Michael SC Soto, Executive Director
Michael is a leader in the LGBTQ and social justice movements in Arizona. He is the Executive
Director of Equality Arizona, the only statewide organization dedication to building the political
power of the LGBTQ community. He is also an LGBTQ social movement and equity and justice
scholar. Michael has worked for more than 20 years in the non-profit, for-profit, and government sectors building institutions that support and are accountable to social movements.
In his role as Executive Director of Equality Arizona, Michael leads a small and highly effective team that engages in community organizing, civic education and engagement, voter engagement, and in cultural strategies aimed at increasing the civic literacy and engagement of the LGBTQ community. Along with the board of directors, Michael’s leadership has reshaped the values and focus of Equality Arizona to build our community’s political power from our strengths and from our authentic lived experiences. He believes that social movements should be led and informed by those most impacted by systemic oppression and has brought that belief to Equality Arizona.
He attended Arizona State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Women and Gender Studies and a Master of Science in Justice Studies. His academic work focuses on understanding systemic oppression and working for economic, racial, and gender equity and justice. Additionally, Michael has trained on a wide range of skills including graphic design, website development, marketing, public relations, and business administration.
Michael is active in his community. He has served on many boards and committees including Poder in Action, Justice that works Equality Arizona, the Arizona Alliance for Arts Education, Phoenix Pride, Trans Spectrum of Arizona, Generation Equality, Rising Youth Theatre, and the LGBTQ Consortium. He also served on the steering committee for the Human Service Campus, the Arizona HRC Diversity Committee, the AzCA Arts Education committee, the organizing committee for the Arizona Arts Education Census, and as a volunteer for No Mas Muertes, Andre House, and the AzACLU. Michael also served two terms in AmeriCorps through Public Allies Arizona.