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Lobel stepping down as NGLTF executive director

Citing a strong sense of satisfaction in goals met and a desire to take on new challenges, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Kerry Lobel Dec. 3 submitted her resignation to the organization's board of directors and staff after five years of leadership in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender movement. The resignation will take effect April 7, 2000. A copy of her letter of resignation is attached.

Lobel first joined the staff of NGLTF in January 1995 as deputy director, and became its executive director in December 1996. Under Lobel's leadership, NGLTF has nearly doubled its budget and staff; strengthened NGLTF's focus on state and local organizing; expanded the Policy Institute, NGLTF's think tank; and championed the inclusion of many diverse constituencies and people in the politics and program of the GLBT movement.

"When I began my tenure at the Task Force, there were a number of goals I wanted to accomplish," Lobel said. "With the help of a talented staff and board of directors, the generous support of our many members and donors, and the partnership of so many local, state and national organizations, we have met every goal. I am proud of our achievements over the past five years, and feel that this is an ideal time for me to move on to other challenges. I celebrate this transition knowing that the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is stronger than ever."

Lobel helped expand the political focus of the gay and lesbian movement to include bisexual and transgender people, and to address issues such as racism. "No one should be forced to leave a part of him or herself at the door in order to participate in our movement," she said. Under her leadership, NGLTF strongly championed the rights of transgender people, supported affirmative action and other racial justice remedies, supported immigration rights, and advocated for elders, youth, rural and local activists and working class GLBT people.

Under Lobel's leadership, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force produced the following results:

Following her April 7 departure, Lobel will take time to explore new opportunities. The staff and Board of Directors, under the leadership of co-chairs Jerry Clark and Rachel Rosen, will immediately begin a national search for a new executive director.

"Kerry Lobel has left an indelible mark on the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered movement," said Clark. "She saw early on that the strength of our movement rested with organizers at the local and state level. She has been tireless in her efforts to build local, state and national partnerships and fearless as an advocate for voices traditionally left out of the GLBT movement, including youth, people of color, elders, people of faith, bisexual and transgendered people."

"NGLTF and our movement will forever be stronger because of Kerry's leadership," said Rosen. "Her passion for multi-issue organizing and coalition-building is reflected in Task Force programming and the many public positions that NGLTF has taken over the last several years. Her commitment to activists living in the country's smallest towns and largest cities will live on long after her tenure because she has institutionalized this commitment within NGLTF. The depth, experience and talent of the NGLTF board and staff are unparalleled anywhere in the GLBT movement. The Task Force will roll into the new year and through this transition with the ability and the resources to build on our recent successes. We have never been stronger or more vibrant."

In her resignation letter, Lobel said, "When I moved from Arkansas to DC five years ago, I was excited about the challenge of creating real partnerships between the Task Force and local and state organizations...From America's largest cities to smallest towns, NGLTF has proven that a national organization can both lead the movement in new directions and be relevant and accountable to its constituents. And we've proven that there is no shortage of visionary and committed donors that will support our work.

"The last five years have taught me much about our wonderful gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender movement. Together, we have changed the way that our movement thinks about state and local organizing. Together, we have built long-lasting political infrastructure in nearly every state. Together, we have revitalized our federal advocacy program. Together, we have built a first-rate think tank that speaks to the real needs of activists, academics and policy makers. Together, we have built a financially stable and credible organization. Our twelfth annual Creating Change conference, our largest ever, demonstrated a seamless partnership between our board and staff and the rare gift our organization has been given to bring a diverse and growing movement together.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity that I have been given to serve our movement and for the trust and confidence that has been placed in me for these many years. I am especially grateful to the thousands of activists around the country who have opened their hearts and their homes to me and to the Task Force. I am forever changed by their lives. I will forever remember the many trips down delta roads and urban highways to our nation's anti-violence programs and community centers, campuses, local and statewide organizations, and religious institutions.

"I have loved each and every day at the Task Force. Now it is time to pause, to reflect and to move on to new adventures. The movement for social justice has been my life's work and passion, and so I know that wherever I go, I won't go too far from my NGLTF family."

Below: Kerry Lobel's letter of resignation

November 20, 1999

Jerry Clark and Rachel Rosen
Co-Chairs, Board of Directors
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
1700 Kalorama Road, NW Washington, DC 20009

Dear Jerry and Rachel,

I am writing you this letter to let you know that I will be leaving the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force on April 7, 2000.

My time with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has been glorious. I have worked with a dedicated and brilliant group of staff members and with a committed and effective Board of Directors. I am proud of the work of the Task Force and have complete confidence that our staff and board will continue to grow the organization into the next decade. We have achieved so many specific accomplishments, launched so many wonderful long-term, ongoing initiatives and rededicated the organization to its mission of grassroots organizing and movement building.

The last five years have taught me much about our wonderful gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender movement. Together, we have changed the way that our movement thinks about state and local organizing. Together, we have built long-lasting political infrastructure in nearly every state. Together, we have revitalized our federal advocacy program. Together we have built a first-rate think tank that speaks to the real needs of activists, academics and policy makers. Together, we have built a financially stable and credible organization. Our twelfth annual Creating Change conference, our largest ever, demonstrated a seamless partnership between our board and staff and the rare gift our organization has been given to bring a diverse and growing movement together.

When I moved from Arkansas to DC five years ago, I was excited about the challenge of creating real partnerships between the Task Force and local and state organizations. Of the dozen issues I laid out as my priorities in November 1996, NGLTF has moved forward on all of them. I'm proud of where we are as an organization and where we are going. And I'm confident that I'm leaving the Task Force in good hands.

>From America's largest cities to smallest towns, NGLTF has proven that a national organization can both lead the movement in new directions and be relevant and accountable to its constituents. And we've proven that there is no shortage of visionary and committed donors who will support our work.

I'm grateful for the opportunity that I have been given to serve our movement and for the trust and confidence that has been placed in me for these many years. As I look toward a new decade, I've realized that now is the time for me to leave my beloved Task Force. For the next few months, I'll be focusing on leading our organization through this transition and doing the daily work that has made NGLTF such a vital part of our movement.

I am especially grateful to the thousands of activists around the country who have opened their hearts and their homes to me and to the Task Force. I am forever changed by their lives. I will forever remember the many trips down delta roads and urban highways to our nation's anti-violence programs and community centers, colleges and campuses, local and statewide organizations and religious institutions.

I have loved each and every day at the Task Force. Any executive director would be fortunate to serve among such a remarkable group of colleagues. I've been touched by your generosity of spirit, your passion and your dedication to building a strong and vibrant movement that stands for social justice.

Now it is time to pause, to reflect and to move on to new adventures. The movement for social justice has been my life's work and passion and so I know that wherever I go, I won't be too far from my NGLTF family.

I'll look forward to working with the board and staff to ensure a smooth transition over these next few months and to doing my part to support the important work of NGLTF in the years ahead. I'll also look forward to seeing each of you at Creating Change in Atlanta!

Until our paths cross again.

Fondly,

Kerry Lobel Executive Director

 


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