National LGBTQ Task Force Appoints New Director of the Academy for Leadership & Action

Washington, DC, October 16, 2015—The National LGBTQ Task Force has announced that long-time community organizer Reverend Rodney McKenzie, Jr. has been appointed as the organization’s new Director of the Academy for Leadership and Action. Most recently, McKenzie served the organization as the Faith Work Director. He succeeds Sarah Reece, who has been tapped as the organization’s Senior Strategist.

“Rodney and Sarah bring a wealth of talent to their new roles. We live in an interesting time: while we have won marriage we need to push forward to deliver full freedom, justice and equality for all LGBTQ people. We also need to push back hard on the efforts by politicians using faith to force their prejudices on everyone through the passage of discriminatory laws. Rodney and Sarah will play very important roles in this dual effort,” said Russell Roybal, National LGBTQ Task Force Deputy Executive Director.

The Academy for Leadership and Action is the National LGBTQ Task Force’s grassroots organizing and training department. McKenzie’s appointment comes at a moment when the opponents of equality are using faith more and more to strip away critical and hard won protections for LGBTQ people and their families.

“As a community, electoral and faith organizer, I feel excited about the opportunity to help advance freedom, justice and equality for all LGBTQ people and for everyone. As a person of faith, I feel energized to help raise the voices of welcoming and affirming people of faith and our progressive secular allies. The next challenge in the work to advance full equality is the idea that self-serving politicians can impose their own beliefs and prejudices on everyone else — persecuting people who don’t share their views. We have seen it happen when anti-LGBTQ government officials ignore the laws in an effort to push back the tide of progress. We can’t let them win.”

For over thirteen years, McKenzie has worked for organizations fighting for grassroots political power in marginalized communities. In 2002, McKenzie first joined the National LGBTQ Task Force as a field organizer before working as the Coordinating Director for the Pushback Network in 2007. Most recently, he served as the Spiritual Director and Co-Creator of the Expansion Church. Earlier this year, McKenzie rejoined the organization as its Faith Work Director and in his new role will continue to lead the organization’s faith program.

Next week, the National LGBTQ Task Force will present the Faith & Family LGBTQ Power Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah from October 20 – 23, 2015.The four-day gathering will focus on elevating the voices of LGBTQ faith leaders, addressing attacks by anti-LGBTQ politicians, and providing communities of faith with tools to create a welcoming environment for LGBTQ people. More information about the summit is available online.


Jorge Amaro
Media and Public Relations Director