Board of Directors
Jabari Lyles has worked in the nonprofit sector for nearly 10 years in various positions that emphasize his passion for education, community, social justice and LGBTQ activism. He attended Towson High School in Towson, Maryland as a law and public policy magnet student and founded the school’s first and still-running Gay-Straight Alliance. During this time, he began working as a youth volunteer for the Baltimore chapter of The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN Baltimore). Today, Jabari is co-chairperson and education manager for GLSEN Baltimore and was recently appointed to GLSEN’s National Advisory Council. He serves on a number of local and statewide coalitions to collaborate on issues facing the LGBTQ community including Youth Equality Alliance (YEA), Maryland Suicide Prevention Intervention Network (MD-SPIN) and the Baltimore City Police Commissioner’s LGBTQ Task Force.
Jabari previously worked for FreeState Legal as an outreach specialist and coordinator of the Transgender Action Group (TAG), a harm reduction street outreach program serving transgender sex workers in Baltimore. Before coming to FreeState, Jabari worked as an elementary and middle school teacher at a public charter school in Baltimore City, and has lectured and presented on LGBTQ issues in schools across Maryland.
Jabari earned an associate degree in Science and Mathematics from the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), and is currently finishing up a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Science at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). Jabari plans to pursue state certification as a secondary mathematics teacher upon graduation, and return to working with youth in Baltimore’s classrooms. Jabari lives in the Reservoir Hill neighborhood of Baltimore City, is the oldest of three, and enjoysJeopardy, Empire, wine, live music, friends and family in his free time. He is a passionate community servant, and is excited to offer his knowledge, experience and leadership to the GLCCB.
David Sugar joined the GLCCB Board of Directors in October of 2015 after spending several years volunteering for Baltimore Pride. A Baltimore native, David currently works at The Boys’ Latin School of Maryland providing IT/systems support and holds an M.S. in Information Technology from Towson University and a B.A. in Computer Science from Hobart College. David also sits on the Maryland LMSC for US Masters Swimming Board of Directors and previously served on the Hampden Community Council Board. David lives in Hampden and enjoys sailing, swimming, traveling and skiing in his spare time.
Jessi Merriken was born and raised in the Baltimore metro area. Her family has strong ties to Baltimore and the surrounding regions. Jessi has made a career in the banking industry working in operations, specializing In establishing controls and mitigating risk. Community wide, she has attended and provided assistance to many fundraising platforms for animal and human welfare. She started her volunteerism career helping out at Maryland Special Olympics at 7 years of age. Currently, Jessi is one of the promoters for the Miss Gay Maryland America pageant systems.
Jessi is excited to sit on the board of directors for the GLCCB.
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!