5th Annual ND LGBTQ+ Summit
Zayden Bartosh (they/them) is the Regional Organizer and Trainer for North Dakota Human Rights Coalition as a lifetime resident of Bismarck. They provide LGBTQ+ safe space training for schools, business, organization, and the Bismarck Police Department. Zayden helped start the area’s only LGBTQ+ youth support group in 2019 after an idea was made complete from the 2019 Summit. Zayden also served on the board for Dakota Outright from 2018-2021. Zayden has been motivated by the youth in this state to be out as a trans non-binary person. Zayden helped put a stop to HB 1208, the anti-trans youth athlete bill, last legislative session. They are also a full-time student at Minot State University and will have earned a bachelor’s degree in Addiction Studies by the end of this school year.
Randy Bear Ribs
Randy Bear Ribs is from Bullhead, SD and is Hunkpapa Lakota. He is a descendant of Chief Rain In The Face and Chief Bear Ribs. He earned his Masters Degree in Management from the University of Mary in Bismarck. He is presently serving as the Vice President for the North Dakota Two Spirit Society and Allies. He is also the Rock Creek District Chairman with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Randy advocates for youth and their mental health. He understands suicide prevention is important. Randy strives to support others in coping with stereotypes and discrimination within Two Spirit Societies and LGBTQ+ communities.
This is Mattie's first year as part of the Summit organizing committee. She was introduced to the group through the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition, where she was the summer intern. Mattie has done lots of event planning throughout their college years and enjoys working in this setting. Mattie is a recent college graduate living and working in Fargo, ND as an independent contractor and a PCA. They are passionate about social justice and education. Mattie loves art, music, food and just enjoying the little things in life.
Representative Josh Boschee was first elected to the ND House of Representatives in 2012 and re-elected for his third term in November 2020. When elected, Josh was the first openly LGBT policy maker elected to the legislature. He is proud to have two other openly LGBT legislative candidates running this year with Ryan Braunberger running in District 10 (Fargo) and Kris Mount running in District 35 (Bismarck.) Josh spent most of 2018 running to be North Dakota’s 15th Secretary of State. While he didn’t win that race, he was elected by his fellow caucus members to serve a second term as the House Minority Leader.
Prior to serving in legislative leadership, Representative Boschee served on the House Industry, Business and Labor Committee and the House Agriculture Committee. Now he spends most of his time on state budget related issues, supporting the priorities of the Democratic-NPL caucus and partnering with other legislative leaders and the Governor to pass policies that improve opportunities for North Dakotans. This interim, he serves on the Redistricting Committee, Tribal & State Affairs Committee, Legacy Fund Earnings Committee and Retirement Committee to name a few.
When he's not representing his north Fargo constituents in Bismarck, Josh serves as the Broker for Real Broker, LLC, leading a team of 60 real estate agents and support professionals. Before he jumped into real estate, Josh worked in Student Affairs for eight years at NDSU and MSUM, where he found his passion for helping people establish, implement and achieve their goals.
An avid fan of everything downtown Fargo, in his free time, you can find Josh enjoying the food, sounds and life along Broadway. A veteran of many FM area nonprofit boards, he currently serves on the Board of Directors for Prairie Public Broadcasting.
Katie Christensen (she/her) is the North Dakota State Director for Planned Parenthood North Central States. She holds a bachelor's degree in education and master's degree in human development and family science. Since 2012, Katie has provided sex education programming and training throughout the region. Christensen's primary focus is on positive youth development, parent-child connectedness and expanding access to much needed education programming for vulnerable youth.
Jackson Elmquist is from Sauk Rapids, Minnesota and moved to North Dakota after high school in 2016. He graduated from NDSU in December of 2019, majoring in English and Philosophy. He began attending UND School of Law in August of 2020, and expects to graduate in May of 2023. Since beginning law school, he has participated as the Student Articles Editor of North Dakota Law Review, the President of the Immigration Law Student Association, and a member of the Environmental Law Student Association. During the summers, he has interned with the Fargo Public Defense Office, and with Wabasha’s County Attorney Office in Minnesota. After law school, Jackson plans to specialize in criminal law.
James C. Falcon (he/him/his) is a co-executive director for Magic City Equality, an LGBTQ2S+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, Two Spirit) organization based in Minot. He has been an active member of the community for several years and is enthusiastic about sharing his insight about LGBTQ2S+ organizations, as well as learning more at the ND LGBTQ Summit.
