2014 Gay Games, Cleveland – Men’s Physique.
Rev. Alexis Fuller-Wright (BRCSJ Interfaith community coordinator) is pastor & teacher at Christ Congregation of Princeton, a progressive & affirming space open to all folks of any faith. She represents a new generation of leadership within the United Church of Christ (UCC) who’ve been called by the Spirit to build extravagantly welcoming, inclusive faith communities. An emerging voice for progressive Christianity, she is the former co-moderator of the UCC 2030 Clergy Network, as well as a member of the UCC Next Generational Leadership Initiative, a program for young clergy who are passionate about transforming the church.
Alexis received her Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA, & has served churches in the Bay Area, Western Maine, as well as central New Jersey. She & her wife, Liz, spend most of their non-working hours chasing after their preschooler, Nora.
Kimberly Engan (Nuestras Pequeñas Rosas Coordinator) completed her undergraduate education at Drew University where she was a founding member of the Drew Honduras Project, through which she regularly took groups of student volunteers to orphanages in Honduras. One of those orphanages was Nuestras Pequeñas (Our Little Roses) in San Pedro Sula, a home for abandoned, abused, & orphaned girls, ranging in age from infant to college-aged, each having been physically or sexually abused or neglected. After finishing her academic requirements early, Kimberly chose to live as a long-term volunteer at the girls' orphanage. She has since been privileged to share a documentary film about the girls' lives with the local community in Princeton & will continue to share this message widely, especially in light of the crisis in the Northern Triangle countries of Central America today. Kimberly went to law school following her Drew education, completing her law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law. Whilst she does not practice immigration law, Kimberly has recently volunteered with the CARA Pro Bono Project in Dilley, Texas, acting as Spanish-English interpreter for Central American women detained on immigration issues. She remains a passionate advocate for the rights of children & Latino immigrants, with a focus on women's issues.
Harmonica Sunbeam (BRCSJ Drag Queen in Residence) has been delighting audiences at nightclubs, cabarets, fundraising events, & supermarket openings throughout the United States & abroad for over 27 years. Her live appearances have gained her a cult following of all ages, races & backgrounds. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild & has been featured on several television shows & feature films. Miss Sunbeam has worked alongside noted musical artists such as Beyonce, Mary J.Blige, Jennifer Holiday, & most recently, with Katy Perry on SNL. Harmonica has also has recorded her own singles: "Ready to Pump", "I'm Here To Work”, & the latest, "This Is The Beat". Miss Sunbeam’s latest project is showcasing her unique ability to uplift, encourage & engage children, Drag Queen Story Hour, by going into libraries, bookstores, festivals & other events to read books to kids of all ages. DQSH audaciously encourages the creativity & boundless energy of child’s play as they relate to both gender neutrality & non-conformity while promoting positive LGTBQ+ role models. Despite her busy schedule, Miss Sunbeam still finds time to assist & work with many community-based LGBTQI organizations such as Project LOL, GMAD, Jersey City Pride, Our Youth, & AAOGC to name just a few. Her commitment to being a positive role model in today's selfish world clearly speaks for itself & the BRCSJ is proud to call her an ally, a friend, & now our partner in the community.
Janie Hermann (BRCSJ Librarian-in-Residence)
Janie's earliest childhood memory is from when she was three years old & living in Ottawa, Ontario. Her two older sisters would take the magnetic letters on the fridge & leave her words to read each morning. She loved to discover what words had they had created & by age five reading became a passion. Decades have passed since that time & much has changed, but one constant has always remained & that is Janie's passion about books & reading. Janie's early years were spent moving frequently as her father was in the Canadian Navy. She has lived above the Arctic Circle as well as Bermuda & many other places too numerous to mention. After high school she attended Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario where she was an enthusiastic member of the marching band. Upon graduation she spent the early years of her career as a middle school teacher & has always loved working with teens. After earning her Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Western Ontario she worked at the National Library of Canada as well as Hobart & William Smith Colleges before making her way to New Jersey twenty years ago to take a position at the Princeton Public Library. Janie is sometimes amazed to realize that she has stayed in one place for so long after having moved so often in her early years.
