Joel McDonald has a long history of political and social activism. Much of his work has been focused on digital communications and data management to help political organizations, campaigns, and nonprofits improve their outreach efforts to increase subscriptions, donations, volunteer signups, and memberships. In 2012, he launched what is now McDonald Web Works, a small digital agency providing quality, affordable, and dependable web design, development, hosting, maintenance, and support services tailored for small to medium-sized businesses, political organizations, and nonprofits. He joined Affirmation in November 2017 as our Online Content and Data Manager.
Joel converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2002 when he was 17 years old while living in Okinawa, Japan. His conversion was the outcome of a backfired attempt to convert his Mormon friends to Protestantism. He served a full-time mission in Colorado and Kansas from 2004 to 2006 as a missionary in the Colorado Colorado Springs Mission. It was while on his mission that he began to come to terms with being gay. He resigned his membership in the church in 2008 after being inactive for two years following his return from his mission. In 2015, he began to attend church again but stopped following the leak of the November 2015 policy on same-sex marriage and children of same-sex couples in the church.
Joel earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Old Dominion University. He lives in Virginia Beach, VA.
Luiz became a member of Affirmation in 2015 following the release of the November 2015 Policy. He is currently the Vice President of Affirmation Brazil. He has been a member of the church for 32 years, served a Brazil Brasilia mission, was married in the São Paulo temple, and has two daughters.