Soulforce Announces Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, Former MCC Leader, to Be Organization's New Executive Director

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Soulforce, a national organization dedicated to nonviolently confronting and ending anti-LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) discrimination through relentless nonviolent resistance, has named Rev. Dr. Cindi Love its new executive director. Love brings a wide range of leadership, management and organizational experience to her new role as Soulforce's Executive Director, including four years as the Executive Director of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC).

Soulforce, a national organization dedicated to nonviolently confronting and ending anti-LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) discrimination through relentless nonviolent resistance, has named Rev. Dr. Cindi Love its new executive director. Love will begin at her new post on April 22.

Love brings a wide range of leadership, management and organizational experience to her new role as Soulforce's Executive Director. From January 2005 until April 2009, she served as the Executive Director of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC).

Prior to MCC, she served as an Executive Dean in the third largest community college system in the United States, as a Senior Executive of The Toro Company (NYSE:TTC) and CEO and Founder of several award-winning corporations, including one named to the Inc. 500 in 1990.

In 1990, Dr. Love was named one of the "Top 50 Entrepreneurs" in North America by Inc. Magazine, the Young Entrepreneur's Organization, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Love is the creator of the Would Jesus Discriminate? campaign and author of the book with the same name.

"I am really excited that Dr. Cindi Love has accepted the call to serve as Executive Director of Soulforce," said the Reverend Dr. Mel White, co-founder of Soulforce. "She is the ideal person to continue to lead our non-violent struggle to end misuse of scripture and religion to discriminate against God's LGBTQ children."

Founded by White and Gary Nixon in 1998, the first gathering of the Soulforce community of volunteers was held in 1999 to protest the anti-gay rhetoric of Rev. Jerry Falwell. Throughout its 12-year history, Soulforce has used the principles and practices of Mohandas Gandhi's and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's relentless nonviolent resistance and direct action to bring attention to and achieve freedom from religious and political oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning people.

Soulforce Equality Riders are currently on a 16-city tour across the United States to bring a message of hope and affirmation to students at colleges with oppressive policies toward LGBTQ students. In July 2010, Soulforce will attend the 219th Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly and bring its unique witness for truth and justice to the voting members and other attendees.

Chuck Phelan, Chair of the Board of Soulforce, said, "As Soulforce transitions from its entrepreneurial stage of development, we are delighted to have Dr. Love in this crucial position of leadership. She brings a unique sensitivity to the issues facing both the LGBTQ rights and civil rights movements. She fully embraces the essential need to engage people in understanding the intersectionality of oppression, particularly within the context of organized religion and its contributions to institutionalized and systemic racism, heterosexism, classism and sexism."

Rev. Gil Caldwell, member of the Soulforce Advisory Board, and a retired United Methodist Minister who participated in the "Mississippi Freedom Summer" of 1964, the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965, and the March on Washington, said, "I am convinced as never before that the nation, faith community and beyond needs Soulforce! The alienation between and among persons for racial, gender, sexual orientation, political, religious, regional, class, age and other reasons is as great today as I have seen in my 76 years.”

Caldwell noted, “I am thrilled to hear that Soulforce is committed to challenge anti-black racism as an important component of the fulfillment of its mission. We welcome Rev. Dr. Love to this work and to our Soulforce community of activists."

For more information on Soulforce, please visit the organization’s website at http://www.soulforce.org.

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Phil West
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