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Mission

To improve the quality of life for all LGBTQ+ people in Upstate, South Carolina.

 
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Vision

A thriving Upstate, SC community where all LGBTQ+ people are strong, safe, and successful.

 
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Values 

Inclusion. Whoever you are, we value you and what you bring to the world. You are an equal part of this movement. We strive to create space where no one feels left out.

Intersectionality. It takes all of us, from all backgrounds and identities, working together to truly achieve necessary change. We will learn from -- and grow with -- one another.

Community-driven. We intentionally ask for and are led by community input. Our community programming will reflect your voice and leadership.

Integrity. We want to do right by you. We are committed to strong ethical principles in the work we do. We are open to learning and growing along the way.

Transparency. We want you to know what we’re up to, where your hard earned money is going, and how we’re achieving our goals. How we do the work matters just as much as the work itself.

Collaboration. We are committed to working together with other LGBTQ+ organizations and with partners across the Upstate. We can’t do this alone and we need each other.

 
 
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ETHAN JOHNSTONE,
FOUNDER & LEAD COMMUNITY BUILDER

Pronouns: he, him, his

What you secretly want to know: Ethan needs at least an hour and two cups of coffee before he can talk to anyone in the morning. He makes a pretty damn good homemade pie. He reads Harry Potter every night before he falls asleep. He’s an introvert that loves people. He’s a queer trans man. And he lives in Greenville, in his cozy home, with his partner Alex.

Adulting activities: Ethan is a Licensed Master Social Worker who graduated from Winthrop University and is passionate about social justice and empowering others to live their best life. He conducted a needs assessment on the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community in the Upstate of South Carolina in 2017 and published the report here. He has been a leader in the LGBTQ+ community and has provided education about the issues and experiences of LGBTQ+ people to medical and mental health providers, educators, and other community professionals since 2010.

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JESSICA SHARP,
board chair

Pronouns: she, her, hers

What you secretly want to know: Jessica is an ambivert who needs social time and time to recharge. She loves podcasts, coffee, wine, and naps. She is a bit obsessed with her much younger brother and Brene Brown. She is a straight, cis woman who is passionate about supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

Adulting activities: Jessica is a Capacity Building Specialist at the SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, as well as the Founder of Sharp Brain Consulting (SBC). SBC works with youth-serving organizations and women to provide brain-based education to change the world and help her clients live their best lives. She has a Bachelors from the University of South Carolina (go cocks), a Master's in Public Affairs from the University of Missouri, and is a Doctoral Student at William James College. She is passionate about empowering traditionally underserved communities and advancing social justice. She is involved with a variety of organizations in the Greenville community.

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John eargle,
treasurer

Pronouns: he, him, his

What you secretly want to know: John loves being around people just as much as he loves being alone. He NEEDS coffee to function in the morning. His time is mainly spent making sure everyone around him is happy. He's obsessed with being near large bodies of water and will someday live next to the ocean. He loves organization and cleanliness and can't go to bed if the kitchen is not clean. John is a gay man living in Greenville, SC with his sweet dog, Etta.

Adulting activities: John has worked in many different areas since he graduated from Clemson with a degree in Psychology. From working as a behavioral therapist for 5 years to being a real estate agent for 2 years to project management for 3 years, he has dipped his toes into many exciting and challenging careers. John has an affinity for working with and supporting local business.

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Liz LEdlow

Pronouns: she, her, hers

What you secretly want to know: Liz proudly hails from Chicago, Illinois and moved to the Upstate in 2013. She loves iced coffee, dark chocolate, kettle potato chips, the Tennessee Vols, and a good farmer's market.

Adulting Activities: Liz obtained her Master's degree in Social Work in 2012 from The University of Tennessee - Knoxville. She has worked across a variety of settings including inpatient psychiatric hospitals, outpatient mental health, and medical social work. In 2016 she co-founded Willow Tree Counseling, a psychotherapy practice in Greenville, SC that provides informed and affirmative care for LGBTQ+ individuals across the Upstate.

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BRITTany brown

Pronouns: she, her, hers

What you secretly want to know: Brittany needs her family and closest friends to talk to at least once a day. She is into trying new things - most recently she started following several sewing Youtubers to learn how to sew her own clothes. She loves creating her own little happy bubble, but on the flip side, she loves horror movies and extreme sports. She also loves to eat crab legs and French fries.

Adulting activities: Brittany obtained her Master’s in Social Work from Winthrop University and is passionate about encouraging others to believe in their abilities and empowering them to live life to the fullest. Brittany is currently employed with Rescare as a Talent Development Specialist. She works to coach and mentor individuals facing various barriers to embark on new career paths and obtain employment. Brittany is an ally of the LGBTQ+ community and is devoted to improving her practice to better serve this population and bringing awareness to others about the disparities LGBTQ+ members face.

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Maria torres-green

Pronouns: she, her, hers

What you secretly want to know: Maria was born in New York City and is still getting used to living so close to cows. She is an extrovert who has never met a stranger unless it’s before her morning coffee. She loves baking, painting, playing the piano and has a healthy obsession with Wonder Woman. She lives with her husband and two awesome boys in Williamston.

Adulting activities: Maria graduated Trevecca University with bachelor degrees in Religious Theology and Communications Studies. She is passionate about leading in her community and helping others. Maria is Chair for the Anderson County Human Relations Council and Foothills Human Trafficking Task Force. She is a voting member of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council representing victim advocates. She also serves on the board of directors for Envision Williamston, Anderson County Chamber of Commerce Board of Regents and Anderson County First Steps. She belongs to the Catholic Women Serving, Public Policy Committee and the Drug Task Force in Anderson and provides financial counseling to members of the Adult Drug Court Program Second Chance Program. Maria’s labor of love is Ivey’s Cookies. Ivey’s Cookies conducts online bake sales for nonprofit organizations or individuals in need.

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anthony rice

Pronouns: he, him, his

What you secretly want to know: Anthony is incredibly loud and scream laughs quite often. He never ever wants children because he enjoys happiness and financial security. Anthony believes genuine friendships are powerful; he appreciates the time and effort he and his friends have invested in one another. Anthony also really loves his parents because they did the parenting thing SO WELL.

Adulting activities: Anthony received his Bachelors from Wofford College and Masters of Commerce from the University of Sydney. He currently works as a staff accountant, but has had years of community service experience. He is passionate about inclusivity and acceptance within the LGBTQ+ community.

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