Ezra Halstead is the Case Manager at FreeState Justice. In his position, he works to build connections and resources through client advocacy, community organizing, education, and outreach to achieve equity for vulnerable LGBTQ+ Marylanders.
Ezra moved to the Baltimore area in 2017 after graduating from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies with a master’s degree in International Policy and Development and a dual concentration in Human Rights and Advocacy and Gender, Power, and Identity. A passionate activist for several years, he has had various professional experiences pertaining to LGBTQ advocacy, including working as a Campus Leader with Equality Pennsylvania at his undergraduate institution (Juniata College) in 2014, where he successfully advocated for nondiscrimination and gender inclusive housing policy reforms. More recently, Ezra was the Operations Manager at Code in the Schools and a Baltimore Corps Cohort 4 Fellow, where he regularly advocated for employees’ needs, updated policies to ensure all were supported and protected, and received professional development around the areas of racial equity and social justice.
Outside of his work with FreeState, he is a Law and Policy Committee Member of the Baltimore City LGBTQ Commission and a Core Team Member of Trans Healthcare Maryland, a trans-led group that aims to unify the transgender community of Maryland for the purpose of extending competent, accessible, and affirming healthcare to everyone in the state. He currently lives in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Baltimore City.
C.P. Hoffman is a non-binary lawyer, writer, and activist dedicated to expanding the rights of queer individuals and shifting cultural discourses towards inclusion. After graduating from the University of Illinois College of Law (magna cum laude, Order of the Coif), they worked for five years in private practice in New York City, with a focus on antitrust and commercial litigation. C.P. then pursued graduate studies in comparative legal history at the McGill University Institute of Comparative Law in Montreal, Quebec. Most recently, they served as Legal Writer for Level Access, a digital accessibility services firm, for which they researched and wrote about digital accessibility law. They currently serve as an Advisory Committee Member and the MidAtlantic Region Leader for the Intersex & Genderqueer Recognition Project, a national organization dedicated to ensuring the rights of individuals to identify as something other than male or female on government-issued documents. In addition, C.P. has published broadly on a number of subjects, including law and social justice, gender, and popular culture, as well as intersections of the three.
Sandy James is a Staff Attorney at FreeState Justice. He represents clients in civil legal matters and participates in FreeState’s policy advocacy and education and outreach work. Prior to joining FreeState Justice in 2018, Sandy was the Research Director at the National Center for Transgender Equality and lead author of The Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. In that role, he led a research team in the development, fielding, analysis, and presentation of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. After spending a decade as a forensic toxicologist, Sandy launched a new career as a civil rights advocate focused on laws and policies that affect trans and LGBQ people. In addition to providing legal services, he has worked on numerous projects involving trans- and LGBQ-related legislation, policy, and research. Sandy earned a J.D. and a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University. He is admitted to practice law in all Maryland state courts.
Less formally known throughout the community as Charlie — is an East Atlanta native, currently residing in Baltimore, Maryland. He is a motivational speaker, community healing advocate, and spoken word performance poet. Self-described as a “man of trans experience,” Charles Xavier feels it is his responsibility to use his transition as a way to facilitate open conversations about intersectionality and the importance of living a life that is true to the authentic self. Through his poetry, activism, and community building efforts he hopes to motivate others to care more deeply & intentionally for themselves, & each other.
Mark Procopio is the Executive Director of FreeState Justice, a social justice organization that works statewide to improve the lives of LGBTQ Marylanders and their families through legal services, policy advocacy, outreach, education, and coalition building. As a member of the LGBTQ community and a former educator in Baltimore City, he experienced and witnessed the impact of systemic inequality and structural bias. His experience as a middle school teacher in Baltimore City stoked his passion and commitment to working with communities to achieve equality, access, and opportunity for all people regardless of race, gender identity, or sexual orientation. His career has focused on building partnerships, marshaling resources, and improving sustainability with social justice oriented education non-profits.
Prior to joining FreeState Justice, Mark held several roles with KIPP Baltimore which serves 1,500 students in the Greater Park Heights neighborhood of Baltimore City. KIPP is a national network of college preparatory, public charter schools. Most recently, he served as Interim Director of Operations. Previously, he led the fundraising, community organizing, advocacy, marketing, and communications work for the organization. Before his time at KIPP, he managed organizational fundraising and partnerships for the Teach For America – Baltimore region.
He holds a degree in International Economics and International Finance from The Catholic University of America and is an alumnus of Teach For America, an AmeriCorps program. He and his fiance, Chris, live in the Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore City.