About Us...

My name is Alex Ladd. I am a trans man who lives here in Newport. I was born and raised in Central Vermont, lived in Virginia for several years, but moved to the NEK a few years ago and fell in love with the town. However, it was a culture shock for me after living in such a diverse and culturally accepting place such as Richmond, VA. I became a member of the NEK Rainbow Coalition not only to help plan our first pride event, but also help build a safe and inclusive community for the LGBTQ+ folx. I believe in speaking up for the quieter voices and standing against injustice. The progress we’ve already made is amazing to me and I can’t wait to see more.

The NEKRC Organizing Team

Our Mission Statement- The NEK Rainbow Coalition seeks to advance full freedom, justice, and equality, while building a sense of community for all LGBTQ+ people in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and beyond.

Hello, my name is Rowan Putvain. My pronouns are they/them and he/him. I am A member of the NEKRC organizing team and have lived in the Northeast Kingdom my whole life. My roots are planted in this community. I'm passionate about building community and creating inclusive spaces for people to express themselves fully.

My name is Shannon Kane. I am a queer woman who has lived in the North East Kingdom for my entire life. I am passionate about the work we are doing here in the NEK because this is where my grandparents settled down to build a home and raise a family. They fell in love with this area and with the people who surrounded them. It means the world to me to see the North East Kindom become a place for me, and for people like me, and it t has been wonderful connecting with other folks like myself in the home that I love. I know there are so many wonderful things on the horizion for the NEK.

Alex Ladd (He/Him/His)

Rowan Putvain


Shannon Kane (She/Her/Hers)

The NEK Rainbow Coalition was born in September of 2022 when a group of committed, and passionate people came together with the common goal of making the Northeast Kingdom a more welcoming, open, accepting, and safer place for all LGBTQ+ people. There had been a rash of homophobic and transphobic vandalism in our communities, and we were still reeling from the murder of Fern Feather, a beautiful and beloved member of our Trans community just five months before. It was time for change. It was time for solidarity and action. It was, and is time for the LGBTQ+ community in the NEK to be OUT-PROUD & SAFE! We are not looking for special rights, but rather the same rights and privileges enjoyed by our straight brothers and sisters. This is why we exist, and this is what we work for every single day.

Hello! My name is Avi IC Ward. I'm an early childhood educator and proud member of the Queer community. I grew up in central Vermont and moved to the NEK in 2022 with my husband and our two cats. I joined the NEKRC shortly after moving in hopes of finding some community. I look forward to helping this organization grow in order to foster that sense of the community for all LGBTQ+ individuals in the NEK.

Avi IC Ward (All Pronouns)