Hello! My name is LexX Francis and I identify as gender-fluid/ also pansexual. For the longest time, I've used they/them pronouns but now I feel like I am at a point where I go by any (they/he/she). A little about me, I am 24 years old, I am mixed, I have a DEEP obsession with slushies, and I'm a writer/performer. I have lived in the FM Area for a large chunk of my life. Favorite color: nEon grEEn hehe. Cancer sun, leo moon, pisces rising. Which makes total sense once you hear me not shut up.
Jonathan Frye is an award-winning humanitarian, activist, and community partner with organizations throughout North Dakota who has served with the board of Dakota OutRight since 2016. He has served in a multitude of positions with DOR including Capital Pride co-chair, Secretary, facilitator, lecturer, and community organizer also while being voted in as President of the organization in 2022. He is a proud enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, & Arikara sovereign nation and currently resides in Bismarck, North Dakota. Jonathan served as a presenter for the first 2018 ND LGBTQ+ Summit with a presentation on LGBTQ 101/Pronouns & Gender Identity vs. Orientation.
Julianna Gonen is the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Federal Policy Director, responsible for overseeing and advancing NCLR’s federal policy priorities with Congress and the executive branch. Her work focuses on reproductive health, rights and justice, federal nondiscrimination protections, access to health care, and a progressive and inclusive vision of religious liberty.
Gonen has extensive federal policy experience, having served as director of federal policy and advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights, where she advocated before the United States Congress, executive branch agencies, and in the courts for public policies at the federal level that protect and advance reproductive health and rights. While there, she led the Center’s efforts to defend access to contraception under the Affordable Care Act, drafting regulatory comments advocating against allowing religious employers to deny coverage to their employees and amicus briefs in federal court litigation regarding such exemptions. Gonen also spearheaded efforts that led to the introduction in Congress of major legislation to safeguard abortion rights against politically motivated state laws designed to shut down reproductive health care providers.
Gonen received her B.A. from Cornell University, and then received a doctorate in political science from the American University and a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. She is the author of Litigation as Lobbying: Reproductive Hazards and Interest Aggregation, published by The Ohio State University Press; the book is a case study of United Auto Workers v. Johnson Controls, a 1991 Supreme Court case in which corporate “fetal protection” policies were found to be unlawful sex discrimination.
She has taught undergraduate and graduate students in public health and political science as an adjunct professor in the School of Public Affairs at the American University in Washington, D.C. and at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. She has also taught public health law at Georgetown University Law Center. Gonen served for nine years on the Board of Directors of the Abortion Care Network. She lives in Washington, DC with her wife and two dogs.
Krissie Guerard is the Health Equity Director for the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services. Krissie is a graduate of Minnesota State University – Moorhead with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Health Education and Minnesota State University – Mankato with a Master of Science Degree in Health Science with an emphasis in community health.
Krissie began her public health career with the North Dakota Department of Health, Division of Disease Control, in August 2006 as the Ryan White/HIV Surveillance Coordinator. She then took over as the HIV/STD/TB/Hepatitis Program Manager in May 2007. Krissie worked in that role through February 2013. In March 2013, Krissie took over as the STD/HIV/TB Section Manager at the Minnesota Department of Health. In August of 2018, she came back to North Dakota as the Health Equity Director.
Lily Guetter is the current president of the FM Pride Collective and Community Center, former president of Tristate Transgender and first openly transgender individual to run for Moorhead city council. Guetter's passion is helping people thrive and live their best lives.
Brandi Hardy (she/her) is a decorated US Army Veteran and the Associate Regional Campaign Director for the Human Rights Campaign. She has over a decade of advocacy and organizing leadership for LGBTQ+ people, women, and human trafficking survivors. Through her work, she has fought back on policies that are harmful to the LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and Indigenous communities, she has organized rallies and protests, she has organized around voter education and so much more!
When she's not battling with lawmakers or marching in the streets, Brandi enjoys all the granola activities with her wife, two kids, and three rescue dogs. Which is usually cruising fresh powder on a snowboard, hiking up a mountain trail, and running on a new-found trail.
