Representative Davids was raised by a single mother, who served in the Army for 20 years. After graduating from Leavenworth High School, she worked her way through Johnson County Community College and the University of Missouri-Kansas City before earning a law degree from Cornell Law School. As a first-generation college student who worked the entire time she was in college, Rep. Davids understands the importance of quality public schools and affordable higher education. It is that foundation that allowed her to go on to a successful career, focused on economic and community development, which included time as a White House Fellow under President Barack Obama.
Rep. Davids wants others to have the same opportunities to achieve their goals, which is why she has centered her career on bringing more opportunities to the middle class. In Congress, Rep. Davids is putting Kansans first, working to limit the influence of special interests and fighting to make health care more affordable and accessible to everyone. When she was sworn into the 116th Congress, Rep. Davids became one of the first two Native American women to serve in Congress. She sits on the Transportation & Infrastructure and Small Business Committees and is a proud advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.
Congresswoman shArice davids
Jock Soto is proudly Diné and Puerto Rican, born in Gallup, New Mexico. At the age of five, he began studying ballet with local teachers after seeing a television special featuring Edward Villella in the Rubies section of George Balanchine’s Jewels. Jock continued his studies at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of the New York City Ballet. That year, Georges Balanchine invited him to become a member of the Company's corps de ballet. In June 1984 he was promoted to the rank of soloist, and one year later, he became a principal dancer. Since then, Jock has performed around the world and has been recognized time and time again as a leader for American ballet.
Jock serves as a visiting instructor at Banff Centre for the Arts for the Indigenous Dance Residency program. He has also been invited to teach at prestigious dance departments in colleges and universities around the country such as Washington University, Oklahoma State, and many others. He is the recipient of the Casita Maria Award for Hispanics and The First Americans in the Arts Trustee Award. Friends In Deed recognized Jock for his patronage of AIDS research, and in 2002, the School of American Ballet presented him with the Mae L. Wein Award for Distinguished Service. During the 2017 New Mexico State legislative session, Jock received the State’s Certificate of Appreciation from Senator John Pinto for his contribution to the arts.
Mattee Jim is a lifelong fighter for the Indigenous transgender community. With extensive experience as a community health leader advocating for HIV prevention, she continues to lead LGBTQ+ outreach initiatives as the HIV Prevention & Support Services Coordinator for the First Nations Community Healthsource in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As the Co-Chair of the Transgender Task Force for the New Mexico Community Planning and Action Group, she is instrumental in coordinating the renowned Albuquerque Pride Arts Show every year. As a mentor for trans youth, her tireless work is shifting the narrative around how rural Native communities prevent LGBTQ+ suicides.
Mattee is a respected mother, sister, aunty, and a fierce trans advocate. She embodies the significance of being a resilient Diné woman who lives her life with courageous Pride. We are honored to have her as our official hostess this year.
Trudie Jackson is the first transgender Diné woman to run for Navajo Nation President and is a nationally-recognized LGBTQ+ leader. As a second-year doctoral student in American Studies at the University of New Mexico, she obtained an MA in American Indian Studies with an emphasis in Tribal Leadership & Governance and a Graduate Certificate in Gender Studies. With duel undergraduate degrees in American Indian Studies and Public Service Public Policy from Arizona State University, Trudie is paving the way for trans youth on the Navajo Nation.
Trudie’s doctoral research has an emphasis on the impact of settler colonialism and focuses on the lives of Native transgender women in survival sex work. Her passion for social justice addresses the necessary inclusion of transgender women of color in positions of leadership. She is a former member of the Southwest Indigenous Women Coalition - LGBT Community Advisory Council and served proudly on the Native PFLAG Phoenix Board. Trudie is a member of the Transgender Professional Association on Transgender Health (TPATH) leadership team and for the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico (TGRCNM).