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  • Writer's pictureNonprofit Learning Lab

5 Nonprofit Leaders to Watch: LGBTQ+ Edition

Updated: Jun 21

June is Pride Month, which is a global movement to celebrate LGBTQIA+ people and their contributions to society. It is also a time to acknowledge the necessary work ahead to create safer, more welcoming spaces for people in the LGBTQIA+ community. 

The LGBTQIA+ movement has made legal and social progress in recent years and there are many organizations who are leading the way through their work. We’ve highlighted three nonprofit leaders who serve as a model for strong leadership and inclusive excellence.

Kierra Johnson (She/They)

Deputy Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force

Kierra Johnson is the Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force after serving as Executive Director for URGE. Johnson is a well-respected expert on queer and reproductive issues and brings her perspective as a bisexual Black woman to the National LGBTQ Task Force. She has testified in front of the U.S. House of Representatives and appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, and National Public Radio. Johnson has won a number of awards for her leadership, including Washingtonian Magazine’s Most Influential Washingtonians Under 40 in 2009 and the Women of Vision Award for the Ms. Foundation for Women in 2013.

Darren Walker (He/Him)

President, Ford Foundation

Darren Walker has served as the president of the Ford Foundation since 2013, one of the country’s largest philanthropic foundations with an endowment of over $16 billion. Walker has dedicated most of his life working in social justice, with previous roles at the Rockefeller Foundation and the Abyssinian Development Corporation, a community development organization in Harlem. He has received over 16 honorary degrees and distinctions including Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal. In 2016, TIME Magazine named him as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”

Andrea Montanez (She/Her/Ella)

Senior Racial Equity, LGBTQ+, and Immigration Organizer, Hope CommUnity Center

As Senior Racial Equity, LGBTQ+, and Immigration Organizer at Hope CommUnity Center, Andrea Montanez works in building safe spaces and representation for people who sit at the intersection of LGBTQIA+ and immigrant communities. Montanez is also a board member at Peer Support Space, co-Director of Outreach at Come Out with Pride Orlando, and Contigo Fund Community Board Member. Now a U.S. citizen, Montanez was born in Colombia and relates to the struggles the LGBTQ+ immigrant community faces. 

President, Color of Change

Rashad Robinson leads the Color of Change team to develop strategies to make systemic change in industries that affect Black communities. Under his leadership, Color of Change has made strides for racial justice including holding prosecutors accountable to end police violence and mass incarceration, exposing racial discrimination on Wall Street, forcing corporations to end support of white nationalist organizations, and more. Prior to Color of Change, Robinson worked as the Senior Director of Media Programs at The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) for several years. Robinson is a widely respected voice in the racial justice space and has been featured on NPR, MSNBC, BET, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fast Company, Forbes and more media outlets. In 2020 Robinson won the Webby Award for Best Political Podcast.

Ann Mei Chang (She/Her)

Chief Executive Officer, Candid

As a leading expert in social innovation, Ann Mei Chang is the CEO of Candid and author of “Lean Impact: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good.” She previously served as Chief Innovation Officer for Mercy Corps, Pete for America, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Chang began work in the social sector after 20+ years of leading technology companies like Google and Intuit. In 2019 Ann Mei was included in the “23 most powerful LGBTQ+ people in tech” and “20 Top LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurs, Executives and Thought Leaders” by Business Insider and Global Shakers, respectively. Ann Mei is often a keynote speaker and has been featured at SxSW, Lean Startup Week, TEDxMidAtlantic, and many foundations. 

To learn more about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in nonprofit workspaces, check out our Free DEI Resource page here

Download past webinars with LGBTQIA resources including “Bursting the Board Bubble Diversifying Your Board of Directors” and “IN*clude Us: Designing LGBTQ+ Inclusive Forms” here


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