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.

Executive Director

Brenda Risch, PhD, LCSW

they/them, she/her - Dr. Risch has over 30 years of experience working on issues of gender and sexuality in academic, community, and clinical settings.

Director of Diversity and Resiliency Institute of El Paso (DRIEP)

Ashley Heidebrecht, LMSW

she/her - Ashley Heidebrecht, The Radical Social Worker, has worked in the field of social services for over a decade. She earned her Undergraduate degree in 2008 from Wichita State University.

Volunteer Coordinator

Naomi Estrada

she/her - Naomi Ruth Estrada loves volunteer work. She has received a Bachelor of Arts in English from New Mexico State University.

Youth Services and Senior Services Coordinator

Lorena Silva-Edwards

she/her - Lori is a native-born El Pasoan and fellow Mama Bear to two kiddos. She graduated from Purdue Global University with a BS in Nutritional Science. She brings together a background in emergency medicine and education to professionally chauffeur her kids all through the valley she also grew up in. Lori’s passions include: community volunteer work with kids, young adults, seniors and any craft that involves yarn. Like many native El Pasoans, she considers her community a part of her “familia” and makes it her mission to ensure more within the community have access to all our wonderful borderland has to offer.

Drag Queen Story Hour- El Paso Chapter Coordinator

Dede Camacho

she/her/Queen - Dede Camacho is originally from Chicago, and has multiple talents, including puppeteering, drag, and more! Dede has been in show business for 11 years running. Dede is bilingual (Spanish and English) and is known across the country for her incredible performances and amazing personality!

Deaf Services Coordinator

Alma Pizarro-Gould

she/her - Alma was born Deaf and raised in El Paso, Texas. After she went to Texas School for the Deaf, she continued her education in Human Services at El Paso Community College. Alma has worked in many different cities in TX, providing services and adding to her own knowledge base with Deaf and Hard of Hearing clients all over the state (Austin, Corpus Christi). Alma is an experienced trainer and presenter on topics related to Deafness including: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Sensitivity, ADA Law, Client Rights, Deaf Culture, Communications Issues and Resources. She has provided services to the Deaf for over 20 years through various Deaf community agencies and organizations. Alma worked very closely with various community services providers (including DARS, HHSC, DPFS) to fulfill her passion of breaking down barriers that affect the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community members to ensure that they have full, equal access to communication and services. She also used to serve as a member of the Coastal Bend Silence Deaf Club, National Association of the Deaf, Texas Latino Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and on the Board for the Texas Association of the Deaf.

Clinical Mental Health Intern

Alicia Ramos

she/her - Alicia Ramos was born in Boston Massachusetts, raised in Hawaii, California, and El Paso Texas. She has a multiracial background, her Father was born in Ciudad Juarez Mexico and Mother Manila, Philippines. She grew up in Northeast El Paso and loves the Sun City. Alicia earned her undergraduate degree in Dietetics/Human Nutrition from New Mexico State University. Her profession background consists of 15 years of Health Promotion and Corporate Wellness with a focus in Public Health, Health Coaching, Motivation Interview, American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, Certified WellCoach, Biofeedback Coach, Certified Wraparound Facilitator and Certified in Texas as a Nurture Parenting Facilitator. She has a passion for integrating holistic health to bridge nutrition, exercise, mental and spiritual health. Alicia is pursuing a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and is working with Borderland Rainbow Center as a Mental Health Counseling intern. She is married, has 3 sons and is a proud PRIDE MOM!

Program Director and Building Manager

Alison Westermann

she/her - Alison is a Progressive Jewish mom, wife, educator, singer, songwriter, knitter, social justice warrior and all-around student of life.

Pantry Director

Julie Lucas

she/her - Julie is a Mama Bear to many kids besides her own. She has a BS in Biology but rarely uses it. She has worked for many many years in food and beverage industries as well as academia. Running the food pantry is the first job she has ever loved.

DRIEP Education and Content Manager

Diana Martinez, MA

she/her – Diana, named for the statue of the huntress in Mexico City on Reforma Street, was born and raised in El Paso, Texas by immigrant parents from Juarez, and a large extended binational family. Diana graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a BA in History and a minor in Secondary Education. Diana then taught in many types of schools, teaching students of all ages and a diverse array of subjects. In 2009, Diana graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a Masters in History. Since 2010 Diana has taught at the college level at both El Paso Community College and at the University of Texas at El Paso. Diana grew up with a strong passion for art, history, and literature that goes into her teaching. Diana also works with others to organize community actions to stand up for the rights of immigrants and immigrant children in detention.

