2017 was our third full year in existence. We expanded our staff to include Francisca Lizana as Assistant Director, an Expressive Arts Therapist from Chile, who came to us with experience helping refugee populations heal through the arts. We also added Cristina Ceballos, a paralegal with East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, to our staff as a facilitator. Doris Garrido, a repeat participant, took on the role of registrar for our retreats and workshops. Before I continue, let me first say a word about the founding of OLAS and the population we are serving.
Through my work conducting psychological evaluations with individuals seeking asylum in the U.S. at the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, I was particularly moved by the experience of the LGBT immigrants and their eagerness to tell their stories. All of them have personal experiences of violence and/or discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Not only have most of them been isolated from family and community support, but many have also been unable to access mental health services.
The mission of OLAS is to build community support and to respond to the mental health needs of Latin American LGBT immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. due to anti-gay/trans violence and discrimination in their countries of origin. We believe that all people who seek refuge in the U.S. due to homophobia and transphobia deserve access to affordable and effective mental health care and community support.
We launched our first successful pilot program in September, 2014 with a weekend wellness retreat. Activities included group therapy, stress reduction and relaxation skills, community building exercises and a nature hike, all with an emphasis on increasing self-acceptance and self-esteem. We received glowing feedback from the participants. For example, one participant told us, “This retreat is the best thing I have ever done.
In 2015, our first full year in existence, we raised enough funds (through tax-deductible donations grants, and a fundraiser) to offer three group retreats. In 2016, we not only offered three group retreats, but also three one-day events. In 2017, we focused more on one-day events since many of our participants cannot take a whole weekend off. We held two weekend retreats, three one-day events, a holiday party and a fundraising party. We also attended the San Francisco LGBTQ Pride Parade!
I am grateful to all of the people who contributed their time and expertise to help make this vision a reality. Special thanks for East Bay Sanctuary Covenant for their fiscal sponsorship!
This year was focused on internal growth, with an eye to expand our program into the Central Valley in 2018. We felt that in order to make that expansion happen, we needed to have adequate personnel to keep our program running in two different locations. Francisca Lizana joined us as Asst. Director this year. Joaquin Basulto, a former participant, graduated from Asst. Facilitator to Facilitator. Cristina Ceballos joined us as Asst. Facilitator and is on her way to becoming a Facilitator. Doris Garrido, an OLAS participant, took on the role of Registrar. We now have the infrastructure we need for expansion in 2018.
With kind regards, Diana Shapiro, Program Founder
2017 Accomplishments and Highlights
In this wonderful year, we made a difference in the lives of LGBT immigrants from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Columbia. Here are some of our accomplishments.
The OLAS community was connected and strong throughout the year due to peer support on Facebook and informal participant gatherings.
Staff implemented two weekend retreats with a total of 33 participants to rave reviews
We also implemented three one-day events with a total of 51 participants.
We added three people to our staff: Francisca Lizana (Asst Director) , Doris Garrido (Registrar) and Cristina Ceballos (Facilitator). Our former participant turned Asst. Facilitator, Joaquin Basulto, became a bona fide Facilitator, leading his own activities. We also hired a Business Manager (Adela Pedroza) to begin in 2018.
OLAS marched in the 2017 San Francisco LGBTQ Pride parade for the first time!
Melanie DeMore, a well-known local singer/songwriter, honored us, for the third consecutive year, by being the headliner at our 2017 fundraiser. Madelina y los Carpinteros joined us for the first time and were a big hit. Two participants offered moving testimonials.
After the fundraiser, a dinner was held for participants, staff, and community volunteers.
We held a Holiday Party in December, complete with games, food, and a white elephant gift exchange.
Our Advisory Committee remains solid in its commitment to serving the LGBT Latin American immigrant community.
In 2017, we operated at a deficit of $92. We were able to offer full programming to our participants thanks to limiting our expenditures and thanks to having received extremely generous grants and donations in 2016. (We carried a balance of $26, 207 into the 2017 fiscal year.)
