Andrew Marin is the President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org), a public charity working to build bridges between the LGBT community and conservatives through biblical and social education, scientific research and diverse community gatherings. He has a BA in Applied Psychology from the University of Illinois-Chicago, and an MA in Urban Studies with concentrations in Social Change and Theology from Eastern University. Andrew is the author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), and its interactive six-session DVD Curriculum (2011). Since 2010 he has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement and theological aspects of reconciliation. Andrew has recently spoken before world leaders at the United Nations International Headquarters in both Geneva, Switzerland and New York City, as well as to members of the US Senate on Capitol Hill. His speech Homophobia and Bridging from within the Evangelical Church—given on Capitol Hill the night before the Inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009—is archived in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. Andrew has been featured on the BBC World News, NPR, CBS, ABC, Salon, GLAAD, 700 Club, Dallas Morning News, Christian Post and is a regular guest on American’s most listened to Christian radio program, The Frank Pastore Show, among others. The Marin Foundation’s I’m Sorry Campaign was recently named by BuzzFeed as #1 on the list of 21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity. Andrew lives in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago with his wife Brenda, and blogs at www.patheos.com/blogs/loveisanorientation.
Michael Kimpan is the Associate Director of The Marin Foundation. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, and also studied abroad at the International Christian College in Glasgow, Scotland. Michael began his graduate work at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and plans on completing his Masters of Arts in Theology and Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary. Michael has worked in various churches and businesses over the past decade, each of which has played a role in shaping his pursuit of thoughtful conversation and intentional movement toward reconciliation and solidarity with the LGBT community. He and his fiance Katie enjoy good friendship, deep conversations and sharing meals with friends old and new. Michael also drinks an ungodly amount of coffee. You can find Michael on Twitter at @michaeljkimpan and he regularly blogs at mjkimpan.com
Kevin Harris is the Director of Community Relations and Administrative Assistant to Andrew Marin at The Marin Foundation. He is an alumni of Western Illinois University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology. Kevin has also worked for the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, and has spent time working as an advocacy counselor in interim housing facilities with individuals that happened to be homeless. Aside from pursuing his passion regarding reconciliation between groups, and to see Christians live out their faith in a way that dignifies the LGBT community and others on the margins, Kevin enjoys spending time in his garden and playing various sports with the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association.
Brenda Marin is the Director of Business Operations at The Marin Foundation. She graduated from Drake University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in both International Business and Marketing, with a minor in Sub-Saharan African Studies. Additionally, she has earned her Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business and a Master’s of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior with a concentration in Organizational Development from Benedictine University. Previously Brenda has been involved in government related economic development projects throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and the Manager of Business Operations for a U.S security firm dealing with both domestic and international clients. Additionally Brenda has been involved in various consulting projects for both for- and non-profit organizations. In her consulting work she believes every organization has a soul, and loves assisting organizations find theirs. She has a desire to see LGBTs and women lifted from the margins and recognized for their uniqueness and strengths. Brenda lives in the Boystown neighborhood of Chicago with her husband Andrew, and occasionally blogs at brendamarin.blogspot.com.
Laura Statesir is the Director of Family and Youth at The Marin Foundation. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 2002. Prior to joining our team Laura has worked in various types of youth organizations including Diakon Youth Services, Young Life, and Costa Rica Outward Bound. She lived in Latin American for over seven years and has a heart for the Latino community. Laura desires to see stereotypes broken and true reconciliation between the Christian and LGBT communities, especially between parents and their children. She is conducting our Parent Resource Initiative, a research project studying Christian parents with LGBT children that will develop new resources to help parents through their child’s coming out. She volunteers with the Night Ministry, an organization that works with Chicago’s homeless population through their Health Outreach Bus and the Crib (shelter for LGBT homeless youth).
Jason Bilbrey is the Director of Pastoral Care at The Marin Foundation. He studied for his M.A. in Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary before moving to Chicago in 2011 with his wife, Courtney, and daughter, Norah. They live in the heart of Chicago’s Boystown, one of the most established LGBTQ neighborhoods in the country, and are very invested in their community. Prior to working at The Marin Foundation, Jason was on the pastoral staff of a multi-ethnic church plant in Los Angeles and volunteers regularly at his Bronzeville-area church. Jason’s desire is to see LGBTQ members, their families and communities engage in authentic and constructive dialogue, ruled by love, and truly desiring to understand the other. You can find Jason and his daughter most saturday mornings visiting the pigs in farm section of the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Hanna Dekker is the Accounts Coordinator for The Marin Foundation. Hanna graduated form North Park University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. While attending NPU, she led Queers & Allies, a LGBT group on campus. Through gatherings similar to the Living in the Tension gatherings put on by The Marin Foundation, NPU students experienced authentic discussions and stories which would otherwise be silent on campus. In 2008, after witnessing Andrew using a Blackberry calculator with MS Word to balance accounts and manage donations; she insisted there was a better way! Hanna has been on many management teams for various organizations, and currently works at a large IT company in the Chicago Loop. Hanna lives in Albany Park and spends her free time haunting neighborhood coffee shops, finding adventures, and constantly representing her Canadian roots.