Drag Queen Story Hour NYC log

Event Facilitators

Jason Fulgoni

Jason Fulgoni (he/him) is a newly hired facilitator born and  raised in New York City and living in Queens. During his free time, he likes to play video games, explore the city, and hangout with his friends. He is glad to be a part of DSH and its organization. 

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Vitaly Bespalov, Event Facilitator and Social Media Volunteer

Vitaly (he/him) was born and brought up in Russia. Currently, he resides in New York City. In Russia, he worked as a journalist for independent media outlets and non-profit organizations, covering LGBTQ rights, women's rights, HIV and STD prophylaxis. He is the author of Xenia, Who Will Soon Die  (Ridero,2019), a Russian novel about transgender people's daily lives and problems. When he has free time, Vitaly explores NYC, hands out with his friends, cooks with his husband, or just gets some sleep.  

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Allison Marino, Treasurer of the Board, Organizational Building Committee, Fundraising Committee 

Allison Marino (she/her), is a macro social worker enthusiastically promoting social justice and dismantling barriers to equity with communities across NYC. Her professional expereince includes nonprofit management and development in addistion to policy advising, advocacy and community organizaing. 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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Kalima McKenzie-Simms, Curriculum Committee

Kalima McKenzie-Simms (she/her) is currently the Manager of LGBTQ Programs at the NYC Department of Education, and she is a fierce advocate for LGBTQ+ inclusion in schools. During her own coming out journey as a young adult, Kalima worked at PFLAG NYC, providing support for their families and educating schools across New York City for 8 years. Kalima has been honored by GO Magazine's 100 Women We Love Class of 2021, and named one of Business Equality Magazine's 40 LGBTQ Leaders Under 40 in 2020. Now, Kalima has an MPA Degree from CUNY City College and her vision for NYC schools is that all students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, can feel seen and safe, and will know where and who to go for support within their school communities. 

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Naomi Peña, Curriculum Committee

Naomi Peña (she/her) is a native New Yorker raised in the Lower East Side. Her parents were immigrants who instilled the need to excel through education. As a result, advocating for education has become her life's work. Naomi became involved in educational advocacy work when her oldest child was diagnosed with Dyslexia 15 years ago and given an IEP. She quickly had to learn how to navigate the special education bureaucracy in NYC and saw how overwhelming it was to navigate. Through supports from organizations, she learned the special education law and lent herself to be a support for other special education parents. In 2015 she joined the Community Education Council for school district 1. During her time on the council, the council worked on the first ever district-wide diversity admissions policy in NYC. Through the councils relentless commitment for diversiry, a version of their plan has been implemnted for the '18-'19 school year. As of 2017, Naomi has been the president of the CEC1. 

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Kat Savage, Coordinator of the Curriculum Committee

Kat Savage (she/her) is the managing librarian of the Adams Street Library in Dumbo, Brooklyn. As a children's librarian at the Park Slope branch of Brooklyn Public Library, she partnered with a local community member to bring DSH to Park Slope Library in 2016. She received her MLIS from Pratt Institute in 2012. 

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Carolina Snaider, Curriculum Committee

Caro (she/her), was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Former preschool teacher, she is currently a doctoral candidate in Early Childhood Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research explores how educators are making classrooms with young children more welcoming and inclusive of all gender identities and expressions. Captivated by the incredible work of DSH, she became a volunteer in the Curriculum Committee 

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Wanda A. Ward, Graphic Design Volunteer 

Wanda A. Ward is a Seattlite that's been in Brooklyn for over a decade. She has a degree in Graphic Design and recently got her Juris Doctorate. Wanda is elated to be working with DSH NYC and believes that drag queens & kings are the patron saints of. the LGBTQIA+ community! 

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Jason Fulgoni, Events Facilitator 

Jason Fulgoni (he/him) is a newly hired facilitator born and  raised in New York City and living in Queens. During his free time, he likes to play video games, explore the city, and hangout with his friends. He is glad to be a part of DSH and its organization.