2017 Financial Report
2017 Income Source 2017 Expenditures
Carry forward from 2016 Weekend Retreats (2) $26, 207 Lodging $1472 Food $864 Grants Supplies $264 Bread for the Journey $800 Registrar $300 Gaylesta $1000 Retreat Assistant Facilitator $800 Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence $1000 Retreat Kitchen Assistant $350 Total Grants: 2800 Total Weekend Retreats: $4050
Fundraisers One Day Workshops (3) Online Fundraiser $1961 Rental Space $250 Live Fundraiser at La Peña $3, 567 Rock climbing Class and Activity $180 Total Fundraiser: $5528 Food $587 Registrar $60 Personal Donations Assistant Facilitator $600 Community Members $5750 Misc. Supplies $65 Participant Contributions $870 Total One Day Workshops $1742 Total Donations: $6620 Staff Salaries Total Earned Income in 2017 Program Director $5,000 $14, 948 Asst. Director $2,500 Total Staff Salaries $7500 Total Earned Income plus Carry Forward $41,155 Misc Expenditures In Kind Donations Graphic Design $127 Kensho Center Rental Space: $500 SF Pride Parade registration $290 Retreat Kitchen Asst June $350 Office supplies $500 Retreat Asst. Facilitator Hours $750 OLAS banner for parade $116 Registrar Hours $200 Advertising and Promotion $615 Total Misc Expenditures $1648 Total In Kind: $1800 Total Expenditures $14, 940
2018 Projected Budget
Carry forward from 2017 $26,115 current Grant- People's Life Fund $2500 current (for Central Valley expansion) Fundraiser - online $2,000 (projected) Fundraiser - in person $3,500 (projected) Donations $3,000 (projected) Donations - participants $850 (projected) Total projected revenue plus carry forward $37,965
5 One-Day workshops 3 in Bay Area, 2 in Central Valley Rental space, food, supplies$2,800 Staff$3,500 Training facilitators $800 Travel to Central Valley$600 Total retreats/workshops $7,700
(Central Valley Expansion Program also included above Rental space for workshops $600 Food $ 400 Registrar $200 Facilitators $1,200 Supplies $120 Training facilitators $400 Travel to Central Valley $600 Total Cental Valley Program$3,520)
Staff Salaries Program Director$4,000 Clinical Director$4,000 Business Director$4,000 Total staff salaries $12,000
Misc. Expenditures Office supplies $500 Website/graphic design $150 SF Pride Parade$300 Advertising/Promotion $600 Advisory Committee Meetings $300 Miscellaneous costs$2,000 Total Misc. Expenditures$3,850
Total Projected 2018 Expenditures $28,522
OLAS is very fortunate to benefit from the extensive personal and professional experience of the following members of our Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee meets periodically throughout the year to discuss the progress of OLAS and offer suggestions for future growth and improvement.
Abigail Rich: Abigail is an attorney interested in the intersection of immigration legal services and mental healthcare for survivors of trauma. She is currently a Liman Fellow at East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, where she primarily represents asylum seekers escaping gender-based violence and anti-LGBTQ persecution. She previously worked with immigrants and refugees at Greater Boston Legal Services, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School, where she earned a JD. Abigail received her undergraduate degree in art history, anthropology, and studio art. Adela Pedroza: Adela is a full-time Consultant with Kaiser Permanente Market Research in Oakland, CA, where she assists senior health care leaders in making business decisions. Adela has over 8 years of market research and marketing experience. She holds an MBA in Marketing and a BA from Vassar College, and did graduate studies in international marketing in Mexico.
