13 emerging LGBTQ+ leaders selected from a national pool of applicants for innovative training

BOULDER, CO, March 28, 2022 –– The Pride Network, a breakthrough LGBTQ+ leadership development organization, today announced its 2022 Transformational Leadership Initiative and the selected leaders who will comprise its national cohort.

13 leaders were selected from across the United States. Each selected participant is a promising, grassroots, LGBTQ+ identified leader between the ages of 19-30. The Transformational Leadership Initiative is a year-long, three part program that offers participants thousands of dollars in impact investment, skills-based & intergenerational mentorship, as well as a unique, heart-centered leadership training. Major program funding and partnership has been provided by Equitable Financial.

The Pride Network’s selected leaders are pioneering, emerging adults with demonstrated excellence in their commitment to social justice. Most have courageously overcome significant financial, emotional, and structural barriers and are prepared to dedicate their professional lives to solving key issues in underrepresented communities. Their worldviews have been formed by a rare combination of personal resilience and compassionate leadership, which is critically needed in our world today.

“The Pride Network aims to show the world what the future of LGBTQ+ leadership looks like. We hope to become a model for progressive funders and non-profit leaders to see what can happen when the LGBTQ+ community invests its resources into building up young leaders,” says Jacob Rudolph, Executive Director. “For years, a lack of access to financial resources, a lack of intergenerational connection, and a widely-neglected need for trauma-informed approaches to leadership and activism has precluded our community’s ability to build a stable and organized bench of new leadership. It’s long been past time to standardize models of activism that are grounded in healing, personal transformation, wellness, and models that avoid replicating systems of oppression and cycles of burnout. We are working to ensure that the future of LGBTQ+ leadership will be rooted in heart-centeredness, free from shame and violence, and will help create a world that is better for everyone.”

A complete list of 2022 Transformational Leadership Initiative participants appears below; bios for each are available on The Pride Network’s website,

Notable facts about the 2022 Transformational Leadership Initiative participants:
– 70% identify as people of color or bi/multiracial
– 40% identify as transgender or gender non-binary
– 100% are interested or very interested in learning more about conscious, heart-centered leadership

Individuals, corporations, and organizations can support The Pride Network’s mission by designating a scholarship with a “Name,” which recognizes the donor, an individual, or an institution. Named Grant donors pledge to cover the financial investments and programmatic support The Pride Network provides its young leaders.

Grants for TLI Participants are generously being supported by:
Equitable Financial

The 2022 Transformational Leadership Initiative recipients, including their area of work are as follows:

Haleigh Fitzpatrick-Owen, VA – Lead organizer @DYKE HANG, lesbian community building
Matthew Yekell, CA – Student @Stanford University, tech innovation for elderly LGBTQ+ adults
Angie Tamayo León, NJ – Student @NJIT, queer & immigrant community education
Brandon Banks, MO – Lead organizer @NClusion+, LGBTQ+ community building
Dymin Ellis, CT – Executive Producer @Punk Noire Fest, BIPOC artist empowerment
George Anthony Pratt, GA – Student @Morehouse College, storytelling & social justice
Molly Kennedy Irvin, NY – Psychologist, sexuality & mental health research
Jet Tran, AR – Writer & Library paraprofessional, LGBTQ+ & BIPOC teen community building
Elisha Freitas, UT – Student @BYU, editing & publishing resources to empower LGBTQ+ youth
Hector Francisco Mañón, FL – Founder @Association for Culinary Art Therapy (ACAT)
Rowan K Ching, PA – Doctoral student of East Asian Medicine, AAPI community healing & art
Peyten Sharp, TX – Founding Director @Texans Against Conversion Therapy, law & advocacy
Evan Zhao, IL – Student @Northwestern, sociology & LGBTQ+ health disparities research

About The Pride Network
The Pride Network offers emerging, LGBTQ+ leaders opportunities for personal transformation and professional development to create change within themselves and in our communities. Since 2012, The Pride Network has pioneered the future of LGBTQ+ leadership and is now a national organization. The Pride Network empowers through direct investment, mentorship, professional skills development, and heart-centered personal transformation. | | |

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