Paige Dula has a BS in Computer Science from High Point University. She is a professional woman who happens to have been assigned male at birth. Paige is active with the LGBT pride employee network at Bank of America where she is currently employed. Within that capacity, Paige facilitates Trans 101 training for Bank of America and works with human resources to provide support for fellow employees who have decided to transition at work. She has participated in outreach and education on transgender issues for years. She is a former board member of Time Out Youth and the Freedom Center for Social Justice.
Jennifer holds a BA in Sociology with a Criminology Concentration and Women’s Studies minor and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Winthrop University. She is also a licensed clinical social worker. Currently, she is a Mental Health Licensed Clinician for a local government agency in their Community Support Services division. Jennifer has experience providing supportive services using harm reduction and recovery models for individuals dealing with substance use, poverty, and marginalization. Besides working with the formerly homeless population, Jennifer has experience in child protective services, program assessment, social and programmatic policy, inter-agency collaboration, gender studies and social inequality.
Jennifer Dula, MSW, LCSW
Jess Baryla is Creative Director at Interact in addition to being Senior Promotions Producer & Events Supervisor for WCCB Charlotte’s CW. She is also part owner and Marketing Director for the dance-inspired fitness sensation, THE JAM: CLT. She knows television, photography, brand marketing, graphic design, video production and social media management.
Jess has an intuition for all things current and cultural. She is an avid reader, tv-binger and podcast-listener. She also has a positive spirit and a heart as big as all outdoors. Her motto is…”do what you like, like what you do, life is good.” She saw it on a shirt at Myrtle Beach as a child and it stuck with her.
Jennifer Watson Roberts is a former Mayor of Charlotte and a lifelong champion of issues related to education and equality. She is the first person to be elected to serve as both Chairman of the Mecklenburg County Commission and later as Mayor of Charlotte. She currently works as the Director of the Path to Positive Communities program with ecoAmerica, a national non-profit working to build institutional leadership, public support and political will for climate action in the United States.
Roberts was instrumental in creating a public/private partnership to build a new shelter in Charlotte for survivors of domestic violence and spearheaded the creation of Charlotte NEXT, an initiative dedicated to improving after school programs for at-risk teens. During her tenure as Mayor, the City of Charlotte set a goal of funding 5,000 affordable housing units over 3 years and is currently on track to exceed that goal.
Mayor Roberts also led the passage of a Charlotte Non-Discrimination Ordinance that included the LGBTQ community. Though this NDA was later struck down by the NC General Assembly, this discriminatory action by the state led to national attention, boycotts, and eventual (partial) reversal of the law known as HB2. In addition, more transgender candidates than ever ran for office around the country in the year following, and many have been elected.
She has worked as a diplomat for the State Department, as an international banker, as an adjunct professor at UNC-Charlotte, and as a high school math teacher. She currently serves on numerous community boards and commissions, including the Corporate Climate Alliance, NC Climate Solutions Coalition, Meck Ed and Mecklenburg Ministries.
Roberts is a proud recipient of the Maya Angelou Women Who Lead award, the National Association of Women Business Owners’ Public Policy Leader of the Year award, and Equality North Carolina’s Ally of the Year award. She received her B.A. with highest honors in English from UNC-Chapel Hill, a Masters in European History from the University of Toronto, and a Masters in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. She and her husband Manley live in Charlotte, but can usually be found on the weekends hiking the NC mountains. They have two college aged children.
Reia Chapman, MSW, LISW, LCSW-CP is a professional social worker, activist, psychotherapist and nationally sought after speaker. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Master of Social Work degree from Savannah State University. She has an extensive background as a professional organizer and activist across the intersections of Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice and Queer and Racial Justice movements.
Embodying both a calling and a commitment to collective liberation, justice and mental and emotional wellness, she founded the Center for Family & Maternal Wellness, an outpatient psychotherapy practice in 2016 and is the current Director of Clinical Services. In 2016, Reia also founded the Charlotte Uprising Emotional Response Team, a delegation of over 100 clinicians and healers to provide free mental health support during the Charlotte Uprising and she continues to serve as an advisor to local and regional grassroots organizers to date. Always centering the most marginalized in her endeavors, Reia continues to cultivate her commitment to her community through activism, education, service, and advocacy. She is well versed in policies and legislation affecting Gender Diverse and Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) communities from children and adolescents and the growing aging population to the various forms of reproductive oppression and state sanctioned violence. In 2018 she created Decolonizing Therapy,™ a culturally affirming series of workshops for community members and helping professionals designed to improve BIPOC self advocacy and teach appropriate relationship building and intervention strategies in BIPOC communities.
Reia specializes in working with Black Women and Queer and Trans People of Color. She is clinically trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders and Gottman Method Couples Therapy. Reia works with couples to increase respect, affection, and closeness, break through and resolve conflict, generate greater understanding between partners, keep conflict discussions calm and maintain improvements in the relationship.
Reia is a member of the Charlotte Transgender Healthcare Group (CTHCG), the North Carolina Black Women’s Roundtable, The Queer and Trans People of Color Collective (QTPoCC), the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), and has been featured in various publications acoss the nation for her work in advancing the field of mental health in Social Work.
Reia Chapman, MSW, LISW, LCSW-CP
Sarah has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature with additional educational background in Spanish Language and Religious Studies. Following college they combined their passion for education with their interest in technology as a volunteer ESL (English as a Second Language) tutor and are currently pursuing additional certifications in those fields. Their empathy and professional efforts also extend to animals who they believe also need compassion and understanding, having done extensive social media and project management work with a variety of shelters and rescue operations. They are very excited for the opportunity to contribute to their human community and to provide a nonbinary/agender voice to the group!
Jocie Sweeney (she/her) is a licensed psychologist specializing in providing affirming care for individuals processing matters related to gender and sexual diversity. She is the owner of SweeneyPsych, PLLC and an active member of the Charlotte Transgender Healthcare Group. Jocie's downtime includes hanging out with her two amazing, funny, and wild young kids; traveling with her husband; cuddling the best dog ever; running to burn off steam; and attempting to tame the meanest cat ever. Jocie thinks she's funny...don't burst her bubble too hard.
Jocie Sweeney, PhD
Pete Wysong has a degree in accounting and has worked in the banking industry for over 25 years. He has been an Ally for LGBT issues starting in Seattle in the 1990s, supporting people with HIV/AIDs, and after moving to Charlotte 20 years ago. When his son came out as transgender in 2014, it was a wonderful gift that lifted a huge weight off his son’s shoulders. Pete, his family members and friends have been supportive from the beginning, but they have also seen that all too often this is not the case. As a result, Pete has became even more involved and is engaged as a Transgender Liaison in the LGBT+ Pride employee network at Bank of America where he is currently employed. In that capacity, Pete has helped organize events to help educate employees about transgender issues and he also works with human resources to provide support for fellow parents of transgender children.