Garden State Equality
Garden State Equality
Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director
Christian Fuscarino has deep roots in New Jersey, growing up in Belmar and spending much of his youth in and around Asbury Park. Fuscarino has been an activist and organizer in the LGBTQ community for over a decade. He credits his positive experiences in Asbury Park as helping influence him to become an activist. In 2016, PolitickerNJ named Christian the 2nd most influential advocate in New Jersey politics and later that year The Observer listed him on the Power List 100.
At GLSEN, Christian worked with high school Gay Straight Alliances (GSA) for several years. In 2007, Christian joined the Pride Connections Center of New Jersey as a program developer serving gay inner-city youth. That same year, he won a student Emmy award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his End the Silence public service announcement. In 2008, Christian founded The Pride Network, a national leadership development non-profit.
In 2013, Christian joined Alan van Capelle, former Executive Director of Empire State Pride Agenda, by serving as his digital strategist at Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. They focused on mobilizing Jews to advance social issues by speaking out against injustice and inequality. One of the organization’s greatest accomplishments was a campaign that resulted in California Governor Jerry Brown signing The Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.
Christian served as the Communications Director for the Educational Alliance until 2016. The Alliance is a non-profit organization that aims to break the cycle of poverty for low-income children and families through preschool, after school and college prep programs.
Fuscarino’s volunteer work has received numerous accolades, including recognition from the New Jersey State Senate and Assembly, Congressmen Bill Pascrell and Donald Payne, U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, and Governor Jon Corzine. Media outlets such as CBS News, Sirius XM and Genre Magazine have featured Christian in groundbreaking stories. Hofstra University honored Christian, an alum, as their 2012 Man of the Year for his work developing a safe-campus space for LGBTQ students while earning his BA in digital media and LGBTQ studies.
Christian recently moved back to New Jersey from Brooklyn where he was living with his partner, Aaron Williams, a tennis instructor, now serving in the Marines.
Alisha De Lorenzo, Interim Deputy Director
As Interim Deputy Director, Alisha De Lorenzo MS, NCC, LPC, SAC oversees programs, development and policy at Garden State Equality as it relates to education and health care. Alisha brings her expertise from over 16 years in public education and as a licensed mental health clinician to guide the development and expansion of LGBTQ programs, education and advocacy for youth, educators, families and older adults.
She is also the Founder and Owner of Living YES, LLC. Created from her passions for education, equity, mental health and contemplative practices. Alisha provides quality professional development and consultation to school districts seeking to integrate wellness as an approach to address educational equity and the emotional literacy of all members of the school community.
Alisha received her Baccalaureate degree in Movement Sciences and Education and has worked in public education as a teacher and Student Assistance Counselor. Before leaving the public education system, she served as New Jersey's first Social Emotional Learning Coordinator, designing and implementing an "Integrative Education" model.
She received her Masters degree in Psychological Counseling from Monmouth University, NJ and has been trained in an integrative mental health model using conventional and contemplative approaches to help clients access physical, emotional and spiritual freedom. She has a private practice in Red Bank where she works with individuals and families around anxiety, depression, relationships, well-being and affirming LGBTQ+ identity and expression.
She has been recognized for her dedication to the mental health field and for the transformational work she brings to communities by receiving the Award of Excellence from the United States Army, Outstanding Alumni Award from Monmouth University, Outstanding Community Activism Award from the Monmouth County Latino American Society and the NJ Governor's Educational Service Professional of the Year Award by the New Jersey Department of Education.
Nealon Isaacs, Development Manager
As Development Manager for Garden State Equality, Nealon Isaacs works to connect existing and prospective donors to the organization and to the causes that are important to them. He will help to forge new relationships with business, foundation, and community leaders in support of GSE’s economic goals. The bulk Nealon’s work with GSE is centered on the targeted planning and implementation of major capital campaigns, effectively cultivating and soliciting major contributions and planned gifts, and growing the organization’s annual revenue.
Prior to joining Garden State Equality, Nealon was a Grants Manager for Millennium Strategies where he, quite successfully, worked with a number of municipal and county clients in pursuit of state, federal, and/or foundation-based grant funding opportunities. In this capacity, he collaborated with clients to develop project logic models, create program budgets, research crucial information for drafting grant proposal narratives, and compiled grant proposal components on behalf of clients, per individual grant program guidelines.
Before this, Nealon served as the Legislative Director for the Office of State Senator Raymond Lesniak, where he played a key role in the advancement of crucial social and economic legislation. His experiences have caused him to develop a passion for advocating on behalf of the “little guy”, which he incorporates into his everyday work. Nealon holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Rutgers University-Newark, where he studied Political Science and English.