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Advisory Council

The Advisory Council was convened to bring together thoughtful leaders and experts with diverse backgrounds and experiences from interdisciplinary fields that intersect with sexuality to advise the CSPH staff on the organization’s latest and upcoming projects, programs, campaigns, and events. Responsibilities of the council include

  • Contributing their expertise, thinking, and suggestions to the current and future work of the CSPH by engaging in discussions posted by CSPH staff on the Advisory Council listserv
  • Connecting CSPH staff with relevant contacts and resources in support of furthering our mission and reach
  • Keeping sensitive organizational information and developing projects confidential

The advisory council is currently made of:

Al Vernacchio

Al Vernacchio

Al Vernacchio teaches at Friends’ Central School in Wynnewood, PA. He is the Upper School Sexuality Educator and chair of the English department. In addition to his classroom responsibilities, Al organizes sexuality-themed programs and assemblies, provides parent education, and is one of the faculty advisors for the Gender and Sexual Orientation Alliance.

A Human Sexuality educator and consultant for over 20 years, Al has lectured and offered workshops throughout the country. His work was featured in “Teaching Good Sex”, a November, 2011 cover story in The New York Times Magazine . In addition Al has given four TED Talks, and is the author of numerous publications, most notably his book For Goodness Sex: Changing the Way We Talk to Young People About Sexuality, Values, and Health published by Harper-Collins.

Al earned his BA in Theology from St. Joseph’s University and his MSEd in Human Sexuality Education from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS), The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) and Advanced Sexuality Educators and Trainers (ASET). A native Philadelphian, Al and his husband, Michael, live in the Germantown section of the city.

Elicia Gonzales

Elicia Gonzales

Elicia Gonzales holds Masters degrees in Social Work and Human Sexuality Education from Widener University. From 2009 thorugh 2016, she enthusiastically served as Executive Director for GALAEI: a queer Latinx Social Justice Organization. Elicia serves on the Board of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern PA, on the Community Grantmaking Committee and Jonathan Lax Scholarship Committee for Bread and Roses Community Fund, and is a mentor to a Point Foundation scholar. She was a fellow for the Rockwood Racial and Gender Justice for HIV movement. Elicia is the co-founder of SEXx – an annual sex-positive event that has featured “TEDx” style presentations, workshops, performances, and dance parties. Elicia has been a speaker at the Planned Parenthood “Power of Pink” conference (2016), Princeton University’s “LGBTQ & Latinx: Exploring the Intersections” (2016), UPENN’s “Beyond Marriage Equality” (2016), Creating Change Conference (2014), and Philadelphia FIGHT’s AIDS Education Month (2012). She has worked in the social justice field for more than 16 in various capacities ranging from reproductive justice to queer Latinx social justice. Elicia lives in Philly’s Fishtown neighborhood with her wife and is originally from Denver, Colorado where all of her beloved family resides.

Erika Hart

Ericka Hart

Ericka Hart is a black, queer, kinky, poly, Sagittarius, cancer-warrior, activist, Sex Educator, and performer.  She has her Masters in Human Sexuality from Widener University. She has taught sex education from elementary aged youth to adults; across New York City for the past six years. The catalyst of her work in sex education was her service as a Peace Corps HIV/AIDs volunteer in Ethiopia (Dec 08- July 10). Currently, she is completing her Masters of Education in Human Sexuality at Widener University and works as the Director of Adolescent Sexual Health at a community-based organization in New York City. Pronouns: She/They.

Michelle Forcier

Michelle Forcier

Michelle Forcier MD MPH is an Associate Professor (Clinical) Pediatrics at Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University Providence RI. She provides clinical services as a faculty member of Hasbro Children’s and Rhode Island Hospital. She is an Assistant Dean (Medical) of Admissions for Alpert School of Medicine. She has been doing adolescent medicine, gender and sexual health, and reproductive justice work since 1990’s. She serves over 400 gender diverse persons on the East Coast and provides advanced family planning and reproductive health services across the lifespan. She continues to train nurse practioner and medical students, along with residents and fellows, in patient centered reproductive health and justice.

