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New HRC president Kelley Robinson on reaching full equality


Because the incoming president of the Human Rights Marketing campaign, Kelley Robinson is up for the problem.

When she takes the reins of the distinguished LGBTQ rights group subsequent month, she’s absolutely conscious the highway forward shall be robust — however she’s additionally enthusiastic about what the long run will convey.

Robinson, 26, is a well known chief of the progressive motion who has spent over 10 years working for sexual and reproductive well being rights. She joins the HRC from the Deliberate Parenthood Motion Fund, the place she served as its government director for 3 years, main its 18 million supporters within the struggle to make sure individuals have entry to well being care.

She is going to now convey her greater than 15 years of expertise in neighborhood, political and labor organizing to guide the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights group, together with its 3 million members, at a time when the neighborhood faces unprecedented threats and assaults on a few of its most simple rights.

“We’re going through a motivated minority in our opposition that’s attempting to roll again our rights,” Robinson instructed the Every day Information on Wednesday, a day after the group introduced she would function its ninth president.

“However the energy of the individuals is on our facet,” she mentioned, noting that some 70% of individuals within the U.S. assist same-sex marriage, whereas 80% assist entry to well being care, together with abortion care. “This can be a second the place individuals are with us, and it’s our activity to ensure that we win the struggle,” she added.

Robinson, whose first official day on the job shall be Nov. 28, is the group’s first Black queer lady president. She has been married to her “lovely spouse” Becky George, who works in gun violence prevention, since 2020, and the 2 share a “beautiful, phenomenal and hilarious 1-year-old baby.”

After receiving a B.A. in sociology and ladies’s and gender research from the College of Missouri-Columbia in 2008, Robinson received her begin in neighborhood organizing, working for Barack Obama’s 2008 historic presidential marketing campaign, when she mobilized younger individuals to vote.

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She then continued her work as an organizer working for Deliberate Parenthood of the Heartland (Iowa and japanese Nebraska), main a grassroots organizing effort that resulted within the passing of laws to develop Medicaid protection for household planning companies. She joined the Deliberate Parenthood Federation of America in 2011.

The LGBTQ neighborhood goes by means of a turbulent interval, with sky-rocketing circumstances of anti-trans violence, a record-high variety of anti-LGBTQ legal guidelines being enacted in state legislatures and the criminalization of fogeys of trans children. However Robinson sees the challenges as a chance for the neighborhood to create actual change for future generations and “to win in large and transformative methods.”

“We have now to struggle for full freedom, full liberation, and full equality for everybody, with out exception,” she instructed The Information.

“We’re at a second the place we all know that being small doesn’t serve us. We’re going to struggle for full liberation and equality,” she mentioned.

Robinson will succeed ousted president Alphonso David, who was fired in September 2021 after a report discovered that he helped former Gov. Andrew Cuomo reply to sexual misconduct allegations. The civil rights lawyer, who denied the allegations, served as Cuomo’s counsel from 2015 till 2019 earlier than turning into the primary particular person of colour to function HRC president.

He then sued his former employers alleging racial discrimination. Joni Madison, who has been serving as HRC’s interim president since David’s departure, mentioned in a scathing rebuke on Feb. 2 that “we’re disillusioned that Alphonso David has chosen to take retaliatory motion in opposition to the Human Rights Marketing campaign for his termination which resulted from his personal actions.”

Robinson hopes to place the episode behind, including that HRC’s subsequent chapter “is about ensuring that we’re preventing for each single member of this neighborhood, and we’re preventing to win.”

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