Elena Everett

Elena Everett

Executive Director

She/her/hers elena@southernvision.org
Elena began organizing at NC State University, where she was active in anti-war and labor solidarity campaigns. She was elected state Chair of the NC Green Party from 2003-2007, which at the age of 23, made her the youngest state Party chair in the country. In May 2010, she founded the Youth Organizing Institute, a leadership development and base-building project created in response to threats by a newly elected school board majority. Seeing a need for more entry points to organizing for young people, Elena helped to found Ignite NC in fall 2013 and served as the operations director for its NC Vote Defenders program for three years.  She became the Executive Director of the newly established Southern Vision Alliance in August 2014.  Elena currently serves as the Board Treasurer of Blueprint NC. She loves working with young people and helping them realize and actualize their potential as revolutionary game-changers.
Loan Tran

Loan Tran

Co-Director

They/them/theirs
loan@southernvision.org
Loan Tran is a queer, bilingual writer and educator of color based Durham, NC.  Loan has worked on issues of migrant justice, LGBTQ liberation, economic and racial justice and for an end to all interpersonal violence. Loan was a featured speaker at the Historic Thousands on Jones St. (HKonJ)/Moral March and has had their writing and commentary featured on Black Girl Dangerous, Waging Non-Violence, {Young}ist, New York Times and The Advocate, among others. Following the passage of HB2, Loan became a spokesperson and leader in the repeal effort. They served in the leadership body of the QTPOCC (Queer and Trans People of Color Collective) that called for actions at the governor’s mansion, and across the state. Loan was one of four people who participated in civil disobedience after the passage of the bill. Loan is a former board member of G.L.S.E.N. and current board member at the Highlander Research and Education Center.  They also serve on the boards the Emergent Fund, a new effort to new LGBT initiatives.  In 2016, Loan helped to create the HB2 Queer Mobilization Fund to move resources for resistance to HB2 led by queer and trans people of color. Loan is an expert in organizational development, and popular education-style trainings. Loan envisions a movement for liberation and justice to be one that leaves no one behind so one day we can all be our authentic selves, lead full lives and be free.
AJ Williams

AJ Williams

Director of Finance

He/him/his
aj@southernvision.org

Alele J. Williams (“AJ”), is an advocate for entrepreneurship, budding filmmaker and creative individual who has made contributions through organizing work within the trans/POC community in North Carolina. AJ was instrumental in leading the efforts around the Do No Harm campaign with the goal being to eliminate the religious harm done within the Black Church community to LGBTQIA folk.

As an organizer at the Freedom Center for Social Justice, he led the Trans Employment Job Readiness Program, and orchestrated the Transgender Faith and Action Network Retreat. The Retreat brought together national thought leaders to gather in a safe space to discuss the most pressing issues in the trans community. Participants included Diego Sanchez, Policy Advisor at PFLAG, and Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, who was appointed by President Barack Obama as the first Transgender White House staff member. AJ also led organizing efforts for the Yes, You Can Go Campaign during the harmful North Carolina statewide legislation passed known as HB2 as an Organizer for The Freedom Center for Social Justice, by encouraging business owners to stand in solidarity with the trans community.

Abby Arellanes

Abby Arellanes

Finance Associate

He/him/his abby@southernvision.org Abby Arellanes currently serves as a finance associate at SVA. Abby is a west coast transplant; he was born in Santa Ana, California but relocated from Salt Lake City, Utah. Abby is working on his master’s specializing in Work and Global Economy at North Carolina State University. Driven by his fascination of understanding the complex forces that shape up our society and economy, Abby is most interested in social networks, labor relations, financialization of the economy and intersectionality. Abby is an advocate for migrant and worker’s rights, LGBTQ+ liberation, racial equity, economic justice and mental health. Abby has been involved in a number of organizations such as Comunidades Unidas, Racially Just Utah and Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement in his time on the west coast. Through service efforts, Abby has helped develop various campaigns, planned a number of community events and organized several fundraisers. Abby strongly believes in importance of community work by engaging people in meaningful conversations, and investing resources and emotional labor into building up underserved communities.
Beau Cromartie

Beau Cromartie

Communications Director

They/them/theirs beau@southernvision.org