Staff & Interns

Elle Black

Office Manager

Elle is an Artivist (Activist + Artist), Community Advocate, Mental and Physical Wellness Support Companion, Teacher, Tutor,  Personal Shopper, and Theater House Manager/Concierge/Wedding Planner extraordinaire

 Elle lives in Oakland, where they were born, raised, and attended Mills College. Elle enjoys smashing the Patriarchy whenever the opportunity presents itself, spending time with their kiddo and pet niblings, karaoke, and TV/Book Reading/Theater marathons with their dearest comrades.

 Elle’s pronouns are: They/Their/Elle(’s).

Contact: eblack@clgs.org

Mark Bowman

LGBT-RAN Coordinator

1Mark Bowman has been involved in the development of LGBT-RAN since its founding in 2001. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from Boston University School of Theology. He first became active in Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns in the late 1970s. He was instrumental in the formation of the Reconciling Congregation Program (United Methodist) and the magazine Open Hands and headed these programs for fifteen years. He played a key leadership role in initiating several cooperative ventures in the ecumenical “Welcoming Church” Movement, including the historic, massive Witness Our Welcome (WOW) Conference in 2000. He was also one of the original members of the National Religious Leaders Roundtable of the National LGBTQ Task Force.

Contact: mbowman@lgbtran.org  

Rev. Carla Roland Guzmán

Coordinator, Latino/a Roundtable
E-mail Rev. Carla Roland Guzmán

Rev. Carla Roland Guzmán was raised in Puerto Rico and is ordained in the Episcopal Church. She serves an inclusive, bilingual, and multicultural congregation in New York City. Rev. Roland has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Cornell University; Master’s of Divinity from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific; Master of Arts in Church History from the Graduate Theological Union; and is currently finishing her PhD in Theology form the University of Exeter (UK) and Hartford Seminary.

In the early 1990s she was involved with the LGBTQ community while at Cornell University, and the work done at that time led to the creation of the LGBTQ Resource Center, one of the earliest in the country. She recently served one year on the board of the Cornell University GALA. Her current interests lie in bringing the voices of people of color to LGBTQ institutions, as well as, bringing LGBTQ voices to the Latin@/Hispanic Community, including Churches.She has been a member of the CLGS Latino/a Roundtable: Fe, Familia, Igualdad since its inception.

Contact: croland@smstchurch.org

Rev. Jakob Hero

Coordinator, Transgender Roundtable

Jakob Hero received his MDiv, MA, and Certificate in Sexuality and Religion from Pacific School of Religion in 2011. He holds a Graduate Diploma in Christian Theology and Spiritual Direction from Cardiff University in Wales, and a BA in Religious Studies with an emphasis on Christianity and Islam, from the University of South Florida. Jakob has led trainings on human rights and participated transgender advocacy throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Central and Eastern Europe. Currently living in Tampa, Florida, Jakob is the Director of Education and Programs at the Metropolitan Community Church of Tampa.

Contact: jhero@clgs.org 

Rabbi Jane Rachel Litman

Coordinator, Jewish Roundtable

Rabbi Jane Rachel Litman is the Rabbi of Coastside Jewish Community, a diverse and welcoming congregation in Half Moon Bay, California.  Prior to joining CJC, she served as the Rabbi of LGBTQI outreach congregations Sha’ar Zahav and Kol Simcha. Rabbi Litman has been a consultant on religious education for alternative families for the Metropolitan Community Church and National Council of Churches.  She was a lecturer at California State University Northridge, where she co-founded the Queer Studies Institute.  An LGBTQI and AIDS activist for over twenty-five years, including serving on the Board of the March on Washington and Freedom to Marry, Rabbi Litman is widely published in the fields of feminism, trans and queer theory, and is the co-editor of the award winning Lifecycles series. Her latest piece is the chapter on Judaism in Struggling In Good Faith, a multifaith look at religion in American from an LGBTQI perspective.\

Contact: jlitman@clgs.org

Bernard Schlager

Executive Director

After receiving his PhD from Yale University in the history of Christianity and teaching on the East coast, Bernie became one of the original staff members of the Center when it opened its doors in the fall of 2000. Since then he has held a number of positions at CLGS, including Program Director and Interim Deputy Director, before becoming Executive Director in July 2009. In addition, he directs the development and advancement work of the Center, teaches in the Certificate of Sexuality and Religion Program (CSR) at Pacific School of Religion, and serves as an editorial consultant for the CLGS/Pilgrim Press Book series.

Contact: bschlager@clgs.org 

Mariana Silva

Latinx Project Manager

Mariana Silva is a proud native of Compton, CA and is first generation Mexican-American. She received her BA in Global Economics and Latin American/Latino Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz, becoming the first person in her family to receive a higher education. As a person who is passionate about social justice, youth empowerment, financial stability and economic sustainability for low income people of color, she actively finds different avenues  to help and pave the way for those who have grown up with a similar experience as her own. She is the  current Lending Circle Community Liaison for the Brown Boi Project and House Manages at Brava Theater in San Francisco, CA.  Mariana’s passion is to facilitate projects from conception to fruition while utilizing a social justice lens.

Contact: msilva@clgs.org

Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow

Coordinator, African American Roundtable

Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a Master of Science degree in Counseling from Indiana University.  He later earned a Master of Arts degree in Ministry from Grace Theological Seminary and in 1990 became a licensed minister in the Baptist Church.  In 2005, Roland was ordained with the Metropolitan Community Church and in 2006 he earned his Master of Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion with a certificate in Religion and Sexuality.  In 2011, Roland became licensed with the United Church of Christ and The Fellowship churches, a predominately African-American denomination with an outreach to LGBT individuals.  He has worked as a pastor in Indiana and California.  In addition to all his work within church contexts, Roland also worked in the field of education in a variety of capacities – teacher, guidance counselor, college advisor, and vice-principal. Roland is currently based in Detroit, Michigan.

Contact: rstringfellow@clgs.org

Rev. Dr. Justin Sabia-Tanis

Director of Communications and Educational Resources

Justin Sabia-Tanis earned his PhD from the Graduate Theological Union in Interdisciplinary Studies, focusing on sexuality, art, and religion. He earned a Master’s degree at Harvard University and a previous doctorate from San Francisco Theological Seminary. Justin’s previous work includes advocacy for LGBT rights in national non-profit organizations. He was the Community Education and Outreach Manager at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) in Washington, D.C. and later served as the Director of Communications for Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

He is the author of Transgender: Ministry, Theology, and Communities of Faith, which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in 2003, and is a contributor to the forthcoming Transgender: Four Views (Baker Academic Press, 2018). He has also contributed chapters to the Queer Bible Commentary and Take Back the Word: A Queer Reading of the Bible. An artist and photographer, Justin has had a lifelong passion for the arts.

Contact: jtanis@clgs.org