Racial Equity at The Center

Queer and trans people of color carry the heavy burden of systemic racism and economic injustice. Higher unemployment, poverty, and homelessness rates are the result of years of systemic barriers. Removing these barriers takes a persistent commitment and work to ensure we are all free to live healthy and successful lives.

The Center's Founding

Since our founding in 1983, The Center has served as a sanctuary for those seeking freedom from persecution and prejudice.

To achieve racial equity in our mission through our programming and services, The Center continues to acknowledge and respond to the long-term, pervasive effects of all forms of racism affecting our community members, partners, and staff.

The Center is committed to centering racial equity in all aspects of our work.

Our Progress

From October 2019 – July 2021, The Center:

  • Formed a Racial Equity Steering Committee (RESC), led by the diverse voices, perspectives, and unique backgrounds of our staff members. 
  • Partnered with Change Elemental via a year-long engagement to help The Center build organization-wide capacity around racial equity.
  • Provided coaching sessions and training by Change Elemental for RESC members and co-leads, the Senior Leadership Team, Executive Director, and Board members. 
  • Launched a Board Racial Equity Working Group to steer the Board around how it engages in racial and gender equity work and develops equity knowledge and skills.
  • Initiated racial identity caucus groups for BIPOC and white staff members to process, support one another, learn and unlearn, and heal together. 


  • Conducted an organizational assessment (including internal and external interviews and focus groups, internal surveys, and data and document analysis) to identify areas where The Center can improve, and helped to develop a multi-year action plan to advance the necessary changes. 
  • Formed four race equity implementation teams to enact the aforementioned action plan, focused on organizational identity, communications, education, and reflection. The first one to begin work (in August 2021) was the identity team, as the organizational assessment illuminated the need to more explicitly establish The Center’s mission, vision, and values as a foundation from which we can make other forms of structural change. Without this, The Center will maintain a white-dominant culture internally and continue to prioritize the comfort of white community members externally.


Our Work Continues

At The Center, it is important our staff and leadership are composed of individuals that represent the diversity of our communities, and that all voices have a space at the table. Due to this, people of color and marginalized gendered folks, including transgender and gender expansive people, are strongly encouraged to apply to join our team and help us lead these important efforts.