Molly Kester and Adair Beany discuss their new roles as co-presidents (Image Source: WLOX News)
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -
A local LGBT advocacy center is now under new leadership. The new leaders in charge want people to know they are working to make the Rainbow Center a more welcoming and active part of the community.
The founder and executive director of the Rainbow Center, Jeff White, resigned from his position about a week ago. In his letter of resignation, he wrote that he was handing the organization over to the current board of directors. Adair Beany and Molly Kester will now oversee the center.
“Our goal for the new Rainbow Center is to be more open and welcoming and respectful to our community and making sure that we avoid disrespecting people and really just creating an open and inclusive environment,” said Beany.
Over the last two years, Beany and Kester agree that the organization has lost many members. That's why their goal is to draw them back in and create a clean slate for the Rainbow Center.
“We're looking to rebuild the board quickly. We're going to create an advisory council to help us find board members, and also help us steer in the right direction and make sure what we're doing is truly community focused and that we're actually doing something that's purposeful,” said Kester.
The new leaders say there was some conflict with the past director, but they chose to stick around through it all.
“I've always wanted to help people, and this was my avenue to do so, and so I shouldn't walk away just because it got a little tough,” said Kester.
That's why they want people to know the new Rainbow Center will be a safe haven for all LGBT community members and allies.
“I was born and raised here. My life itself is directly affected by policies that are put in place, and I seek to not only improve my life, but the lives of others,” said Beany.
The co-presidents say they have a long term goal of actually getting a building to operate from, but that will take some time and lots of donations.