(08-22-15) -- Toni is originally from Jacksonville, North Carolina and attended Wake Forest University on academic scholarship where she received her BA degree in Sociology. Before moving to the west coast, Toni worked for seven years in the NC Community College system as Admissions Representative, Minority Recruiter, Instructional Supervisor and Assistant to the Dean.
Toni comes to Maitri and San Francisco from Los Angeles, where she was the Development and Administration Coordinator for T.H.E. Health and Wellness Centers (South Los Angeles’ largest healthcare center network). In that role, Toni was responsible for development, grants, website presence, marketing and working with the outreach team as Certified Enrollment Counselor helping the homeless, mentally ill, HIV positive and underinsured get affordable healthcare and the services they need. Prior to this, Toni worked for Equality California - California’s premier statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization - as a canvasser, fundraiser, legislative aide and volunteer recruiter. In her spare time, Toni is currently pursuing her law degree to fight for LGBT equality, with a special focus on transgender rights.
In 2011, Toni wrote her memoir, I Rise-The Transformation of Toni Newman, where she discusses her 25 year difficult transition. Her book was nominated in 2012 in two categories for the Lambda Literary Awards, honored in 2012 by Wake Forest University for Faces of Courage, and has been featured in the Advocate, Huffington Post and Ebony magazine. Toni is the Community Editor for Proud to Be Out-The Digital Magazine and a blogger for Huffington Post’s Gay Voices.
Toni is very passionate about service and helping the underprivileged. She and her business partner of 13 years have regularly volunteered with several homeless groups in Los Angeles and believe giving back is the key to success. Toni was included this year in the Trans 100 List which Celebrates Excellence in the Transgender Community within the United States.
Maitri's Mission Statement: No one should have to suffer or die alone. Maitri provides compassionate residential care to men and women living with late-stage AIDS in need of hospice or 24-hour care, and cultivates the deepest respect and love for life among its residents and caregivers. Founded in 1987 by Zen Buddhist monk Issan Dorsey, Maitri is a state-licensed, 15-bed facility serving low-income and medically underserved individuals with late-stage, debilitating AIDS. In this serene, healing space, dedicated staff and volunteers offer comprehensive nursing care and psychosocial and spiritual resources to residents, and extend respite and support to their loved ones as well. Maitri provides compassionate residential care to men and women living with AIDS in need of hospice or 24-hour care.