Roundtable Members and Staff

Reverend Mari Castellanos, Roundtable Member and Co-founder

Mari Castellanos served at the United Church of Christ as Policy Advocate for Domestic Issues at the Washington Office of Justice and Witness Ministries. Before she answered this call, she served a local congregation. In Washington she focused on different areas of legislative concern, including immigration and climate change.

She completed her studies at the Florida Center for Theological Studies where she obtained her Doctor of Ministry Degree and at Barry University in Miami where she received her Master’s Degree in Theology. Her doctoral work focused on developing an institute for multi-cultural studies for pastoral ministers.

Carolina Alcoser Ramos, Roundtable Member

A native of San Diego currently working as the Director of Training and Chief Diversity officer at The SD LGBT Community Center. Currently serving on the Sheriff’s LGBT Advisory Council, and the San Diego Mayor’s LGBT advisory committee. Served on the Human Relations commission, formerly worked as the Regional Director of Bienestar Human Services. Has worked as a Domestic Violence Advocate for Palomar Pomerado Health System’s Family Violence Program, working primarily with immigrant women.

She worked as a Case Manager for the Homeless G.L.B.T youth at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. Worked at the Polinski Children’s Center for abused and neglected children for 9 years.

Seeking to make things better for children with gay and lesbian parents, she founded Moms & Me N Dads Too in 1991. She was on the S.D. Unified School Districts Superintendent’s Committee on L.G.B.T. issues on education. Additionally, she conducted sensitivity trainings on L.G.B.T. issues for S.D. County Dept. of Social Services and a frequent speaker on L.G.B.T. issues at San Diego area schools and universities, and military bases. Was a volunteer with AIDS Project San Diego, PACTO Latino, CHAC, and AIDS Walk.

Carla Roland Guzmán, Chair

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.

Current interests lie in bringing the voices of people of color to LGBTQ+ institutions, as well as, bringing LGBTQ+ voices to the Latinx Hispanic Community, including Churches.

She has been a member of the CLGS Latinx Roundtable: Fe, Familia, Igualdad since its inception.

Reverend Rosa Frias, Roundtable Member

Reverend Rosa Frias is the senior pastor of the First United Church of Christ in Joliet, Illinois. Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, she achieved her dreams of coming to the United States and becoming an educated professional who consistently gives back to her community. Rosa is the co-founder of Come and Grow Social Services Inc., a full time social worker with the state of Illinois, and ministers in close partnership with her husband Miguel Frias, a retired Episcopal priest. Reverend Rosa Frias received her M.Div. from McCormick Theological Seminary and her M.A. in Social Work from Aurora University. Her passions include teaching her kids how to cook the delicious foods of the Dominican Republic, traveling with her family, and spending quality time with her sweet poodle Sylvia.

Reverend Rhina Ramos, Roundtable Member

Rev. Rhina Ramos was born in El Salvador, and arrived in the US at age 14. Since very early in life, Rhina learned that fighting for justice is a lifelong struggle.  Being an immigrant, Rhina experienced first-hand the pain of invisibility. Her professional life includes being a labor rights lawyer, a social justice organizer and trainer. Fueled by her dream and passion to fight for social justice, Rhina graduated from Hofstra University School of Law in 1995. She led the legal department at a workers’ center in Long Island, New York, where her team recuperated over half a million dollars in unpaid wages and benefits owed to immigrant workers. During her 20 years of work in the non-profit sector, she has worked tirelessly for education justice, ending mass incarceration of people of color, labor rights, immigrant rights, domestic violence prevention, environmental justice and international solidarity. She holds a Masters in Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Rhina became an ordained minister by the United Church of Christ (UCC) in May 2012. In December 2011, she created and is still leads the first Latinx Immigrant Open and Affirming LGBTQ UCC congregation of Northern California. She currently serves on the board of ALDES (Legal Assistance for Sexual Diversity in El Salvador).

 

Reverend Pedro L. Rodriguez, Roundtable Member

Rev. Pedro L. Rodriguez, Jr was born in Cabo Rojo , Puerto Rico and currently lives in NYC. Rev. Rodriguez is a former NYC Police Officer and a member of the Aspiration of New York Chapter.

He just recently was ordained and serves in the Diocese of New York Episcopal church.

Rev Rodriguez served for 10 years in the US Army and upon returning home from active duty pursued his MSW and is currently working as Program Coordinator serving in the. Mount Sinai Hospital network. Throughout many years , he served in various clinical and Community Based Organization throughout NYC providing supportive services to LGBT youth, HIV community and Veterans.

Rev. Pedro Rodriguez currently also is a Education for Ministry Mentor through the The Beecken Center, The school of Theology  of Sewanee.  He enjoys bowling, billiards, swimming, and competes every other year in other fellow retired members of the military branch in their bi annual competition.