Our Team

michael munson

Executive Director

michael munson is the co-founder and Executive Director of FORGE, an organization focused on improving the lives of transgender individuals by building stronger connections, providing resources, and empowering growth through knowledge. His educational background is in psychology, with an emphasis in trauma. munson’s work on violence against transgender and gender non-conforming individuals is groundbreaking, stressing the intersectionality between complex components of identity, experience, and societal constructs that both spur violence, as well as catalyze healing for individuals and communities. He is passionate about engaging professionals to embrace these complexities and learn key skills to better serve their constituents.

Loree Cook-Daniels

Program and Policy Director

Loree Cook-Daniels is the Policy and Program Director for FORGE, a Milwaukee-based national transgender and SOFFA (Significant Others, Friends, Family and Allies) organization. Cook-Daniels has been a policy analyst and advocate for LGBT issues for more than 40 years, and began working on anti-violence issues in the 1980s. With degrees in Women’s Studies and Conflict Management and a Certificate in Trauma Counseling, Cook-Daniels provides training, technical assistance, and/or services to transgender sexual violence survivors and the professionals who serve them under grants from the U.S. Office of Violence Against Women.

Emil Rudicell

Project Coordinator

Emil Rudicell is from north Florida. They have been a community organizer and activist in a broad range of overlapping movements, with a focus on anti-violence movements, reproductive justice, and youth leadership. Emil brings over 20 years of experience working in direct service providing crisis intervention and peer counseling. Emil has supported youth organizing and conflict resolution groups in DC and Florida. They worked for five years training staff at a national crisis hotline for reproductive health. Emil joins FORGE from seven years of statewide work preventing and responding to domestic violence through supporting service providers with training and technical assistance. They dream of a world without violence, with communities that take care of each other and have the support everyone needs. To get there, Emil’s work has focused on helping communities and organizations with strategic planning, capacity building, improving services, and working towards social change. Outside of work, Emil loves the ocean and all of the weird, fantastic nature of the land around them.

Caleb Weinhardt

Project Specialist

Caleb Weinhardt is an undergraduate student at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and studies Psychology. His previous work with FORGE has included leading outdoor activities with the FORGE Outdoors program and organizing volunteers during Milwaukee PrideFest. In his spare time, Caleb enjoys running, hiking, and biking outside, rock climbing, and foraging wild plants!

Kristina Arnold

Creative Content Specialist

Kristina Arnold is a gardener and conservationist with a focus on wetland restoration. Having spent her youth in the Ozark Mountains of Southeastern Missouri, Kristina brings her lived experiences to life through personal stories and anecdotes, bringing levity and humor to often difficult conversations. As a video content creator for FORGE, she hopes to use her lifelong commitment to artistry and love of nature to promote healing through advocacy.

In radical resistance and memory…

Tristen Taggart

Disability and Youth Trauma Specialist

Tristen Taggart is an agender antiviolence activist pursuing their Bachelor’s Degree in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and Political Science at Virginia Commonwealth University. Tristen joined FORGE as a Policy and Programming Intern in 2018 and now works as the Disability and Youth Trauma Specialist. Tristen is a queer survivor, community activist, scholar, and direct-support volunteer with an evolving focus on the intersections and divergences of queer survivorship, disability justice, and abolition in the lives of young people. They are thrilled to bring their passion and curiosity to FORGE from their hometown in Richmond, Virginia.