Equality Arizona is a non-profit organization made up of a 501(c)(3), the Equality Arizona Foundation; a 501(c)(4), Equality Arizona; and the Equality Arizona Political Action Committee. We use a variety of strategies to build the political and cultural power of LGBTQ Arizona.
Equality Arizona Foundation
Our mission is to build a strong and resilient LGBTQ social movement and culture in Arizona by increasing access to safety, well-being, and inclusion in society.
Our mission is to build the political power of the Arizona LGBTQ community for our full inclusion in the social, economic, and civil mechanisms of our society.
Equality Arizona PAC
Our mission is to build the political power of the Arizona LGBTQ community by supporting pro-equality candidates for office.
An Arizona where LGBTQ people are included in and lead the social, economic, and civic systems of our state, counties, cities, and communities.
Meet the Staff
Executive Director | he/him
Michael Soto serves as the Executive Director of Equality Arizona, leading a statewide team working to build the political power of LGBTQ+ Arizonans in social, civic, and economic life. A graduate of ASU with a Bachelor of Arts in Women and Gender Studies and a Master of Science in Justice Studies, Michael is a proven leader in the movement for LGBTQ+ liberation, with experience across sectors and from the local to the international level. After 5 years under Michael’s direction on the board and in his current role, Equality Arizona has seen a revitalization as a political force in Arizona, and is now a fully-staffed statewide non-profit with a strong membership and diversified funding streams.
Director of Finance and Information Systems | she/her
Christiana Hammond brings to Equality Arizona a history of administrative expertise from her career in manufacturing and systems engineering. A California transplant in Arizona since 2005, she moved to Phoenix in 2015 after coming out as a queer, transgender woman. Soon after, she joined her first lobby day with Equality Arizona and volunteered to work our table at Pride. As a steering committee member for HRC Arizona she stayed in close contact with our organization, before joining our staff in her current role in 2019. She is responsible for keeping our finances, compliance records and overall organizational assets in order, and remains involved in our events.
Director of Policy | he/him
Sage Mauldin is Director of Policy at Equality Arizona, Instructor of Human Relations at the University of Oklahoma, and Human Rights Commissioner for the City of Norman. A 2018 NextGen Under 30 award winner and 2020 Free Mom Hugs National “Hero in the Community,” he has been a vocal advocate for the rights of vulnerable and protected populations throughout his career, championing such causes as the introduction of legislation to ban conversion therapy in Oklahoma. He is the editor of “LGBT Issues in the United States” (Cognella Academic Publishing, 2018).
Civic Programming Organizer | they/them
tanner menard is the civic programming organizer for Equality Arizona. They are a member of the Atakapa-Ishak Nation, two-spirit, non-binary & an MFA candidate at Northern Arizona University. tanner has advocated for the LGBTQ community for many years & currently programs Health is Queer Resistance & the Queer Poetry Salon.
Communications Coordinator | she/her
Alexis Blanc first joined Equality Arizona as an intern in 2019 while studying for her Bachelor of Science in Communication at ASU. A dedicated voice for the LGTBQ+ community, Alexis has a drive always to learn and to listen, and alongside her degree, completed a minor in Women and Gender studies and a certificate in LGBTQ+ studies. She brings a wealth of community and political experience to Equality Arizona, and connects volunteers, organizers, influencers, candidates for office and their campaigns, and elected officials through our social platforms and events.
Digital Organizer | she/they
Jeanne Woodbury has worked in digital media and nonprofit organizing since 2009, and made a home in Arizona since 1995. She writes book reviews, fiction, and poetry, and began volunteering with Equality Arizona after attending the Queer Poetry Salon. In her role as Digital Organizer, she brings a great devotion to exactly those kinds of human connections to the development of Equality Arizona’s web platform and the stewardship of our member’s data.
Meet the Board
Caitlin Breedlove is the EQAZ President. She is the vice president of movement leadership for Auburn Seminary. Since 2003, Caitlin has been organizing and building movements in red states: working across race, class, culture, gender, sexuality and faith. She currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
Janey Pearl Starks
Janey Pearl Starks, Associate Director of Marketing and Engagement here at Mountain Park, has a heart of gold. Wherever she lands, she wants to make a difference. Originally from Guadalajara, and a graduate from ASU and Harvard, Janey has held prestigious roles working with Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard and U.S. Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema.
Board Member — bio coming soon!
Dr. Danielle Lewis
Dr. Lewis’ journey to becoming a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine started over 15 years ago in the field of Physical Therapy. Dr. Lewis attained her degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and has a bachelors degree from Old Dominion University in Health Science and Management. After graduating from Naturopathic Medical School, Dr. Lewis completed 2 years of residency in Phoenix AZ in a setting that focused on women’s medicine and primary care. Dr. Lewis works with the LGBTQ community to ensure nonjudgemental access to quality healthcare with an integrative approach.
Elle Murtagh is a chef and partner with Dark Crown Projects; a Phoenix based company that currently operates The Coronado PHX and Dark Hall Coffee. Besides her current businesses, Elle had co-owned Bragg’s Factory Diner and Sweets & Beats, both staples of the Grand Avenue Arts District. Elle’s passion for food led her to a degree in culinary arts from Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, AZ where she graduated in 2012. Elle has made it a goal with her partners to open plant based, ethical businesses, which work with progressive community organizations and offer their employees living wages. Elle has been part of the music and arts community in Phoenix for many years, currently co-hosting Vinyl Voices, a monthly story telling event exploring the shared experience of music. She is mom to two amazing children and has been with her wife, Emily, for 15 years. Working with EQAZ is her first experience in the non-profit world but her perspective as a working class, trans woman here in the Valley is one she hopes will benefit the future of EQAZ.
Robert is one of the leaders for the Arizona Trans Youth and Parent Organization and he works daily to raise awareness and build support for the LGBTQ community. Robert's professional career has given him experience in business management, strategic planning, marketing, customer support, community organizing and nonprofits. For the last three years Robert has been delivering training on best practices for supporting transgender and gender diverse children to professional educators, community groups, and faith organizations. He worked to establish and lead the Gender Proud Family Advisory Council at Phoenix Children's Hospital, working to advocate for trans and nonbinary youth throughout PCH. Robert works to partner with other local, allied LGBTQ youth organizations like One-and-Ten, GLSEN, and SafeOut.
Robert moved to Arizona from the Midwest in 2000. His two wonderful children attend a Phoenix area public school where they enjoy a supportive classroom environment, inclusive of all gender identities.
Sandra Y Nathan
Board Member — bio coming soon!