Chair – Dharia is a health policy analyst working to improve the oral health of low-income Californians. She transitioned to a new career in public policy after spending a decade in the laboratory researching genetics, human disease, and cancer biology. She served as a senior policy consultant to the California state legislature, advising on issues related to drug pricing, public health, and food safety. She began her tenure in the legislature as a Science & Technology Policy Fellow after completing a PhD in Molecular Biology from Brandeis University.
Dharia was a founding board member of the Capitol LGBTQ Association, the first state-level queer legislative staff association. She helped organize the organization’s LGBTQ Legislative Staff Appreciation Awards and design the new Capitol LGBTQ Mentorship Program. She has served on the host committee of Equality California’s Sacramento Equality Awards. She is also a member of the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technology Professionals and Stonewall Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento. Dharia has lived all over the United States, from Alaska to the U.S. Virgin Islands, spending 16 years in Massachusetts before returning to her home state of California. She currently lives in Sacramento with her daughter and cat.
Vice Chair – Originally from Georgia, Beau has been an advocate for social and economic justice all of his adult life. Whether civil rights for people of color, equity for women and the LGBTQA community, or activism through community and faith based organizations, Beau has used the challenges of life to help others find their voice and build the power necessary to change their lives. Beau has worked as an organizer in the Labor Movement for over 10 years. He currently serves as a founder and executive director of the nonprofit V.O.I.C.E., an organization that advocates for economic and social equity through mentorship, skills training and career placement for communities that have seen systematic divestment in their well-being.
Having moved to California in 2013, Beau sees his participation in the Stonewall Foundation of Greater Sacramento as uplifting his values and in line with his life’s purpose:
“To live and help others live a life of physical health, financial wealth and self-determination of body and mind.”
Secretary – Katie is an attorney assisting businesses in complying with federal and state requirements. She has been dedicated the advancement of LGBTQ rights for over 15 years, when she first phone banked to preserve the then landmark Massachusetts Supreme Court decision recognizing same-sex couples’ right to marry.
For the last decade, she has served on boards dedicated to advancing LGBTQ rights, particularly in the legal profession. Most recently, she was Co-Chair of Sacramento Lawyers for the Equality of Gays and Lesbians (“SacLEGAL”). She lives in Sacramento with her wife Naomi, and her son Theo.
Treasurer – We’re excited to announce that Nate Pelczar is one of our new board members. Nate is a Program Manager with the California Product Stewardship Council, a non-profit with the mission of advancing environmental sustainability and producer responsibility within California. Nate received a Master of Public Affairs degree from Indiana University with an emphasis in public policy analysis and non-profit management. He has 15 years of experience as a project manager, management consultant, and compliance subject matter expert, serving both public and private sector clients. Nate has long shared his skills and expertise with community organizations that advance equality, education, and the arts in greater Sacramento. Originally from the Midwest, Nate is an avid outdoorsman and spends his free time cycling, hiking, backpacking, and traveling the world.
Board Member – Charlene worked in the disability field as an educator, project coordinator and advocate before recently retiring. Such experience lent a great appreciation for inclusion and constituency leadership, as well as the ongoing pursuit of social justice. She and her spouse Julia have been active politically and in leadership with nonprofit organizations before and since moving to Sacramento in 2001. Charlene has volunteered on numerous political campaigns and served more recently as a member of the political action committee and executive board of the Stonewall Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento.
She is also active with the League of Women Voters, operating as a principal in successful public interest issue campaigns. Charlene is producer of the Sacramento Legends of Courage LGBTQ oral history project, and hosted a local radio program with a feminist platform that featured LGBTQ issues and area nonprofit organizations. Eager to roll up her sleeves with colleagues, she looks forward to cultivating advocacy and leadership in our LGBTQ community.
Board Member – Lanz Nalagan is honored to serve the LGBTQ+ community in his capacity as Annual and Corporate Giving Director for the Center. Over the years, he grew passionate about campaign finance and philanthropy in the political and non-profit sectors, and he is grateful that his current work reflects that. After immigrating from the Philippines, Lanz grew up in the East Bay area and attended school in the beautiful Central Coast- earning a B.A in Political Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He also lived in Washington, D.C before settling down in Sacramento, CA.
He’s a long-time board member of the Stonewall Democratic Club and its newly created Stonewall Foundation of Greater Sacramento. Lanz is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and hopes to earn his CFRE- Certified Fundraising Executive- in the near future, to continue funding causes he’s passionate about. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors, tennis, skiing, spa days, reading (especially self-help books!), watching anything from Legally Blonde and West Wing to Star Trek and Ocean’s 11 and listening to anything from Broadway showtunes and punk rock to Motown and Lady Gaga.
Board Member – Laura is a clinical psychologist and faculty member in the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry, where she specializes in the treatment of adolescents and young adults experiencing psychosis. As Director of Clinical Training at the UC Davis Early Psychosis Program, Laura has championed the implementation of inclusive practices as part of clinical training and care, with a particular focus on mentoring LGBTQIA+ providers. Laura is the recipient of a Mentoring Innovation Award for her project “Being out in professional spaces: LGBTQIA+ Inclusivity and Visibility”, a reflection of her dedication to fostering inclusivity, visibility and community for LGBTQIA+ individuals in the health professions.
Board Member – Monica is the Director of the CalMedForce Grant Program at Physicians for a Healthy California, the non-profit for the California Medical Association. CalMedForce awards $40 million annually to residency programs with the goal of increasing the number of primary care and emergency medicine physicians serving the medically underserved populations and areas in California. Prior to her current role, she was a California Council on Science and Technology Fellow working as a Committee Consultant for the Assembly Health Committee in the California Legislature. She analyzed various health related pieces of legislation while providing staff support to Legislators and their constituents. During her time in the Legislature Monica was on the Board of the Capitol LGBTQ Association as the Operations Director. Monica has her PhD in Cellular and Molecular Pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is originally from Kansas and never tires of seeing a beautiful sunset over the ocean. Monica can often be found playing kickball with her partner in the Sacramento Gay Varsity League.
Board Member – Amaranta (Ah-mah-rahn-tah), they/them, is a lifetime resident of California and second-generation Latinx individual with roots stemming from Brazil and El Salvador. In 2019, Amaranta was recognized as one of the Laurie McBride Scholarship recipients. They graduated Magna Cum Laude from Sacramento State in 2020 with a B.A. in Anthropology and were honored with the Dean’s Award for the college of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies. Throughout their academic career, they also worked full-time and gained invaluable experience in office administration and accounting, both in the private and nonprofit sectors.
After graduation, Amaranta joined the staff at the Gender Health Center as their new Director of Finance where they support the important work of centering marginalized communities and dismantling systems of oppression. When they aren’t working, you can usually find them at home with their dog and four cats, binge watching shows or with their nose in a book. They also enjoy hiking and swimming in the Yuba River, salsa dancing in their kitchen, and playing board games with friends.