Milwaukee LGBT Center names first black gay man as executive director

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The LGBT Community Center of Milwaukee has a history of providing leadership roles to a wide cross section of the population. Now it has crossed a new barrier with its new executive director, who will be the first black gay man to lead the center.

The board named Kevin Turner-Espinoza — who identifies as a cis-gender, black, Mexican, and gay man — to the top job after an extensive search for a new leader.

A cisgender person identifies with the sex assigned to them at birth.

Turner-Espinoza has a background in nonprofit work, having recently worked at the Journey House community center on the South Side, which provides resources and services including education and financial coaching for young and less youth.

He served on a number of South Side community councils that advocated for renaming 16th Street to Cesar Chavez Drive and for the creation of the Chavez bronze memorial on the street.

Similar to Journey House, the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center provides resources and services to the community, but primarily seeks to “further grow our vibrant lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in the greater Milwaukee area,” according to its statement. of official mission. .

The Milwaukee LGBT Community Center has named Kevin Turner-Espinoza as its new executive director.

Marco Briceno, chairman of the center’s board of directors, said Turner-Espinoza is qualified, trustworthy and passionate about the center’s mission.

“He has a bold, progressive vision that comes with a wealth of experience that will ensure the Center is there to provide programs and protections for gay people over the age of 25,” Briceno said.

The Center’s press release says Turner-Espinoza joins a “small number” of LGBTQ-identifying people of color who lead gay-led organizations.

He is the center’s first leader who is male and its second leader of color. Former leaders of the center were women who identified as bisexual, lesbian or straight allies.

“My gay brothers and sisters, my chosen friends, my family and my allies in this city mean the world to me. What a euphoric moment and what an opportunity to serve my community and the Center in a new capacity. As Executive Director – and as a gay black man – I see firsthand the issues of racial, gender, economic and health inequality that we face every day,” Turner-Espinoza said in a statement.

Contact Drake Bentley at (414) 391-5647 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @DrakeBentleyMJS.

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