LEGAL BOARD

Allison Marino, President and Treasurer of the Board

Allison Marino (she/her), is a macro social worker enthusiastically promoting social justice and dismantling barriers to equity with communities across NYC. Her professional experience includes nonprofit management and development in addition to policy advising, advocacy and community organizing. Allison is also an active volunteer and advocate in the food justice space, supporting her local community fridge network and serving as a board member for Equity Advocates, an organization helping build the capacity of nonprofits to address the underlying causes of food inequity through policy and systems change. 

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Xavier Van Degna, Secretary of the Board

Xavier Van Degna (he/him), is an experienced and innovative interior designer focused on home styling, custom furniture, and recently started his own custom decorative pillow line in 2019. In 2020 Xavier assisted with the interior design for the Brooklyn Pride Center HQ in Crown Heights. The center provides services and support to the borough’s LGBTQ+ community through original programming and partnerships with other organizations. Xavier and his husband, Andrew, advocated with the former Governor of New York to lift the ban on gestational surrogacy. The law went into effect on February 15, 2021, paving the way for residents to hire and act as surrogate with protections in place. 

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Frankie Dascola, Member of the Board

Frankie Dascola is the Music Director, Co-Advisory for the Ram's Rainbow Alliance and the Social Emotional Learning Lead at I .S. 93 in Ridgewood, Queens. During the week Frankie spends time as a NYC DOE Teacher, pushing students to express themselves through music and the arts. Frankie also works as the Head of Operations for the Big Apple Leadership Arts Acadamy where she works to enrich marginalized communities and uplift students through music and community service. On weekends Frankie can be found supporting various arts and cultural endeavors or biking all over Brooklyn. 

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Raakhee Mirchandani, Member of the Board

Raakhee Mirchandani is a journalist, children’s book author, activist, mom, and the host of the podcast "Brown Mom." Previously a feature writer and columnist for the New York Post, a managing editor at the New York Daily News and associate editor at the Boston Herald, Raakhee’s work has also appeared in Elle, Glamour, the Wall Street Journal, Redbook and HuffPo, and she was the editor-in-chief of Moneyish, published by Dow Jones. The New Jersey-born daughter of immigrants, Raakhee serves on the boards of the Hoboken Public Library, Stevens Cooperative School and the Children’s Book Council. Raakhee joined the board of directors of Drag Story Hour NYC in 2021 and supports the organization's publicity and fundraising efforts.

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