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Our Story


I am a proud black, gay, southern male who is married to an immigrant!


I wasn't always out. 


I wasn't always proud. 


I struggled with bringing my "full, authentic self" into my leadership positions during the early years of my leadership journey. I was ashamed, which prevented me from fully showing up. The work of system-level leadership and the fear of being outed wore me down to the point where I could no longer carry the burden of being ashamed of myself. I had to either embrace myself for who I am and be proud of it. OR step down from leadership positions and bury my head in the sand. Self-harm was a reality. The latter was not a VIABLE option for me


I had to dig deep and seek the support I needed to reimagine my value; my humanity. 


By using examples set by very unapologetic gay advocates, like James Baldwin and Lena Waithe more recently, I mustered up my courage. I officially came out. And with the support from friends and family (aka my tribe), I learned to embrace being gay. I became transparent about all of my identity markers. 


I spoke my truth. 


I have often reflected on how I, and many colleagues I've known, could have benefited from being supported and coached by someone who was out and proud, leading with authenticity ("full self"). Unfortunately, we did not lean into our leadership roles with our diverse identity markers because we were discriminated against, marginalized, not fully seen, and devalued as LGBTQIA+ leaders. We did not feel safe or courageous enough to do so. Like me, many considered self-harm.


I now wonder what could have been the impact of our leadership on others had we fully embraced and proudly leaned into our diverse identity markers. How could we have been more authentic servant leaders? I can not argue a counterfactual at this point of my career; however, a growing body of research strongly suggests that when LGBTQIA+ leaders receive support from LGBTQIA+ coaches & mentors, they are much more likely to thrive in their leadership roles.


R2E, a nonprofit project, seeks to address the lack of self-acceptance as out and proud BIPOC LGBTQ+ leaders to counter the "Don't say gay" movement sweeping our country, particularly in historically marginalized and rural communities. 


Many of my colleagues and I traversed a complicated and difficult path before we learned to embrace our identity markers as assets, not liabilities.


Today, we can say it's okay that we're gay!


Learn to embrace your identity markers and speak your truth as a fully authentic out and proud leader!



Theory of Action


BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ leaders are provided intentional and strategic support (i.e., executive coaching/mentoring/learning community/toolbox) as a safe space to counter the "don't say gay" movement sweeping our country,



ALL BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ leaders will fully embrace their identity markers as an asset, not a liability, to authentically lead with their "full self" as out and proud!

R2E's Approach

R2E's intensive equity-based support will allow the space for leaders to experience the following:


● Empathize - assess their needs to be an out and proud, authentic leader
● Define - research & understand the root cause - barriers- of why they have not been
   leading authentically out and proud
● Ideate - challenge their assumptions about the persistent barriers they have and might
   face by leading authentically out and proud
● Prototype - create solutions to those overcome those barriers - assumptions
● Test - assess the effectiveness of their authentic leadership



Thank you for supporting R2E, a non-profit project of United Charitable, a registered 501c(3) nonprofit organization EIN #20-4286082. In accordance with IRS regulations, your transaction is tax-deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. United Charitable has exclusive legal control over the assets contributed.

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