About us

The Borderland Rainbow Center’s mission is to create a community space in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex (LGBTQI) people and their allies can heal, grow, and empower themselves and others.


This substance-free space is governed and run according to ethically sound standards and research-based best practices for (LGBTQI) people and their allies. The BRC connects LGBTQI people to resources for improved physical and mental health, economic stability, legal rights, education, spiritual and cultural enrichment.


Since the inception of the BRC, our board has embodied a myriad of diverse identities. Including current and past board members, they identify as lesbian, gay, queer, bisexual, genderqueer, straight allies, transgender women, transgender men, nonbinary people, parents of transgender kids, parents of straight kids, Mexican American, Iranian/Mexican American, African American, Caucasian, Latinx, native-born El Pasoan, transplants to El Paso, bilingual, multi-lingual, working-class people, middle-class people, veterans, and members of military families.

Kyle Erwin, PhD


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Amanda Sanchez, PhD

Vice President

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Karissa Reeves, LCSW, LCDC


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Elizabeth Bambi LePew, LCSW-S, LAC

Interim Treasurer

Board Member-at-Large

Board Member-at-Large

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Mark Pumphrey

Board Member-at-Large


Board Member-at-Large


Board Member-at-Large

Jocelyn Stout

Youth Advocate Board Member

Eman Attar

Youth Advocate Board Member

Our Executive Director:

Brenda Risch, PhD, LMSW

Executive Director

Our Program Director:

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Alison Westermann

Program Director

To contact staff, email: contact@borderlandrainbow.org

Julie Lucas

Building & Food Pantry Manager

Other Staff:

Naomi Estrada

Volunteer/Outreach Coordinator

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Ashley Heidebrecht, MSW

Training and Education Director

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Tina Corral


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Michael "Barbie" Reyes

Drag Queen Story Hour Coordinator

Brian Sieve

Healing Sexual Trauma in the Borderland Grant

Program Director

OTher Volunteer Staff:

Max Bellman-Seeskin

Mental Health Counseling Intern

Laura Ayala

MSW Intern

Paola Ling 

MSW Intern

Dexter Zapien

BSW Intern