LGBTQ+ Virtual Trainings

For more information about the different trainings we offer, or if you are interested in booking a virtual or future in-person trainings please contact: 

Rainbow Community Center has been delivering dynamic training, professional development, coaching, and consultation services for over 10 years across sectors including education, health, non-profit, social services, and corporate businesses. We offer a responsive, interactive, hands on, minds on learning experience for all of our participants to grow in their understanding and practices. 


We envision a world where LGBTQ+ people’s dignity is honored and respected in every part of the public and private spheres in which they contribute to society and encounter others. 



We are thrilled to be offering some highly interactive virtual professional development opportunities in May and June; Virtual LGBTQ+ 101 and LGBTQ+ 102. 


Our LGBTQ+ 101 training is an interactive introductory workshop that covers foundational terminology and the dimensions of gender and sexuality, the importance of pronouns, examining personal and community impact of anti-LGBTQ+ bias, and exploring general best practices.


Our LGBTQ+ 102  training builds off the foundational knowledge covered in our 101. Moving beyond a basic introduction and understanding of LGBTQ+ topics, in the 102 we dig deeper into multiple identities within the LGBTQ+ community and invite creative and strategic thinking about specific action steps you and your family, community, and/or place of work can take to change policies, language, facilities, culture and attitude within all our communities.

Register for our 101 and/or our 102 training today and become a part of our team of advocates that strive to build community and promote well-being among LGBTQ+ people and our allies.

Upcoming Virtual Training Event Dates May/June:


What you will need for our virtual trainings: 

  • Paper/Journal/Notepad

  • Something to write with

  • Something to color with (optional)

  • A computer or tablet- not mobile phone

  • Google docs capability

  • The camera on your device “on” 

  • Tested & downloaded Zoom (we will be the Zoom host and email you the link prior to the training)

  • A private space or headphones

  • An open mind and heart 



Christopher Holden

Older Adult Program Manager

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Christopher received his Bachelor of Science at Boston’s Northeastern University and an addition graphic arts degree at Epping Forest College, London, England. His most recent work experience was as a Program Coordinator for 140+ disabled/formerly homeless seniors in a supportive housing setting. Prior to that, Christopher lived in Zurich, Switzerland for 7 years and traveled extensively through Europe and Asia and taught English in Dharamsala, India. 


Daphnee Valdez

Associate Director of Programs and Training

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Daphnee is a transformative, Bi/Queer, Pinay leader. She has been engaged with community advocacy and empowerment since she was a youth. Her previous work includes after school program enrichment, youth mentoring, and Youth Director. She takes pride in being a first-generation college graduate, Master of Arts in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University, with a thesis that focused on the intersectionality of Filipina survivors of sexual violence, family, and assimilation. She is dedicated to creating healing and affirming spaces, especially for queer and trans communities of color. She encourages growth and strength through shared story that encompasses deep love, bravery, and gratitude, in order to dismantle, strive, and heal. She enjoys giggling with her baby Teyo, spending time with her partner, and baking mini pecan tarts.


Joanna Ceponis

Community Support Worker

Joanna is a trans woman who hails originally from Pittsburgh, PA. She moved to the Bay Area in 1972 living in Berkeley happily married for 30 years.  Then moved to Concord in 2007, strangely not discovering Rainbow until early 2015. Joanna is currently celebrating five happy years out of the closet, and into the world. During that time she has worn many hats at Rainbow from support group attendee and facilitator, to Food Pantry client, volunteer, then eventual Manager. She served as Secretary on the Board of Directors 2016-2018, stepping down to accept employment first as Pantry Manager, now as Community Support Worker focused in graphics, training, and other forms of information processing and communication.