Amy Bank: Amy has recently returned to the Bay Area after living almost 30 years in Nicaragua. In the ‘80s she was part of the incipient Nicaraguan gay and lesbian rights movement that got shut down by the Sandinista government in a time of war, and which later was re-born as the Popular Education Collective to prevent HIV/AIDS. She is also one of the co-founders of the Nicaraguan feminist organization, Puntos de Encuentro, which has worked for LGBTQ rights since its founding in 1991. She produced Puntos’ two “social soap” TV series, Sexto Sentido and Contracorriente, both of which have LGBTQ characters and were aired on national television in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and several other countries and are used for educational and organizing campaigns. Amy currently lives in Berkeley with her 17-year old daughter and her 80-something parents, while her 20-year old son is in Nicaragua, attending university and living with his other mom, Amy’s co-parent and best friend.
Joy E. Carlson, MPH: Joy Carlson has been active in the non-profit sector for over 40 years, working primarily in the public and environmental health arena. She is currently Principal at J. Carlson Consulting which provides strategic planning, organizational development, program and policy development, and evaluation services to non-profit organizations. Prior to founding J. Carlson Consulting, she was the founding director for the Children’s Environmental Health Network, a national organization dedicated to preventing toxic exposures to children. She has worked at local, state, national and international levels with a broad range of constituencies and sectors. She has a special interest in supporting organizations and staff committed to change.
Julio Leiva: Julio was originally from El Salvador and has been living in Oakland, CA for the past 16 years. He has indigenous roots and has been an active member of organizations that promote the rights of indigenous people. He also served on the Board of Directors of CAREN (Central American Resource Center) and is currently a founding member of "El Dia del Salvadoreño," an annual Bay Area event that celebrates Salvadoran history and culture.
Scott MacPherson: Scott is an Environmental Manager for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, where he works in the design and permitting of environmentally-friendly utility projects. He has over 25 years experience in the environmental field, including in political organizing for environmental justice issues. He holds a MS in Natural Resources with a concentration in environmental advocacy, and a BS in Psychology, both from the University of Michigan.
Sylvia Soriano: Sylvia is from Bogotá, Colombia. She came to the U.S. at age 16, and has been living in the Bay Area for 37 years. She is an artist and a gardener, and is interested in the interrelation between art, health and nature and the regenerative effect it has at all levels. As a member of the LGBTQ community, she is honored and pleased to collaborate with OLAS and it's participants.
We are looking forward to expanding our program to the Central Valley in 2018, while still keeping our Bay Area cohort group strong and vibrant. We are currently looking into rental space, qualified facilitators to train, and potential participants in the Central Valley. By late summer 2018, we will have tested out a pilot program in the Modesto / Turlock area. We will likely hold a second Central Valley event in winter, 2018. The Central Valley participants will also be invited to attend our fall Bay Area weekend retreat, and arrangements will be made to get them there.
In the Bay Area, our program will continue with 2 weekend retreats, 3 one-day workshops, a fundraising party and holiday gathering. We will also continue to support our participants on an as needed basis through our confidential Facebook group and informal conversations by telephone and text.
At the end of 2017, our Advisory Committee said goodbye and thank you to Amy Bank and we welcome Laura Guevara as her replacement.
As far as staff, there will be big changes in 2018. Adela Pedroza, who has served on the Advisory Committee since its inception, will take on the role of Business Manager. Francisca Lizana, our Asst. Director in 2017, will take on the role of Clinical Director of our Bay Area program. Cristina Ceballos, Asst. Facilitator in 2017, will be invited to join the staff as a full Facilitator. Diana Shapiro will remain as the Program Director and will now focus her efforts on the Central Valley expansion. She intends to initiate an OLAS cohort group in Modesto or Turlock and to train a local therapist to eventually take over leadership in the Central Valley.
OLAS would like to following people for their generous donations:
Heroes ($1,000+ Level): Alan and Leslie Shapiro
Stars: ($500+ Level): Lyn Fine
Friends of OLAS ($100+Level): Adela Pedroza, John Taft, Joy Carlson, Cindy Smith, Sharon Moy
Supporters ($50+Level): Neil Kleinhandler
OLAS would also like to thank the following businesses for their in-kind donations to our December fundraiser: