YOU are invited!

The Pride and Joy Foundation in partnership with Jill Davis, host of the Storyteller's Porch will be hosting the Pride and Joy Summit 2023. Join us Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13 to listen to a variety of LGBTQ+ public speakers. This is our second cohort of Keynote Queers final presentations. Come learn, be challenged, moved and inspired. Use YOUR Voice, YOUR Power. 

Get your ticket

Friday, May 12 5pm PT/8pm ET

Brynna Wilson (she/they)

Carling Middlestead (she/her)

Charlie Neff (she/they)

Leah Embrey (she/her)

Carla Ferrucci (she/her)

Saturday, May 13 10am PT/1pm ET

Charli (they/them)

Sebastian Dziuk (he/him)

Suzette Mullen (she/her)

Kathy Kiger (she/her)

Vi La Bianca (they/them)

Kalyela Josephs (she/they)

Naomi Mendes-Pouget (shey/they)

Robert Halley (he/him)

Nicki Hangsleben (she/they)

Save Your Seat Today!

All proceeds support the Pride and Joy Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to prevent suicide and homeless in our LGBTQ+ community. Everyone who registers will receive links to the recordings. But they are being professionally produced, so it could be up to a month before you get the link via the email used in the registration.

Pay What You Can


all donations are tax-deductible

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In gratitude, we will send you a copy of our meditative coloring book, COLOR ME QUEER. With 30+ midcentury modern designs and quotes from LGBTQ+ icons from throughout history, a perfect gift for you or someone you love. 



Suggested Donation


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Friday May 12

Speakers are listed in chronological order. We will begin promptly at 5pm PT/ 8pm ET with a short introduction. Each speaker will have 10 minutes for their talk.

Brynna Wilson (she/they): Sharing their expertise through podcasts such as "Women Behind the Millions" and "All Things LGBTQ+", Brynna has become a thought leader and educator for marginalized communities around money and wealth. Brynna Wilson (she/they), CEO, Financial Advisor, and personal growth enthusiast, has been focused on helping her clients realize they can live the life of their dreams for the last six years. Through the lens of behavioral finance, Brynna changes perspectives on the traditional understanding of money to create innovative strategies to increase our abundance financially and move from just surviving to THRIVING. Brynna created Citrine & Gold to break down barriers, self-beliefs, and change the rules of the capitalism game to create wealth for those that have never seen it.

LinkedIn | Instagram 


Carling (she/her) is a Canadian, Queer Identifying 30 something year old host and producer of the "I Did Not Sign Up For This" podcast. With a passion for storytelling and a desire to explore the human experience, Carling's podcast features candid conversations with individuals about life's unexpected twists and turns.

In addition to her podcast, Carling also speaks on the topic of conformity and its toll on mental health and personal fulfillment. Her presentation, "The Price of Conformity," draws from her own experience of never quite feeling like enough as she tried to live up to society's definition of success and happiness. It wasn't until she came out as gay that she realized she had been on the wrong path the whole time, and that she had been enough all along.

Through her podcast and speaking engagements, Carling hopes to inspire others to embrace their true selves and live authentically, even if it means straying from the path that others have laid out for them.



Mixed media artist Charlie Neff uses the visual arts to comment on societal issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community and other underserved communities. She believes that visual storytelling can be one of the most honest and compelling ways to convey a message.

She works with nonprofit organizations across the country to leverage the impact they are making in their communities by exploring their stories of progress with a larger audience. She primarily focuses on human service organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life for the people they serve.

Instagram |  Facebook 

TikTok | LinkedIn


Leah Embrey (she/her) is an LGBTQ+ personal trainer, coach, and advocate who takes pride in creating confidence in the humans she meets worldwide. She empowers the queer community to find acceptance, confidence, and strength through weightlifting and transformative self-reflection. Since 2004, her weightlifting experience has helped numerous clients find self love, and encourage them to pursue more fulfilling lives—inside and outside of the safe space she has created.

Leah has been featured in Canvas Rebel and has led several workshops in her hometown of Des Moines. Her talks will leave the audience feeling empowered to take positive action and inspire them to live their most authentic life.

Facebook | Instagram


Carla Ferrucci (she/her) has been fighting the power her whole life. From fighting neo-nazis with Anti-Racist Action, to holding batterers and sex offenders accountable as a crime victim advocate; to fighting big corporations at the legislature, Carla works to improve systems so that the voices of the voiceless are not only heard, but at the table.

Carla’s skills come from her professional work in law and politics and the non-profit sector plus their passion for helping folx use their personal power to change the systems that oppress them.
Carla is currently 2 + years alcohol-free and on a path of healing from long-held trauma. Carla is one of 5 founders of Sonder Recovery, the first LGBTQ+ focused online peer recovery support organization in the country.
By sharing her lived experience, Carla will leave audiences inspired to positively change their lives and thereby impacting the world around them.

Instagram | LinkedIn



Saturday, May 13 10am PT/ 1pm ET

Speakers are listed in chronological order. We will begin promptly at 10am PT/ 1pm ET with a short introduction and mid-way small break. Each speaker will have 10 minutes for their talk.

Charli (they/them) is a non-binary queer Clarity Coach, Meditation Teacher, Speaker and International Book Club Host. They are the CEO of Time Hackers Unite, a community of humans committed to exploring their relationships with our only nonrenewable resource: TIME, and the Founder of Sparkle Warriors Book Club which supports over 500 humans on their personal growth journeys.

They have reached over 250,000 people on TikTok teaching tips to navigate humanity while healing from chronic stress and trauma. They have an intuitive gift for asking questions; value psychological safety and personal integrity; and help ambitious humans to get clear and confident in their voice & direction so they can bring their dreams to life.

