Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director
Raised in North Carolina, Jasmine Beach-Ferrara is a minister in the United Church of Christ. She is a graduate of Brown University and received a MFA from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and a MDiv from Harvard Divinity School. She has worked on LGBTQ rights campaigns since 2004 and founded the Campaign for Southern Equality in 2011. Jasmine has been interviewed by MSNBC, The New York Times, and the BBC about LGBT rights in the South. She is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship and her first collection of short stories, Damn Love, won the 2014 PEN/Hemingway Honorable Mention Award for Debut Fiction. Jasmine and her wife, Meghann, live in Asheville, NC, with their son. She serves on Buncombe County Commission, representing District 1.
Jasmine has written widely about strategy in the LGBTQ movement:
- “How Resistance Will Change the South” – The Advocate
- “Challenging NC’s immoral and Unconstitutional Amendment One” – Raleigh News & Observer
- “Southern Fried Pride: What Hattiesburg’s First Pride Means in the Deep South” – Medium
Chase Harless, Engagement and Operations Intern
Chase Harless was born and raised in Kingsport, Tennessee. Being raised in a smaller Appalachian town, Chase understands the disparities the LGBT community faces in the South. This created an early desire to be an advocate for social justice and equal treatment for the LGBTQIA+ community along with other at-risk groups. He attended East Tennessee State University and graduated with a degree in Sociology with a focus on survey research and data analysis. After graduating with his undergraduate degree, he worked in survey research with the Applied Social Research Lab at ETSU. Chase is currently enrolled at Western Carolina University pursuing a Master’s Degree in Social Work. He is fulfilling his first internship requirement with the Campaign for Southern Equality. Once graduated, he hopes to continue to advocate for the LGBT community through policy and legislative work.
Ivy Hill, LGBTQ Rights Toolkit Coordinator
Ivy Hill was born in Piedmont SC where ze currently resides with hir wife Misha. Ivy is a Co-founder and the Program Director of the award-winning trans advocacy and support group Gender Benders based in Upstate SC. Over the past 10 years Ivy has served marginalized communities in a variety of capacities ranging from education and advocacy work for inclusive hate crime legislation, to serving on SC Equality’s Trans Action Committee and Greenville Forward’s Inclusion and Diversity Task-Force, to organizing Greenville’s largest counter KKK rally. In late 2014 Ivy was honored to accept the Ryan Wilson Equality Award for outstanding advocacy for the LGBTQ community of SC. Check out hir 2015 TEDxGreenville presentation here. As a long time CSE supporter, ze is excited to be serving as CSE’s LGBTQ Rights Toolkit Coordinator. Ivy is based in Piedmont, SC.
Britney Nesbit, Community Organizer/Tzedek Social Justice Fellow
Britney Nesbit was born in Atlanta but calls Charleston, South Carolina home. Britney is a proud University of South Carolina alum. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Her love for science and passion for helping others led her to pursue a career as a pharmacist. But after witnessing the real health disparities experienced by LGBTQ folks and marginalized communities of color, she was motivated to step outside of the healthcare provider role and into the role of a social justice advocate. Britney has exercised her commitment to intersectional advocacy, racial equity, and coalition building by facilitating LGBT+ ally workshops, creating empathy-building training sessions, and teaming up with LGBTQ community organizations to make healthcare institutes a safer and affirming space for LGBTQ individuals. She is excited to pursue social justice advocacy work professionally as a Community Organizer for CSE through the Tzedek Social Justice Fellowship for the 2016-2017 year.
Fletcher Page, LGBTQ Rights Navigator, Rapid Response Initiative
Bio coming soon . . .
Crystal Richardson, Legal Director, Rapid Response Initiative
Crystal M. Richardson is an attorney from Charlotte, North Carolina. A proud graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Crystal graduated with a dual major in French and Political Science. From there, she continued her studies at the Charlotte School of Law. Crystal is a guardian ad litem and enjoys volunteering for a number of LGBTQ organizations in the South. Crystal brings experience in political organizing and campaign strategizing to her work at CSE. She will lead Campaign for Southern Equality’s Rapid Response Initiative addressing the first 100 days of the new administration. Additionally, she will work with the LGBTQ Right Toolkit and Legal Equality Project.
Crystal lives with her partner, Miranda McDowell and their fur babies (dogs) in Charlotte, North Carolina, but travels across the South to provide training and education on LGBTQ issues and on advocating against ongoing efforts to enact anti-LGBTQ legislation.
Aaron Sarver, Communications Director
Aaron Sarver grew up in North Carolina and attended N.C. State University where he graduated with a B.A. in Economics. His writing has appeared in In These Times, The Chicago Reader, The News and Observer, and The Asheville Citizen-Times.
Aaron has presented on social media and public relations at the LGBTQ in the South conference, Netroots and Creating Change. He frequently runs communications trainings and workshop for community groups and non-profits. Since 2012, he has been CSE’s Communication Director. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Just Economics of Western North Carolina.
Chloe Stuber, Hometown Organizing Project Director
Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Chloe graduated with her B.A. in Social Work from Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC. Her work with the WNC community has focused on educational opportunities for underrepresented youth, immigrant justice, and most recently, LGBTQ rights with CSE. Chloe is fluent in Spanish and has lived abroad in the Dominican Republic, Peru, Bolivia and most recently Spain. Chloe is based in Charleston, SC.
Rachel Tuchman, Legal Fellow
Raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Rachel Tuchman is a J.D. candidate in the Yale Law School Class of 2017. Rachel holds a B.A., magna cum laude, in Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought with a concentration in gender studies from Amherst College. At Amherst, Rachel’s thesis won the “Stonewall Prize for Exceptional Commentary on the LGBT Experience”. She studies on gender justice, LGBTQ legal rights and advocacy, and law and social movements at Yale. Rachel is a member of the Veterans Legal Service Clinic, and in that capacity she has argued before the Federal Circuit on behalf of clients seeking to reform access to benefits for survivors of Military Sexual Trauma. Rachel conducts research on reproductive rights and LGBT legal equality for Professor Reva Siegel and Professor Linda Greenhouse, and assisted in writing an amicus brief for Obergefell with Professor William Eskridge. During the summer of 2015, Rachel worked at the ACLU LGBT Rights Project as a Ford Fellow recipient. During the summer of 2016, Rachel worked with Roberta Kaplan at Paul Weiss focusing exclusively on LGBTQ rights litigation in the South. Prior to the law, Rachel taught as a first grade teacher in New York City, and often dreams of writing children’s books about equality. Her writing has appeared in the Huffington Post. http://www.
Lindsey Wilson, Director of Engagement and Operations
Lindsey Wilson grew up across the South and moved to Asheville in 2002 where she currently lives with her wife, Melissa, and daughter, Peyton. She has worked on local, state and federal campaigns for the past nine years, focusing on strategy and field operations. Her past personal experiences with poverty shape her commitment to economic justice issues and she currently serves as Chair of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee for the City of Asheville. She has been with the Campaign for Southern Equality since 2011.
CSE’s Legal Team includes pro bono attorneys across the South. They are led by:
Meghann Burke, Legal Team Leader
Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Meghann Burke is an attorney at Brazil & Burke, where she focuses on civil and criminal litigation. She received her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law. During law school, Meghann worked with the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project on the first case ever to recover damages against a public entity for its complicity with the Ku Klux Klan’s campaign of racial violence during the Civil Rights Movement. She authored an amicus brief on behalf of the Campaign for Southern Equality in the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges and is a frequent presenter on constitutional law at workshops around the South. She also leads the Buncombe County Criminal Defense Bar and serves on the Legal Affairs Committee of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. Meghann was nominated by her colleagues as a “Young Gun” Legal Elite by Business North Carolina in 2013 for her work in criminal defense cases. Meghann began her law practice after finishing a ten-year professional soccer career. Meghann is a lifelong fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. She spends her free time mountain biking, standup paddle boarding, and playing soccer. She and her wife, Jasmine, enjoy dance parties with their son and taking in the sights and scenes of downtown Asheville.
Diane Walton, Legal Team
Diane Walton (“Dizy”) is a licensed attorney in private practice in North Carolina. The focus of her work is family law, including child custody, adoption, divorce, and partnership documents. Diane served in the United States Coast Guard, is on the CSE legal team, and resides in Asheville, NC with her partner Sarah and their three sons.