Collective Co-Leaders

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Rev. Mykal O’Neal Slack

Mykal has been working in congregations and other faith settings for more than a decade, helping to develop anti-racist and anti-oppressive frameworks for church life, to offer pastoral leadership and educational resources to address sexual orientation and gender identity issues, and to foster community life practices that embody radical welcome and connection.

Mykal currently serves as the Community Minister for Worship & Spiritual Care for Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU) and is on the visioning team for the Clearing, an emerging POC, queer, and trans-centered spiritual community. Past roles include Co-Director of the Freedom Center for Social Justice; Director of Congregational Life at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh, NC; Community Life Coordinator and Worship Leader at First Parish Cambridge, Unitarian Universalist; and Director of Worship for the Sanctuary Boston.

For his commitment to multicultural culture-building in communities of faith, Mykal was selected as a 2015-16 Movement Fellow for the Southeast House of Soulforce and as a 2015-16 Beatitudes Fellow through the Beatitudes Society. He is vice-chair on the Board of the LGBTQ Center of Durham, as well as a member of the Advisory Group for the Center for African American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice. He is a featured blogger for Believe Out Loud. Mykal lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Teo Drake

Teo is a spiritual activist, an educator, a practicing Buddhist and yogi, and an artisan who works in wood and steel. He is also a blue collar queer-identified man living with AIDS. When he isn’t helping spiritual spaces be more welcoming and inclusive of marginalized people or helping queer and trans folks find authentic spiritual paths, he can be found teaching martial arts, yoga, and woodworking to children.

Teo is on the faculty and board of Off the Mat Into the World, an organization that empowers yoga practitioners to do justice work from a place of service and spiritual grounding; the national advisory board of Positively Trans, a project of the Transgender Law Center that seeks to mobilize and promote resilience among trans people most impacted by HIV/AIDS; and the board of Phallacies, a theater project to help men in college dismantle patriarchy and counter gender-based violence. He is also currently collaborating with the leadership of Showing Up for Racial Justice on an anti-racism training curriculum for white working class folks and labor movements.

Teo regularly serves as a workshop facilitator and guest speaker in a variety of settings on topics such as compassionate communication and how to approach radical inclusion from a skills-based place. His writing can be found in the anthology Yoga and Body Image, as well as on the blog Roots Grow the Tree. Teo lives in Greenfield, Massachusetts. 

LeLaina Romero, Ph.D.

LeLaina is a singer/songwriter, community song leader, worship leader, counseling psychologist, and community organizer working at the intersection of social justice and well-being. Her work particularly focuses on LGBTQ people of color, and on co-creating healing spaces for activists. 

At home in Durham, North Carolina, LeLaina leads the Beloved Community Chorus, a group that centers the music of people of color and engages worship at the intersections of music and social justice at the Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and co-facilitates a healing justice collective working to create accessible and inclusive healing spaces for all bodies within and outside of institutions.  LeLaina is a founding leader of The Clearing, an emerging community that is open to all and centers the voices, experience, and liberation of queer and trans people of color. She is also growing as a new parent to an incredible kid.

LeLaina previously had a psychotherapy practice as part of The Meeting Point, a collective of independent body workers and mental health practitioners committed to meeting the needs of marginalized people, particularly in the LGBTQ community. She also developed a social justice seminar for interns at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design Counseling and Wellness Center. She served on the Implementation Collective of the Association of Women in Psychology, working to increase AWP’s welcome and inclusion of women with marginalized identities.

As a queer multiracial/Latina community artist and healer, LeLaina believes that we grow and heal through connections—with ourselves, others, communities, and our surroundings. Through activism that centers relationships,  she believes we have the ability to resist and dismantle oppression and create a more just world that can nurture growth, healing, and transformation for all. 

Zr. Alex Kapitan

Alex is a trainer, speaker, consultant, editor, and anti-oppression activist. A transgender and queer lifelong Unitarian Universalist, Alex grounds radical social justice work in a place of faith and love, and also does interfaith ministry to help queer and trans people connect to religion and spirituality.

Alex recently worked for eight years at the national headquarters of the Unitarian Universalist Association, supporting anti-racism and Welcoming Congregation programming for congregations and managing large-scale social justice organizing efforts. Alex is currently on the steering committee for TRUUsT, an organization of transgender Unitarian Universalist religious professionals.

Alex regularly serves as a workshop facilitator and speaker on topics including radical inclusion, intersectional social justice, gender and sexuality diversity 101, and much more. Alex also does freelance editing, copyediting, and consulting work to help individuals, groups, and organizations use language in ways that align with their values, and recently launched the project Radical Copyeditor to further this work. Alex’s writing can be found in anthologies including Falling Into the Sky, Becoming, and Justice on Earth, as well as on the blog Roots Grow the Tree. Alex lives in Greenfield, Massachusetts.