Spring 2022 Fellowship Farewell
Spring 2022 Fellowship
Earlier this year, Equality Florida - Florida’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization - hired a dedicated and vibrant cohort for its Spring 2022 Fellowship Program! From Tallahassee to Miami, our fellows encompassed a diverse range of regions, ethnicities, gender identities, and backgrounds which truly reflected our community.
“I’m incredibly proud of the diverse, talented team we built here to create a Florida that is a beacon of fairness and equality for the LGBTQ community,” said Equality Florida Field Director Wes Davis. “While we saw the State Legislature’s escalated attacks on our community, this team has worked to hold their stigmatizing actions and words accountable.”
Our fellows have worked diligently this Spring and have mobilized our members to fight against anti-LGBTQ attacks in the state legislature, expanded our volunteer base, and defended rights for LGBTQ youth in our safe school program. Thank you to our fellows for all their hard work!
Emily H (she/they)
My name is Emily H. I usually go by 'Em'. I'm a senior at USF studying Women's and Gender Studies which I hope to pursue, as well as Africana Studies, and eventually become a professor in both fields. I am extremely passionate about education and activism and the crossroads of those two sectors and I hope to contribute to the positive history making that Equality Florida continues to do.
Field & Advocacy
Andrea Vanegas (she/her)
Andrea Vanegas was born and raised in the Greater Orlando area. She is currently pursuing a Master's in Public Health at Rollins College, and hopes to use her degree to address social determinants of health in disadvantaged communities.
Audrey Marsala, (she/her)
I am currently a junior Political Science student at Eckerd College with minors in International Relations and Global Affairs, Religious Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies. I am an organizer at heart with a deep passion for community engagement. I am thrilled for the opportunity to advocate for my fellow LGBTQ Floridians.
Cielo Sunsarae (he/they)
Cielo is an established champion for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ equality. He is passionate about restructuring and mitigating the biased oppression that is ingrained in our society by white, cisgender, heteronormative and ableist individuals in our majority. He is a Certified Sexual Health Educator and the first person of color to be listed on the American College of Sexologists directory in Florida. Cielo is a NHC Americorps member serving in Jacksonville, Florida at JASMYN as a LGBTQIA+ Housing & Care Coordinator, playing a pivotal role in expanding on the four areas of direct service that JASMYN offers, and founder of The Queer-Trans Project to provide gender-empowering resources to LGBTQ+ minorities so that they have the power to create social change in their communities. He’s a seasoned volunteer and fellow with Equality Florida (serving his third semester in a row) as a Field and Advocacy Fellow. Cielo has worked to bring awareness to intersectional issues in his community; he’s helped revamp social media to be more accessible and brought first-hand experience to how our system affects persons of color.
Estelle Erwich (she/hers)
My name is Estelle Erwich and I am excited to be joining the Equality Florida team as a Field and Advocacy intern for the 2022 spring semester. I am currently a second year at the University of Florida, where I am majoring in political science and international studies, with a minor in humanitarian assistance and international development. I am passionate about fighting for marginalized communities and am very grateful to be on board at Equality Florida to do so. In my free time, you can find me reading, cooking vegan food, and thrift shopping.
Genesis Cadle, she/her
Genesis Cadle is a Field and Advocacy Intern for the Fall of 2021. Genesis is 20 years old and is majoring in Political Science at the University of South Florida. Genesis has over 300 hours of community service and is currently working on her bachelors degree. Some fun facts about her is that she is an aries and enjoys art.
Giovanny Pino, he/him
Maya Levy, she/her
Maya Levy is a student at the University of South Florida studying Political Science and Mass Communication. She is originally from Tallahassee, where she was raised by two awesome moms. Advocacy is her passion and she plans on attending law school in order to continue helping organizations like Equality Florida.
Nye Davis (they/them)
Nye is an early high school graduate from Tallahassee, Florida with intentions to major in Political Science and Economics upon attending university in the fall. Nye enjoys writing and reading in their spare time, and has intentions to foster these hobbies to help others and themselves conceptualize the diversity that exists all over the world. They hope to live a life that brings welfare to others and believes they can begin to achieve this aspiration through advocacy of the underrepresented.
Shaban Mohamed (he/him)
Shaban Mohamed (he/him) is a senior at the University of Central Florida majoring in Public Administration with a minor in Nonprofit Management. He is passionate about voting rights and LGBTQ+ advocacy, and is excited to intern with Equality Florida this semester. When he’s not working or in class, you can probably find him drinking coffee, baking and watching Drag Race.
Rindala “Rin” Alajaji (she/her/hers)
Rin was Equality Florida’s Public Policy Fellow for the 2022 Legislative Session. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s Human Rights Studies Masters program, where much of her work focused on women’s rights in the Middle East and International LGBTQ+ advocacy. Rindala also holds a B.S. in Applied Psychology and Global Public Health. Rindala became involved with Equality Florida as a volunteer, where she helped advocate for pro-LGBTQ+ policy federally and against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the state. Prior to joining Equality Florida, Rindala worked as an advocate at a juvenile justice advocacy program for girls, as well as various research teams studying adolescent gender and sexuality development. A Brooklyn transplant, Rindala now lives in Orlando with her wife, Annie, and their dog, Billie.
Safe & Healthy Schools
Vaidehi Persad (she/her/hers)
Vaidehi is a second-year student at the University of South Florida - Tampa. She is pursuing the disciplines of Chemistry, Public Health, and Women & Gender Studies. Vaidehi is passionate about promoting health equity and justice. She anticipates applying her interdisciplinary studies and intersectional lens to equitable health initiatives, grassroots organizing, and public policy.
Kira Freijo (she/her)
I am a psychology and criminology double major at Florida Southern College. I love spending time reading, writing, and making food with my friends. I’m extremely passionate about improving the criminal justice system to be fair and equal for everyone. Equality Florida’s work has made an incredible impact in our state, and I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to the same cause with this internship.