Team

STAFF
Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director

Raised in North Carolina, Jasmine Beach-Ferrara is a minister in the United Church of Christ. She is a graduate of Brown University and received a MFA from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and a MDiv from Harvard Divinity School. She has worked on LGBTQ rights campaigns since 2004 and founded the Campaign for Southern Equality in 2011. Jasmine has been interviewed by MSNBC, The New York Times, and the BBC about LGBT rights in the South. She is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship and her first collection of short stories, Damn Love, won the 2014 PEN/Hemingway Honorable Mention Award for Debut Fiction. Jasmine and her wife, Meghann, live in Asheville, NC, with their son. She serves on Buncombe County Commission, representing District 1.

Jasmine has written widely about strategy in the LGBTQ movement:

Contact: jasmine@southernequality.org

Chase Harless, Community Program Evaluator

Chase Harless was born and raised in Kingsport, Tennessee. Being raised in a smaller Appalachian town, Chase understands the disparities the LGBTQ community faces in the South. This created an early desire to be an advocate for social justice and equal treatment for the LGBTQIA+ community along with other at-risk groups. He attended East Tennessee State University and graduated with a degree in Sociology with a focus on survey research and data analysis. After graduating with his undergraduate degree, he worked in survey research with the Applied Social Research Lab at ETSU. Chase is currently enrolled at Western Carolina University pursuing a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Once graduated, he hopes to continue to advocate for the LGBT community through policy and legislative work.

Contact: Chase@southernequality.org

Ivy Gibson-Hill, LGBTQ Rights Toolkit Coordinator

Ivy Gibson-Hill was born in Piedmont SC where ze currently resides with hir wife Misha. Ivy is a Co-founder and the Program Director of the award-winning trans advocacy and support group Gender Benders based in Upstate SC. Over the past 10 years Ivy has served marginalized communities in a variety of capacities ranging from education and advocacy work for inclusive hate crime legislation, to serving on SC Equality’s Trans Action Committee and Greenville Forward’s Inclusion and Diversity Task-Force, to organizing Greenville’s largest counter KKK rally. In late 2014 Ivy was honored to accept the Ryan Wilson Equality Award for outstanding advocacy for the LGBTQ community of SC. Check out hir 2015 TEDxGreenville presentation here. As a long time CSE supporter, ze is excited to be serving as CSE’s LGBTQ Rights Toolkit Coordinator. Ivy is based in Piedmont, SC.

Contact: ivy@southernequality.org

Britney Nesbit, Southern Equality Fund Coordinator

Britney Nesbit was born in Atlanta but calls Charleston, South Carolina home. Britney is a proud University of South Carolina alum. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Her love for science and passion for helping others led her to pursue a career as a pharmacist. But after witnessing the real health disparities experienced by LGBTQ folks and marginalized communities of color, she was motivated to step outside of the healthcare provider role and into the role of a social justice advocate. Britney has exercised her commitment to intersectional advocacy, racial equity, and coalition building by facilitating LGBT+ ally workshops, creating empathy-building training sessions, and teaming up with LGBTQ community organizations to make healthcare institutes a safer and affirming space for LGBTQ individuals. She is excited to pursue social justice advocacy work professionally as a Community Organizer for CSE through the Tzedek Social Justice Fellowship for the 2016-2017 year.

Contact: britney@southernequality.org

Fletcher Page, LGBTQ Resources Navigator

Born and raised in Piedmont, South Carolina, Fletcher Page is a trans man who’s been working for social justice since 2012. Fletcher has served as the Assistant Director of Gender Benders – a grassroots support and advocacy group for trans and GNC people – since January of 2016.  In 2015 Fletcher started doing education work surrounding trans issues. He’s done trans sensitivity trainings for 30+ colleges, universities, businesses, hospitals, organizations, and government agencies since 2015. Fletcher also assists with creating the program and organizing camp GB – an annual summer camp for trans and GNC people across the southeastern US. His work with CSE has brought opportunities to assist with organizing 20+ Pop-Up Clinics for LGBTQ folks across the South. Fletcher also recently became CSE’s Volunteer Coordinator. Want to get involved in CSE’s work? Email Fletcher  at

Contact: Fletcher@southernequality.org.

