Fairness Campaign Board and StaffMinimize


Fairness Campaign Staff

Chris Hartman - Director: Chris is the first director of Louisville's two-decade-old Fairness Campaign and is a steering committee member of Kentucky's statewide Fairness Coalition. He served as Congressman John Yarmuth's 2008 campaign press secretary, as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America) in St. Louis, and as Philadelphia director of the Democratic National Committee's open air grassroots fundraising effort in the 2004 presidential election. Chris founded and produced Project Improv--two long-form improvisational theatre troupes in St. Louis and Louisville. He holds a Master's in Drama from Washington University in St. Louis.  You can email Chris at

Jayne Reece - Administrative Coordinator: Jayne, a transplant by way of England and California, joined the Fairness Campaign staff in 2010. Prior to becoming Fairness’ Administrative Coordinator, she volunteered at Women in Transition (WIT) providing accounting and IT services and was named WIT’s “Member of the Month." Jayne also enjoys fine arts, video editing and graphic design - all of which she tries to incorporate into her position at Fairness Campaign when possible. You can email her at


Dora James - Western Kentucky Organizer: Dora has been working toward social justice since starting her high school’s first gay-straight alliance in 2008, for which she won a national ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) Youth Activism Scholarship in 2009. Since then she has continued her involvement with the ACLU of Kentucky, branching out to other areas of human rights, such as immigration reform, abolition of capital punishment, voting rights, and youth rights. She is a 2013 undergraduate of Western Kentucky University, with a degree in History, second major in Sociology, minors in Legal Studies and Criminology, and a concentration in Pre-Law. She believes in the importance of non-violence and intersectionality.


Fairness Campaign Coordinating Committee

Dr. Kaila Story - Co-Coordinator: Dr. Story is an Assistant Professor and the Audre Lorde Endowed Chair in Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Departments of Women’s & Gender Studies & Pan-African Studies at the University of Louisville. Dr. Story’s research examines on the intersections of race and sexuality, with special attention to black feminism and black lesbians. Dr. Story current work explores the work-life strain that many black and female assistant professors experience through their negotiations of self and the pursuit of obtaining tenure and promotion, the piece is called Embodying Diversity: The Consequences of Othermothering for Black and Female Academics. Her other works include: Performing Venus: From Hottentot to Video Vixen: The Historical Legacy of Black Female Body Commodification and There’s No Place like “Home”: Mining the Theoretical Terrain of Black Women’s Studies, Black Queer Studies and Black Studies.

Gil Reyes - Co-Coordinator: is Director of Development at StageOne Family Theatre and Co-Artistic Director of Theatre [502], effectively allowing him access to Louisville’s entire theatre-going community. Gil worked for Congressman John Yarmuth in the local, DC, and campaign offices between 2007 and 2013. He is a Business First Magazine 2011 “40 Under 40,” an active member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, and increasingly smitten dog owner.

Bojangles Blanchard is originally from Promised Land, South Carolina.  He is a University of Louisville graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Justice Administration. Bojangles currently serves as co-chair of the Faith Leaders for Fairness and is the creator and leader of True Colors Ministry at Highland Baptist Church.  It is one of the first affirming LGBT ministries at a Baptist Church in the South.  He currently works for Humana Inc. and is completing his Masters of Divinity at Louisville Seminary.  He's been happily married for six years to the love of his life, Dominique James, and they have one daughter, a three year old Chihuahua named Bijou.


Ryan Combs: Dr. Ryan Combs, a native Louisvillian, recently returned to the city after a decade living in Manchester, England.  Ryan has an M.A. in Politics (Governance & Public Policy) and a Ph.D. in Politics (Health Policy) with a concentration on transgender health.  Ryan spent several years working as a researcher at the University of Manchester and now works for the School of Public Health at the University of Louisville.  His research interests focus on the health and social experiences of marginalized and under-represented groups.  His extensive LGBT community work includes conducting community consultations, organizing sporting events, lending expertise to government bodies, sitting on advisory panels, and training public sector organizations.  Ryan has won the American Political Science Association Bailey Award for outstanding paper on an LGBT topic.  In recognition of his community work, he was invited to the British Prime Minister’s LGBT Reception at 10 Downing Street in 2011 & 2012.

