Jason McCarty serves as the Executive Director of Capital City Pride and is a Public Health Care Consultant/Activist. He serves on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross, Growing up Knowing, MS Department of Mental Health Planning Council, Mississippi HIV Planning Council, MS Center for Justice's HIV Council, Human Rights Campaign Jackson Advisory Board, Founding Director of the Pearl Community Theatre, the Co-Founder of MS Positive Network and was the first openly gay candidate for the MS Legislature. Jason also represents Mississippi on the White House Political Outreach Committee.
Kim Lewis is Chair of MS Capital City Pride and the Tourism and Destination Development Manager for Visit Jackson. Most of her time is spent working on community-based projects.
She serves on the Board of Directors for Keep Jackson Beautiful and the MS Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities. She is an ally and advocate for all, believing that everyone deserves to feel loved and supported.Kim is a mom to a blended household that includes her husband, their six boys and three rescue dogs. She attends St. James Episcopal Church.
Wiley Smith is Chair-Elect of MS Capital City Pride. He is a Portfolio Manager by day, and passionate photographer off the clock. Wiley believes in living life to the fullest and capturing beautiful memories and inspiring snapshots for his clients. He's engaged to the love of his life, Aaron, and is the proud doggie dad of Zara, Tucker, and Khaleesi. Originally from Florence, MS, and now living in Brandon, the South has always been his home and he is committed to working towards a more inclusive and loving environment for all of the LGBTQ+ and ally community.
Ashlee Pitts is the Secretary for Capital City Pride. Ashlee is an educator currently working as a Data Coach with Amplify in Jackson. When she thinks of Capital City Pride, she is most excited about the opportunity to celebrate diversity and togetherness in the community.
Brandi Westbrook is the Treasurer of Capital City Pride. Brandi is a native Mississippian and lives in Jackson. She is actively involved in her community and has volunteered to serve on the boards of multiple nonprofit and community organizations. She has a passion for volunteerism and advocacy and is excited to help a create a safer, more inclusive, and supportive LGBTQ+ and ally community.
Lucas Posey is a Co-Founder of Capital City Pride. He is a graduate of the Mississippi State School of Architecture. They work as a Project Manager at WBA Architecture where they get to use their passions of creative place-making and problem-solving to improve the built environment. They are excited to use their energy to help strengthen the LGBTQ+ community.
Tyler Griffing is a Co-Founder of Capital City Pride. He grew up in Byram, MS and is a graduate of Mississippi College with a degree in Computer Information Systems. Tyler is currently living in Ocean Springs, MS. He is privileged to be the dog and cat dad of Mason, Dixie, and Rico. He believes that the ultimate goal of creating safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community means to eventually create a safer Jackson; where the community is able to be their most authentic self without fear of backlash.
Fabian Nelson is a native of Yazoo City, MS and a nearly 2 decade resident of Jackson. Professionally, Fabian has found his passion in first-time homebuyer education, access to affordable housing advocacy and parity in housing ownership for low-income populations. Fabian is also a proud advocacy champion for people living with HIV, where he serves on the Mississippi Department of Health’s HIV Planning Council, a Client Instructor for HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) and is the current Co-Chair of the Advocacy Committee for Capital City Pride.
Merry Barnes is currently serving as the Director of School and Teen Programs at the Mississippi Museum of Art. She previously taught middle school Art in JPS for 9 years and has always played a role in creating spaces and opportunities for young people in our state. As a lifelong resident, Merry is devoted to advocating for others and building a better and more united Mississippi.
Chris has lived in Jackson for 5 years with his wife, Stephanie, and their 3 very cuddly cats. He is an IT project manager and a board member of Our Fondren Neighborhood Association. Chris loves pro wrestling and K-Pop, but his main passion is finding creative, collaborative ways to solve problems at their root cause. Chris looks forward to bringing that passion to life with Capital City Pride.
Christina Spann is a native of Columbus, MS and moved to Jackson after the
passing of her father. Christina has a passion for people and making the
spaces she lives in better. Christina continues to be a champion for mental
health and the wellbeing of youth. Christina is a strong advocate for
Jackson, MS and is involved in different organizations to improve the city
while also celebrating its achievements. In her spare time, Christina operates
a pet sitting service, volunteers with Junior League Jackson, serves with the
McClean Fletcher Center and does stand-up comedy.
Jack Myers is a very well respected LGBTQ+ advocate in Jackson, Mississippi. Jack has been fighting for equality and providing safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community since the 1970s when he opened the first gay bar in Jackson, MS called Jack and Jill's. Jack plans to continue his work in Jackson while serving on the Board for Capital City Pride.
Kam’Ry is a native of Collins, MS. However, she has resided in Jackson, MS for 10+ years. She is a former of the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office. Currently Kam’Ry is “Our Liberation Table” Coordinator for Mississippi In Action. Additionally, she is a cook, designer, and makeup artist. Kam’Ry recently embarked on her journey in community advocacy, and she is excited to plateau in her efforts to be a voice and positive representative/role model for our community!
A graduate of the University of Mississippi, Ryan Upshaw currently serves as Assistant Dean for Student Life at Millsaps College. In this role, he oversees a variety of student engagement areas including fraternity & sorority life, residence life and student conduct as well as serving as an advisor to several student groups including the Student Body Association. He also leads efforts to support students from diverse backgrounds and to create an inclusive environment on campus. Upshaw also serves on the Board of Directors for the Mississippi Food Network and volunteers with Big House Books. Being from the MS Gulf Coast, he enjoys good music, good art, and good food.