Ross Murray- Board Chair
Ross Murray is the Director of Programs, focusing on global and the US South. The GLAAD Global Voices program aims to build support for LGBT equality across the globe by sharing culture-changing stories of LGBT people and families in national and international media. The GLAAD Southern Stories initiative tells the stories of LGBT people and their allies in the South to create that cultural shift.
Ross has secured national media interest in stories that bring examples of LGBT equality across diverse communities in America. He specializes in the relationship between religion and LGBT people. He has written and appeared on numerous media outlets, including CNN, Al Jazeera, the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and Religion News Service.
Ross works with individuals and organizations who are bringing LGBT equality to their own environments through their advocacy or their mere presence. He helps them craft a media strategy and prepares to be able to tell that story effectively, and in a way that calls others to action. In 2014, he was named one of Mashable’s “10 LGBT-Rights Activists to Follow on Twitter.”
Ross is also a founder and director of The Naming Project, a faith-based camp for LGBT youth and their allies. The Naming Project has also been the subject of much media, including the award-winning film Camp Out, as well as the controversial episode “Pray the Gay Away?” of Our America with Lisa Ling.
Rev. Ijeoma Ajibade- Board Secretary
Ijeoma has had a long career in local government and the UK public sector, including work in health policy, homelessness, audit and special investigations, and economics and business policy.
She has also spent many years working as a community activist, working to raise awareness of HIV. In 2011, Ijeoma helped set up the Kaleidoscope Trust and now works as the European Regional Director for Mission to Seafarers. Ijeoma is also an Anglican priest and ministers at St Philips Earls Court and Southwark Cathedral.
She enjoys walking by River Lea, coffee shops, cake, and urban fantasy novels
Dr Joanna Semlyen
Dr Joanna Semlyen is a Health Care and Professionals Council (HCPC) Registered Health Psychologist, a British Psychological Society (BPS) Chartered Psychologist, a Public Health Specialist, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and is Past Chair of the British Psychological Society’s Psychology of Sexualities section.
Dr Joanna Semlyen is an academic based at Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia with expertise in gender and sexual minorities. She has published a number of articles and book chapters in the field of LGBT health is Consulting Editor for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity and has co-edited the journal Psychology of Sexualities Review. She has expertise in qualitative research methods and also surveys methods, meta-analytic and pooling data techniques.
She offers training and teaching in the field of LGBT health. Her research profile can be accessed through Researchgate or Google Scholar. For further information see https://www.uea.ac.uk/medicine/people/profile/j-semlyen
(Mx.) vreer verkerke
To change the world for the better is an always-present theme in my life. Be it through work or through activism. I have studied theology, library science and IT systems management. Since I undertook a gender transition I have always been trans-active. Starting with a self-help group and going on with (co-) founding local or national organisations for trans rights. Since five years I proudly serve on the Steering Committee of Transgender Europe and I am part of the ICD reform expert group that GATE convocated. With contributions to trans medical conferences and (LGB)T regional and global meetings, I am a well-known activist in the global theatre. For three years I have had my own office in human rights education for trans and intersex rights and now I am mostly active in trans health advocacy on the national level in the Netherlands, where I live.
Bola Akintola- Board Treasurer
Nicholas Menzies is an Australian lawyer working on justice reform at the World Bank. Nick has worked on social justice issues, including indigenous rights, access to health, land and natural resources governance and sexual orientation and gender identity, in Australia, South East Asia, the Pacific, Africa and South Eastern Europe. He currently lives with his husband in Washington DC.
Working in a number of countries, Johnty has had a long career in retail sales, consumer marketing and, over the last 14 years has become an expert in raising funds from individuals and through corporate partnerships around the world.
Whilst at Save the Children International, Johnty drove the establishment and development of self-sustainability growth strategies for 2 new European members of the Alliance. At ChildFund International he managed the investment in other members of the organisation to substantially grow their fundraising capacity and income bases.
As Mass Engagement Director at WaterAid UK, Johnty’s department currently works to build meaningful relationships with around 1 million supporters in the UK, raising funds to bring clean water, basic toilets and hygiene education to everyone everywhere by 2030. Responsibilities also include the management and planning of investment in other members of the WaterAid federation to drive fundraising growth in key world markets.
Franklyne Ikediasor was born and raised in Nigeria. He currently works in sales and marketing, with nearly a decade experience in the field with expertise in brand management and activation. He is passionate about the rights of women and minorities as a subset of human rights in general and also devotes his time to getting Nigerians to read literature not just for academic purposes.
Olusegun Sangowawa has programmatic experience in sexuality, sexual and reproductive health and rights issues including HIV and AIDS especially, as they relate to young people, persons with disabilities, gender and sexual minorities and has a passion for social innovations related to health and development. He has co-developed sensitivity and diversity training for different stakeholders including government ministries/department/agencies, community-based organizations/NGOs, and health care workers in Nigeria over the past five years on gender and sexual minorities.
Alan De’Ath is a community activist and campaigner. In the 2017 UK General Election he was a Parliamentary Candidate and is currently a local councillor in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, holding positions including Chair of the Economic Regeneration, Housing and the Arts Policy and Accountability Committee, Chair of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Task Force, and Chair of the Licensing Committee.
Alan has previously worked in secondary education for 7 years, providing pastoral and academic support for young people. He is also a School Governor and has previously been a Board Member at Fulham Palace.
He is now studying a postgraduate MSc in International Politics at SOAS, University of London. Alan lives with his long-term partner from Nigeria in Fulham.
Naomi Barnard is an international development professional with considerable experience in social development and rule of law projects and programmes. As well as working with a wide range of development, legal and private sector donors and partners, Naomi has significant experience in operations and management roles within growing organizations. Half-British and half-Japanese by way of the Middle East and New Zealand, Naomi is a qualified English language teacher, an enrolled barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and recently completed her LLM in Human Rights at SOAS, University of London. She is passionate about social justice and human rights and is excited to be able to contribute to the valuable work of the Bisi Alimi Foundation.