Kylar Broadus, Operations Officer
Kylar W. Broadus joined the staff of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund in January of 2017 as Senior Counsel. Broadus was formerly a tenured Professor of Business Law at Lincoln University in Missouri with over 20 years’ experience, and ran his own law practice in Columbia Missouri since 1997, serving all kinds of clients, including transgender, lesbian, gay and bisexual clients. He served as senior policy counsel at the National LGBTQ Task Force and director of the Transgender Civil Rights Project from 2013 to 2015. In 2012, Broadus made history as the first openly transgender person to testify before the U.S. Senate, speaking in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
He currently serves on the board of Freedom for All Americans, an appointment he has held since 2016. He previously served on the National Black Justice Coalition Board, and served as board chair from 2007 to 2010. He founded the Trans People of Color Coalition in 2010, a national organization dedicated to the needs of trans people of color. In 2013 he was featured in OUT Magazine and was recently featured in the documentary “The Trans List” appearing on HBO. Broadus has worked for decades on behalf of people of color and LGBT people for justice and fairness. His goal and mission is that all people be treated fairly and equally.
Broadus is a graduate of Central Methodist University where he obtained a B.S. in Business Administration in 1985. In 1988, he obtained his law degree from the University of Missouri Columbia School of Law. He wrote the first of its kind article on employment discrimination in 2006, “The Evolution of Employment Discrimination Protections for Transgender People,” which is used in gender and women’s studies classes throughout the country. He currently serves on the William’s Institute Faculty Advisory Counsel. He is well quoted in the media on issues involving transgender rights and speaks regularly on these issues across the country.
AC Dumlao, Name Change Project Coordinator
AC Dumlao works on the Name Change Project as well as Community Education at TLDEF. AC is a queer trans non-binary first-generation Filipino-American whose focus as an advocate and artist is to affirm and center underrepresented people and their intersectional identities. They were profiled by NBC Asian America for the inaugural #RedefineAtoZ list of AAPI (Asian-American/Pacific Islander) emerging voices in Spring 2017. AC is also the creator of the social justice Facebook page "Call Me They." Their writing has been published by The Huffington Post, Autostraddle.com, and Wear Your Voice Magazine, and they have been quoted in The Root. AC is a JEM Mentor at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of New York City.
Previous to TLDEF, AC worked in digital advertising at the consulting firm M+R with top progressive non-profits including Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the National Women's Law Center (NWLC), and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Action Fund. AC is also the director and co-producer of the award-winning one-person play Post Traumatic Super Delightful (PTSD).
AC graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in Psychology and Drama, where they were awarded the Molly Thacher Kazan Prize for distinction in Theatre Arts. They are also and alum of GenSexNYC, The Welcoming Committee, and The Powerhouse Theater. AC resides in Brooklyn, NY.
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Tabytha Gonzalez, Office Manager
Prior to working for TLDEF, Tabytha attended Berkeley College for business management, and worked as a teacher’s assistant for the deaf and hearing impaired community. Tabytha also was an inventory specialist at high-volume retail locations. She is a very passionate liaison for Exponents Drug Treatment, an organization that serves LGBT individuals and people who struggle with drug addiction. She also has community ties to grassroots organizations such as Destination Tomorrow, which serves the LGBTQ community in the South Bronx, and CK Life, which provides supportive services to the transgender community in NYC. Tabytha speaks Spanish and is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). She is very happy to join TLDEF and help further the vision of the organization.
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Amy Helfant, Staff Attorney
Amy K.W. Helfant is a Staff Attorney with TLDEF, and is admitted to practice in New York State and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Amy is a 2016 graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she took part in the Cardozo Civil Rights Clinic and the Gertrud Mainzer Family Defense Field Clinic at the Bronx Defenders. She served as a fellow for Cardozo’s Public Service Scholars program, and was on the board of the school’s National Lawyers Guild chapter. During her law school summers, Amy interned with the Family Defense Practice at The Bronx Defenders and with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. Prior to law school, she worked in the arts and received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design.
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Antonia Lassar, Name Change Project Intake Assistant
Antonia Lassar is a theatre artist, educator, and activist based in Brooklyn. She has guest lectured on sexual violence, art and activism, and interfaith conflict at universities across the country, including Yale, Rice University, and Middlebury College. She is also an educator in the NYC public schools, teaching everything from drama to life skills. Antonia brings her passion for dismantling systems of oppression to every aspect of her work, and she is thrilled to join the TLDEF team!
