Aries Dela Cruz was a doctoral student in environmental and legal anthropology at Rutgers University. He was also a graduate Fellow with the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis. He was recognized as part of the next generation of progressive leaders by People for the American Way, who awarded him a fellowship in 2007, and his work has earned him local, national and international coverage and recognition. He graduated with distinction from Columbia with a B.A. in Anthropology. As a student he was involved with the Columbia Daily Spectator as a member of the editorial board and an opinion writer. He was communications director and then the vice president of the Queer Alliance, the world’s first collegiate LGBT organization. Aries was the recipient of the Dean’s Citation and Prize, as well as the Spirit Award, for his efforts in integrating non-traditional students into university life. He was honored with the King’s Crown Leadership Award, as well as the LGBT Student Leader Award for his extraordinary commitment and involvement in building safer and inclusive communities. Aries was in the inaugural cohort of the Gill Foundation/Weber Shandwick Social Innovation Fellowship, where he helped shape the creation of collaborative resources for non-profits and corporations who are engaged in strategic partnerships to advance LGBT equality. He was a founding co-chair for the YP4 NYC Local Network.