Montgomery Pride United

Our Mission

We are a safe space uniting the community and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights.


Our Founders

Meta Ellis and Ms. Harvey McDaniel are our Director and Educational Outreach Director. Meta Ellis has been a life-long activist for human and animal rights here in Montgomery, AL as well as California, Arizona, Ohio, and Washington D.C.

She is the Director of Montgomery Pride United and the co-founder of the Bayard Rustin Community Center. She is passionate about working to help create the Beloved Community as we strive for equality for all. She was also selected to represent Alabama in USA Today's "State By State: Faces of Pride" June 30, 2017 edition, and co-recipient of the 2018 Billy Jack Gaither Humanitarian Award.


Our Leadership Team


Meta Ellis | Director

Meta Ellis has been a life-long activist for human and animal rights here in Montgomery as well as California, Arizona, Ohio, and Washington, DC. She is the Director of Montgomery Pride United and the co-founder of the Bayard Rustin Community Center. She is passionate about working to help create the Beloved Community as we strive for equality for all. She was also selected to represent Alabama in USA Today's "State By State: Faces of Pride" June 30, 2017 edition, and co-recipient of the 2018 Billy Jack Gaither Humanitarian Award.


Emma McDaniel-Ellis (Ms. Harvey Mcdaniel) | Educational Outreach Director and Board of Directors member.

Emma McDaniel-Ellis is a Human and Civil Rights Advocate and Activist who uses her voice to raise awareness of the discrimination against sexual and gender minorities. She is the Educational Outreach Director for Montgomery PRIDE United and also a co-founder of the Bayard Rustin Community Center. She has spoken in conferences about the importance of inclusion and acceptance of transgender persons in homeless shelters and was also a scheduled speaker before the Alabama House Health Committee in support of LGBTQ adoptive foster parent rights. She was also a co-recipient of the 2018 Billy Jack Gaither Humanitarian Award.



Along with being President for Montgomery Pride United, Jose Vazquez currently manages digital marketing for the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). They are also active in the queer community by contributing their design, marketing, and photography skills. Before coming to Montgomery, Jose was a founding member of an LGBTQ+ Latinx Giving Circle in the San Francisco Bay Area. In their time with the giving circle, they raised over $40,000 for local, Latinx-led nonprofits that serve LGBTQ+ individuals.


Lydia Taylor | Secretary

Lydia is a graduate from University of Montevallo with a degree in Spanish. She is an advocate for permaculture and sustainability across the globe. She is also passionate about intersectional feminism and ongoing advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.


Lory Gustafson - MPU Volunteer Support

Lory is a proud mother of eight whose passion is community involvement and is an advocate for social justice issues -  especially for those living with disabilities or invisible illness. Lory's experience includes developing comprehensive educational programs focusing on children with special needs, working with medical students on their care of patients with rare diseases, and with patient advocacy. Lory has also worked on the Planning Committee for the International Pain Awareness Campaign and was also Office Manager for a Congressional candidate. 


Travis Jackson | Administrative Staff

Travis is a veteran and recognized speaker, advocate, and activist for Veterans Rights, Black Lives Matter and Women's Rights. Travis addresses issues on many fronts that affect not only the LGBTQ community but society as a whole. Travis is also a major sponsor for the Lil' Free Pantry, ensuring that those in need have ready access to survival foods and hygiene products. He was also a victim of violence and false allegations while standing for the rights of others, and one of the original founding members of Montgomery PRIDE United.



Lucia is an experienced events organizer and is a familiar speaker advocating for immigrant justice, LGBTQ, women's, and voter's rights. Lucia worked with  ACLU of Alabama here in Montgomery defending and preserving the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Lucia was also awarded the 2019 Billy Jack Gaither Humanitarian Award recognizing her exceptional work in advancing human and civil rights. Lucia has recently moved to New York to further her career with the ACLU and remains an active member of the board. 



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Thane Myles | Administrative Staff

Thane Myles relocated from New Jersey in June of 2018 and has served in the US Army for three years.  Since his military service, he has obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration and has worked in various client service positions with human resources; specializing in Health and Welfare, 401K and Retirement/Annuities. He is also the former Lead of (NYL Vets) New York Life Veterans, an employee resource group for New York Life Insurance, where he led the initiatives, fundraising, member retention and served as the main speaker in many events.  He also served as a Board Member of New York Life’s (NYL) Employee Resource Group, NYL Pride.

Thane is a social services advocate and volunteer where he’s been a former member of S.O.F.I.A. – A Non Profit advocacy group based in Montclair, NJ for Domestic Violence. He is a current volunteer for Montgomery Pride Untied and The Family Sunshine Center, both of Montgomery, AL, as well as a Board Member of Colors River Region – A newly formed Non Profit that provides services LGBTQ youth from the ages of 14-18.

In June of 2019, Thane has received an iCare Certificate from the Department of Veterans Affairs Montgomery for his work in LGBTQ Advocacy for Military Veterans.


Rose Falvey | Board member

One of the driving forces and past Presidents of Montgomery Pride United. Rose created the Little Free Pantry - a program that allows persons who are in need or homeless access to survival foods and hygiene items without having to sign up or enroll for assistance. Rose was awarded the 2018 Stephen Light Activism Award recognizing exceptional work in advancing human and civil rights and currently works advocating for prison reform. 


Yvette Hester | Board Member

Honorary Volunteers


Karen willis | President of “People First of Alabama”

Karen is an advocate and activist for Disability rights and is State President of People First of Alabama, and is also the author of "My Life Journey With Autism". Karen also manages the People First of Montgomery County Facebook page.


Janelle Cronk | chief financial advisor

Janelle is the financial advisor for Montgomery Pride United. Janelle holds degrees in Women's and Gender Studies, Global Business, and Human Rights. Her research has focused on the importance of space to LGBTQ communities and the intersections of human rights and movements for queer liberation.


Joseph Ezekiel | Past president and volunteer

Joseph is a recognized speaker for LGBTQ rights and has spoken at many events and conferences supporting those rights. Joseph has led workshops educating others about LGBTQ issues and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in History. Joseph worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center here in Montgomery until his recent move.


Courtney Dixon | MPU Volunteer

Courtney is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and has her Masters in Social Work at Alabama State University. She is a graduate research assistant and has previously worked with the Southeastern LGBTQ+ Conference, the Human Rights Campaign, Free2Be Montgomery, and the Bayard Rustin Community Center. Her developing area of expertise is with LGBTQ+ populations and gender politics.