Founder & Executive Director
Madin Ray Lopez (They/Them) is the founder of ProjectQ. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Madin began doing hair in
high school. They knew very early on that they wanted to do hair for a living because it was a reliable career
that also allowed them to use their creativity. Having experienced much trauma as a child, Madin made it their
life’s mission to help LGBTQIA+ youth. They founded ProjectQ in 2012 after realizing this mission and
have since devoted their free time to making this dream become a reality. Madin purchased a vintage
airstream trailer and created the mobile self-esteem building hair salon
'The Hairsteam.' And in June 2018 Madin opened The ProjectQ Salon & Community Center. Madin hopes to
prove to the youth and to themselves, that tenacity speaks louder than circumstances.
Interim Associate Director
London Jones (she/her) serves as Interim Associate Director for ProjectQ. Born and raised in Los Angeles - London combines her years working within community-based organizations, her training in restorative and racial equity practices, and commitment to expanding access for communities pushed to the margins by our larger society. Prior to joining ProjectQ, London served as Operations Manager for The LGBTQ Center Long Beach where she led social and supportive programming, major events and fundraisers, and served as a community liaison. She has dedicated her professional career to the nonprofit world working with organizations like Antioch University, Good+ Foundation, and Awaken Arts.
In 2019, London co-founded South LA Wellness, an organization with the mission to share mindfulness-based practices for Black residents of South Los Angeles. A balanced voice in the Black LGBTQ community, London has been invited for speaking, teaching, and consulting engagements with Antioch University, The California Conference for Equality and Justice, California State University Long Beach, and Temple Israel Long Beach.
London holds a BA in Liberal Studies from Antioch University Los Angeles and is currently completing her MA in Nonprofit Management.
Andre Vargas (He/Him) began his journey with ProjectQ in 2016 as a youth experiencing homelessness. He received his first haircut from Madin while interning at the LA LGBTQ Center. He started his ProjectQ career as a volunteer, then was hired as a receptionist, and soon after promoted to Program Assistant.
Jessica-Jean de la Vega
Jessica-Jean (she/they) is a QTPOC who Identifies as Non-Binary femme of center. Jessica-Jean has a background as a freelance hair and makeup artist, Queer Educator, Artist, Social Media Specialist and Program Assistant for ProjectQ Salon and Expanding Identities Development.
You can find her on instagram @mxjessicajean
Em Jackson (They/Them) is the Director of Financial Security Initiatives at the Non-Profit FreeFrom, that works with and on behalf of survivors of gender-based violence to create pathways to economic security and long-term safety. Em began volunteering as a Membership Coordinator for ProjectQ in May 2019 and transitioned to a staff member in the same role in June 2020. They received their Bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences and Master’s degree in Gerontology from Eastern Illinois University. Upon graduation, they were given the opportunity to work from the ground up within Chicago’s first LGBTQIA+ Affordable Senior Housing Complex, Town Hall Apartments. After relocating to California nearly 5 years ago, their focus has continued to revolve around purpose driven work. Em’s journey has taken them from working with folks in the LGBTQIA+ community to working with youth, adults and families in personal and professional development, education, mental health, and affordable housing. This included working at the San Diego LGBT Community Center as the Family Program Coordinator & Services Navigator for two years where they co-led the Center’s first Non-Binary Discussion Group.
Board of Directors
Alli (She/Her) is an Operations and Wellness Manager for Social Venture Partners - LA and a certified yoga + meditation facilitator from South LA. She commits her energy to the field of philanthropy where she works with nonprofits dedicated to systems change, racial justice + healing justice. Prior to SVPLA, she has over a decade of experience working with the Los Angeles LGBTQ Center. She holds an M.A. in Management and a B.A. in Communication – Public Relations from Cal State Fullerton.
Sarah Williams (She/Her) is a co-founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Center for Creative Work. Born and raised in Hawthorne, CA, Sarah returned to Los Angeles in 2006 to attend USC’s Curatorial Practice in the Public Sphere M.A. program after receiving a B.A. in Art History from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Since then she has been producing creative projects, exhibitions, programs, events and
publications with ForYourArt, WCCW, CLOSING, and the Art Book Review.
Coral Lobera (All Pronouns) has been volunteering as a hairstylist with ProjectQ for over three years. She was the first person added to our ProjectQ board and her labor of care and love is crucial to ProjectQ’s success. With her experience on the Board of another non-profit called ‘Bicycle Kitchen’ she has lent much advice to ProjectQ. With Spanish as her first language, Coral makes space for Spanish speaking youth whom are seeking asylum. Since she began her time with us, her attention to detail and keen eye create a talented, safe experience for the youth of color.
Vero Lebron (She/Her)
has been volunteering with
ProjectQ since August 2019.