Staff

Mimi Demissew

Executive Director

Mimi comes to OFC with an extensive background in organizational development and strategic planning, having dedicated over two decades to sexual and gender minority advocacy in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC.  Prior to joining OFC, Mimi led the Pride Center of Maryland as Executive Director, and helped launch a social entrepreneurship in 2008, on whose board she continues to serve. She also serves on the board of a smaller nonprofit that focuses on education and family planning in Baltimore. Mimi is passionate about aligning her professional skills to support the work of organizations that promote social equity and racial justice. A native of Virginia and longtime resident of Baltimore, Mimi is freshly transplanted to the East Bay.

pronouns: she/her or they/them
email: mimi@ourfamily.org

Aliyah Bowman

Programs & Data Specialist

Aliyah is a Black first-generation student at San Francisco State University. By June 2021 she will have earned a BA in sociology and two years of work experience at OFC. Black radical feminism influences the work she does and the way she lives her life.

pronouns: she/her
email: aliyah@ourfamily.org

Ayana Cariaso

Public Allies Fellow

Bio coming soon!

pronouns: she/her and they them
email: ayana@ourfamily.org

Cheryl Lala

Family Programs Director

Cheryl is a first-generation Indo-Fijian American who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a youngster she excelled in golf, earning a golf scholarship to UC Berkeley, where she played collegiately for the Golden Bears. She holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University and is deeply rooted in anti-colonialist and anti-racist feminist equity.

Cheryl played professional golf mini-tours before joining Athlete Ally, a national non-profit organization in New York City. At Athlete Ally, she helped program and lead campaigns aimed at ending homophobia and transphobia in athletic communities. Upon returning to the Bay Area, she founded COMPETE Youth, a non-profit organization with a mission to equalize sports industry access to underserved, underrepresented youth.

Cheryl loves to travel and lives in San Francisco with her wife, their furbabies and two small kids.

prounouns: she/her
email: cheryl@ourfamily.org

Drew Lakhardt

Family Programs Coordinator: East Bay

Bio coming soon!

pronouns: they/them
email: drew@ourfamily.org

Jenny Raviv

Development Director

Jenny brings decades of strategic communications and advocacy experience to Our Family Coalition’s development and strategic planning work. Jenny is also an organizer for racial justice and co-founded SURJ SF, the San Francisco chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice, to move White people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability.

Jenny participated in the Fundraising Bright Spots Program by CompassPoint and uses those approaches to shape OFC’s fundraising work.

pronouns: she/her
email: jenny@ourfamily.org

Karlon Zee

Family Programs Coordinator: San Francisco

Karlon brings over eight years of diverse and direct community work experience to OFC. As a teen, he honed his understanding of power and privilege at the Social Justice Academy (SJA) at San Leandro High School. He also completed the San Leandro Teen Police Academy through the SLPD and received “Best Communication Award”; a year later, he completed the District Attorney Justice Academy (DAJA) in Alameda County at Hayward City Hall.  In the Metro College Success Program at San Francisco State University for Child Adolescence & Development, Karlon was able to gain additional direct work experience through a semester-long internship through EDvance and Jumpstart.

Adopted from an orphanage in Guangzhou, China, Karlon came to live in the U.S. at the age of six months. His assigned sex at birth was female; he grew up in the East Bay in Oakland and San Leandro. Throughout his youth, Karlon struggled to confront his own sexuality and gender identity while living as a QPOC (queer person of color) trying to make sense of it all. With the support of his mom, many pets, and amazing educators and friends, Karlon has been able to direct his own life to a path toward acting as a positive and charismatic agent of change for the QTPOC LGBTQ+ community.

pronouns: he/ him
email: karlon@ourfamily.org

Pauly Pagenhart

Communications Director

Pauly, a life-long East Bay resident, brings more than twenty years’ experience as a writer, teacher, public speaker, editor, and program administrator to OFC. Across all their work—whether at UC Berkeley, or BlogHer, or writing online as Lesbian Dad—Pauly has focussed on strengthening understanding across seeming barriers of difference, and using authentic connection and communication as critical paths toward social justice. Pauly holds a B.A. in English/ Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.A. in American Studies/Feminist Studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Pauly has been an appreciative member of the OFC community since becoming a parent in 2004.  Before their second child arrived in 2007 it was clear that parenting would become their most valuable life teacher and journey. Work at OFC is a combination of a lifelong mission and an act of grace (no coincidence: the OFC office in San Francisco sits at the intersection of Mission and Grace Streets).

prounouns: they/them
email: pauly@ourfamily.org

Rick Oculto

Education Director

Rick collaborates with educators and school administrators to create safe and LGBTQ-inclusive schools. An accomplished speaker and presenter, Rick has conducted trainings for thousands of students, educators, and youth workers focusing on diversity, harassment, gender stereotypes, and other LGBTQ issues.

Formerly the Youth Service Coordinator at Billy DeFrank LGBT Center in San José, Rick developed programs that addressed LGBT youth issues and created the first transgender youth support group in the area. Currently, in addition to his work at Our Family Coalition, he sits on the board of Performing Arts Workshop, a youth-focused, arts organization in San Francisco. Additionally, he coordinates volunteer events for SF Gaymers, a social group that recognizes diversity within the gaming community and creates safe spaces for LGBT individuals to game with one another.

Rick holds a dual B.A. degree in Psychology and Spanish from Seattle University in Washington and a Master of Arts Degree in Social Welfare at UC Berkeley specializing in management and planning. He lives and games in San Francisco and frequently visits his family in the South Bay.

pronouns: he/him
email: rick@ourfamily.org

Rose Crespo

Family Programs Associate

Rose is a queer, trans, non-binary Southerner, and while their story began in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, they have come to call various corners of the Bay Area home since 2016. Other important identities they hold are: creative writer, social partner dancer, and anti-racist; for nearly half of the last decade, they have dedicated themselves to designing and facilitating community-building events that support participants in cultivating the (inter)personal skills and trust needed for lifelong justice work.

Rose first began working with the Family Programs team at Our Family Coalition as an AmeriCorps Public Ally, and they were thrilled to accept the opportunity to come on board as an official staff member upon the finish of that fellowship. They are currently completing their BA in Interdisciplinary Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and when not studying or tending to the OFC community, they can be found spending time with their partner and dog (hopefully somewhere green.)

pronouns: they/them
email: rose@ourfamily.org

Shari D'Aguilar

Operations Associate

Shari is dedicated to serving those who serve our community. As a veteran and queer POC, her focus is on staff morale and supporting all of OFC's teams.

Shari has helped homeless individuals obtain housing and employment as a case manager at Life Moves – Maple Street Shelter, and cultivated her administrative skills in the Human resources department of a Los Angeles-based insurance company. As Operations Assistant for Conscious Capitalism Los Angeles, she helped link socially and environmentally conscious businesses together.

pronouns: she/her
email: shari@ourfamily.org