Committed to success.

 

Executive Board

 
Jasmine.jpg

Acting President
Jasmine Routon

Jasmine has been a resident of Champaign since 2015. She moved to the area from Kentucky to pursue a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on rural LGBTQ+ individuals and families and their experiences of poverty, housing instability, and other social inequalities.  Jasmine joined the board of directors early 2016.

e-mail: jasmine@unitingpride.org

 

 
jgeigner.gif

Parent Seat
Joanne Geigner

Joanne, of Urbana, is the parent representative from the UParents group. The proud parent of a transgender teen, JoAnne resides in Urbana with her husband, son, and a house full of cats.  Born in Chicago and raised in the suburbs, she’s been in central Illinois for the past 20+ years.  JoAnne enjoys working in social media and public affairs, and currently coordinates communications for the Urbana School District #116.  She earned a bachelors of arts in Literature/Communications from Illinois Benedictine College.  As a member of Equality Illinois' Community Advisory Group, she focuses her advocacy on issues of education and equality for transgender youth and others who identify as LGBTQ+.  She is also a volunteer Advocate for Champaign County CASA.

e-mail: joanne@unitingpride.org

 

Youth Seat
Maddy Boyd

Maddy was recently voted onto the board. Please be patient while we update information!

 
  Secretary  Sara Alvis  Sara has lived in Champaign County since she was six years old. She comes from a long line of civil rights advocates and activists who were passionate about equality, so it’s in her blood to be an ally and supporter of people who are underrepresented and/or under-served. “While attending UP Center’s Pride Fest one year, I was especially inspired by the energy of the youth who were involved in the event, and I knew that this is an organization I want to be involved with.” Sara has two adult daughters and a grandson, who live in the area. Sara joined the board as a Member at Large in November 2016.  e-mail:  sara@unitingpride.org  

Secretary
Sara Alvis

Sara has lived in Champaign County since she was six years old. She comes from a long line of civil rights advocates and activists who were passionate about equality, so it’s in her blood to be an ally and supporter of people who are underrepresented and/or under-served. “While attending UP Center’s Pride Fest one year, I was especially inspired by the energy of the youth who were involved in the event, and I knew that this is an organization I want to be involved with.” Sara has two adult daughters and a grandson, who live in the area. Sara joined the board as a Member at Large in November 2016.

e-mail: sara@unitingpride.org  

 

Members at Large

Nathan.jpg

Nathan Alexander

Nathan is originally from Carbondale, IL and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environmental Science. Although new to Champaign-Urbana, he's interested in helping create a strong community and provide resources to the LGBTQ+ community. Nathan helped establish the Gay Straight Alliance at Carbondale Community High School in 2007, and gained experience leading small teams and connecting people with resources through work as a resident assistant and crew lead on wildlife research projects. Nathan joined the board in January 2018 and is excited to see the center's growth and development. 

e-mail: nathan@unitingpride.org

 

 
IMG_20180614_194008706_3.jpg

William Blanchard

As "the gay kid" at a rural high school, William learned firsthand the value of programs and services that specifically help LGBTQ individuals. William moved to Champaign-Urbana in 2002 to attend the University of Illinois, and has stuck around ever since. His experiences in the community include serving as Co-Chairperson of the Champaign County chapter of Equal Marriage Illinois, Assistant Director of the Spring 2007 Illinois LGBT College Conference, Coordinator and Fundraising Chair for the 60-person University of Illinois delegation to the 2011 Midwestern Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, and Ally Collegiate Conference, and the Director of several National Coming Out Day celebrations and Day of Silence celebrations. He was also privileged to help rebuild the University of Illinois' LGBT Speakers Panel program and the PRIDE student organization. William has two rabbits, Bobbi and Ted, who are kind enough to let him crash at the apartment which he rents for them.

e-mail: william@unitingpride.org

 

 
 
christopher headshot.jpg

Christopher H. Morris

Christopher has been a resident of Champaign since 2013, by way of North Carolina. He joined the Board of Directors in August 2016, and served as Acting President from January 2017-January 2018.

 
 

Staff

  Children, Youth, and Family Coordinator     Jacob Goffnett, MSW   Jacob became the Youth Coordinator at the UP Center in June 2017. He has worked with youth in residential and community settings for seven years. Jacob is also a Ph.D. student in social work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research looks at the contribution emotions make to health outcomes and disparities for sexual and gender minority adolescents.  e-mail:  jacob@unitingpride.org

Children, Youth, and Family Coordinator

Jacob Goffnett, MSW

Jacob became the Youth Coordinator at the UP Center in June 2017. He has worked with youth in residential and community settings for seven years. Jacob is also a Ph.D. student in social work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research looks at the contribution emotions make to health outcomes and disparities for sexual and gender minority adolescents.

e-mail: jacob@unitingpride.org

  Children, Youth, and Family Outreach Coordinator    Rachel Muir   Originally from upstate NY, Rachel is an undergraduate at Dartmouth College studying public policy and government. She has done work in college-access, community outreach, and social justice education in both her university and home communities. She is passionate about social and education policy in terms of supporting marginalized populations. Rachel joined the UP Center in February of 2018.   e-mail: rachel@unitingpride.org      

Children, Youth, and Family Outreach Coordinator

Rachel Muir

Originally from upstate NY, Rachel is an undergraduate at Dartmouth College studying public policy and government. She has done work in college-access, community outreach, and social justice education in both her university and home communities. She is passionate about social and education policy in terms of supporting marginalized populations. Rachel joined the UP Center in February of 2018. 

e-mail: rachel@unitingpride.org