Olivia Delorme-Heitkamp, LBSW
The name I tend to go by is Livvy Heitkamp and I prefer she, her pronouns. I am currently the head advisor for Bismarck High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance club. graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver, CO with a bachelor’s degree in Science in Social Work. I am currently the Social Emotional Strategist at Bismarck High School and work with student’s that qualify for special education services under the state’s category of Emotional Disturbances. In previous roles, I have worked with youth experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, youth and adult survivors of human trafficking, and supported an intensive mental health-based program through the school district. I have seen first-hand the disproportionate ratio of LGBTQIA+ community members in each of these areas. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, myself, I am passionate about supporting the incredible young adults I work with at a school level because of these experiences in past roles and personal experiences. BHS’s GSA provides a safe environment for students to ask questions, build community, and support one another. After being away from North Dakota for 5 years and then going through the global pandemic right after my return, I am excited to network with fellow LGBTQIA+ community members and allies.
Ray is a third-year law student at the University of North Dakota School of Law. He was born in Mankato, Minnesota and grew up on a farm near Mankato. Before attending law school, Ray graduated from the University of Minnesota with a major in Animal Science and a minor in Applied Economics. Between his undergraduate and law school careers, Ray worked in various positions in the agriculture industry, with a specific focus in crop insurance. Ray's interests outside of school include helping his dad and brother farm, fishing, sports fandom, and playing piano. After graduation, Ray intends to move back to southern Minnesota and go into private practice in a rural community.
Tammi Kromenaker is the owner and Clinic Director of Red River Women's Clinic, formerly of Fargo, ND, and now Moorhead, MN. She has been working in abortion care since 1993. She works diligently at engaging her local community in support and maintaining an excellent clinic in a conservative region. Red River Women’s Clinic was awarded the George R. Tiller “Attitude is Everything” Standard of Excellence Award in 2015.
Hi, my name is Rachel Lang and I prefer she/they pronouns. Currently, I am a senior at Bismarck High School and am the current President of our school’s GSA Club. I have been going to our school’s GSA since I was a freshman. I would have never thought that I would be the president of BHS’s GSA, but here I am. BHS’s GSA has been a group that I can call family, because everyone that has attended has been accepting, caring, and loving. I strive to keep our club a safespace and to keep GSA a place where people can express themselves openly. I am very open to questions, but might not have answers to everything, because I know that there are things that I am not 100% educated on, even as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Keygan Miller is the Public Training Manager for The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for LGBTQ young people. Keygan oversees design and facilitation of public trainings to advance Trevor’s life-saving suicide prevention work and teach audiences to be strong allies for LGBTQ youth. Prior to this work, Keygan was an Advocacy Manager at The Trevor Project and they served as a Special Education Teacher for Cincinnati Public Schools. Keygan received a Master of Arts in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Cincinnati as well as a Master of Education and Human Development in Education Policy from The George Washington University.
Marg Nelson's hometown is Litchville, North Dakota. Marg graduated from Valley City State College, taught for 35 years and ended their career in New London, Wisconsin in 2008.
Marg's hobbies are: reading, rock hunting, golf, hiking, camping, antiques, thrifting, and traveling.
Erin Oban grew up in a farm family in Ray, North Dakota, a small, rural community in the heart of agriculture and oil country. Erin moved to Bismarck, graduated from the University of Mary, and began her professional career as a middle school math and technology teacher. She later left the classroom and gained experiences in public service, elections and campaigns, as a non-profit director and in educational leadership.
In 2014 and again in 2018, Erin was elected to the North Dakota Senate, serving the legislative district encompassing the State Capitol in central Bismarck. Throughout her legislative service, Erin rose to positions of leadership, serving as Assistant Senate Minority Leader and chair of the Interim Education Policy Committee, and gained respect from her colleagues, lobbyists, state agencies, and organizations for her desire to build relationships, work across the aisle, and engage in open, honest dialogue.
In March 2022, Erin received a Presidential appointment to continue public service as North Dakota’s state director for USDA Rural Development with the Biden-Harris Administration. Though a forever-proud, Class B girl at heart, Erin makes her home in North Dakota’s capital city with her husband, Chad, and their new Kindergartener, Evin.
Edi Planincic is originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba with a major in criminology and a minor in psychology. Edi is currently a student at the University of North Dakota School of Law. He is a member of the Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society. After law school Edi plans to specialize in commercial litigation.
