Meet The Team

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Amanda Keller

SHE/HER/HERS

DIRECTOR

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Amanda moved to Alabama in 2006 and received her BA in Philosophy from The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

 

Amanda is the Founding Director of the Magic City Acceptance Center (MCAC) and manages Family Matters: LGBTQ Youth Perspectives, a photography exhibition by Carolyn Sherer. Family Matters premiered at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in April 2014, and was selected as the Outwin Boochever Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery finalist in 2016.

 

Her advocacy work began in Columbus, Ohio volunteering with a local AIDS service organization. That work continued at Birmingham AIDS Outreach in 2009. Amanda is proud to be in her 11th year of working with BAO and affiliated programs. 

 

Amanda is a graduate of the 2019 American Express Leadership Academy, serves on the Board of the Children’s Policy Council, and Mayor Woodfin’s LGBTQ Advisory Board. Additional awards include: 2015 Simpkins/Talley Spirit of Pride Award, 2015 B-Metro Fusion Award, 2017 Ben Rowell Community Service Award, AL.com’s 2017 “Women Who Shape the State” honoree, 2018 Sylvia Rivera Game Changer Award, one of 2018 Birmingham Business Journal’s “Women to Watch,” a member of the Leadership Birmingham Class of 2020, and the UAB College of Arts and Sciences 2020 Distinguished Young Alumni.

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Lauren Jacobs

SHE/HER/HERS

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

Lauren Jacobs, Assistant Director at the Magic City Acceptance Center (MCAC) in Birmingham, Alabama. At MCAC, Lauren provides community building, sexual wellness/healthy relationship education, and STI testing and for LGBTQ youth ages 13-24.

 

Lauren is a Birmingham native whose advocacy around LGBTQ issues began as a student in high school. She became heavily involved in organizing at The University of Alabama where her work involved coalition building with a network of LGBTQ college student groups around the Southeastern U.S., and developing programs and events around gender, sexuality, racial and reproductive justice. Lauren was a principal organizer for the Southeastern LGBTQ Student Leadership Conference, offering space for hundreds of students to build a diverse community of LGBTQ southerners.  

 

Lauren has contributed writing to Autostraddle.com, the world's biggest queer women's website, and served as associate producer to Alabama Bound, an award-winning documentary that has brought stories of lesbian families in Alabama to screens around the country.

Rebecca
Buitendijk

SHE/HER/HERS

MCAC MSW INTERN

Rebecca is a cis queer woman. She is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College and a second year Master of Social Work student at the University of Alabama. She grew up in the Greater New Orleans area and currently lives in Moundville, AL with her wife, Maartje, and toddler, Sterre.

 

Rebecca is interning with Magic City Acceptance Center (MCAC) and will spend her time developing parent and family programs. She hopes to gain a better understanding of the needs and existing supports for queer and trans youth Birmingham and across the state of Alabama.

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