21st Century Fellow Rashad Robinson

Leading the Future

Getting to know the 21st Century Fellows

Rashad Robinson, a graduate of the 21st Century Fellows program, profiles the program’s work bringing people of color into leadership roles on LGBT rights, service, and advocacy.

Discrimination and inequality exist everywhere—even in some of the most progressive sectors of society. The 21st Century Fellows program aims to put a new generation of people of color nonprofit managers on track to become leaders in LGBT rights, service and advocacy organizations. In this piece, Rashad Robinson, who participated in the program while serving as senior director of media programs at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), discusses the values and skills he learned from the fellowship.

Through mentoring, retreats and group learning, fellows gain leadership skills and build lasting relationships with peers, so that the future of the progressive movement will look more like the world it's trying to build. “This experience is about remembering that our visible leadership in the movement for equality is in itself a powerful message,” wrote Robinson, now the executive director of Color of Change. “Whether we’re standing and delivering, holding one another accountable, or offering subtle finger snaps of approval, we tell our brothers and sisters of color that they too can find their voices as future leaders.”