The Arcus Foundation Makes “New Leadership” Grant To Support OutServe-SLDN Executive Director, Allyson Robinson

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Foundation plans to launch leadership initiative in 2013

The Arcus Foundation announced today a grant of $50,000 to Out-Serve-SLDN, the global association of actively-serving LGBT U.S. military personnel, to support the leadership of Allyson Robinson, the association’s newly-appointed executive director. The grant is the first of a number of “New Leadership” grants the Foundation plans to make in support of promising social justice leaders and their work. The one-time grants will be an element in a larger initiative that Arcus will launch in 2013 to advance the caliber, diversity and effectiveness of social justice leadership. The initiative is intended to support the leaders’ ability to reach out to key partners, build effective alliances and realize professional development.

“Investments in leadership are key to the success of any movement, and that is why we decided to complement our grantmaking work with these ‘New Leadership ‘ grants,“ said Kevin Jennings, the Foundation’s executive director. “As a soldier, activist and minister, Allyson Robinson has already made extraordinary contributions to our country and to the world. In her new role at OutServe-SLDN, she has a tremendous opportunity for make further positive impact, and this grant is intended to help her maximize that potential.”

Robinson was named Executive Director at OutServe-SLDN in October. In addition to being the newly-combined organization’s first executive director, she is the first transgender person ever named to head a national non-trans-specific LGBT organization. A native of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Robinson is a 1994 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, where she majored in physics. After an internship at Los Alamos National Laboratory, she was commissioned as an officer in the Army and commanded PATRIOT missile units in Europe and the Middle East. She also served as a senior trainer/evaluator for NATO and as an advisor to the armed forces of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. Robinson resigned her commission in 1999 to pursue a calling to Christian ministry, serving as pastor-teacher to churches in the Portuguese Azores and central Texas. She earned a master of divinity degree in theology with a capstone emphasis in social justice from Baylor University in 2007.

Most recently, as the first Deputy Director for Employee Programs of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Workplace Project, Robinson drove the design and delivery of HRC’s broad portfolio of training and curricula for corporate leadership and employee audiences to improve LGBT cultural competence and inclusion in the workplace. She lives with her wife of 18 years and their four children in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

“It is an incredible honor to be the first organization chosen as part of Arcus’ leadership initiative. It’s an indication of how important the fight to achieve full LGBT military equality is in our movement and the important role this new generation of LGBT military leaders can and will play in advancing our progress as a community,” said Robinson.

OutServe-SLDN is the association of more than 6000 actively-serving LGBT U.S. military personnel with more than 50 chapters around the world. It works to support a professional network of LGBT military personnel and create an environment of respect in the military with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. It is a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America's military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Arcus Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation that supports organizations around the world working to advance equality across the spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities (SOGI) as well as conservation of the world's great apes. Founded in 2000 by Jon Stryker, the mission of the Arcus Foundation is to achieve social justice that is inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity and race, and to ensure conservation and respect of the great apes. The Foundation works globally and has offices in Kalamazoo, Michigan, New York City and Cambridge, United Kingdom.

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