The new head of the National Center for Lesbian Rights will be a Chicago-based activist who has served as a voice in the LGBTQ movement for black women, the organization announced Tuesday.
Imani Rupert-Gordon, who currently serves as executive director of Affinity Community Services in Chicago, is set to take the reins of the San Francisco-based LGBTQ group on March 16, 2020.
“I’m thrilled to join the team at NCLR and to help expand their incredible work,” Rupert-Gordon said in a statement. “As we continue the fight for legal protections to achieve LGBTQ equality, I’m excited to be part of creating a more inclusive LGBTQ movement that centers racial, economic and political justice.”
As the result of her activism in Chicago, the Illinois Human Rights Commission gave Rupert-Gordon its 2019 Activism Award. In a previous role, Rupert-Gordon served as the director of the Broadway Youth Center at Howard Brown Health, which has served more than 1,500 LGBTQ youth homeless youth.
According to her bio, Rupert-Gordon received a master’s degree from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Rupert-Gordon also worked as a lecturer and developed campus-wide programming for eight years at University of California Santa Cruz. In that role, she co-founded the Social Fiction Conference, which helps students examine issues of social justice through science fiction, gaming and fantasy.
The position was vacant at the National Center for Lesbian Rights after Kate Kendell, who had led the organization for 22 years, made the decision in March to step down.
Emily Doskow, board co-chair for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said in a statement Rupert-Gordon is “the perfect fit for NCLR’s mission, culture and commitment to bold leadership.”
“She is a dynamic leader with a wealth of experience and a strong vision for the organization’s future,” Doskow said. “We could not be more fortunate to have her joining NCLR.”