FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Porteous Completes Six Month Interim Stint to Fill Role Permanently on January 1, 2021
DECEMBER 11, 2020 – COLUMBUS — Stonewall Columbus, a nonprofit organization and community center founded in 1981 to “fight for tolerance, acceptance and basic human rights” for the local LGBTQ+ community, Board of Trustees has announced the installation of Densil R. Porteous (he/him) as its next Executive Director effective January 1, 2021.
“We are thrilled to name Densil Porteous as our next executive director,” shared Gerry Rodriguez (he/him), President of Stonewall’s Board of Trustees. “For the last several months Densil has worked tirelessly to support the Board and staff through what continues as a prolonged period of uncertainty for our community and amid a season of transition within the organization; all the while working to find ways to keep Stonewall moving forward to meet the changing and growing needs of our community. Densil brings years of experience to the position both professionally and personally.”
Porteous is a nonprofit consultant with extensive engagement as a volunteer and leader, at local and national levels, with more than 20 years primarily working with organizations focused on issues of equity and access like Advocates for Youth (former Board Secretary), Human Rights Campaign (Board of Directors; former national Board of Governors), Equitas Health (former Board Vice-Chair), the Legacy Fund of the Columbus Foundation, and Create Columbus Commission (Chair). Densil has also had a notable career in education administration encompassing a mixture of admissions and enrollment management; strategic marketing and communications; and development/advancement at Kenyon College, Stanford University, Drew School, and Columbus Colleges of Art & Design.
“As a long time member and supporter of Stonewall, I’m excited for the future of Stonewall under the leadership of Densil. He is an asset to the community and his engagement in rebuilding the Center is being noticed. Stonewall Columbus is our community center and it’s going to take the effort of the whole community to make sure it thrives and survives.” said civic leader Letha Pugh, a former President of the Stonewall Board of Trustees, Co-Founder of Black Out & Proud, and Co-Founder of Bake Me Happy.
In January of 2020 Porteous left his role as Director of Marketing/Communications & Outreach for the Wexner Center for the Arts at the Ohio State University to focus his energies on DePorteous, LLC, a consultancy he started in 2015 to work with nonprofit and social change organizations.
With a keen interest in tech and the startup landscape, Porteous has served as advisor to several early stage and tech companies; he will maintain his role as CEO of Pride Fund 1, a venture capital fund focused on LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs.
“Densil’s leadership experience, intersectional perspectives, skill at building capacity, and strong community ties have proven to be assets to the organization and the Center these last several months and we believe they will serve us well into the future; we are thrilled with his hire.” said Rodriguez.
“I am humbled to have been asked by the Board to officially step into the role of helping guide this community’s LGBTQ+ center. This is a crucial organization that has shaped Columbus and will continue to help shape this city. Stonewall is in a great moment of change and our future is directly tied to the future of Columbus” said Porteous. “The Stonewall organization has had a rich 39 year history, the Center on High has been renovated, and expanded, and our community now has a space of which Stonewall is the steward and the community our partners. I look forward to working with many members of the LGBTQ+ community to ensure a community where our diverse voices and views are represented so that we all thrive.”
January 2021 marks the beginning of our march to Stonewall Columbus’ 40th birthday on September 23, 2021.
“I am also looking forward to working with many of our local community, civic, elected, and business leaders who understand the importance of, and support, our mission to ‘increase visibility, inclusion, and connection for the LGBTQ+ community.’ Evermore, I am excited to partner with many of the other LGBTQ+ serving organizations in Columbus, Central Ohio, and the state; because, as diverse as our rainbow may be, we have seen time and again that communities are stronger when they hold each other accountable and work together for mutual success.”
Porteous, who is a native of Jamaica West Indies and identifies as Black, gay, and Jewish has an MBA with a focus in marketing and earned his Bachelor of Arts from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Porteous resides in Victorian Village with his partner and their daughter.
• June 16, 2020 Interim Executive Director Porteous’ statement on working toward repair in the future for Stonewall: https://stonewallcolumbus.org/moving-toward-repair/
Stonewall Columbus is one of the oldest LGBTQ+ community organizations in the country; founded in 1981. Today Stonewall Columbus’ mission is to increase visibility, inclusion, and connection for the LGBTQ+ community. Stonewall represents more than 15,000 LGBTQ+ and allied community members in the central Ohio region. Stonewall provides an array of programs and connection to services for the LGBTQ+ and allied communities. Stonewall envisions a community where we all thrive.
Community Leader Reactions
Congresswoman Joyce Beatty:
“I want to congratulate Densil on his role as the full time executive director of Stonewall Columbus. I’ve been impressed with Densil’s work to create spaces for all members of the LGBTQIA+ community and look forward to working with him to continue to create a more inclusive community in Central Ohio.”
State Representative Kristin Boggs:
“As the Representative for the 18th House District which includes Stonewall Columbus, I am so excited to support Densil Porteous in his role as Executive Director. He brings an intersectional and thoughtful perspective and will be a strong leader who can help bring the LGBTQIA community together to move our whole community forward.”
Franklin County Auditor Michael Stinziano:
“I congratulate Densil Porteous on his role as Executive Director of Stonewall Columbus. Central Ohio is fortunate to have Densil’s steady and thoughtful leadership at a time when our community needs it most. I look forward to continuing to work with Densil and the broader LGBTQ+ community in Franklin County.”
Columbus City Auditor Megan Kilgore:
“Congratulations to Densil Porteous on being named Executive Director of Stonewall Columbus! Densil knows the important work that must be done to create an inclusive, equitable Columbus for every person. I look forward to working with Densil to grow our diversity and inclusion initiatives— if we are going to attract the most talented workforce in the country, we must continue to make Columbus a place where all of us thrive.”
Jose Rodriguez — Director of Community Relations, Equitas Health; Former Member, Stonewall Columbus Board of Trustees
“I am excited for the future of Stonewall and the community partnerships the organization will forge in the years ahead. Densil has been a great partner to work with in his various community roles; I look forward to working with him in this role. He is the right leader to move our community forward.”