Julie Walsh, MSW, LSW
Founder, Executive Director
Julie Walsh is an educator, advocate, and community organizer who has served as an LGBT+ consultant and trainer throughout the US, Kenya, and South Africa. She received a bachelor’s degree in all-area music education from Butler University, a master of social work degree with a dual concentration in leadership and mental health/addictions from Indiana University, and is completing her PhD in social work and nonprofit management from Indiana University. She is the Founder and Executive Director of GenderNexus, an organization for the gender diverse community in Indianapolis.
Julie’s previous experience includes work as a care coordinator at The Damien Center; a community organizer, counselor, and group facilitator at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center in New York City; the mentor coordinator at the Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe Academy, the minister of worship arts at LifeJourney Church in Indianapolis; a teacher for the Indiana Department of Correction, Indianapolis Public Schools, and Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School; and as a guest lecturer in social work and sexuality classes at Ball State University and Indiana University. Julie also appears as a contributing author in Quench!: Refreshing Devotionals by Gay, Trans, and Affirming Christians.
Julie serves on the Indiana Chapter of The National Association of Social Workers‘ Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee, the Board of Directors of The Indiana University School of Social Work Alumni Association, a member of the Indiana University LGBT+ Faculty and Staff Council, Secretary in the Graduate and Professional Student Government at Indiana University, and is a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the Society for the Psychological Study of LGBT Issues (APA Division 44), Phi Alpha Honor Society, and Sigma Alpha Iota.
Meli Barber, MSW, MA
Meli Barber earned a master’s degree in theology from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in social work from Indiana University. She currently works with foster youth and serves as a board member for the Westside Community Development Corporation and IndyCAN. She spent eight years working with children’s religious education and youth and young adult ministry.
She is passionate about empowering youth and adolescents and particularly interested in the intersection between sexuality, gender, and spirituality.
James Dowell, BA
James Dowell is an MSW student in the school’s concentration at Indiana University in Indianapolis. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science and communication from Indiana University. His primary focus has consisted of work with elementary-age children, particularly those with with emotional disabilities and autism. James currently manages a summer day camp that focuses on service learning and leadership skills for kids between the age of 9 and 13. He has also volunteered for camps designed for children with intensive behavior difficulties.
Joscelyn Mathis, BA
Joscelyn is currently completing her MSW at Indiana University in Indianapolis. She received a bachelor of arts in biology from Earlham College. She has presented her work on the Brightwood community at the University of Zagreb, in Zagreb, Croatia and created a travel brochure for Pirovac, Croatia.
Joscelyn also worked with special education students for four years. She is particularly interested in working in Veterans affairs with trauma survivors.
Kathryn Heman, BSW
Kathryn Heman is an MSW student in the leadership concentration at Indiana University in Indianapolis. She received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and social work from Anderson University.
Her professional experience includes work at the Department of Child Services, first as a family case manager and currently as a family case manager supervisor, and as a volunteer with the Madison County Community Development Department and Operation Love food pantry. Kathryn also has international volunteer experience with the Prenatal Office in Quito, Ecuador.
Marea Kinney, MSW
Marea Kinney is a PhD student at Indiana University, Indianapolis, focusing on leadership development in social work education. Marea received a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in women’s studies from Purdue University and a master’s degree in social work with a leadership concentration from Indiana University.
Their experience includes serving as the Chairperson of the IU Student Outreach Clinic and Web Administrator for the Indiana Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. They are also a Co-Founder of the Macro Social Work Student Network at the school and a member of the Indiana University School of Social Work Diversity Committee.
Grambi served in the United States Army for four years and was an Automated Logistics Specialist. After his military service, he worked as a Security Officer for Professional Security Consultants. Grambi then moved to Bloomington, Indiana to continue his education at Indiana University. As a student at IU, Grambi volunteered for a special Transgender Healthcare Project and has spoken on discussion panels covering this topic. He graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in general studies with concentrations in English and psychology.
Grambi is currently employed for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Indianapolis. He is compassionate and driven to help others through volunteering and community outreach. He is very happy to be a part of GenderNexus.
Brent Walsh, MDiv
Brent was raised in a conservative Christian family in central Illinois. He attended Northland Baptist Bible College in Dunbar, Wisconsin, then later, Bryan College in Dayton, Tennesee. Brent identified as lesbian throughout most of his life and for years struggled with the religious ramifications that came with being gay in a faith tradition that considers homosexuality a sin. After several failed attempts to “go straight,” he did some deep soul-searching and realized that sexuality need not conflict with faith.
In 1998, Brent began writing essays explaining why being gay and Christian are not mutually exclusive. Eventually he acknowledged that he had always identified as male, even if not always on a conscious level, and in 2005 underwent his transition from female to male. Since that time he has helped others find confidence in their own decision to transition. This includes travel to several African countries where he had the opportunity to share his story.
Brent received his master of divinity Degree at Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana. He is a prolific writer and is sought-after to preach about transgender issues at churches nationwide, to serve as a guest speaker and panelist in discussion forums, and to offer advice and support to gender diverse individuals around the globe.