Paul has over 30 years in both nonprofit administration and LGBTQ+ Activism.
Before joining Stonewall CDC, Paul was the Founding Director of Cultural Strategies Initiative Inc. (CSI). Funded with a major grant from the Rockefeller Cultural Innovation Fund, the mission of this 4-year project was to strengthen art’s central role in civic life, in order to enhance the cultural, community, and environmental sustainability.
Before that, as Director of Communications & Cultural Policy for NYC Councilmember Alan Gerson (2002-2010), Paul crafted strategies to help preserve and revitalize the arts in Lower Manhattan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
Originally a playwright, Paul became Founding Executive Director of All Out Arts (1994) and Founding Executive Producer for its first five festivals. He then served as the Managing Director and Interim Executive Director of the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center (1998). He holds a B.A. in Arts Administration and an M.A. in International Cultural Policy from New York University. He is a graduate of Coro NY Leadership XV.
Sayief Leshaw, a native new Yorker raised in The Bronx, serves as the Program Director for Stonewall Community Development Corporation. He joined the organization in 2015 as an intern, motivated by realizing that the LGBTQ+ older adults that trail blazed for his right to be out were forced to go back into the closet to safely access senior programs service. He continues this work driven by a desire to build a truly inclusive and supportive community.
On behalf of Stonewall CDC he serves on the Bronx Borough President’s LGBTQ+ Policy Task Force, the South Bronx Impact Coalition and as liaison to the Walking While Trans Coalition. Sayief was included as one of Crain’s NY Business Magazine’s “Twenty in their 20s – Class of 2020.” He is also member of the New York chapter of the Habitat Young Professionals (Habitat for Humanity), the Stonewall Quarter Share Board and sits grant committee (Stonewall Community Foundation, former member of the NYTAG Junior Board (New York Transgender Advocacy Group) and former chair of the Dorill Young Professionals (The Dorill Initiative).
Chris Stone (He/They)
Chris is a student studying engineering and environmental studies at Swarthmore College. Chris is interested in how the built environment impacts the formation of identities. Formerly having attended a vo-tech for Strategic Asset Management, Chris approaches project management from a multi-faceted perspective of arts, business, and science. In addition to his current work with Stonewall Village NYC®, Chris is engaged in Asian American community organizing and exploring new pathways for environmental resilience through renewable energy.
Kai Usher (They/Them)
Born and raised in the Bronx, Kai is a Black, queer nonbinary documentarian, visual artist, multifaceted creative, and alumni of The City College of New York (CCNY). Through the combination of their B.A. in history & sociology and self-taught creative endeavors, Kai aspires to employ their passion for the arts, self-entrepreneurship, and community engagement in service of providing another avenue of flourishment for the existence of under-served communities and individuals. Their work and research discusses themes involving the Black queer diaspora, the queer diaspora, art & mental health, the hypocrisy & gatekeeping within academia, the importance of understanding one’s positionality in regards to building community, and more.