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Donna Levinsohn, Senior Staff Attorney
Donna Levinsohn joined the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund as Senior Staff Attorney on September 5, 2017. Donna has more than 30 years of experience practicing civil litigation in New York City, specializing in the fields of commercial litigation and employment litigation in both state and federal courts. Most recently, she was Counsel at Warshaw Burstein, LLP, and was previously New York Counsel at Kaye Scholer LLP (now Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP). She received her B.A. from Yale and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Donna has a longstanding commitment to furthering the cause of LGBT rights in general and transgender rights in particular, as shown by her decade of work on the LGBT Rights Committee and the Sex and Law Committee of the Bar Association of the City of New York. Among other things, she participated in those committees' preparation of Bar Association reports on the proposed trans-inclusive federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, on the proposed modernization of requirements for changing gender designations on New York State birth certificates, and (jointly with Lambda Legal and the Human Rights Campaign) proposing transgender-affirming hospital policies which would facilitate equal access to quality health care for transgender patients. Donna also served for a year on the board of LeGaL (the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York).
Donna is extremely happy and grateful for the opportunity to join TLDEF, allowing her to work full-time to further the interests of the community through impact litigation.
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Rita Renner, Bookkeeper
Rita is TLDEF’s bookkeeper. She also works as a bookkeeper for other non-profit organizations and teaches QuickBooks. Prior to joining TLDEF, she was in charge of accounts payable and payroll for the town of Darien, CT and then used her masters degree in music education to teach. She taught band and orchestra for over ten years before playing the trombone for national Broadway tours and on cruise ships. Rita settled in New York City in 2000 and has been performing as both an instrumentalist and actor. She is a past president of Crossdressers International and is an avid supporter of TLDEF.
Melissa Sklarz, Director of Development
Melissa Sklarz ran as a Judicial Delegate in Greenwich Village in 1999. She won and became the first trans elected official in New York. Melissa has served as the President of Stonewall Democrats of NYC and Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats. She has served on the Board and as Board Co-Chair of Empire State Pride Agenda and National Stonewall Democrats. Melissa has been part of the New York delegation of the last four Democratic National Conventions, including being a delegate in 2016. She has worked with NYPD, Hetrick Martin Institute, and SAGE as adviser or trans community representative. She is currently a Commissioner of the NY State Committee helping to create a memorial for the Orlando Nightclub Massacre, appointed by Governor Cuomo. She worked 19 years as a Director at Actors Federal Credit Union.
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Jillian Weiss, Executive Director
Jillian T. Weiss is a nationally recognized transgender rights attorney and law professor with three decades of legal experience. Jillian has a powerful track record of fighting for the rights of transgender people in the workplace. Her cases have resulted in landmark settlements and rulings increasing protections for transgender employees and sending an unmistakable message that employment bias will not be tolerated. She is also one of the nation’s preeminent transgender discrimination scholars who keenly understands the power of the courts and progressive government in achieving transgender equality under the law.
Prior to her appointment, Weiss was a tenured Professor of Law and Society at Ramapo College of New Jersey and the founder of the Law Office of Jillian T. Weiss P.C. She has a Ph.D. in Law, Policy and Society from Northeastern University and a J.D. from Seton Hall Law School, as well as a B.A. in Classics from Yeshiva University. Among her milestone cases are Jamal v. Saks & Co., an employment discrimination case against Saks Fifth Avenue, and Chavez v. Credit Nation Auto Sales, LLC, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that a transgender woman may take her employment discrimination case against a Georgia auto sales company to trial.
In 2014, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission chose her client’s case as the first of two to be litigated by the Commission on behalf of a transgender employee. EEOC v. Lakeland Eye Clinic, PA, resulted in a six-figure settlement. The Department of Justice followed suit in March 2015, in the case of US v. Southeastern Oklahoma State University, which is pending in an Oklahoma federal court. In addition, Weiss and the EEOC brought a transgender employment discrimination lawsuit against Deluxe Financial Services, Inc., one of the nation’s largest check-printing companies. The suit resulted in a large settlement and sweeping workplace policy changes at the company.
Jillian is a past board member of Lambda Legal, has been Chair of the annual Trans Law Symposium, and has consulted with private and public organizations regarding gender identity policy and employee gender transitions, including Harvard University, Boeing and New York City.
Jillian is committed to dismantling the systemic discrimination that inordinately burdens trans people, particularly people of color and others caught at the intersection of multiple forms of prejudice, such as race, class and gender bias.
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Ali White, Development Associate
Ali has a BFA from Tufts University, where she also honed her communications skills at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Although a sculptor by profession, with showings all over the country, she has a strong technical background as a Copy Editor. Her political activist background and technical skills make her a perfect administrative addition to the TLDEF team.
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