Shannon Brown is an Appalachian OUTreach Board of Directors officer and serves as President. Professionally, she is an LCSW therapist who opened her private practice, Psychotherapy & Forensic Services, in Blount County. She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Tennessee Knoxville, and an MSSA in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University.
She won awards for her work as an advocate and activist: Irene Sogg Gross Humanitarian Award (2007) and Achievement in Direct Practice (2018), and she was inducted into the Mandel School Hall of Achievement (2018).
Shannon is also currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors for OutCare Health. Shannon has been an advocate and activist for LGBTQ+ rights and justice since the 1990's. She is also a She is committed to conducting business and maintaining partnerships with LGBTQ+ owned and operated businesses.
Gibran Cuevas is an Appalachian OUTreach Board of Directors officer and serves as Vice President, Treasurer, and as Volunteer Coordinator. Professionally, he has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal justice, is a retired police officer, served in the Army and is transgender. His career experience included Special Victims Unit, Narcotics, Human Trafficking, and K9 unit. Gibran activism and advocacy has been geared towards child welfare, women’s issues, and LGBTQ rights. Gibran is currently retired and volunteers as a child advocate in abuse and neglect cases.
Rhonda Cady is an Appalachian OUTreach Board of Directors officer and serves as Secretary and Administrative Coordinator. Personally, she is a strong ally for the LGBTQ+ community. I have a great deal of motivation to for helping others in the areas of human equality, LGBTQ+ issues, veterans, and homelessness. I was born on a military base in Colorado, but consider Blount County home. I am a domestic goddess extraordinaire who loves all things Betty Boop. I have 3 grown children and 1 grandson. I can usually be found at Southland Books or downstairs at The Bird and The Book.
Gabby Cheij is an Appalachian OUTreach Board of Directors officer and serves as Marketing and Public Information Officer. Gabby (she/her) holds a M.M. in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from East Carolina University and holds B.A.'s in Music and Psychology from Maryville College. She works as a voice and piano teacher and marketing coordinator with a music studio in DC.
Having met at Maryville College, Gabby and her wife, Blaine, have happily found footing back in east TN. Excited to give back to the LGBTQ+ community, Gabby is bringing her skillset in graphic design and marketing to serve as the board's marketing and public information officer. Gabby’s passion for serving her community is evident primarily in her work through youth outreach in numerous community events, sport and music camps, and service projects.
An Assistant Professor and Social Sciences Librarian at The University of Tennessee Knoxville, Calantha (she/her) serves as the liaison to the College of Communication & Information, which involves teaching information literacy workshops, conducting research consultations, curating subject-specific collections, and engaging with students, staff, and faculty through strategic programming. She received her BA in English Literature from Friends University and her Masters in Library and Information Studies from the University of Oklahoma.
A lover of scrumptious tea and fantastical tales, Calantha spends her free time consuming story in all its beautiful forms and cuddling with her humorously spastic dog, Talia Turquoise. Freshly transplanted to Tennessee, she is excited to expand her Queer community and bring her enthusiasm for technical writing, mental health awareness, spoken word poetry, and LGBTQ+ advocacy to Appalachian OUTreach!
Kes Easton is an Appalachian OUTreach Board member and Volunteer Coordinator. Personally she is a wildlife rehab volunteer and has been working as Volunteer coordinator and public educator for wildlife rescue and rehab for the past 8 years. As a member of the LGBTQ + community she is committed to advocacy and activism within the community, especially for disabled members of the community. She has extensive experience working with physically and developmentally disabled children and adults in a medical and home setting and has a passion for ensuring they have a chance to engage with their community and find support.
Board Member Position filled
If you would like to serve as a board member, the responsibilities include:
*Volunteering during events
*Promoting Appalachian OUTreach events
*Attending planning meetings
*Making a tax-deductible financial contribution to Appalachian OUTreach
In December 2015, Shannon Brown founded the Foothills LGBT Center, which was then transformed into Appalachian OUTreach in May 2019. Both the Foothills LGBT Center and Appalachian OUTreach have maintained the same goal: empower and advance our LGBTQ+ communities through programs, education, resources, partnerships, and most importantly, love, kindness and a respect for all.
Shannon is especially grateful for the following badass LGBTQ+ women who influenced, challenged, fought for, and promoted equality and rights for this amazing community: Gladys Bentley, Anne Lister, Ruth Ellis (https://www.ruthelliscenter.org/), Roberta Cowell, Audre Lorde, and of course Jane Addams.
Shannon is also very grateful for these influences: The LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland https://lgbtcleveland.org/, Jake Nash and Margie's Hope http://margieshope.org/, Case Western Reserve University https://case.edu/lgbt/, the Matthew Shepard Foundation http://www.matthewshepard.org/ and the Southern Poverty Law Center https://www.splcenter.org/
Empower, connect, & support the East Tennessee lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & queer (LGBTQ+) people through the provision of safe & healthy, inclusively welcoming & affirming programs & respect for partnerships, which promote community building, resource development, & education for all.
Appalachian OUTreach is committed to serving all members of the LGBTQ+ communitiy in the East Tennessee region & beyond.
Our vision is to impact change for all LGBTQ+ individuals, families, children, teens, & adults living in the East Tennessee area.
Our mission & vision are carried out by passionate, philanthropic members of the LGBTQ+ community who are have a strong desire to make a difference.
If you are interested in making a difference as a board member, volunteer, or through donations, please email us!
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