Healing Sexual Trauma in the Borderlands Program Director

Alex Ramirez, RN

they/them - Alex Ramirez is a Registered Nurse, receiving their BSN-RN at the University of Texas at El Paso. They served the community by working in critical care for more than three years, and they continue to be passionate about healing wounds from the individual to the community.

HIV Services Project Coordinator

Vanessa Medrano

she/her - Vanessa Medrano has always referred to El Paso as home, even when she had to leave town for school. She has a BSA in Human Development and Family Sciences with a minor in Psychology from UT Austin. Hook 'em! She has worked with capacity building for another local nonprofit, and loves spending her Saturday mornings at the BRC Pantry with Julie and Chef Luis!

BSW Intern

Jaycee Canter

she/her - Jaycee is currently working on her Bachelor’s in Social Work and plans on moving on with her master’s degree to become an LCSW who specializes in trauma. She is a mom to 3 kids and has a passion for helping others.

Social Media Manager

Juan M Fernández Chico

he/him - Juan has a PhD in Social Sciences from the Government and public policy terminal from the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez. Co-author of the book Correspondences, letters, figures and characters, together with Alfonso Herrera, the novel The island of the elder and Functional Excluded and Political Subjectivities, and many papers. He has studies in film script from the Center for the Study of Cinematographic Arts and the Intercontinental University.
Screenwriter, producer and director of many films that competed in festivals in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Germany, Honduras, the United States, Spain, and other countries. He received different scholarships in film production from institutions like FONCA, PECDA, IMCINE, Alan Cumming Film Lab of Creative Scotland and the Talent Campus of the Berlinale Film Festival.
For a few years, he worked as marketing director and marketing specialist at different companies like Leisure Leagues and the Mexican Federation of Socca. Juan founded his own marketing company, OnnOff, and now works as Social media manager at The Borderland Rainbow Center.



Tess English



Alex Marquez


Membership Director

Amanda Sanchez, PhD



Kyle Erwin, PhD



Elizabeth Bambi Depew, LCSW-S, LAC


Youth Advocate Member

Jesus Ramos

he/him/El - I was born right across the border in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua and immigrated as a young child to our amazing Sun City. I am an Alumni of Northwest Early College and I am currently pursuing a BA in Political Science at New Mexico State University. I’ve been advocated for issues that truly impact us as a Frontera City such as Gun Sense, Equity in Public Education, LGBTQ+ Rights, and the fight against systemic racism.

Vice President

Karissa Doster-Hoffman, LCSW, LCDC


Secretary, Youth Advocate

Eman Attar



Andi Tiscareño



Ross Ingram



Alexsandra Annello

she/her - Alexsandra was born and raised in the greater Boston, Massachusetts area to Italian American parents. In June 2017, Alexsandra was elected to the El Paso City Council. This is her full time job and her undivided attention is on the issues that affect the residents of District 2. Alexsandra is active in many roles throughout her community, from mental health to animal welfare. She is the current Vice Chair of Local Progress Texas Organizing Committee, a board member for Emergence Health Network, the Animal Services Committee, the Rio Grande Council of Governments, and the Borderland Rainbow Center.


Jessica Brito, M.Ed., MEDCI

She/her. Born and raised in El Paso, Texas. Jessica previously worked as both a teacher and administrator for a local non-profit prek-8th grade private school. She is currently the Mission Integration Associate for Centro San Vicente, a series of local non-profit clinics in El Paso Texas. This role has instilled in her the want to continue to grow and become more of an advocate within our community. Jessica is an avid thrifter, has an extensive book collection, loves music, and travel. Her biggest passion is advocacy and being a positive empowering voice that inspires others to stand up and be the voice for what they believe in.

What is the commitment?

1) A two-year commitment


2) Attending once per month board meetings


3) Committing to two board committees that meet monthly (Pantry Sustainability, Policy, Gala, Development, Capital Improvement, or Finance)


4) Attempting to raise $1,000 per year for the BRC (can be in other forms that are not monetary such providing services that equal a dollar amount)


5) Attending one event, quarterly, throughout the year


6) Being a team player of a fun, disciplined and diverse team

Join our Board!

Please make sure to include all relevant experience, volunteer and professional.