HRC announced the hires of Meghan Kissell as the new director of Project One America and Denise Donnell as the state director for the Human Rights Campaign’s office in Arkansas.

“As a native-born Arkansan, HRC’s work to expand LGBTQ equality in the South is personal, and I couldn’t be happier to have Meghan leading this work as the director of Project One America. We’re also pleased to welcome Denise Donnell back to HRC as our new state director in Arkansas,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “When HRC opened offices in these three states in 2014, we knew this would be a long-term investment in tangibly improving the lives of LGBTQ Southerners. Now, after HRC has worked to pass several non-discrimination ordinances in Mississippi and Alabama, to improve healthcare conditions for LGBTQ Southerners and to elect pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot, we are excited to have Meghan and Denise help lead this work and build on our hard-fought progress.”

Prior to joining HRC, Meghan worked for the Conservation Lands Foundation to help lead local and national campaigns resulting in the successful protection of more than 5 million acres of public land. She worked in support of the original passage of the Affordable Care Act while at the American Diabetes Association and advocated for reproductive rights and legislation combating violence against women.

As the Field Director for the American Association of University Women, she supported volunteer around the country work on GOTV efforts. Meghan also provided strategic council and trained non-profit organizations on developing targeted social impact strategies designed to engage elected officials and the media. Meghan has a Master’s degree in Social Work with a focus on community organizing from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania.

Mississippi-native Rev. Dr. Denise Donnell is an ordained elder in the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church. She previously worked as an organizer with the Human Rights Campaign in both Mississippi and Arkansas. Having taken a year off to serve as the Chief Officer of Programs for Just Communities of Arkansas, Denise returns to HRC ready to continue building momentum for LGBTQ equality in Arkansas.

In 2014, HRC launched Project One America, an initiative geared towards advancing social, institutional and legal equality in Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi. Project One America continues to work to advance equality for many LGBTQ Southerners who have no state level protections in housing, workplace, or public accommodations. Through Project One America, we are working toward a future of fairness every day -- changing hearts, minds and laws toward achieving full equality.


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