Board of Directors:
- Colin Robinson
- Andrea Zekis
Diego Barrera (2017-present)
Diego (he/they/el/ellx) is a Trans migrant from El Salvador. He has worked for several years providing direct services to survivors of sexual and domestic violence, as well as preparing immigration cases with a focus on U-visas. Throughout their career they have done workshops and trainings in Arkansas, Texas, Colorado and Iowa on serving and working with LGBTQ survivors of sexual and domestic violence.
Diego currently works as a national organizer with Free Press working to stop runaway media consolidation, end mass surveillance, and ensure POC voices are represented in the media. He also works as a facilitator for the Icarus Project advancing social justice by fostering mutual aid practices that reconnect healing and collective liberation. Diego is also an independent contractor supporting non-profits on policies and statewide strategies, he is also a mental health first aid responder for immigration raids.
Diego is the co-founder of inTRANSitive, a grassroots Trans led organization in Arkansas; a proud member of Southerners on New Ground (SONG) and Mijente. He has been on the board since 2017 helping to shape the internal structure of the organization with a race equity lens to push for collective Trans liberation.
Mel Beltrán (2017-present)
Mel (they/them/elle) is a trans nonbinary papers-insecure migrant from Mexico who’s lived in Little Rock most of their life. They have been involved in community organizing for 7+ years, with beginnings in immigration organizing with Arkansas Coalition for a Dream, to LGBTQ-centered organizing with Center for Artistic Revolution before landing with ArTEC. They are also a proud member of regional and national Black-and-Latinx-led organizations SONG (Southerners on New Ground) and Mijente. They make a living as a web developer and artist and do independent contract for non-profits, grassroots organizers, and people in the community.
They believe organizing to fight for our right to live as full human beings must be intersectional with the historically marginalized – Black, indigenous, brown, undocumented, transgender, homeless, sex workers, disabled people – at the center. They have been in the board for over a year and plan to keep supporting ArTEC through 2019. They aim to help make this organization a more sustainable space for future organizers, visionaries, and changers to continue the work of making Arkansas a safer, more just state for trans people and for Trans Liberation.
Richelle Brittain (2019 – present)
Richelle (she/her) worked 20 years in Arkansas state government, knowing she was different but not why, before retiring on disability. It wasn’t until after she retired that she realized she was transgender and slightly non-binary. Her transition, plus her work with ArTEC in the TRANSform Health Initiative and name & gender change clinics (among other things), led her to take the LSAT and receive a full-tuition scholarship from the UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. She is expected to graduate from Bowen in May 2020.
Richelle is also a student member of the Arkansas Bar Association, the Arkansas Association of Women Lawyers, QLaw Arkansas, and the National Trans Bar Association. In addition to ArTEC, she has also volunteered for UAMS, AARP Arkansas, and HRC Arkansas.
Carmen Gresham (2019 – present)
Carmen (she/her) is a bubbly, nature loving, and creative 22-year-old non binary trans woman. She is currently working at Lucie’s Place in Little Rock, Arkansas and is studying to be a nurse. She is a Little Rock native and has lived there her whole life. Carmen loves gardening, getting to know people, and art and all its forms that it takes on. She also has pet spider and reef fish tank. Carmen is proud of her cultural background and looks up to her abuelita for curating a strong sense of family in Carmen’s father.
Carmen’s interest in community organizing started at a young age when she began working for a food pantry in downtown Little Rock. Her interests in community development evolved in high school where she started attending Diverse Youth for Social Change and had her eyes opened to the bigger, structural systems of oppression that keep communities from advancing and living a quality life. From there, she began working with organizations like GSA Network, Just Communities of Arkansas, and Center for Artistic Revolution. Carmen now continues the fight for her people and all people through an intersectional, socialist lens.
Ash Hunter (2019 – present, previous member)
Ash Hunter (they/them) is an Arkansas native from the small farm town of Holly Grove.
Ash is a 2018 graduate from The University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies. As a student, they were involved in the on campus LGBTQ group, The Alliance, first as a member and later becoming President.
Ash is an employee of Lucie’s Place, the only LGBTQ-specific resource in the state of Arkansas to provide services, including transitional housing, to LGBTQ youths at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
Ash has been a long time grass roots activist in Central Arkansas. Representing a part of the community often overlooked and erased, as a non-binary black queer femme, Ash has never hesitated to step up to make their voice known, through staging die-ins, collaborating with other local organizations to make a vocal stand against rampant racism within the LGBTQ community, pairing up with other southern queer organizers to innovate, create and hold spaces for the most vulnerable in the community, raising funds to sustain equity, lobby, leading protests taking them from the state capitol to the gates of the governor to lift up the voices of their people.
As a previous board member, Ash is excited about calling ArTEC home once again!
Krystopher Stephens (2016 – present)
Krystopher (he/him/they/them) hails from the backwaters of Northern Louisiana. Krystopher has been the Executive Director for Artec going into two years of service. He has been instrumental in helping to establish connections to bridge health disparities experienced by the transgender community, working to bring legal visibility to the community through lobbying local politicians at the Capitol, collaborating with other Southern Queer organizers to bring much-needed resources and tools to enhance the southern queer transgender lived experience.
Krystopher is a recent 2018 graduate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, completing an undergraduate degree in a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Legal Studies. He is now preparing to enter law school soon within the year.
Andrea Zekis (2019- present, co-founder, former ED)
Andrea (she/her) of Little Rock, AR is the co-founder and first executive director for ArTEC, returning to serve the organization as a board member after a three year hiatus. In that time, Andrea took on roles for Basic Rights Oregon, National Center for Transgender Equality and the ACLU of Alaska while along the way advancing proactive policies, organized against dangerous legislation and developed and empowered new trans and non-binary leaders. She’s currently a graduate student at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service learning skills to improve her effectiveness as a movement leader. While she considers being part of the start of ArTEC her most proudest moment, Andrea wants to give back and help ArTEC meet the challenges of the present and future.