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AVP’s 40 Change Makers

To commemorate the last four decades, we have called on our founders, community members, clients, visionaries, and supporters to be in conversation with us. Throughout the year, we are releasing 40 profiles of individuals who have engaged our services, worked alongside us, and have strived for a just world.

Bea Hanson

Former AVP Staff

This interview has been shortened and condensed for clarity. Bea Hanson has been an advocate for victims of violence for over three decades. She served as AVP’s HIV-Related Violence Program […]

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Sharon Stapel

Former AVP Executive Director

This interview has been shortened and condensed for clarity. Sharon Stapel served AVP for seven years as its Executive Director, steering the organization through the recession of 2008 and growing […]

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Arthur Goodman

AVP Founder

This interview has been shortened and condensed for clarity. A former member of the first neighborhood-based gay and lesbian group in New York City, the Chelsea Gay Association, Arthur Goodman […]

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Stevin Bonifacio

Former AVP Client

This interview has been shortened and condensed for clarity. In 2019, Stevin Bonifacio, a New York City Anti-Violence Project’s client, reached a settlement with the City of New York Department […]

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LaLa Zannell

Former AVP Staff

This interview has been shortened and condensed for clarity. LaLa Zannell is a Black trans woman with over a decade of experience as a community organizer and advocate for trans […]

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Tom Duane

Former Board Member

Tom Duane was the first openly gay and openly HIV+ member of the New York Senate and has been integral to legislative reform in the state to better protect LGBTQ+ and HIV-affected people. A former AVP board member and hate violence survivor, Tom’s legacy includes sponsorship of same-sex marriage legislation and the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) in New York State, as well as the passage of the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act.

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Chanel Lopez

Former AVP Staff

When Chanel Lopez was approached by AVP’s Client Services department, she immediately became interested in the opportunity to work as a counselor with LGBTQ survivors of hate, intimate partner, and […]

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Andy Austin and Michael Sonberg

AVP Founders

This interview has been shortened and condensed for clarity. In 1978, Andy Austin moved to New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood and found community in the Chelsea Gay Association (CGA), a […]

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Cecilia Gentili

Community Partner

For a decade, Cecilia Gentili has been an ongoing collaborator and community partner with AVP. Working at the intersections of sex work, transgender women’s rights, and incarceration issues, Cecilia Gentili has helped shape critical forums with AVP.

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Thomas von Foerster

AVP Founder

In 1978, Thomas Von Foerster moved to New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood as a 37-year-old gay man in search of others like him. He soon found community in the Chelsea Gay Assocation (CGA), a social group for gay men. His involvement in the association quickly grew, and he became treasurer as well as the editor of the monthly newsletter with over 1000 members.

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