advisory board

Anjali Alimchandani

 Anjali Alimchandani, PhD, MPP, (pronouns: she/her) is an Indian American, cisgender, queer identified psychologist, currently working in both the Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team and the Transgender Care Team at the Greater Los Angeles VA Medical Center (GLA VA), as well as in private practice. She completed her PhD in Counseling Psychology at New York University in late 2015 and a Masters in Public Policy (MPP) at Harvard University in 2006. Her clinical and research passions include the provision of culturally responsive, justice informed psychotherapy for marginalized populations facing a multitude of complex mental and social health issues (PTSD, complex trauma, substance use disorders, psychosis, etc.), intersections of oppression with trauma and other mental health issues, contributing factors to resiliency within oppressed groups, and the intersections of psychology practice with social justice advocacy. In addition to helping develop the transgender care team services at the GLA VA, Anjali has provided multiple trainings/presentations on client centered care for transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) individuals to psychiatry, psychology, and primary care staff members and residents/trainees at GLA VA, and is invited annually lecture on this topic for first year medical students at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine. She held a Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor position at UCLA Geffen School of Medicine in 2018-2019, and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor position within the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program at the University of Southern California (USC). Prior to coming to the field of psychology, Anjali worked in a variety of fields aimed at social justice promotion, including public policy/human rights advocacy, domestic violence prevention/response, international development, and direct social services with refugee and “at-risk” youth. Her commitment to healing justice began in the wake of recognizing that in the context of structural oppression, healing, in and of itself, is a form of activism, that psychological healing and resilience are integral to building community driven sustainable social justice movements, and that healing compassionate justice can liberate us all.

Phyllis "Seven" Harris

Phyllis "Seven" Harris’ 25+ years of experience with nonprofits, includes program management, fundraising, and upper-level management positions. For many years, she has played a strong role as an advocate in Cleveland’s LGBTQ+ community.

Under the direction of Ms. Harris since 2012, the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland has experienced unprecedented growth and expansion. Today, Center patrons enjoy expanded programming for everyone from teens to families to seniors in their Gordon Square facility. In 2015, the Center launched Pride in the CLE, a family-oriented and community-driven LGBTQ Pride festival that the group continues to produce annually. In June 2019, Ms. Harris and her team moved in to a newly constructed facility that offers more space, accessibility, and versatility to serve the LGBTQ community.

Throughout her career, Ms. Harris has leveraged both her passion and her multi-faceted experience to lead the organization on a path of sustainable growth and vitality. She is a past recipient of the Cleveland Foundation’s Homer C. Wadsworth award, has completed a leadership fellowship with the Arcus Foundation and is a graduate of the 2019 class of Leadership Cleveland. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Harris directed a major capital campaign for the Cleveland Sight Center, served as Vice President of Programs for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland and spearheaded youth initiatives at Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio. Her leadership in local nonprofit circles also extends to service on several boards.

Ms. Harris holds a master’s degree in non-profit management from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Arts from Baldwin Wallace College.

Rami Hamdan

Bio Coming Soon!

Shane'a Thomas

Shane’a Thomas, LICSW, has been practicing for more than 10 years in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area and has done extensive work with people in the underserved communities, people living with HIV/AIDS, people of color, and/or LGBTQI folks.  Currently, Shane'a does intensive office and home-based therapy work through Whitman-Walker Health and the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing specializing in the areas of life transitions, bereavement, depression and various sex and gender identities. She is an Senior Lecturer for the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work’s Virtual Academic Center, and is currently working toward her Ph.D. in Human Sexuality Studies (Education Track) through Widener University in Chester, Pa. Shane'a's overall goal in therapeutic treatment is to show all people that they have the right to love and be loved without pain or persecution.

Violeta Donawa

Violeta is a spirit, human, and black woman and femme invested in deep soul work, intergenerational trauma, and generative healing. Her commitment to this work is rooted in systemic change and ancestral backing. She is clear that systemic harm robs us of our wholeness and our ability to see ourselves in our fullness. As a healing justice practitioner and mental health professional, she deeply believes that community-care and self-care are dialectically linked - one informs the other, and that decolonial therapy practices can amplify that healing at the biological, psychological, social, spiritual levels

 

Violeta's training comes greatly from personal experience, intuition, and communal guidance and space-sharing. In 2013, she deepened her spiritual path from an African diasporic perspective through study she pursued in Brasil and continued in Luanda, Angola from 2014 to 2015. From 2016 to 2019, she was a core collaborator within the Detroit-based women of Color collective, "Healing by Choice!". As a Reiki practitioner within HbC!, she worked with groups like the Allied Media Conference, Mothering Justice, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation, the Queering Racial Justice Conference, and the Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan in the creation of healing justice practice spaces for Detroiters and those entering to hold space for radical work. With all of this, some of her most important movement work has come inside her family as a co-caregiver and story-holder.

 

Violeta will graduate in December 2019 from the University of Michigan School of Social Work with an MSW focused on Interpersonal Practice and Mental Health. Trained in substance use disorders and actively sober, she is especially passionate about the spirit and mental health of a person in the throes of addiction particularly while experiencing systemic oppression and day to day paint points. Sense of connection to ourselves, each other, how we relate to the known and unknown, and how we connect to our environment are paramount to building equitable and pleasurable futures. In her personal and professional life, she has co-facilitated some of these conversations in community spaces, at universities and invited talks, and at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. 

 

When Violeta is not in deep Sagittarian thought about holistic and integrated health, she is usually on the phone with her mom, cacklin' with other Black folx, or resting as resistance.

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The National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network is a fiscally sponsored project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, a 501c3 non profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.

Contact

P.O. Box 7793

Oakland, CA 94601​

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