Dear trusted community,
Six years ago, when the Transgender Strategy Center (TSC) was established, we embarked on a journey with a clear vision: to elevate and amplify transgender voices and leadership within communities across the United States, with a strong focus on BIPOC communities. Today, it is with mixed emotions that I announce my decision to step down from my role as the Founding Director of TSC. This has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and I am immensely grateful for the support and dedication of our community, Staff, Faculty, Capacity Coaches, and partners throughout this journey. Although this marks the first Staff departure from TSC, we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for the organization and feel prepared to facilitate a smooth transition.
Looking back, our achievements have surpassed what we initially envisioned. Through your unwavering support, TSC has granted $2,685,000 to organizations led by transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) leaders, with 98% of those being BIPOC-led organizations. Additionally, we have contributed over 2,500 hours of capacity coaching to TGNC-led organizations across the US. These milestones were once considered impossible, but together, we have set a precedent for other organizations and funders to think more robustly about their role in supporting TGNC-led initiatives.
None of this would have been possible without the incredible efforts of the TSC Staff. Their dedication to centering our goals on economic and racial justice, authentic inclusion, and equity in health and wellbeing has been the driving force behind our successes. This team will continue this focus and dedication, particularly at a time when transgender people in the US are facing an emboldened anti-trans movement seeking to deny basic rights and dignity. The TSC team is motivated more than ever to provide resources and support to those who are experiencing regressive legislation and intimidation.
Beginning January 1, 2024, I am thrilled to announce that Aryah Lester will be taking on the role of Executive Director of TSC. Aryah's lifelong dedication to advocating for transgender rights and empowering our community has been evident throughout her remarkable career. In this incredibly difficult time for our movement, Aryah’s extensive experience in advancing TGNC justice as the Deputy Director of TSC and previous leadership with Trans-Miami and National Alliance of Transgender Advocates and Leaders (NATAL), highlights that she is the right leader to guide TSC into its next chapter. I am confident that under Aryah's guidance, TSC will continue to grow and make an even greater impact in the lives of TGNC individuals and organizations.
To ensure a seamless transition, Aryah Lester and I will be co-directing TSC now through the end of the year. This collaborative approach will enable us to work hand in hand to ensure continuity in our ongoing initiatives, while also exploring new opportunities to advance our mission.
I am also excited to share the promotions of Reagin Wiklund to Director of Finance and Operations and Carsen Rhys Beckwith to Director of Programs and Grantmaking. Both Reagin and Carsen have been instrumental in TSC's success. Beginning in January 2024, Aryah, Reagin, and Carsen will form TSC’s new leadership team, working collaboratively to drive TSC's mission forward and achieve our shared vision of a world where TGNC individuals can thrive authentically, with dignity, health, and wellbeing. Their collective efforts and dedication will undoubtedly elevate TSC to new heights of impact and effectiveness, and I am excited to witness the positive changes they will bring about in the days to come.
As we move forward, I invite each one of you to join us in supporting this vision. Your continued dedication and participation in TSC's initiatives will be crucial in shaping a brighter future for our community.
Thank you once again for your unwavering support and trust in our mission. It has been an honor and privilege to serve as the Founding Director of the Transgender Strategy Center. I look forward to witnessing the great strides that TSC will make in the future.