Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

GetEqual Gets New Board Chair

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | May 01, 2012 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: change in leadership, GetEqual, Jillian T. Weiss

The GetEqual Board of Directors has elected a new Chair, and I am stepping down as Board Chair, though I will continue on the Board. Our new chair is Tanya Domi, a seasoned activist with excellent qualifications.

I am pleased to strongly support Ms. Domi's ascension, effective today. After two years of working with GetEqual, we have moved the organization from a small but dedicated group to a much larger group of trained activists around the country, who have played a major role in both national and local efforts to secure full equality now. While we have many organizations dedicated to LGBT civil rights, thank goodness, only GetEqual is dedicated to the "outside" strategy, working to put pressure on reluctant politicians and to hold accountable those who stand in the way. Now, it will be in Ms. Domi's qualified hands to help us move to the next stage of the outside strategy in this important election season.

Tanya is an Adjunct Assistant Professor for International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, as well as the Senior Public Affairs Officer for International Affairs, Economics and Politics at Columbia University's Office of Communications and Public Affairs. Prior to joining Columbia in 2006, she worked internationally for more than a decade on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, gender issues, sex trafficking, human rights and media freedom. Among the countries where Ms. Domi has worked includes: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Georgia, The Gambia, Kosovo, Nepal, The Philippines, The Republic of Montenegro and the Republic of Serbia. Her previous work in Bosnia-Herzegovina implementing the Dayton Peace Accords, 1996-2000, included stints as the chairperson for the OSCE Media Experts Commission during the 1998 general elections; counselor to Amb. Robert Barry and executive assistant to the late Robert Frowick, and she later served as Spokesperson and Director of Press and Public Information under Amb. Barry from 1999-2000. Prior to working abroad, Ms. Domi served as a congressional aide to the late Frank X. McCloskey, chief of staff to Hawaii State Senator Anthony Chang and served 15 years in the U.S. Army as an enlisted soldier and commissioned officer.

Tanya has also active as a blogger at The New Civil Rights Movement, where she regularly brings her expertise to bear on LGBT civil rights issues. She was honored by OutServe Magazine last year as a veteran in the fight against the anti-gay military ban. She understands the gut-wrenching issues faced by bi-national LGBT couples, since she is in such a relationship herself. In my work with her, she has shown an in-depth understanding of the issues facing the transgender community. She also understands that GetEqual needs to continue its work to unite LGBT civil rights activists across the country in a network that can effectively take action in the states where LGBT civil rights are often deprecated or given lip service.

Some have suggested that the election season is a time to hunker down and support one party, and stop pushing so hard for full equality now. To the contrary, now is the time to speak up and to let politicians of every stripe know that we will not be accessories to our own oppression for one moment longer, and that there is no time like the present to do everything within their power to free LGBT people from prejudice and discrimination.

I will continue to support GetEqual and to work for its continued fight for social justice for all LGBT people, with all of our varied races, ethnicities, immigration statuses, sexualities, and genders, until we achieve full equality.

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