Staff

 

 

Ali MuldrowAli Muldrow – Co-Executive Director

Ali Muldrow is a parent, partner, writer, instructor, advocate, and doula. She began her work in education in 2006 when she became the after school spoken word club liaison for the East High School in partnership with UW-Madison’s First Wave program. Ali played a key role in creating Wisconsin’s first Spoken Word class; a class that allowed high school students to receive academic credit for their study of urban art forms. Ali facilitated the Spoken Word course for 4 years as an artist in residence at East High School in Madison, WI. Ali went on to partner with Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) to create and host spoken word clubs at five Madison public high schools. Ali is currently the Director of Youth Programming and Inclusion at GSAFE, where she has for the last three years authored the curriculum for and taught Foundations of Leadership, a course based in the experiences of LGBTQ+ youth of color that recruits high school students from the entire Madison public school district who are advanced learners in the areas of leadership. While working with GSAFE Ali has also paired over 70 students with mentors and hosted two annual LGBTQ+ Youth of Color Leadership Conferences as well as co-directed GSAFE’s Leadership Training Institute, a 4 day summer camp that gives students from all over Wisconsin the opportunity to develop their abilities as activists, allies, and creators of change. In the spring of 2015 Ali launched GSAFE’s New Narrative Project in the Dane County Juvenile Detention Center, a program that provides incarcerated young people with clear channels to academic success, civic engagement, and self-determination. Ali grew up in a multiracial family where identity was discussed at the dinner table and difference was celebrated. She is passionate about consent, freedom, learning and human rights. Ali is committed to bringing innovation and love to all that she doe

 

 

Amy Castro Administrative Coordinator for Learning and Community

Amy Castro is a first generation Mexican-American who was born and raised in Madison. Ever since they were young, they had a passion to advocate for marginalized communities and utilize their voice in any way possible. They first became involved in GSAFE in 2014 as a high school student, serving on the Youth Leadership Board and working on the four day Leadership 

Training Institute for three years in a row. They graduated from Malcolm Shabazz City High School in 2016 and went on to attended Lawrence University for two years, where they co-founded the organization Colores: Empowering LGBTQ+ People of Color and were appointed as the Operations Chair on the Committee on Diversity Affairs. They will receive their Bachelor’s from Edgewood College where they are self-designing their major, Applications for Social Change. They are passionate about racial and LGBTQ+ justice, the arts, and creating brave and inclusive spaces for youth to be uplifted and heard. When they are not working, they can be found creating art and hanging out with their cats.

 

 

 

Tyrone Creech Jr. – Youth Leadership Organizer

Tyrone Creech Jr. comes from one of the longest standing black families in Madison, going back four full generations. Graduating from East High School in 2007, Tyrone went on to UW-Platteville to focus on his successful post high school athletics, where he discovered himself and came out at the age of 21. He returned to Madison shortly after, determined to explore and experience the new community he now found himself to be a part of. He joined the Madison Minotaurs, an LGBT rugby team which he played on every year, allowing him to not only  make a name for himself, but also interact with many different sorts of people that called the queer community their home. When he was 27, he finally decided to experience life outside of the states, living in Australia for the better of two years working closely with the LGBTQIA+ community and experiencing a different way of life. Upon returning to Madison, he’s gone back to pursuing higher education at MATC, focusing on a Communications degree with emphasis on LGBTQIA+. Tyrone has worked with GSAFE as an adult mentor for over four years, being a staple at the Leadership Training Institute camp that is held every year. Since sports have been a part of his life for so long, he dreams of one day focusing his advocacy in the queer community on LGBTQIA+ young athletes, providing guidance through his experiences and hope to nurture their confidence and activism into their future lives. No matter the occasion, Tyrone brings his leadership, confidence, and loveable personality to the table in hopes of positively influencing everyone he connects with.

 

Brian Juchems (Brian J.) – Co-Executive Director

Brian J. has been at the forefront of fostering inclusive schools in Wisconsin for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+) youth since 1998 when he migrated to Madison from rural Iowa where he had previously worked as a residence hall director for Luther College.  Brian J. co-founded and grew GSAFE’s annual Leadership Training Institute into a 4-day summer camp for high school students across Wisconsin to develop their skills as activists, allies, and agents of change. In 2002 Brian J formally joined GSAFE’s staff and has served as lead trainer, where he has regularly provided engaging professional development for tens of thousands of K-12 educators with an approachable and playful Midwest sensibility. In 2005 Brian J. partnered with Madison students to successfully pass the state’s first district-level transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination policy and has since worked with dozens of districts to take similar steps.  Throughout 2016-2017, with the support of the Wisconsin Partnership Program and Gender Spectrum, Brian J. developed and piloted GSAFE’s Gender Inclusive Schools Project, a multi-level approach that helps school districts create systemic change towards the health and well-being of transgender and non-binary students. A frequent collaborator with Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction, Brian J remains a sought-after trainer and consultant for Wisconsin’s K-12 school.   

 

 

 

Jo Nachtigal- Leadership and Advocacy Coordinator

 

Jo Nachtigal was born and raised in a small town nestled against the Wisconsin River, Muscoda WI. Growing up he dreamed of being more than a cog in the system- rather a great change maker. They learned from the winding Wisconsin River that fighting against the current, while challenging, can often lead to great reward and change. 

Jo graduated from UW-Platteville with a vocal music degree in December 2020. During their time there, Jo filled their summers working with youth at summer camps and prospering their spirituality as to further themselves.  Jo served as their fraternity- Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia’s social and recruitment chair for three consecutive years. Jo also had the pleasure of directing Platteville Middle School’s 6th grade play for two years. 

After graduating from UW-Platteville, Jo went on to teach music and advise Gender and Sexuality alliances where they were awakened to the true lack of advocacy their community was receiving. With a freshly stoked flame of activism burning brightly within, Jo began learning the ins and outs of LGBTQ+ activism- specifically around students’ rights within the public education system. It is with a culmination of these shared experiences and the lessons of souls along their path that Jo has joined the fight with GSAFE. 

 

 

Rae Sowards-Communications and Development Manager 

Rae Sowards was born and raised in Dundalk, a working class port town located outside the city limits of Baltimore. Her backyard was a playground of towering factory stacks puffing chemicals from the local steel mill. She knew beauty in the grandeur of industrial-sized unpacking cranes. At sunset, their metal necks would shine and reflect off the Chesapeake and dissolve into the smoky orange glow of the sky. This is where she first learned that beauty and danger can be one in the same. rae@gsafewi.org

 

 

 

 

Quentin Cotton Education and Advocacy Coordinator

Quentin Cotton is a native of Florida, where he grew up in a family full of educators. From an early age, he understood the importance of academics, leadership, and making a difference for those that came after. During his undergrad years, Quentin became a member of a plethora of student organizations, including the Debate team that he founded and served as President, and eventually advisor. But it wasn’t until he served as a hall director that he knew education, and leadership was his true passion. After a few years serving as a Hall Director and Director of Residence Life and Housing, Quentin served as the Dean of Students at Virginia Union University. While in this role, he created two major leadership programs (The Talented Tenth, and VCAAM: Virginia College for African American Men) that focused on developing and nurturing black male freshmen on campus, and upperclassmen student leaders. Quentin plans to pursue Law School, where he intends to specialize in civil rights, and support BIPOC and LGBTQ+ groups through education, leadership, and policy.

 

 

 

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Testimonials

“Some of the boys used the expression ‘No Homo’ when playing a game and I immediately talked to them about what that phrase means and how it is offensive. GSAFE’s training prepared me to intervene in that moment.”

After school program staff