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Stonewall Columbus Names New Interim Executive Director

Susan Post Susan Post Stonewall Columbus Names New Interim Executive DirectorPhoto by Lauren Sega.
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On Tuesday, June 16, Densil R. Porteous was named interim executive director of Stonewall Columbus, succeeding AJ Casey.

Casey began her role in January of 2019, taking over Karla Rotha who stepped down amid the fallout from the BlackPride4 arrests during Columbus Pride 2017.

“We are thankful to AJ who helped guide us as we reopened the Center at 1160 N. High St. and worked to make it a safe place for the LGBTQ+ community to come together,” said Gerry Rodriguez, Stonewall Columbus Board of Trustees President, in a press release.

Asked about Casey’s decision to leave Stonewall Columbus, Rodriguez said, “There is no comment on AJ’s decision to leave Stonewall, but we are thankful for her service to the organization.”

In his new position as interim executive director, Porteous will work with the Stonewall Board to:

  • Review and recraft the Executive Director position summary
  • Partner with community members as well as the non-profit, political and corporate communities to position Stonewall Columbus as a leader in our support of the LGBTQ+ community
  • Assess the business needs of the organization for long-term sustainability

Porteous brings 20 years of experience working with organizations focused on issues of equity and access like Advocates for Youth, Human Rights Campaign, Equitas Health, the Legacy Fund of the Columbus Foundation and Create Columbus Commission. He was also recently named, and will continue to serve as, CEO of the Pride Fund 1, a $10 million venture capital fund that invests in early-stage and growth companies led by LGBTQ+ people.

“Densil’s knowledge of the Columbus community, engagement in the national landscape of LGBTQ+ advocacy, and executive-level experience will be great assets during this period of transition for Stonewall and the community,” Rodriguez said.

“Stonewall Columbus and the Center have been critical parts of the central Ohio community for 39 years; as we prepare to turn 40 it is imperative we work with intention to ensure the highest level of support for all the facets of our diverse LGBTQ+ community here in central Ohio but also beyond,” Porteous said.

The announcement comes during Columbus Pride Week, which typically culminates in the Columbus Pride Festival and Parade. However, Stonewall Columbus announced in early April that the parade and festival will be rescheduled for October 3, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For more information, visit stonewallcolumbus.org.

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