top of page


Wednesday, 15 December 2021
Group 2: LGBT+ Center Orlando

Orlando, Florida | Organized by WorldOrlando

  1. Lamea Tanjin TANHA | Bangladesh  

  2. Michail LOLIS | Greece  

  3. Neelam JAIN | India  

  4. Reut NAGGAR | Israel  

  5. Christine Njeri MURIITHI | Kenya  

  6. Adrianna LASAR | Malaysia 

  7. Abdul QAYYUM | Pakistan 

  8. Bomi KIM | Republic of Korea  

  9. Laura Afonso DE JESUS | Timor-Leste  

  10. Jordan CHANETSA | Zimbabwe

Meeting Resources

Transgender Justice (Basic Rights Oregon):


Transgender Resources (The City of Portland):



Equality Federation (advocacy)


Equality PAC:


Fair Pay Workplace:



Political Research Associates:


Fierce Families (network of families of transgender people - Basic Rights Oregon):



LGBTQ+ Census (U.S. Census):


LGBTQ+ and Poverty in the United States (Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law):


Transgender People and Poverty (National Women’s Law Center):



LGBTQ+ and Unemployment (Fast Company):


Prohibition on Conversion Therapy (Oregon):



Conversion “Therapy” Laws (Movement Advance Project):


Conversion Therapy and Youth Mental Health (The Trevord Project0:


Murder of Transgender People in 2020 (National Center for Transgender Equality):


Violence Against Transgender People and People of Color (GLAAD):


Hate Crime Statistics 2020 (U.S. Department of Justice):



LGBT Activism in Oregon (Portland State University):


Trans Lifeline (UI.S.’s first trangender suicide hotline):



Adi’s Act - Suicide Prevention (Basic Rights Oregon):



Bill Extending Protection to Gender Identity - Oregon (Oregon Public Broadcasting):



Gay/Trans Panic Defense Bans (Movement Advancement Project):



Gender Affirming Health Resources (Oregon Health):


3rd Gender on U.S. Passports (National Public Radio):


Oregon First State to add 3rd Gender on Driver’s License (NBC News):


Transgender-Inclusive Healthcare Services (Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes):


Oregon Sexual Assault Task Force Advocate Training:


Police, Jails & Prisons (National Center for Transgender Equality):



Guidelines for Protection of Transgender Prisoners (National Public Radio):

12.15 Team A - City Splits - Orlando - The LGBT+ Center.png
Meeting Details

Please join 10 minutes early

Login: 07:50 Eastern U.S. Time

Meeting: 08:00–09:30 Eastern U.S. Time

Time Zone Converter

Zoom link: 

Meeting ID: 898 4266 4319 

Passcode: IVLP 

Meeting organized by: WorldOrlando in collaboration with Meridian International Center

Meeting Topic: Joél J. Morales and Jesse Arias will provide an overview of advocacy and program services provided by the Center and the role it played in helping and healing the community after the Pulse Nightclub tragedy.

Meet Your Speakers
Joél Morales.jpg

Joél J. Morales 


Director of Operations 

The LGBT+ Center Orlando


Joél Junior Morales is the Director of Operations for the LGBT+ Center Orlando. Spearheading efforts to affirm and empower the LGBT+ community and its allies through information, education, advocacy, and support. Joél was the HIV Program Coordinator & Counselor at the Pulse when the shooting occurred on June 12, 2016. Joél served as a Victim Service Navigator and representative of the LGBT+ Community Center during the aftermath. He assisted more than 900 individuals and 255 families alongside 50 other government, community, and business organizations at the Family Assistance Center. (FAC), which was open from June 15- 22, 2016, to support the immediate needs of families, friends, and victims directly impacted by the tragedy.


In June 2016, the Orlando United Assistance Center (OUAC) was opened through a partnership between the City of Orlando, the Orange County government, and the United Way. Joél joined United Way to establish OUAC as their Victim Advocate and Community Partnership Developer. Several of his key responsibilities included serving as a community representative and public face, liaison to government officials, and coordinating the development and facilitation of collaborative and engaging workshops with vital local community partners. Under Joél’s leadership, OUAC provided services of support through unique and personalized case management, behavioral health, basic emergency needs, on-site mental health counseling, a 24/7 confidential crisis hotline, referral to legal services, crime victim research, financial training, and employment services, as well as support to navigate health services. For his work, he was awarded “Distinguished Victim Advocate 2016” by Florida State Attorney's office and received the “Florida Governor’s Medal of Honor.”


Joél was the host and producer of the OUAC’s “Together We Talk,” a live series of discussions on mental health and how trauma can affect the brain that generated 2.1 million impressions. He has also been in many publications, appeared on many news outlets, and presented at several national conferences, including the Human Rights Campaign’s 2018: Time to Thrive Conference. A long-standing community builder through volunteerism, Joél is one of the co-founders of QLatinx, a grassroots racial, social, and gender justice organization dedicated to the advancement and empowerment of Central Florida's LGBTQ+ Latinx community. He also serves on many community boards. In addition, Joél is also a consultant for The Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center under the Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance program.  

Jesse Arias.png

Jesse Arias 


Community Advocate, Orlando United Assistance Center 

The LGBT+ Center Orlando 

Jesse Arias is a Community Advocate for the Orlando United Assistance Center (OUAC), a program now under the LGBTQ+ Center of Orlando. He has been with the OUAC since May 2017 working as a case manager assisting those directly and indirectly impacted by the Pulse tragedy. He has continued to partner with the LGBTQ+ community as an “ally” where he aims to help support those who have been marginalized. In serving the Pulse community, Arias was able to witness the far-reaching effects of mass violence and now aims to expand his role as a community advocate by bringing awareness of trauma and how it impacts everyone. He continues to work together with his OUAC colleagues where they implement trauma-informed practices in a case management setting and continue to listen to the needs of the community and its survivors. Jesse Arias graduated from the University of South Carolina where he graduated in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

About the Organization
The Center logo.png

The LGBT+ Center Orlando (The Center) (Orlando, Florida) works to foster the personal development and quality of life of the LGBTQI+ community it serves through a variety of support and social programs and to increase understanding and acceptance within the greater Central Florida area. Staff from The Center will provide an overview of their programs and explain the Center’s role in healing and supporting the community after the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in June 2016. 

bottom of page