As the new president of the Human Rights Campaign, Kelley Robinson is ready for the challenge.
When she takes over the reins of a well-known LGBTQ rights organization next month, she is fully aware that the road ahead will be difficult – but she is also excited about what the future holds.
Robinson, 26, is a renowned leader of a progressive movement who has worked for over 10 years for s*xual and reproductive health rights. She joins the HRC of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, where she served as executive director for three years, leading 18 million followers in the fight to ensure people’s access to healthcare.
Now, he will bring his over 15 years of experience in community, political and labor organizing to lead the country’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, along with its 3 million members, as the community faces unprecedented threats and att*cks on some of its most important fundamental rights.
“There is a motivated minority in our opposition trying to overrule our rights,” said the Robinson Daily News on Wednesday, the day after the organization announced it would be its ninth president.
“But the strength of the people is on our side,” she said, noting that about 70% of people in the US support same-s*x marriage, while 80% support access to health care, including ab*rtion care. “This is the moment when people are with us and our job is to make sure we win the fight,” she added.
Robinson, whose first official day at work is November 28, is the organization’s first chairman as a black queer woman. She is married to her “beautiful wife” Becky George, who has been working in gun violence prevention since 2020, and both have a “lovely, phenomenal and fun one-year-old child.”
After earning an undergraduate degree in sociology and women and gender studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2008, Robinson began her community organizing career working for Barack Obama’s historic presidential campaign in 2008 when she mobilized young people to vote.
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She then continued her work as an organizer for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (Iowa and Eastern Nebraska), leading a grassroots organizational effort that resulted in legislation extending Medicaid’s reach to family planning services. She joined the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 2011.
The LGBTQ community is going through a turbulent period, with soaring incidents of violence against trans people, record numbers of anti-LGBTQ laws passed by state legislatures, and the criminalization of parents of trans children. But Robinson sees challenges as an opportunity for the community to create real change for future generations and “win big and transformative ways”.
“We must fight for full freedom, full liberation and full equality for all, without exception,” she told The News.
“We are at a point where we know that being small is not good for us. We will fight for full liberation and equality, “she said.
Robinson will replace the ousted President Alphonso David, who was sacked in September 2021 after it was reported that he helped former governor Andrew Cuomo respond to allegations of s*xual misconduct. A civil rights lawyer who denied the allegations served as adviser to Cuomo from 2015 to 2019, before becoming the first person of color to serve as president of HRC.
He then sued his former employers on charges of racial discrimination. Joni Madison, who has served as HRC interim president since David’s departure, said in a scathing rebuke on February 2 that “we are disappointed that Alphonso David has decided to retaliate against the Human Rights Campaign for its end, which resulted from his own actions. “.
Robinson hopes to put this episode behind him, adding that the next chapter of HRC “is about making sure we fight for every member of this community and fight for victory.”
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