Laura Cartwright

Interim Training Coordinator


Laura brings 25 years of experience inspiring resilience in youth and their families through a regionally informed, intersectional lens. She has trained nationally and developed curriculum to support educators, administrators, facilitators, and youth workers in providing restorative practices in their setting with a particular focus on serving LGBTQ+ youth. She most recently taught for 10 years where she was the Athletic Director, 8th grade advisor, and Social Emotional Learning curriculum writer and teacher. She also was the adult advisor to the GSA and currently co-leads an adult Professional GSA for teachers. Before teaching, Laura worked in the non-profit sector serving youth in Detroit, and later working to empower athletes of all abilities as the Vice President of Regional Sports at Special Olympics Northern California. In her free time she loves to swim, cook up new recipes in the kitchen, and explore the bay area with her amazing partner!


Mayela Zuniga-Lopez

Training Specialist

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Mayela is a quirky Queer, Gender Expansive, Mexican-American Mujer that has committed their life to Social Justice work in the Bay Area, with a focus on LGBTQ+ liberation since the age of 15. Mayela has had the privilege to be part of many dynamic teams working to advocate, and enhance the life experience of Queer and Trans folks, as well as LGBTQ+ Allies across the Bay Area and beyond. Mayela brings an Intersectional and Youth Empowerment approach to their work, loves to express themselves through color, uses both She and They Pronouns interchangeably, and believes we all have the power to be healers. Mayela has worked with organizations such as Planned Parenthood Shasta-Diablo (now Planned Parenthood Northern California), former Bay Area safe schools organization Ally Action (formerly known as GLSEN SF-EB and BANGLE), West Contra Costa Unified School District, and has been with The Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County since July 2011. Having worn many hats throughout her years with Rainbow, including that of Youth Mentor, Director of Youth Services, and the agency’s Lead Trainer, Mayela is proud to take their experience with the agency and expertise to currently serve as the Rainbow’s Training Director & Recruitment and Hiring Specialist.

To know more about our training program, or book a training email us at


Niq Muldrow

Youth Outreach Coordinator

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Niq Muldrow is an unapologetic queer trans guy who lives for Social Justice. A freshman at Diablo Valley College, he is double majoring in social work and social justice. He is a 2017 recipient of the eQuality Scholarship for his activism in school as well as his work with GSA Network. They were a youth council member at GSA Network as well as represented Northern California at GSA Network’s National Gathering gathering in Columbus Ohio in August 2017. He will be receiving a Youth Activist Award in October from Queer LifeSpace for his work uplifting trans and queer people of color.

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Rae Messer, ASW

Associate Clinician

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Rae is excited to serve the LGBTQIA+ community in Contra Costa County, where she grew up. Rae got her Masters of Social Work at Hunter University in New York, and is committed to supporting the mental health of LGBTQIA+ youth, adults, and families, including gender-expansive folx. Rae offers individual, couples and family counseling, as well as supports the Parents of Trans and Gender Nonconforming Children's Group. When Rae is not working, she enjoys sunshine, dancing, and dad jokes.

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Rasheedah Blake

Youth Housing Director

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Rasheedah has been an ally for the LGBTQ community for over 20 years and has worked in social services and social justice for over 25 years. Her work has focused on homeless adults, domestic violence and community mental health.  Rasheedah has been a fierce advocate for housing homeless youth and adults, she spent over 10 years working in San Francisco shelters and Community Mental Health Services. Her advocacy in community mental health has been fighting for more mental health services like therapy and supportive employment. She holds a Masters Degree from New College of San Francisco in Women's Studies: Emphasis on Sexual Violence in Prostitution. Rasheedah has lived in the Bay Area for 35 years and moved from Santa Cruz to pursue work at Highland Hospital in County Mental Health. In her leisure time, she likes to ride bikes, walks on the beach and baking sweet potato pies and spinach lasagna. She has been an avid Bay to Breakers runner with three races under her belt and also has enjoyed bodybuilding in the past, and now enjoys kickboxing, pilates and walks in nature. She joined the Rainbow Community Center in February 2019 as Director of Youth Emergency Housing.  

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2118 Willow Pass Rd #500, Concord, CA 94520