Shea Witzberger, Raheemah Madany, Jacob Cribbs, and Eeka Thaxton Join Team
Pride Center of Vermont welcomes four staff to its team. Shea Witzberger, Raheemah Madany, Jacob Cribbs, and Eeka Thaxton will join Pride Center of Vermont’s programs. These hires fill newly-created and expanded positions within the framework of the organization.
Shea Witzberger, of Windham County, has been hired for the new role of Rural Advocacy Coordinator in the Pride Center’s SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program. The Rural Advocacy Coordinator will increase access to resources and support for rural LGBTQ+ Vermonters impacted by violence and harm, as well as educate and train service providers on gender-affirming, survivor-centered care.
Witzberger holds experience as a born and chosen rural queer; as an advocate for survivors of domestic and sexual violence; as a youth worker; as an educator about consent, gender and sexuality, and violence prevention and response; and as an organizer for abolitionist responses to violence and harm. Witzberger is an experienced facilitator and a graduate of Marlboro College.
“Organizing communities to increase access to safety and connection has been a through-line in my work over the last several years,” said Witzberger. “I have long appreciated what SafeSpace has provided to queer and trans survivors, and am happy to join them as the new Rural Advocacy Coordinator. I’m ready to get my hands dirty!”
In addition to Witzberger as a new SafeSpace team member, Raheemah Madany and Jacob Cribbs are the Health and Wellness Program’s full-time and part-time coordinators, respectively. Eeka Thaxton is Pride Center’s new Momentum Program Coordinator.
Madany and Cribbs will join the Health and Wellness Program with the primary function of furthering Pride Center’s HIV prevention and testing programs focused on the Centers for Disease Control’s Mpowerment Program (GLAM), HIV testing, as well as referral and linkage to affirming healthcare.
“I’m excited to be working with Pride Center of Vermont because I want to be a source of support for BIPOC, queer, and gender-nonconforming folks, especially since I never saw myself represented in the state,” said Madany.
Cribbs added, “I’m looking forward to being part of this team and working alongside the many talented folks helping to make Vermont a resilient, welcoming, and diverse community.”
Madany is a graduate of the State University of New York at Cortland and was most recently a fellow with the BIPOC GrowTeam at ShiftMeals in Winooski. Cribbs is a graduate of the University of California Santa Cruz and has worked with several Vermont agencies including Pathways, Phoenix House, and Howard Center.
Thaxton’s role as Momentum Program Coordinator will be focused on supporting programming and access for LGBTQ+ Vermonters ages 55 and over. While the Momentum program and events are open to people of all ages, they are designed to address the specific needs of Vermont’s LGBTQ+ older population. Momentum’s Neighbor to Neighbor Project connects LGBTQ+ Vermonters with volunteer peers providing need-based support services that aid with various tasks to address isolation, food security, access to healthcare, and community networking.
“This exciting growth is part of a strategic effort to better address the needs of Vermont’s LGBTQ+ communities,” said Mike Bensel, Executive Director. “I’m so incredibly proud to work with an already dynamic, creative, and talented team. These four new hires bring their own passion, enthusiasm, and experience that will dramatically increase Pride Center’s capacity to fulfill our mission.”
The additions to the organization represent a substantial growth spurt for the once small non-profit. Pride Center of Vermont now employs 11 full-time employees, 3 part-time employees, and several paid facilitators across a more diverse geographic region than ever before. Each of the new hires will begin in their respective roles in the coming weeks.
To see full bios of the team, click here.