Panel Discussion: Navigating Employee Impact of Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation

Our Panelists:

Paul Duchene


Chief Operating Officer, National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI)

  • Paul Duchene serves as chief operating officer for the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), overseeing talent, technology, business operations, and research and evaluation. 
  • Paul holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Texas Tech University and is a senior certified professional through the Society for Human Resource Management.
  • As a proud gay Latino, Paul is committed to improving LGBTQIA+ and other marginalized students’ lives.

Shauna Madison, Esq


Director of People, Culture, and Equity, National Center for Lesbian Rights

  • Shauna R. Madison, Esq. is the Director of People, Culture, and Equity and a member of NCLR’s Management Team. Shauna utilizes her expertise in labor and employment law, people management, and 501(c)(3) consultation to advise NCLR on holistic, trauma-informed, legally compliant policies and practices.
  • Shauna received her law degree from the University of San Francisco (USF) School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Sociology and African & African American Studies, with a minor in Sexuality Studies from the University of California, Davis. 
  • Her recent awards include: being named a 2023 Northern California Super Lawyer – Rising Star, and receiving the 2022 Best LGBTQ+ Lawyers Under 40 Award, as well as the 2021 and 2022 National Black Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 Awards. 

Joel Madrid 


Senior Manager, Talent Systems and Analysis, KIPP Foundation

  • Joel Madrid (he/they) is currently the Senior Manager, Talent Operations and Systems at the KIPP Foundation.  
  • He received his BA from Brown University with a concentration in Sociology and Ethnic Studies and is a huge fan of Octavia Butler and James Baldwin.
  • Joel seeks to center the intersectional experiences of folx with marginalized identities to create meaningful, systemic change for employees, students, and families.

Stratton Pollitzer 


Co-Founder and Deputy Director, Equality Florida

  • Stratton is the Co-Founder and Deputy Director of Equality Florida and has co-led the organization since its inception in 1997.
  • A political science graduate of Emory University, Stratton is the recipient of the Harvey Milk Honors Medal. 
  • Recognized nationally as an expert in LGBTQ nonprofit development, Stratton pioneered programs that grew Equality Florida from one of the first LGBTQ groups in the South into the largest LGBTQ state-based advocacy group in the country

Nikkie Gomez-Whaley MPA, PHR


Director of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Planned Parenthood Arizona, Central Office

  • Nikkie Gomez-Whaley is a proud Chicana/Latina, daughter of an immigrant and first-generation university graduate. She is the Director of DEI at Planned Parenthood of Arizona, helping the organization to embed DEI principles into to all areas of the organization’s internal and external operations.
  • She has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, a Master’s degree in Public Administration, and is a certified Human Resources Professional.
  • Nikkie is dedicated to improving access and outcomes for all marginalized communities, not simply because it’s right; but because it is necessary for the advancement of society. Ms. Gomez-Whaley has served on various boards and councils dedicated to empowering women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ communities in addition to providing individual mentoring and coaching.

Key Takeaways:

Our panel brought together speakers from across the country to discuss how organizations can best support their LGBTQIA+ employees through intersectional and inclusive policies. Throughout the discussion, panelists agreed that organizations need to take a proactive stance in creating policies that protect their employees and their employee’s families. Organizations that adopt equitable policies and create inclusive cultures must also be aware of the myriad of ways they can step up to the plate. From using inclusive language, requiring pronouns, empowering employees to use their affirmed names, to finding healthcare options that support mental health, transitional and hormone care, and are flexible when it comes to defining “family.”

All of these ideas require organizations to roll up their sleeves and do the work – continuously. Be prepared to encounter challenges, but remember that being an equitable employer means that you’re willing to go that extra mile and fight for people and communities who have experienced systemic oppression. We encourage you to take the time to watch the webinar to hear from our amazing panelists directly, and we hope you will join us all as we fight for a more intersectional future.


Put your values to work. Act on equity.

We believe equity isn’t a box to check. It’s a daily action. Someone’s unique identity isn’t something to overcome–when paired with the right opportunity, it becomes one of their greatest professional assets. We exist to empower social impact organizations to recognize and overcome unconscious bias, racism and sexism so they can build a workforce that reflects and strengthens the communities they serve.