Meet Our Team

Manager: O.J. Duncan

O.J. Duncan is the manager of the LGBT Youth Program at Rainbow Cafe. He oversees the Friday Night Drop-In, and handles the social media accounts for Rainbow Cafe. He has been working with the LGBT community for almost 20 years. He is currently an undergraduate in Communication Studies at SIU, with a specialization in Organizational and Intercultural Communication.

 

 

 

Chair: Tara Bell-Janowick

Tara Bell-Janowick is a Southern Illinois native, born in Marion, IL, currently residing in Herrin, IL. She has a BA in Philosophy with a concentration in religion, an MA in Literature, and a Women and Gender Studies Certification from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Her work has been published in the Journal of Women’s Studies. She is the former sponsor of the LGBTQIA+ student organization at Rend Lake College of Ina, IL, where she taught for seven years. Now teaching for Southern New Hampshire University, she is the board President, community relations chair and volunteer at the Rainbow Cafe. Additionally, she is a member of Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerich’s LGBTQ Advisory Council and a member of Equality Illinois’ Community Advisory Group. Long time LGBTQIA+ activist and advocate, and parent of a transgender son, she is committed to raising awareness and education of issues that affect queer youth in Southern Illinois, and always maintaining a safe, accepting and affirming space for them.

 

Vice Chair: Chip Loghry

Chip Loghry is passionate about youth advocacy and trans advocacy in Southern Illinois and their intersections with culture and race. He is the vice chair on the board of directors for the Rainbow Cafe LGBT Youth Center, chair of their Human Resources Committee, and a former RC youth. He is also the chair of the local chapter of his employer’s business resource group for LGBT employees. He is an active volunteer with the Carbondale AIDS Walk, and the Church of the Good Shepherd Pride Picnic. He has also built a relationship with several mental health providers in Southern Illinois to advocate for trans residents seeking therapy and access to medical care. Chip attended SIUC and currently works for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. He has experience in navigating the Standards of Care with health professionals, legal name changes, and document changes.

 

Secretary: Dr. Sandy Pensoneau-Conway

Dr. Sandy Pensoneau-Conway is an associate professor of Communication Studies at SIU. She’s been involved with Rainbow Café in both direct and indirect ways since 2004. She does research and teaches in the areas of communication, education, and identity, and is very excited to be writing a book about RC. She loves RC because she learns so much from the youth, and is always impressed with their resiliency, humor, and compassion. In addition, she has found a kinship of people—of all ages—working hard to make a more justice-oriented community. She lives in southern Illinois with her partner, daughter, cat, and bunny.

 

 

Treasurer: Roy Sumner

Roy moved to southern Illinois  from Michigan in 1979 to attend SIU. He has a BS in education, a MS in health education, and an MA in accounting.  Roy discovered the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship (CUF) in 1989, and in 1998 became the Director of Religious Education there, until retiring in 2016.  He has training in sexuality education and has taught the comprehensive Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality program for middle and high school students 10 different times.  Unitarian Universalist believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and puts such belief into action.  Roy has served on the Rainbow Cafe board as a member and treasurer since 2008, and actively supports the Carbondale AIDS Walk and the annual Pride Picnic.