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At Connect Northshore, we believe in a world where everyone, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity, is accepted and celebrated. We are a non-profit organization, born from the passion and drive to support, empower, and provide resources for the LGBTQIA+ community in the Northshore area.

Our Journey

Every story begins with a spark, and ours was no different. Recognizing the need for a dedicated space for the LGBTQIA+ community, Connect Northshore was established to be a beacon of hope, a source of support, and a symbol of unity. From hosting the first-ever Connect To Pride and the upcoming ConnectFest, to our ongoing plans to establish The Connect Center, our journey is a testament to our relentless determination to create a safe, inclusive space for all.

Our Mission

Connect Northshore exists to educate, empower, and advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community in the Northshore area. We aim to be more than just an organization; we aspire to be a haven where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued. Our mission is to foster connection, celebrate diversity, and build a more inclusive future together.

Our Values

We stand firmly on our core values of compassion, resilience, inclusivity, and boldness. We speak truth, we love unconditionally, we reject shame, and we tirelessly champion for the rights and dignity of all individuals. We believe that these values not only define us, but they also guide us in our actions and decisions.

Join Us

Connect Northshore is a family, and like every family, we are stronger with each new member. We invite you to join us, to stand with us, and to help us make a difference. Whether you're interested in volunteering, making a donation, or simply want to learn more, your support is invaluable to us.

Our Core Beliefs

At Connect Northshore, we're driven by a set of foundational principles that inform every aspect of our work, guiding us towards our ultimate goal of fostering a safe and inclusive space for all in the Northshore area.

  1. Boldness: We're not afraid to challenge societal norms and act as trailblazers in our advocacy. From taking a strong stand on LGBTQIA+ issues, launching innovative programs and services, to maintaining a bold visual identity, we courageously champion the cause of our community.
  2. Compassion: Our approach is centered on empathy and understanding, always ensuring our community members feel seen, heard, and validated. Whether it's through our nonjudgmental services, inclusive language and imagery, or providing holistic support, we strive to alleviate suffering and promote well-being.
  3. Resilience: We show resilience in the face of adversity, keeping a sustained commitment to our mission and helping our community build their own resilience. Our adaptability, persistence in education, and unwavering advocacy demonstrate our dedication to progress and positive change, regardless of the obstacles.
  4. Inclusivity: We take proactive measures to ensure all individuals within the LGBTQIA+ community feel welcomed, accepted, and valued. From striving for broad representation in our staff, volunteers, and imagery, to ensuring our services are accessible to all, we celebrate the diversity within our community and adapt based on their needs and experiences.

These values of boldness, compassion, resilience, and inclusivity serve as our guiding light, helping us fulfill our promise of being a steadfast advocate and resource for the LGBTQIA+ community in the Northshore area.

Our Board of Directors

Our founding board is a diverse group of passionate advocates and allies

Cara Twillie Headshot
Cara Twillie
Pronouns: she/her

Cara Twillie is a passionate educator and mother, and the black queer woman who founded Connect Northshore. Born and raised in Slidell, her personal journey inspired her to create a safe and inclusive space for the LGBTQ+ community. Her experiences fuel her leadership as the President of our board, with a vision deeply rooted in fostering connections and authenticity. An alumna of the University of Florida and Slidell High School, she leads with a spirit of "If not us, who?
If not now, when?"

Travis Manint Headshot
Travis Manint
Vice President
Pronouns: he/him

Travis, our Board VP, is a driven marketing executive with over 15 years of experience in driving innovative, results-oriented strategies for both Fortune 500 clients and high-growth startups. With a passion for fostering partnerships and an expertise in integrated marketing tactics, he brings a 360-degree perspective to Connect Northshore. Alongside his extensive professional experience, he brings a decade of nonprofit experience and entrepreneurial spirit as the founder of

Dani Capistrano Headshot
Daniela "Dani" Capistrano
Pronouns: they/them

Daniela "Dani" Capistrano (they/them) is a queer trans non-binary latinx storyteller and entrepreneur leading DCAP MEDIA. Passionately serving on multiple boards and driving marginalized community upliftment, they've called New Orleans home since 2013. Now, they're eager to apply their expertise in marketing, grant writing, and strategic partnerships to enhance Connect Northshore's mission as the
Board Secretary.

Tawnya Sisco Headshot
Tawnya Sisco
Pronouns: she/her

Tawnya Sisco, a dedicated Slidell resident with a Masters in Psychology, passionately serves the Connect Northshore board. An Easter Seals employee and a Court Appointed Special Advocate, she draws from her experiences as a mother of LGBTQIA+ children to fuel her advocacy work, both personally and professionally.

Sonya Lee Headshot
Sonya Lee
Founding Member
Pronouns: she/her

Coming soon...