Michael began working on gender in 2008, when he ran a dialogue for middle-schoolers called "The Man Box." Bitten by the gender bug, he has spoken on panels and written articles on gender, created a solo retrospective performance on gender in Breakfast at Tiffany's; a dialogue on sex in medicine for medical students at SUNY Downstate; and Man Question. Michael brings over ten years of experience in group leadership, from leading mountain biking trips to training University of Southern Maine students in civic engagement. Michael has worked as a teaching artist and group facilitator in New York City and Assistant Director of the CUNY SPS MA in Applied Theatre, where he earned his master's degree. Michael offers coaching and photography for creative people, at michaelcoachandphoto.com.
Wil Fisher is an entrepreneur, life coach, facilitator, producer, performer, writer, and nonprofit professional. After graduating with a BFA in theatre from the Hartt School, Wil moved to New York City and quickly found his energy pulled towards social rights issues- predominantly those affecting LGBTQ youth. He served as the Northeastern Regional Director of Scouting for All, a national organization working to change the Boy Scout’s discrimination policy against gays and atheists. Later, he became the director of communications and special events for the Ali Forney Center (AFC), the nation’s largest organization dedicated to housing homeless LGBTQ youth. While at AFC, Wil earned his MA in applied theatre from CUNY, and discovered the ways theatre can be used for community building, education, and for addressing social rights issues. He has brought this work to NYC classrooms in workshops focused on ways students can change their school's culture around the perceptions and agreements of LGBTQ people. Wil also served as the Executive Director of Easton Mountain, an LGBT retreat center in upstate New York where he initiated multiple programs including the Easton Mountain Leadership Academy for young adults. He is the founder of Willfully Living, his life coach practice that focuses on supporting people in career development and life transitions.
A. Mert Erdem
Project manager, communications Associate
Azmi Mert Erdem is a Turkish multidisciplinary artist, interweaving video, photography, performance, painting and installation in his work. He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Television with honors from Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey. He continued his education in the One Year Filmmaking Program at the New York Film Academy, in New York City. In both Turkey and the United States, Mert has worked as a director, assistant director and cinematographer in several television series, music videos, and feature and short film productions. He has written and directed award winning short films featured in international film festivals. Additionally, Mert has collaborated as a video artist in site-specific performance, video and installation pieces in international platforms.
Mert is the founder of Mise en Abyme Productions, an international video production company for art organizations and companies as well as individual artists. He continues working as a videographer as well as experimenting with various mediums and disciplines in his projects.
Steven Gordon is a social worker, non-profit professional, educator, and facilitator. Steven has 15 years experience working in healthcare and the non-profit sector. With a strong commitment to social justice and leadership empowerment, Steven has garnered expertise in youth/adolescence, HIV/AIDS, sexual health, LGBTQ issues, and homelessness. Steven has earned psychology degrees and certifications from NYU and Pace University. He started his career at a HIV Clinic named, Body Positive, where he worked directly with low-income New Yorkers who were HIV positive. Mr. Gordon then moved to the Ali Forney Center, the nation's largest organization dedicating to housing LGBTQ youth, as the Director of Drop-In Services. There he ran a crisis center for homeless/runaway youth. Next Steven worked with Gay Men of African Descent, a Brooklyn- based community-based organization as their Director of Development. Steven recently ended his tenure as Executive Director of The Pride Network; a youth leadership development organization. Since 2011, Mr. Gordon has been the Principle of Steven Gordon Consulting where he has traveled the country providing non-profits, universities, and healthcare centers with technical assistance and capacity building.