Cardinal Red Bird
Cardinal Red Bird is an enrolled member from the Fort Berthold Reservation, and his nationality is Mandan and Sisseston Sioux. Mr. Red Bird is the Founder and President of the NORTH DAKOTA TWO SPIRIT SOCIETY AND ALLIES based in Bismarck, North Dakota. The non-profit organization was established in August of 2019. On September 24, 2022 a Premiere was held at the historic Belle Mehus auditorium in Bismarck to introduce the Two Spirit history which also included a Drag Show. The S&A, short for the organization's title, embraces cultural diversity.
Quin Reilly is a cis male, bi, a senior, an awarded musician and an aspiring author. Currently he is the leader of what's left of the Watford City GSA after the school tried disbanding them. Quin trying build the club back up from the ground to give students the support and safe space that they rely on and might not have anywhere else.
Cody Schuler is the ACLU of ND Advocacy Manager. As advocacy manager, Cody builds the ACLU’s public education and advocacy programs through coalition-building, leadership development, communication, and lobbying. He ensures that supporters of the ACLU of North Dakota have the tools, information, and opportunities to be effective advocates on issues like abortion rights, voting rights, criminal justice reform, and LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit rights.
Prior to joining the ACLU of North Dakota, Cody served as executive director of the FM Coalition to End Homelessness, an advocacy, education, and collaboration nonprofit with a mission to prevent and end homelessness in the Fargo metro area.
Outside of the ACLU, Cody is a commissioner for the Fargo Housing and Redevelopment Authority and serves on the boards of directors for the Fargo Downtown Neighborhood Association and The Human Family, a nonprofit with a mission to change communities through art, including the North Dakota Human Rights Art and Film Festivals and the Fargo-Moorhead LGBT Film Festival.
Cody grew up in Bismarck and holds degrees from Dakota Wesleyan University and Duke University. A self-identified NPR nerd and coffee addict, Cody is usually game for a round of bar trivia and loves to get out hiking. He also enjoys cooking, kayaking, amateur mixology, and live music events.
Dr. Sturgill is a clinical psychologist at Sanford Health in Moorhead, MN. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota, he worked for a number of years in a rural clinic in Norton, Kansas. In 2011 he moved to the Fargo/Moorhead area to work in Sanford Health’s Adult Behavioral Clinic. Since 2014, after the retirement of two long-time gender specialists, he has shifted his focus to mental health services for transgender and gender diverse individuals. He works with adults, adolescents, children, and families.
Charles "CJ" Vondal
Charles "CJ" Vondal is a senior at the University of North Dakota majoring in Social Work. Vondal is the current president of Queer & Trans Alliance (QTA) at UND and has been the president since 2018. QTA is a student-run organization that focuses on creating a community not only on campus, but in Grand Forks. Vondal is also on the board of volunteers for Grand Forks Pride Committee.
Vondal is the admin for Queer as Forks which is the LGBTQIA+ community of Grand Forks and surrounding areas on Facebook.
Aaron Zimmerman, CFRE, M.A. (He/Him) is the Executive Director of PFund Foundation. He is a career fundraiser and non-profit executive who has supported social justice nonprofits in the Upper Midwest through comprehensive communications, strategic planning, and development. As a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), he utilizes best practices to support missions important to him and the community.
Previously, he served as PFund Foundation’s Interim Executive Director and before as Director of Development; as a Major and Planned Giving Officer at Twin Cities PBS (TPT); and as the Director of Development and Communications at Domestic Abuse Project, a Minneapolis-based domestic violence therapy and advocacy program. Aaron has also worked at Family Tree Clinic, OutFront Minnesota, and the Red Ribbon Ride.
He has his Master of Arts degree in Philanthropy and Development from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. He focused his capstone on the history and practice of white supremacy in philanthropy in the United States. Additionally, he has presented on topics for non-profit professionals and corporations, including corporate charitable engagement, white supremacy in fundraising and philanthropy, website best practices for fundraising, and successful online campaigns.
He grew up in Western Wisconsin with his parents and five sisters. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian Language and Political Science. In his free time, Aaron volunteers on the boards of Quorum, Minnesota’s LGBTQ+ and Allied Chamber of Commerce, CloseKnit, in support of systems approach to ending youth homelessness, and on the governance committee of RECLAIM!, a queer and trans youth therapy provider.