Nicole Mazzeo

Nicole Mazzeo

Nicole is a sex educator who specializes in finding creative ways to help people learn and grow in their relationships to sexuality. She runs a small sexuality activist organization in Boston called Pleasure Pie. Through Pleasure Pie, Nicole makes sex ed zines and illustrations, hosts a public sexuality discussion group, and has events that aim to get people just the right amount out of their comfort zones so that meaningful personal growth can happen. You can find her work at pleasurepie.org.

Samantha Jo

Samantha Jo

What do you get when you mix fierce make-up, stunning style, and a passion for social justice? You get Ms. Samantha Jo-Dato! Who has quickly become a force to be reckoned with as a dedicated and passionate advocate and activist for trans* issues.  This sassy, fireball personality  has worked tirelessly in the Trans* Movement nationally. How  is based out of Philadelphia PA  and works with  Philadelphia Trans* March, Trans Wellness Project, Creating Change and Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference. She has become a role model, leader, big sister, and support system to many people who struggle with intersecting life issues. “Sami Jo” as she is so affectionately called by many friends and family members, continues to tackle issues of self-esteem, self-worth, healthy living, and positive imaging, which has gracefully allowed her to advance her career. Samantha has never left her first love of beautification through make-up artistry. Where she delivers, enlightening moments of self-worth and empowerment for almost every face she enhances.  In 2014, she became the Logistical Conference Coordinator for The Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference and fearlessly led the three day event into its 13th, 14th and now 15th year of success. Samantha plans to continue revitalizing the conference to reflect the current needs of trans* communities worldwide which has been her personal mission. She will be adding to her list of activities becoming a first time author in April 2016 with her testimonial journal called “Sami Jo Shattered Perfect”. In which she hopes will help inspire the stories of hardship into major outcomes of success for every reader. Joining the leadership team of TWOCC (Trans Women of Color Collective) in 2015, Samantha is nationally working to strengthen the bridge of kinship in her community. As she was recognized by her peers on the Trans100 list in 2015, along with LGBT Community Leaders Award, Community Service Award and many other accolades for the unapologetic work she does for the trans kin folks she celebrates and loves. Her goal is to empower all people. What better way to do that? But by becoming the co-owner and founder of Hope After 20 Publications which publishes, manages, and promotes LGBTQI Authors of Color. Authors from all ages, and walks of life can experience an atmosphere where their creativity can be expressed, supported and highlighted on a platform of victory with consulting and managing of the writers’ brand. H/A20  will help infuse the lived experiences and recollections online and in bookstores across the nation that will exemplify many experiences and versions for people of color

Timaree Schmit

Timaree Schmit

Sexologist Timaree Schmit earned a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality Education from Widener University, the culmination of a lifelong search for rational, sex-positive, empirically-based knowledge about sexuality. She now works as a a writer, adjunct professor, guest lecturer, and consultant. She believes sexual freedom is the cornerstone of human rights and social justice. Her work can be seen at SexWithTimaree.com and on Facebook.com/SexWithTimaree.

The Sex with Timaree podcast was named one of the top sex podcasts by Daily DotBuzzfeed and iTunes. She is co-founder of SEXx Interactive, the LGBT issues contributor for Philadelphia Weekly and is regularly featured as a sexpert across the web.  Nominated for Geek of the Year in 2016,  and a community organizer of the queer performance art and burlesque scenes in Philly, Timaree has found a niche that blends science and sensuality. As the founding Chair of HSEDSO, the Human Sexuality Education Student Organization, and founding Laureate Counselor of Gamma Eta Rho, the first national honor society for students of Human Sexuality, Timaree has worked diligently to promote factual, comprehensive sexuality education and to empower people to search and communicate their desires.