Mieko Failey, Co-Chair
Mieko Failey, Esq., is the Staff Attorney at the The Los Angeles LGBT Center, and Manager, Domestic Violence Legal Advocacy Project, Legal Services Department; she is responsible for the delivery of direct legal services to LGBTQ survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. She provides direct legal services to LGBTQ survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking, including U-Visa applications, domestic violence restraining orders, and cease and desist letters. She provides legal services to LGBTQ youth (ages 14-24) survivors of domestic violence/intimate partner violence, sexual assault, stalking, hate violence, and violence in schools. She trains services providers on LGBTQ violence related issues and cultural competency, including social workers, domestic violence shelters, law enforcement, school administrators, teachers, and other legal service providers.
Ms. Failey has extensive work that includes the Juvenile Innocence and Fair Sentencing Clinic, Los Angeles, where she conducted investigations and intake necessary to bring habeas corpus petitions, advocate for sentencing reduction, and advocate during parole hearings. She also did research on legal issues and wrote appellate briefs to advocate for clients before the California Court of Appeals and/or Parole Board.
Ms. Failey worked on the Gender Equity Resource Center UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA titled SHAPE (Sexual Harassment Assault Advocacy Peer Education) Intern, August 2007-May 2008; she facilitated Workshops on Sexual Harassment, Rape, and Domestic Violence law.
She obtained her Juris Doctor in May of 2013, Public Interest Concentration from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles where she received the Donald L. Snow Scholarship, Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association, Award for Commitment to LGBT Civil Rights; Student Leadership Award, The National LGBT Bar Association, Loyola Law School Dean’s Service Award, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.
She attended the University of California at Berkeley where she attained her B.A. in Sociology, Concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies, Identity, and Sexuality, May 2008 Honors Thesis: Attitudes, Identity Management, and Stereotyping in the World of Exotic Dancing. Honors: Highest Distinction in Sociology; Distinction in General Scholarship.
Giovanna Martinez, Co-Chair
Giovanna Martinez is the Domestic Violence Service Manager for The LGBTQ Center Long Beach and has worked with victims of domestic violence since 2001.
Giovanna specializes in helping survivors heal from the abuse they have witnessed and experienced. She accomplishes this through the education, intervention and prevention of the intimate partner violence that has affected her client’s lives. Prior to becoming the Domestic Violence Services Manager in 2015, Giovanna spent 14 years as a Youth Services Coordinator for a local Long Beach Domestic Violence Outreach and Emergency Shelter program. She was selected to help develop and implement their Youth Services Program. She has helped developed a variety of support groups and individual counseling geared toward young people. She built a rapport with local area schools and educated students on Teen Dating Violence. In 2005, Giovanna was an active member of the Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART). DART worked in conjunction with detectives from the LBPD Domestic Violence Detail and provided crisis counseling and emergency shelter services to the victims at area hospitals, private residences or safe locations.
She also served on two local Long Beach Boards, End Abuse Long Beach and Long Beach Pride inc. In 2013 she was nominated to be the Los Angeles Domestic Violence Council Co-Chair of their LGBT Sub-Committee.
In 2012 Giovanna was the recipient of Soroptimist of Long Beach Woman of Distinction Human Rights/Status of Women award, as well as being one of The Long Beach Post 2012, 40 under 40 award winners, and End Abuse Long Beach’s Abuse Prevention Award of 2012. Giovanna was nominated to be Long Beach Pride’s 2014 Female Community Grand Marshal. Recently Gio was selected to be one of Adelante Magazine’s 25 powerful LGBTQ Latinos of 2016.
After 14 years of service, and empowering victims to become survivors, Giovanna’s passion for service continues to grow. She is currently returned to college to pursue her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy.