BOSTON, Mass.—The Board of Directors of MassEquality is pleased to announce that Tanya Neslusan has accepted the position of executive director of the organization. Having left the corporate tech world to turn her full attention to her activist roots, Tanya joins MassEquality at a critical juncture. MassEquality is redirecting its focus from a primary emphasis on policy work on Beacon Hill to direct organizing in geographic communities from Springfield to Pittsfield and Quincy to the Cape. Our goal is to make lived equality a reality throughout the state.
Tanya is an experienced political and social justice organizer and life-long resident of Central Massachusetts. In 2018, she completed EmergeMA Candidate Training and threw her hat in the ring to unseat a seven-term and largely-uncontested State Representative. Though the campaign was ultimately unsuccessful, Tanya cemented many relationships throughout the Commonwealth. Tanya has also served as Secretary of the Sturbridge Town Democratic Committee, Planning Committee Member of Showing up for Racial Justice Worcester, and Board Member of the Bay State Stonewall Democrats. Tanya is a founding member of the leadership team of Grassroots Central Massachusetts and is a member of both the Massachusetts Women of Color Coalition and Citizens for a Palmer Rail Stop
Tanya resides in Sturbridge with her wife, Rebecca, her teenage son, Nick, a dog, two cats, and a bearded dragon. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts and has spent the majority of her career working in health insurance information technology.
Board President Michael Pizziferri says of Tanya’s hiring: “Tanya has an impressive set of organizing skills that will bring the work of MassEquality alive in local communities. There is positive alignment between our strategic direction and Tanya’s desire to inspire social change through community organizing, developing accessible tools for people to put to work to bring change at the local level, where people meet regular resistance.”
“Local organizing is critical to true social change and I am excited to be a part of MassEquality as we redirect our primary focus to diverse grassroots organizing in local communities,” says Neslusan.
MassEquality is the leading statewide grassroots advocacy organization working to ensure that everyone across Massachusetts can thrive at all stages of life without discrimination and oppression based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Since transitioning from a single-issue coalition focused on marriage equality to a multi-issue advocacy organization working to ensure that LGBTQ people are safe and free to live open and authentic lives, MassEquality has achieved numerous victories, including advocating for trans civil rights protections and banning conversion therapy for minors. These victories were accomplished by partnering across issues, identities, and communities to build a broad, inclusive, and politically powerful movement that changes hearts and minds and achieves policy and electoral victories. As the only LGBTQ-focused political organization in the Commonwealth that combines legislative lobbying with highly effective support for electoral candidates, the MassEquality PAC stands with, develops, and elects candidates who are outspoken champions for justice and equality for all LGBTQ people across Massachusetts.