Victory Institute, Tennessee Equality Project train LGBTQ leaders in Nashville at final leadership summit of 2017

What a year it has been.

Throughout 2017, LGBTQ elected officials serving at the state and local level have used their influence to safeguard basic LGBTQ rights, defeat anti-equality bills, and advance equality when possible.

Now, imagine if those LGBTQ elected officials had reinforcements.

This year, Victory Institute doubled down on its commitment to cultivate, empower, train, and support the next generation of elected LGBTQ leadership in America. In 2017, Victory Institute held four one-day trainings or leadership summits in “low equality states,” which include Atlanta, GA; Houston, TX; St. Louis, MO; and Nashville, TN.

At the final leadership summit of the year, Victory Institute teamed up with the Tennessee Equality Project to train 25 talented LGBTQ leaders in Nashville. Summit participants received first-hand knowledge from some of the South’s best openly LGBTQ elected officials, including Nashville Metro Council Members Nancy VanReece and Brett Withers, General Sessions Court Judge Rachel Bell, and Charlotte City Council Member LaWana Mayfield. LGBTQ community and national leaders addressed participants as well, including Dr. Rev. Pamela Hawkins, Pastor Greg Bullard, Dr. Marisa Richmond, Carla Lewis, and Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey, who serves as AARP’s National LGBT Liaison.

Leadership summits were designed to give LGBTQ leaders as many tools and skills as possible to run for office or pursue a career in government as an openly LGBTQ individual. They also serve as networking workshops where LGBTQ leaders can build community and discuss issues most important to them.

Like the three previous leadership summits before it, the Nashville LGBTQ Leadership Summit was full of energized, accomplished LGBTQ individuals ready to seize the future.

If Victory Institute’s leadership summits are any indication of the talent that exists within the LGBTQ community, our future is extremely bright.