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Ally is a Verb
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM CST

Event Description
Join us for a lunch and panel discussion on Thursday, November 16th!

Even though speaking about and supporting LGBTQ+ people has increased, most of our St. Louis community members still experience discrimination, bias, hate crimes, and barriers to healthcare. This conversation focuses on better understanding the challenges faced by members of our community around equality. Learn how you can better support the LGBTQ+ community and ensure “ally” is a verb!



Tricia Sanders, MBA, PMP (she/her)
Founder & Lead Consultant, High Five Strategies
Founder & Owner, Alchemy STL
Tricia founded High Five Strategies in 2021 to help businesses turn their biggest, boldest goals into step-by-step strategic plans and help see them through — challenging assumptions, aligning teams and creating solutions that stick along the way. Prior to consulting she led change at First Bank and in the Department of Defense.  By breaking organizations out of the day-to-day, Sanders inspires fresh perspectives and a clear view forward. Her methods have led to effective, lasting change in privately-held and public entities across the globe.



Matthew R. Kerns, MFA (he/him)
President & Artistic Director, St Lou Fringe

Matthew is a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts award-winning educator, critically acclaimed theatre performance artist featured in American Theatre Magazine, and a 2020 St. Louis Business Journal Diverse Business Leaders Award recipient. 

Matthew has been an Executive Producer, Director, and Artistic Director for Off-Loop Theatre [Chicago], Off-Broadway Theatre [New York], Repertory Theatre [California], Regional Theatre [Iowa, Missouri, Colorado] and Educational Theatre [Chicago, California, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri]. 

Students that have trained with Matthew have gone on to work in television, film, major motion pictures, and on Broadway. From Saturday Night Live to Gotham, and from Six: The Musical to Jake, the State Farm Guy and beyond.

Matthew holds an Associate degree in Communications and Theatre from St. Louis Community College, a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Eastern New Mexico University, and Master of Fine Arts degree from Naropa University.

He is married to the love of his life, Mr. Sean Gottlieb. They reside in the Lafayette Square neighborhood with their dogs Louis Armstrong, Harvey Milk, and Ella Fitzgerald. 

Katy Erker-Lynch (she/her and they/them)
Executive Director, PROMO

Katy Erker-Lynch serves as the Executive Director at PROMO, Missouri's LGBTQ+ policy and advocacy organization. Katy is a community-focused advocate and relationship builder. She has experience in community organizing, nonprofit management, social impact tech startup, and public-private partnerships. 

Katy obtained her Master in Public Policy from the University of Chicago’s Harris School, has a certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Boston University, and a BS in Sociology from Santa Clara University.  

Like so many young, queer Missourians, Katy left the state at 18 and headed west for school, in search of a vibrant queer community. In El Salvador and Boston, Katy’s work allowed her to accompany trans women, commercial sex workers, and unaccompanied homeless youth and adults. The folks Katy supported taught her about their lived experiences, and together they centered their voices through policy and advocacy actions. Those experiences continue to drive Katy to seek social and racial justice and to interrogate the root causes of inequity, while embracing a strengths-based approach.