OUTBermuda: New Board & Seeks Director

January 4, 2022 | 0 Comments

OUTBermuda has appointed four new board members and now seeks its first Executive Director as part of the LGBTQ+ rights advocacy nonprofit’s ambitious growth plans for 2022.

A spokesperson said, “”With its new members, OUTBermuda’s board has doubled in size, with four Bermudians joining to bolster the group’s existing leadership in their advocacy work, fundraising, and development of programs for the island’s diverse LGBTQ+ community. Their bios, and the bios of the existing board, can be found below.

“OUTBermuda is also seeking its first Executive Director—a paid, part-time role—to oversee its evolution. The group has received a grant that’ll fund the position for the next three years.

“The Executive Director will lead both day-to-day operational work and longer-term strategy, including building out volunteer and education programs to grow the community outreach component of OUTBermuda’s work.

“They’ll be responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with Government entities and the local business community as part of the group’s overall advocacy for LGBTQ+ issues. The full job description can be found here.

“We realised it wasn’t feasible to remain static, and that we needed to hire to continue our work, thereby transitioning from a fully volunteer-led organisation to one with a paid position,” said Adrian Hartnett-Beasley, OUTBermuda’s chairperson.

“With an expanded, diverse board and our Executive Director search underway, we’re keen to hit the ground running in 2022 to expand OUTBermuda’s impact on the island and make it a stronger, more sustainable resource for the LGBTQ+ community.”

“Through extensive polling and an in-depth stakeholder engagement process in conjunction with Jennifer Burland Adams of nonprofit consultancy Wavecrest Limited, OUTBermuda has identified a number of programs and community engagement initiatives for 2022 and beyond as part of its short- and medium-term goal planning.”

OUTBermuda Board, bios provided by OUTBermuda

Adrian Hartnett-Beasley is a founding board member of OUTBermuda and is grateful to have served the LGBTQ+ community on the board of this great charity for the past five years. Adrian attended school in Bermuda, university in Canada and the U.K., and now works in the reinsurance industry as a lawyer. In all spheres of his life, Adrian focuses on building and maintaining relationships with integrity and has been involved with many church and community organisations and projects over the years, including leading a corporate social responsibility program. While he’s held multiple roles professionally and in the third sector—and being a lawyer pays the bills—his favourite titles are ‘papa’ and ‘husband’ as he enjoys those jobs the most.

Zakiya Johnson-Lord is a founding board member of OUTBermuda. She identifies as a Black Bermudian lesbian mother. She attended the Bermuda High School for Girls for 12 years before earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the U.S. Zakiya began her career as a clinical therapist in Alabama. She has also lived and worked in Chicago, New York City, and Washington, D.C. She has worked in development and donor engagement for LGBTQ+ organisations and is presently serving as senior philanthropic advisor for Movement Voter Project, mobilising voters to build long-term progressive power. She and her wife currently live in D.C., where they are raising their young son, who is Black boy joy and magic.

Jameka Smith is a founding board member of OUTBermuda. She and her wife Charlene Smith, who is also a member of OUTBermuda, made a landmark spousal certificate application submission to the Department of Immigration in 2013 that was repeatedly challenged for filing and acceptance. In 2019, it was finally approved, granting Charlene employment and residency rights in Bermuda and legally recognizing her as Jameka’s spouse. Jameka recently worked with the Bermuda Department of Parks as the Assistant Park Planner, but in July 2021 moved to Pennsylvania with Charlene and their 7-year-old son. She now works with the County of Chester as a Capital Projects Coordinator. Outside of work, she can be found exploring trails, gardens and parks, as well as reading inspiring and self-improvement books. Jameka believes that everyone deserves to live a healthy, safe, and good life, however that looks for each individual.

Steven Boyce is a founding board member of OUTBermuda. Born in Northern Ireland, Steven has an MSc in Physics with Astrophysics from the Queen’s University of Belfast. He met his Bermudian husband [and new OutBermuda board member] Ravi in the U.K. in 2010. The two married in London in 2014, moving to Bermuda that December. Steven and Ravi were involved with the landmark Bermuda Bred case, fighting for the rights of non-Bermudian partners of Bermudians to be able to live and work freely without the need for a work permit. Steven works as a pricing actuary for a reinsurance company on the island. He’s passionate about changing attitudes in Bermuda, so that young Bermudians don’t feel the need to leave their home to be who they are.

New Board Members:

Dymin [Taylor Mardel] grew up in Bermuda, attending Harrington Sound Primary, Whitney Institute, and CedarBridge Academy before completing Adult Education. She moved to New York City to pursue a modeling career and has since moved to London. As well as modeling, Dymin’s involvement in the fashion industry includes work as a makeup artist. She’s passionate about helping to improve how the LGBTQ+ community is perceived in Bermuda.

Ravi Pachai is Bermudian. He has worked in reinsurance for over 15 years and is currently an Underwriting Actuary with AXA XL reinsurance. Ravi is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and has degrees from Western University, the University of British Columbia, and the Stockholm School of Economics. He has lived in Canada, Sweden, Mexico, and most recently London—where he met his husband, Steven, before moving back to the island and becoming involved in the landmark Bermuda Bred case. Ravi is passionate about human rights and has a particular interest in the intersectionality of race and sexuality. He is an active Commissioner for the Human Rights Commission and he is the President of the AXA XL RISE Business Resource Group.

Olatunji S. Tucker, known familiarly as Tunji, was born and raised in Bermuda, in Flatts Village. He attended The Berkeley Institute and started his working career at 18 with the former Bank of Bermuda, now HSBC Ltd., before finding his love of people and service which commenced a marketing career that has now spanned over 15 years. Olatunji is currently the Lead Marketing Brand Manager at wholesale distributor BGA Ltd. He thrives on always remaining positive, is lovingly married, and is devoted to his family. He lives by the motto: “You never know what your smile could do for someone else.”

Clare O’Connor was born and raised in Bermuda and attended the Bermuda High School for Girls before pursuing education abroad. She has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MSc from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Early in her career, she worked as a reporter at the Royal Gazette, followed by a long stint as a staff writer for business outlet Forbes in New York, where she covered women entrepreneurs and workplace equality. She now leads editorial content for women-first dating app Bumble, living and working in London. Clare is a longtime advocate for progressive causes, including women’s reproductive rights, and has done voluntary work as an abortion clinic escort. She’s dedicated to ensuring equal marriage rights in Bermuda are protected by law once and for all.

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