Members & Partners

As of March 2013, LGBT-FAN established a formal membership model and elected a Steering Committee.  If you wish to become a Network member, as an individual or representative of an organization, please visit this page.

Steering Committee

Eric Scharf

Eric ScharfEric is President of Kelsey Consulting, focused on assisting nonprofit organizations with issues of business process improvement and governance. He has more than thirty years of experience in association management and a background in health policy and human rights advocacy. Eric serves as Vice Chair of Center Global, a program of the DC Center for the LGBT Community, that provides a variety of services to LGBT asylum seekers who have arrived in the Washington, DC area.

Rochelle A. Fortier Nwadibia

Rochelle A. Fortier NwadibiaRochelle is an International Human Rights Attorney, representing asylum seekers and migrants before US appellate courts and the Department of Homeland Security. She has experience advising higher education leadership on governance and policy, and litigating equal pay, sexual harassment, and racial discrimination cases. Rochelle also litigated Mohammed v. Gonzales, an asylum case that has been recognized by the US Congressional Research Service as the leading case in the US on Female Genital Mutilation. She has served on a number of boards and steering committees, including the Missouri Commission for Human Rights, No Bully, the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights of San Francisco, the AIDS Legal Referral Panel of San Francisco and the First Unitarian Universalist Association of San Francisco, Guardian Group. Rochelle is a graduate of Washington University School of Law, Columbia University School of International Affairs, California State University East Bay and Skyline College.

Thomas “TJ” Rogers

Thomas TJ started at Freedom House Detroit in 2011 and presently serves as Program Manager, where he is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the organization. Specific duties include administrative tasks, program development, case management and event planning. Passionate about advocacy and with over four years of firsthand experience providing direct services to asylum seekers, TJ works to generate awareness about the plight and courage of asylum seekers while encouraging individuals and organizations to increase their support. In Spring 2015, TJ was featured as one of five LGBT Detroiters in Pride Source, Michigan’s LGBT Magazine, for his efforts to bridge the gap between the U.S. LGBT community and LGBT asylum seeker/asylee community. He is also a proud member of Amnesty International.

Siobhan McGuirk

Siobhan McGuirkSiobhan is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at American University where she also works as an Instructor and Research Assistant. She has worked with people seeking asylum since 2008, both in the US and in the UK and carried out extensive ethnographic research with LGBTQ asylum seekers and asylees across the US. During this time she has worked with numerous NGOs to provide and strengthen services to asylum seekers and with various grassroots activist groups seeking to correct the pernicious border enforcement, detention, and deportation regimes of North America and Europe. Siobhan also works as a Commissioning Editor for Red Pepper magazine (UK) and as a freelance filmmaker.

John Ademola Adewoye

John Ademola AdewoyeJohn is a Nigerian/American LGBTI activist and the founder of Center for Integration and Courageous Living (CiCLIV). He secured his legal stay in USA through asylum in 2008. Since then, he has dedicated his life to welcoming LGBTI asylum seekers to Chicago area. He has maintained a steady flow of at least three asylum seekers annually in his house.  John is the Chairman of Board of Directors of Queer Alliance, a member of Solidarity Alliance (a coalition of Nigerian gay organizations and activists working to repeal the same-sex marriage prohibition law in Nigeria.) John graduated from SS. Peter and Paul Major Seminary Bodija Ibadan in 1987 and received his Master of Social Work from Chicago State University, May 2006.  John lives in Riverdale, Illinois with his husband, John Adebayo.


Non-Steering Committee Roles

Max Niedzwiecki

Max NiedzwieckiMax Niedzwiecki is the Principal of Daylight Consulting Group, which provides writing, fundraising, research, and other services to nonprofit organizations and foundations.  Much of his work has focused on refugees, asylum seekers, and LGBT people, and he was one of the co-founders of the LGBT Freedom and Asylum Network and the Chicago LGBT Asylum Support Program (CLASP).  He holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Boston University, and lives in New Orleans.

Ernesto Zelayandia

Ernesto ZelayandiaErnesto is a Salvadoran Lawyer and human rights advocate. He earned a Bachelor´s Degree of Law from the Jose Simeon Canas University of Central America in 2011. After graduation, he volunteered with El Salvador’s first LGBT legal “ALDES” clinic which inspired him to pursue a career in Human Rights advocacy. Ernesto has over four years of experience in the nonprofit sector both nationally and internationally. In 2015, he was selected a fellow for the prestigious Atlas Corps Program for emerging global leaders and served for a year at The Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve LGBT equality in the United States. Ernesto currently lives in El Salvador and wants to pursue a career in international human rights law.

Grassroots faith and community groups such as the the Center Clobal at the DC Center for the LGBT Community*, Freedom House Detroit*, the LGBT Asylum Support Task Force in Worcester, MA, the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, the Rehoboth Temple Christ Conscious Church in New York City, Better Together NYC*First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco, Guardian Group, Lambda Legal*, Sex Workers Project – Urban Justice*, The Center for Courageous and Integrated Living, and the Chicago LGBT Asylum Support Program (CLASP)*.

National faith networks with a special interest in LGBT populations such as Believe Out Loud (interdenominational Christian), Dignity USA (Roman Catholic Church), the Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations, the Freedom Center for Social Justice, the Global Justice Institute of Metropolitan Community Churches, the Interfaith Working Group, Keshet, the Queer Muslim Working Group, ReconcilingWorks (Lutheran churches), St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, Transfaith Online, the Unitarian Universalist Association United Nations Office, and the United Church of Christ (UCC) Coalition for LGBT Concerns

National and international immigration policy and service organizations with a focus on LGBT people and faith including the Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration (ORAM), Heartland Alliance International and the Rainbow Welcome Initiative, The Center for American Progress*, The Human Rights Campaign, The National LGBT Taskforce, and Alturi

National LGBT rights organizations with a focus on faith, such as GLAAD’s Religion, Faith and Values Program, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Religion and Faith Program, and the Institute for Welcoming Resources (IWR), National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF)

Philanthropic organizations such as the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and Funders for LGBTQ Issues

Voluntary Resettlement Agencies (Volags) that are based in faith traditions and reach out to the LGBT community, such as Episcopal Migration Ministries and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS).

Joining the LGBT-FAN Team

LGBT-FAN is entirely run by volunteers. If you are interested in contributing to the team, please see our list of volunteer roles here.