The Human Rights Campaign will be helmed by a person of color for the first time in its nearly 40-year history.
The HRC announced on Tuesday that Alphonso David, a 48-year-old civil rights lawyer and law professor from New York, will replace Chad Griffin, who has served as president of the organization since 2012. David will not only be the eighth person to lead the HRC — the largest LGBTQ+ advocacy nonprofit in the United States — he will also be the first Black man and the first person of color to do so, The Washington Blade notes, as all seven previous leaders were white men and women.
In the past, David has served as a staff attorney for Lambda Legal’s Defense & Educational Fund, where he worked on the first same-sex marriage lawsuit in New York state. He has also acted as an advisor and legal counsel to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, advising the governor to sign administrative orders banning conversion therapy for minors and extending legal protections to trans residents of the state.
“I believe that together, we can harness the strength that’s inherent in our differences, to stand together in the face of fear and division,” David said in a statement to the Blade. “And that’s exactly what the Human Rights Campaign was built for.”
Tangentially related, did you know that the HRC’s outgoing president makes, like, half a million dollars a year? According to the Blade, Griffin “earned $481,375 in reportable income and $20,893 in compensation in related organizations, making for total of $502,268” in 2017. That’s wild! Who knew that nonprofit work could be so, um, profitable?