Charli's goal is to help to eradicate hunger & homelessness through the education and empowerment of their fellow humans and in the creation of a life skills university.

TikTok | Instagram | Facebook

Sebastian Dziuk (he/him) is a certified life coach, author, and speaker who coaches queer entrepreneurs in creating their own Queer and Thriving life. Sebastian’s experience as a visible queer and trans man, entrepreneur, and 10-year U.S. Army veteran gives him unique skills and perspectives to help his clients.

Sebastian is a contributing author to the bestselling book Thriving in Business: Strategies for the LGBTQ+ Entrepreneur and With Honor and Integrity: Transgender Troops in Their Own Words.

LinkedIn | Link Tree | Instagram


Suzette Mullen (she/her) is an LGBTQ+ book coach, speaker, recovering rule-follower, and author of The Only Way Through Is Out, a memoir forthcoming January 2024 from the University of Wisconsin Press. Her coming-out story inspires audiences—straight and queer—to find the courage to take the next right step toward authenticity in their own lives, no matter their age. Suzette has been featured on Today All Day and published in the New York Times, and is a frequent guest on podcasts, including Zestful Aging, Coming Out & Beyond, the Brave Yes Business Show, and #amwriting.

Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook


Kathy Kiger is a marketing strategist and copywriter who helps queer businesses and entrepreneurs build and connect with their ideal audience. As the CEO of Kathy Kiger Agency, entrepreneurs, coaches, and small businesses hire Kathy to write blogs, emails, and website copy. Kathy also offers copy coaching for entrepreneurs who prefer to DIY their marketing.

Kathy was raised as an evangelical Christian and dutifully followed all the rules and expectations — from homeschooling her kids and baking her own bread to suppressing her sexual orientation for decades.

Married for almost 15 years, and then divorced for 10, Kathy finally had her “holy shit I’m a lesbian” moment in early 2021. She’s a single mom with 4 adult and teen children — 75% of whom are queer.

Kathy is the creator behind the Better Late Than Straight blog where she shares her own insights as a late-blooming lesbian, along with resources, and the stories of other women who have embraced their queerness later in life.

You can hear Kathy on podcasts like Coming Out With Lauren and Nicole, The Coming Out Late Podcast, and Redefining Family. You can follow along with Kathy’s Better Late Than Straight journey on Instagram.

Instagram | LinkedIn  www.kathykigeragency.com


Vi La Bianca (they/them) is a trans non-binary writer, speaker, and activist building communities of support and resistance across the United States.

Since 2018, Vi has been featured on numerous podcasts, spoken at multiple conferences and protests, and hosted hundreds of live shows for millions of viewers on topics of secular humanism, queer philosophy, and reclaiming autonomy.

Their upcoming book, The Myth of Adulthood, will be published in 2024.



Kalyela “Coach K” Josephs (she/they) is an Inspirational Speaker, Life Coach, and LGBTQ+ Wellbeing Advocate and the Founder of QueeronPurpose Coaching who helps individuals UNLEASH their potential and thrive in their purpose and wellbeing.

Her empowering messages come straight from the heart – she digs deep into her own authentic self to connect with others and guide them to a place of personal and professional confidence. They empower Queer leaders, LGBTQ+ Resource Groups, DEI Practioners, and Allies to build healthier organizations by cultivating purpose, change, and inclusivity.

Coach K also serves as a Queer Spirituality Coach helping Queer folks heal from Relgious Trauma and experience spiritual freedom. She inspires the queer community to remain connected, resilient, and purposeful.



Naomi Mendes-Pouget (she/they) is raw unfiltered energy as she inspires, motivates, and coaches parents of historically marginalized communities to stop settling for scraps and to bravely activate their powerful life as a leader for their family and communities. They’ve been featured in CBC, VoyageMIA, and on several podcasts.

A founder/CEO, life fulfillment and freedom coach, business coach, preschooler ‘pandemic’ parent, genderqueer woman, and public motivational speaker are only some of the ways Naomi shows up every day.

During a Naomi talk, the audience will cry, laugh, feel seen, and feed their inner fire. The impact will go on to transform their lives in all facets.

Instagram | LinkedIn


Robert Halley (he/him) was born in Toronto of Guyanese ancestry and celebrates diversity through empathetic compassion, kindness, and play. He has traveled globally with a 20+ year accomplished performing arts career highlighted in ‘The Lion King’ (London), ’Wicked’ (Osaka, Japan), Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, and ’Star Trek: Discovery.’

He is a certified 400hr yoga teacher, mindfulness meditation, and life & health coach actively featured on the acclaimed Insight Timer app. Robert is the CEO of Withyin, combining creativity and play with holistic habits to inspire healthy habits for mindful living. He is close to completing a five-year process of developing The Wellness Oracle, a one-of-a-kind card game combining breathtaking photography with globally renowned wellness practices. Robert is proud to bring his creative community wellness interactive performance experience to pride festivals around the world, where bite-sized wellness tips, storytelling, runway, voguing, and motivational dance come together.

Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook | YouTube


Nicki Hangsleben (she/they) is the Executive Director and Founder of QUEERSPACE collective, an organization committed to creating space for LGBTQ+ youth to feel safe and empowered to be their true selves. They have been providing leadership in both for-profit and non-profits spaces for over 20 years and have a diverse background in strategic partnerships, business development, program oversight and financial management.

Nicki grew up in South Minneapolis surrounded by a vibrant LGBTQ+ community and currently lives in North Minneapolis with her wife and two amazing kids. They are passionate about serving their community, advocating for the rights of all humans, and creating lasting impact locally and globally.

LinkedIn | Instagram


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