ABILENE, Texas — Rev. Alba Onofrio and Yaz Mendez Nuñez are taking over the helm of Soulforce as co-executive directors with the departure of Haven Herrin, the organization has reported.
The two southern organizers and leaders joined Soulforce in 2014 and brought their skills to forwarding the organization’s work for social justice.
“I trust in their hearts, skills, and vision for what relentless nonviolent resistance feels like in this political moment of Christian Supremacy. I have deep confidence that I am departing Soulforce with our legacy in great hands,” Herrin shared.
Onofrio has served as the spiritual strategist and the chief financial officer for Soulforce. They bring two decades of non-profit managerial experience to the organization. Onofrio holds a Master’s of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School where their studies focused on the theologies of sex, embodiment and ethics based in queer desire.
Nuñez is a 26-year-old culture worker, facilitator and community organizer based in Durham, N.C., is a queer southerner from an immigrant and military family. They have served as Soulforce’s director of programs and communications and has co-facilitated programs like the Southeast House Fellowship for Southern LGBTQI Youth, the 2016 Beyond Equality Ride and the first digital Vacation Bible School. Nuñez has also served as a facilitation fellow for Wayside Center for Popular Education, as a member leader of Southerners with New Ground and leadership in The Clearing.
Under the duos leadership, Soulforce collaborated with 11 Global South activists to write and publish Soulforce’s first Bible resource on gender justice and transgender theology. In just the three months since its publication, over 400 copies have been distributed to activists in 22 countries who are using them to heal themselves, change religion-based messaging in their communities and organize for legislative change in the face of Christian fundamentalism and culture war, Herrin said.