National Center for Lesbian Rights

Imani Rupert-Gordon, Executive Director

Imani Rupert-Gordon she / her / hers

Executive Director

Imani Rupert-Gordon is a long-time movement leader and advocate for LGBTQ people of color. Rupert-Gordon will lead the 42-year old feminist LGBTQ legal organization, which is known for tackling the most pressing issues of race, gender, and economic inequality facing LGBTQ people. 

Rupert-Gordon served as the Executive Director of Affinity Community Services, the nation’s oldest social justice organization serving the needs of Black LGBTQ people with a particular focus on Black women. She also served as the Director of the Broadway Youth Center, a division of Howard Brown Health in Chicago, which has served more than 1,500 LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness and housing instability. 

Rupert-Gordon has been widely recognized for her visionary leadership in the LGBTQ community. Most recently, the Illinois Human Rights Commission presented her with its 2019 Activism Award. 

Throughout her career, Rupert-Gordon has been a leader in many nonprofit and community organizations, including serving as a founding board member of the Point the Way in Chicago, and as a board member and lead grant writer for the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Center in San Jose, CA. She has also served as a committee member for the Chicago LGBTQ Aging Networks, an executive committee member for United Pride (United Way of Metropolitan Chicago’s LGBTQ group), and as a member of the Illinois State Treasurer Office’s LGBTQ Advisory Council. 

Rupert-Gordon received a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Imani also worked for eight years as a lecturer and developed campus-wide programming at UC Santa Cruz where she co-founded the Social Fiction Conference, a co-curricular program at the university’s Crown College which helped students dismantle biases and examine issues of social justice through science fiction, gaming, and fantasy. Rupert-Gordon also completed a fellowship at the Rockwood Leadership Institute in Oakland, CA.

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