Ann Ellerkamp: coming soon
Judith Faulkner: coming soon

Jaison A. Gardner has been a social justice activist and community organizer for more than fifteen years, with work primarily surrounding issues of youth empowerment, LGBT rights, people of color and women’s rights issues. He has served on the board of directors for several progressive organizations, including the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL) in Washington, DC, Women in Transition (WIT—a poor people’s organization in Louisville), and formerly on the Fairness Campaign Coordinating Committee. Jaison is the proud founder of BlkOut, an organization dedicated to empowering black LGBT students on the University of Louisville campus. In his free time, Jaison enjoys politics, Pop Culture and creating memories with his friends and family.

Katy Garrison is an activist, researcher, and recent graduate of the University of Louisville, where she served two terms as President of commonGround, UofL's first LGBTQ student group, during a time of pivotal growth for the organization. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology with minors in Communication and Women and Gender Studies. In 2010 she was hired as UofL Health Promotion's first-ever LGBT Liaison where she worked to develop and implement innovative programming for LGBTQ students, faculty and staff that would promote an informed and empowered understanding of how to make healthy life choices. Upon graduation she received the Katy Garrison LGBT Student leadership award for her work and devotion to the university and the LGBTQ campus community. She currently works with UofL's Trans* and Sexuality Teaching Advocacy and Research (T*STAR) lab in the Educational Counseling and Psychology program in the School of Education. Katy believes that her understanding of the intersectionality of all forms of oppression shapes her approach to activism and social justice.

