Christopher Street West, the nonprofit that produces the annual LA Pride Parade and Festival, announced that it has appointed its current board member Sharon-Franklin Brown to President. Brown becomes the first Black transgender woman appointed to lead the LGBTQ+ organization. Her role went into effect on September 2.
Previously a member of the board, Sharon-Franklin will now steer the direction of CSW and forthcoming planned community activities and civic engagement alongside its recently formed executive committee. Together they will be meeting on a weekly basis to execute the organization’s diversity initiatives and planned community engagement.
“It’s never been a more important moment for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies to continue fighting for all of us,” said new Board President Sharon-Franklin Brown. “As a robust community across Los Angeles, we value inclusiveness and diversity. I’m so humbled to have been appointed by the board to this position as the first Black trans woman to lead CSW/Los Angeles Pride and our community efforts forward, beyond the pandemic and election, and into the future.”
CSW announced that it was moving the LA Pride events out of the City of West Hollywood. The CSW Board of Directors sent a brief letter of intent to the West Hollywood City Council announcing the move on July 14, 2020. The Board cited it was due to construction issues at West Hollywood Park and the changing demographics of the Greater Los Angeles Area.
Sharon is a national spokesperson on transgender rights. She is currently also the Chief Human Resources Officer at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, where she is responsible for managing a staff of 800 employees across organizational development, strategic planning, recruitment/hiring, administration, and organized labor relations.
Outgoing President, Estevan Montemayor, said he could not be more proud to pass the baton CSW’s new President. He deleted his facebook account prior to the news.
“I have known and worked with Sharon for more than eight years of my career at the Los Angeles LGBT Center and Christopher Street West,” said CSW Executive Director, Madonna Cacciatore. “She has never failed to inspire me and those around her through her intentional leadership, unwavering dedication, and her openness and honesty. She is the right person to walk our community into the next chapter of our history. I look forward to her flair, vision and leadership.”