Aaron Sarver, Communications Director

Aaron Sarver grew up in North Carolina and graduated from  N.C. State University with a B.A. in Economics. His writing has appeared in In These Times, The Chicago Reader, The News and Observer, and The Asheville Citizen-Times. 

Aaron has presented on social media and public relations at the LGBTQ in the South conference, Netroots and Creating Change. He frequently runs communications trainings and workshop for community groups and non-profits. Since 2012, he has been CSE’s Communication Director. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Just Economics of Western North Carolina.

Contact: aaron@southernequality.org

Maya Avery Washington, Tzedek Social Justice Fellow for Engagement and Operations

Maya Avery Washington is a black, queer, woman from Atlanta, Georgia. Before moving to Asheville she was apart of the planning committee of the National Conference of Black Mayors Convention in Cali, Colombia, a Black Studies student at Georgia State University and a supportive ally to various grassroots organizations in the South.

She believes in collective, intersectional liberation with a focus on reproductive justice. She values the power of intergenerational and ancestral work, creativity, and working towards an environmentally minded world.  Maya’s passions lie in building bridges with accomplices of all ages, abilities, races, sexualities, socioeconomic backgrounds and genders by creating warm, safe spaces where folks can convene, create and build emotional support systems. Maya currently works as the Tzedek Social Justice Fellow for Engagement and Operations for the Campaign for Southern Equality. Her duties include assisting with event planning and administrative support around fundraising.

After Tzedek, she has professional dreams of assisting nonprofits in adopting cutting edge fundraising and mindful accessibility techniques. Her personal future lies in planning for the future of autonomous healing, living and growing space for black and brown queer folks.

Contact: maya@southernequality.org

Lindsey Wilson, Director of Engagement and Operations

Lindsey Wilson grew up across the South and moved to Asheville in 2002 where she currently lives with her wife, Melissa, daughter, Peyton, dog, cats, and chickens. She has more than a decade of experience on local, state and federal political, social justice, and environmental campaigns. She is an active volunteer with the YWCA of Asheville where she serves on the Finance Committee. Lindsey has worked with the Campaign for Southern Equality since 2011.

Contact: lindsey@southernequality.org


CSE’s Legal Team includes pro bono attorneys across the South. They are led by:

Meghann Burke, Legal Team Leader

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Meghann Burke is an attorney at Brazil & Burke, where she focuses on civil and criminal litigation. She received her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law. During law school, Meghann worked with the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project on the first case ever to recover damages against a public entity for its complicity with the Ku Klux Klan’s campaign of racial violence during the Civil Rights Movement. She authored an amicus brief on behalf of the Campaign for Southern Equality in the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges and is a frequent presenter on constitutional law at workshops around the South. She also leads the Buncombe County Criminal Defense Bar and serves on the Legal Affairs Committee of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. Meghann was nominated by her colleagues as a “Young Gun” Legal Elite by Business North Carolina in 2013 for her work in criminal defense cases. Meghann began her law practice after finishing a ten-year professional soccer career. Meghann is a lifelong fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. She spends her free time mountain biking, standup paddle boarding, and playing soccer. She and her wife, Jasmine, enjoy dance parties with their son and taking in the sights and scenes of downtown Asheville.

Contact: mburke@cobralawfirm.com

Diane Walton, Legal Team
Diane Walton (“Dizy”) is a licensed attorney in private practice in North Carolina. The focus of her work is family law, including child custody, adoption, divorce, and partnership documents. Diane served in the United States Coast Guard, is on the CSE legal team, and resides in Asheville, NC with her partner Sarah and their three sons.

Contact: diane@waltonlawoffice.com