Brad Hampton: coming soon

Karen Hatter: coming soon

Karen Hatter attended Georgetown College from 1966-1971, and graduated with a BA in Oral Interpretation. During those four years, she was fortunate to be introduced to the principles of social justice, and, with people who became lifelong friends and professors/administrators who encouraged questioning and activism (yes, this is what used to be Georgetown Baptist College in Georgetown, KY!), participated in Reading Hours and Washington DC trips to peacefully protest the Viet Nam War.After 20 years of social work, clerical work and office managing, she landed the job of her dreams: Director of Theatre at Frankfort High School.Using that avenue, along with community theatre, Karen learned to stand up and speak out through plays. Although initially a front desk person at Frankfort High, she was able to use her skills in theatre to work with the Junior Humanities rotation. teaching the theatre unit, as well as assisting the senior English teacher in the new course entitled Senior Project, which was a composite of a research paper, a hands-on project, and a formal presentation. Finally, in 2000, Karen was awarded an alternative Teaching Certificate and began her journey to receiving a Master of Arts in Education, Reading and Writing in 2007. Throughout her teaching career, she continued to teach social justice, both in the classroom and through theatrical productions in the evening. In about 2007, her sophomore class initiated a Diversity Rally, which, in the next three years, became a most inclusive program featuring speakers from a wide variety of cultures, religions, gender preferences, and professions. Upon retirement in 2010, Karen spent 3 years keeping granddaughters and then joined Frankfort Fairness, putting her back in the social justice mix, perhaps stronger than ever!
Nicole M. Kersting is a 2011 graduate of the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. She is an associate attorney with De Renzo Durrett, PLLC, where she practices in the areas of family law, criminal law, and personal injury. Specifically, Nicole is focusing on same-sex family law and LGBTQ issues. She has a strong history of LGBTQ activism, including having served as a student representative for the Statewide Fairness Coalition Steering Committee, co-chair of the Lambda Law Caucus, and having coordinated with UofL’s CommonGround and the Louisville Youth Group. One of her favorite moment as an activist so far has been appearing on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.
Tiffany LaVoie first came to Louisville in 2001 from her home state of Michigan to perform with the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Old Louisville’s Central Park. She holds a B.A. in Theatre Performance from Western Michigan University and an M.F.A. in Acting from the University of Louisville where she was the 2010 recipient of The Warren Oates Student Merit award for “outstanding contributions to the theatre program and for the promise of making significant contributions to the artistic community.” While teaching drama at Western Middle Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School in Portland, she is currently pursuing another Master’s degree—in teaching—from Thomas More College. She is a member of Actors Theatre of Louisville's Teacher Advisory Committee and is the sponsor for her school's Kentucky Youth Assembly delegation.
Sam Marcosson has been on the FCCC since 2008. He teaches at the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. He graduated from Bradley University in 1983, and Yale Law School in 1986. Before coming to Louisville, he worked from 1988-1996 in the Appellate Division of the Office of General Counsel at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C. His teaching and writing focuses on civil rights, constitutional law, and sexuality law. In 2009, Sam received the University of Louisville’s Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching. Since 2007, he has supervised the law school’s Marshall-Brennan program, an integral part of its partnership with Central High School, designed to increase diversity in the legal profession by providing mentors for disadvantaged students with an interest in the legal profession. He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association, and was the programming coordinator for its annual conference in 1998. Sam is the author of numerous articles and a book, ORIGINAL SIN: CLARENCE THOMAS AND THE FAILURE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONSERVATIVES, published by the New York University Press in 2002.
Marty Meyer: coming soon
Derek Penwell is the senior minister of Douglass Boulevard Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Louisville and a lecturer at the University of Louisville in Religious Studies and Humanities. He has a Ph.D. in Humanities from the University of Louisville, a D.Min. and an M.Div. from Lexington Theological Seminary and is the author of articles ranging from church history to aesthetic theory and the tragic emotions. Rev. Penwell and the majority straight-allied congregation of Douglass Boulevard recently led their church to its historic decision to halt the signing of marriage licenses until all people may be equally married under the law.
Amanda Stahl is a native of Kentucky. She has been involved in social justice work for many years around the country focusing on disability justice work and LGBTQ rights. In 2012, she obtained her Master's degree in Social Work at the University of Louisville Kent School. She has enjoyed living in Louisville the past two years and looks forward to working with the Fairness Campaign on the Dismantling Racism Committee.
Meg Stern is a 30 year old activist who is proud to be from Louisville. Meg has been active in the reproductive health and abortion access movement since her teenage years when she began work as a volunteer clinic escort, accompanying clients of Kentucky’s only full time abortion clinic past aggressive protesters. In 2005 Meg co-founded Louisville’s Wench Selfcare Health Education Collective.  With this group, Meg has organized health fairs and presented class series and workshops with local groups including Women in Transition and The LINE Freeschool. In 2009 Meg joined the board of Louisville’s Fairness Campaign and helped create (and currently co-chairs) the Campaign’s Dismantling Racism Committee which focuses on addressing issues of racism specific to Louisville’s LGBTQ communities. When Meg is not busy with her volunteer duties she spends time cooking professionally, with the children, nannies and tutors, gardening, swimming, bicycling, and “enjoying time with friends, my dog Luci, or any of the other critters at my home including a cat, a parrot and numerous chickens.”
JoAnne Wheeler Bland was born in Alabama and raised in Hardin County, KY. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, served as a justice on the Kentucky Supreme Court, and as a Methodist Certified Lay Speaker. In 2010, JoAnne began her transition from her assigned male gender to current female gender. JoAnne has become an activist for the transgender and entire LGBT community. She became a member of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance in 2011 and currently serves on the Kentucky Counsel on Postsecondary Education’s Committee on Equal Opportunity. Recently, she was a featured speaker at the 27th Annual Governor’s Equal Employment Opportunity Conference. JoAnne is excited to continue her activism as a member of the Fairness Campaign Coordinating Committee!

The Fairness Campaign's Coordinating Committee is looking for individuals who would be interested in taking an active, working role in the leadership of the Campaign. Whether working as a member or a leader of a committee or serving on the board, there are many opportunities for you to be even more active in the work for justice and equality. If you'd like to take a more active leadership role in the work for Fairness, please contact us at 893-0788 or





Get Our NewsletterMinimize
* Required

Join us here too!

Join Fairness on Facebook

Join Fairness on Twitter

Join Fairness on YouTube

Copyright 2015 by Fairness Campaign
Privacy Statement | Terms Of Use