Soulforce Staff

 
Rev. Dr. Cindi Love
Executive Director

Dr. Cindi Love brings a wide range of leadership, management and organizational experience to her new role as Soulforce’s Executive Director. From January 2005 until April 2009, she served as the Executive Director of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC). Prior to MCC, she served as an Executive Dean in the third largest community college system in the United States, as a Senior Executive of The Toro Company (NYSE:TTC) and CEO and Founder of several award winning corporations, including one named to the INC 500 in 1990. In 1990, Dr. Love was named one of the "Top 50 Entrepreneurs" in North America by Inc. Magazine, the Young Entrepreneur’s Organization, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Love is the creator of the Would Jesus Discriminate? campaign and author of a book by the same name.

 
Bill Carpenter
Director of National Actions

Bill grew up in Memphis, TN where in his early teens, he witnessed much of the civil rights movement, including nonviolent demonstrations and marches led by Dr. King, Rev. James Lawson and his brother Phil and other of his present day heroes. After graduating from the University of Alabama, he worked in business and marketing in retailing and real estate. Coming out as a 40 year old, he shifted his attention from a traditional business career to a life of service. Presently, Bill is an active student of Truth principles, active at his Unity church and as a trainer in welcoming diversity and in principles of nonviolence. Bill says one of his greatest Soulforce experiences was early in Soulforce history at the UMC convention in Cleveland, OH in 2000 hearing two of his s/heroes Bob and Jeanie Graetz tell about the "second time their house was firebombed" while living in Montgomery, Alabama.

Today, I call upon every LGBT person to reach deep within and connect with the joyous truth of who you are and declare, once and for all, I will not accept being treated as a 2nd class person or citizen of my country. Today, I stand with all oppressed peoples of the earth and declare: I am whole and worthy and loved – just as I am!

 

Gary Nixon

Director of Business

Gary is Co-Founder of Soulforce and has been with the organization before conception doing what has been needed from behind the scenes. He spends many hours each day managing donations and expenses, and filling orders for those who have requested one of Soulforce’s print or video resources. Working as a team, he and Mel have celebrated 28 years of life together and are looking forward to the next 28.

"My wish for Soulforce is that eventually we are no longer needed, that we will have been accepted into the human family like the rest of the population and now we can get down to business to do what really needs to be done."


Kara Speltz
Administrative Coordinator

Kara has been involved with Soulforce since 1999, prior to the first action in Lynchburg. Coming out of a Catholic Worker background she has been a peace and justice activist for over forty years. Her activities have ranged from participation in the Catholic left draft board and corporation actions of the late 60’s and early 70s, staffing Catholic Worker houses of hospitality, anti-racist work, prison work, and union organizing.

In March, 2002, she traveled to Iraq just days after the war started reaching Baghdad before the American occupation of that city and then returning two years later to witness the disastrous results of that occupation. As Administrative Coordinator her responsibilities involve being a "jill-of-all trades," so to speak; from assisting in research for Mel’s books and articles, writing and/or editing pieces for publication, to ensuring people who write to Soulforce get responses.


Haven Herrin Haven Herrin
Director of Development

I am a teacher, artist, activist and aspiring yogi and DJ.  I use "they" and "them" as my gender pronouns because I prefer words that locate me within the gender system with as little stability as possible.  Some days I am high femme, some days more trans. This flexibility and self-recreation is part of my queer existence.  The small things, like asking the busker not to sing songs that are anti-woman, and the big things, like helping to launch busfulls of activists, are all part of a life lived as an activist.  I think a lot about racism, international solidarity, and the myriad ways that the gendermonster is iterated in our lives.  I am happy to work with Soulforce as it grows into its intersectional justice skin and remains a place of infinite possibility. I also serve as a represntative of North America to the board for the International Lesbian and Gay Association.



Haven Herrin Jason Conner
Director of Programs

Jason Conner comes to Soulforce after completing the 2010 Equality Ride. Though he is from West Virginia, he has lived in various parts of the country, including Utah, California, and Florida. Jason was raised LDS (Mormon) and served a two year mission in the Florida – Orlando Mission. He left the church upon coming out joining the Equality Ride. Jason has worked with and for various non-profits over the past ten years – including United Way, The Red Cross, Utah Family Partners, The Central Florida Compassion Outreach Center, and the BSA. He was part of the successful campaign to elect Governor Joe Manchin of West Virginia (2004). In the 2002 interim election, Jason was the youngest person on the ballot in the state of West Virginia, where he ran for the Democratic Executive Comittee. He served one term. Jason resides in Philadelphia and works full time as the Director of Programs for Soulforce.


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