Janie is currently the Public Programming Librarian at the Princeton Public Library where she is passionate about building strong communities, creating opportunities to bring people together & curating a strong selection of programs that serve everyone equally. She oversees the more than 2,000 public programs put together by the amazing team she is privileged to work with and loves that her work at the library allows her to interact with a wide variety of local groups & organizations. She was named a Library Journal "Mover and Shaker" in 2007, has served on the NJ State Library’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Future of Libraries, & is involved in many capacities with the American Library Association, most notably as chair of the Programming Librarian Interest Group. As a teacher, librarian, wife & mother, Janie has learned that minute details can have a big impact & that planning is crucial, but you still have to leave room for some spontaneous actions. In her spare time she enjoys photography, scrapbooking, reading, & (most of all) spending time with her wonderful husband & fantastic son. She is thrilled to be putting her time &d talents towards helping the Rustin Center grow & serve the greater Princeton area by establishing their library, running a book club, & being an angelic troublemaker.
Erin Worrell (BRCSJ Adjunct Agitator) is an out trans woman & attorney living in Philadelphia, PA. She is current president of the Philadelphia Freedom Band, an LGBTQ & ally community concert & marching band in Philly, & has served on their board for 6 years. She is also a past board member of Equality Pennsylvania & a regular volunteer for Special Olympics Delaware. She has given guest lectures on the trans experience at Rowan University since 2013. By day she works as an anti-money laundering investigator at a large global bank. She can be found at almost every BRCSJ event & honking a mean saxophone at progressive rallies throughout the area.
Kelsey Marziale (BRCSJ INTERN EXTRAORDINAIRE) is a senior at Rider University, studying Sociology & Gender & Sexuality Studies. She is an intern at the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice in Princeton, NJ. She also interns for the Alcohol/Drug & Sexual Assault Prevention Coordinator at Rider. She is an advocate for the LGBTQIA community & is a member of related clubs on campus. In addition, she is very active in her greek organization, mentorship programs, & serves as the Vice Chief Justice for the Values Board at school. She wishes to use her experience in the community, as well as the knowledge she has gained along her journey to educate others on these issues. Kelsey is graduating in May of 2019 & plans to continue her passion for activism to better this underrepresented community.
River Mariman (BRCSJ TRans Youth ambassador) is an 18 year old born & raised Princetonite. He has always loved & been a part of this community & has decided to take time off after graduating from high school to stay & do good works herein. he works at Small World coffee whilst making art, writing, reading, & many other acts of education & edification. He is also a trans & openly queer man who came out halfway through high school. Since coming out he has always been passionate about advocating for himself & his trans community as much as possible. He hopes to utilize the BRCSJ as a catalyst for educating people further & seeing more positive change for the trans community come about in this town, this country, & anywhere else we can spread our positivity.
Monika Nemeth (BRCSJ Special DC Correspondent) is the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for ANC 3F06 which covers the neighborhoods of North Cleveland Park & Wakefield in upper NW Washington DC. She was elected in 2018 & is the first transgender person known to ever be elected to office in the history of Washington. She is also a member of Mayor Muriel Bower’s Administration having been appointed to the Mayor’s Advisory Committee for LGBTQ Affairs prior to her election. Monika came to DC as a college student in 1983 & graduated from American University.
Professionally, Ms. Nemeth is a Program Manager at Perspecta, a Government services company, & has been working on projects for the US Navy for over 15 years. She is currently involved in an effort to implement SAFe Agile and DevOps for the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI).
Monika’s passion is for community service. In addition to her Government posts, she is also an Executive Producer at Capital Pride Alliance for Capital Trans Pride. Monika is very politically active as the President of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club of DC as well as a member of the DC Democratic State Committee.
Monika is strong believer in Trans Visibility. She transitioned on the job with her current employer. She feels that while trans people are now out in numbers not seen before, that they do not yet own the narrative told about them. It is her belief the only way to stop the demonization of trans people is for trans people to be highly visible in society and communities. It becomes much harder to demonize someone when they are your friends, family, colleagues, co-workers, & neighbors.
Become a COMMUNITY LIAISON
Any movement that is not all-inclusive is not a movement at all. In fact, it is a step backward (& we have surely taken too many of those recently). In that regard, we intend to have representatives from every & any communities that deserve our recognition & our respect, our love & our support. We will fight to have all voices heard & to do so, we invite folks to serve as envoys of their people to share with us their hopes, dreams, concerns & best ways to represent them at the
Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice.