New York City, March 26, 2012: The board of directors of Queers for Economic Justice (QEJ) is pleased to announce the selection of Amber Hollibaugh and W. Brandon Lacy Campos as co-executive directors of QEJ. The board chose the two as their leading candidates after a rigorous six month search.
Hollibaugh and Campos both have long histories with QEJ, including most recently having served as the interim executive director and development director respectively. Amber is a founding member and former board member of QEJ, and Brandon has worked with various QEJ initiatives for a number of years before joining the staff.
At the end of 2010, hard hit by the recession, QEJ faced the very real prospect of closing its doors. Amber agreed to step down from the board to serve as Interim Executive Director and in doing so brought a fresh vision and energy to QEJ along with economic stability. . Through her leadership and with the support of QEJ's first ever professional development staff person, Brandon, QEJ ended the year with an operating surplus, surpassing fundraising benchmarks for 2011. QEJ also strengthened and expanded the Shelter Program work led by Jay Toole, and laid the foundation for a new framework for radical queer and trans organizing: The Queer Survival Economies Initiative.
“This is an extraordinary moment to be at QEJ”, said new co-director, Amber Hollibaugh. “ I helped found QEJ and have been with it in one way or another through its entire history. To now be a part of the team placing QEJ’s voice at the center of the economic crisis facing LGBTQ people at this moment in history, is an honor. To do this work with Brandon Lacy Campos as my partner, is a gift”.
“ Amber carries a profound and transformative vision of the world, of bringing ourselves as full and flawed human beings to the work of justice and believing that every person is deserving of liberation and love. It is this abiding passion drawn from a life deeply lived that made me fall in love with Amber and her work. To have the opportunity to work with such an amazing organizer and visionary is a true gift. Now, during QEJ’s 10th anniversary year, I am honored to work with Amber to lead QEJ into its next phase,” enthused newly minted co-director, Brandon Lacy Campos.
Board co-chairs, Terry Boggis and Amanda Lugg, were elated about the appointment and said, “"We are tremendously excited. Amber and Brandon have robust activist histories in queer liberation work, unswerving commitment to QEJ's values and ideals, and achievable, cutting-edge ideas about what QEJ can and should become. They both understand movement intersections, and will ensure QEJ's work remains focused there. They are the ultimate queer left power couple, and we welcome them into this shared role."
Over the next year, QEJ will continue to expand it's shelter work, and launch its Resident Action Group project, a part of QEJ's Shelter Safety Campaign. In the Fall of 2012, QEJ is poised to roll out a bold initiative: Queer Survival Economies in broad community partnership with local labor, HIV organizers, immigrant groups, queer and trans people of color allied organizations, working poor, queer elder coalitions.
Amber Hollibaugh brings more than 40 years of organizing experience to her role at QEJ, and Brandon Lacy Campos has worked in the queer movement, beginning as a youth organizer, for 19 years. It is anticipated that with this new team of co-directors QEJ will emerge in the second decade of the 21st century, stable, productive and an innovative presence and voice in the LGBTQ movement.
Queers for Economic Justice is a progressive non-profit organization committed to promoting economic justice in a context of sexual and gender liberation. Our goal is to challenge and change the systems that create poverty and economic injustice in our communities, and to promote an economic system that embraces sexual and gender diversity. We are committed to the principle that access to social and economic resources is a fundamental right, and we work to create social and economic equity through grassroots organizing, public education, advocacy and research. We do this work because although poor queers have always been a part of both the gay rights and economic justice movements, they have been, and continue to be, largely invisible in both movements. This work will always be informed by the lived experiences and expressed needs of queer people in poverty. For more information: www.QEJ.org; 212564.3606