My name is Kelley Robinson. My pronouns are she/hers/hers. And I’m so excited and honored to be your next HRC president.
It’s not lost on me that I’m literally and figuratively not supposed to be here and yet I am. As a Black, Queer mother and wife — and to be able to say that and be acknowledged and celebrated — is a direct result of the work of organizations like HRC, as well as organizers and activists throughout the history of our movement.
The mission of this work speaks to me: “The Human Rights Campaign envisions a world where every member of the LGBTQ+ family has the freedom to live their truth without fear, and with equality under the law.” I can feel in my bones what a calling that is to pursue.
Over the years, I have had the pleasure and the privilege of collaborating with HRC’s incredible staff, volunteer leaders and grassroots army of activists. This organization is not afraid of a fight, and you all bring the expertise, the fire, the resources and the dedication every time. Together, you have changed the political, legal and social landscape of our nation — and improved the lives of millions of LGBTQ+ people. I want to thank you all for all the change that you have already accomplished.
Now, at this pivotal moment, we have so much change that we can — and must — accomplish together.
This is a moment of crisis, where we are facing unprecedented threats to our foundational rights. We are seeing hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ bills across the country, and the stigma and malice behind these bills are fueling real world violence against our community — particularly Black trans women. And the overturning of Roe v. Wade reminds us that we are just one Supreme Court decision away from losing basic freedoms — including the freedom to marry.
Now I’ve spent my career on the frontlines of the fight for equality — from abortion access to racial and gender equity, to lifting up marginalized communities and building political power. This moment is unprecedented. These attacks are horrifying to watch — and to experience.
But as an advocate, I see this backlash we are experiencing as part of the struggle to make progress. We are in this moment because we are in fact getting closer to free. We can’t forget that in 2018, we took back the U.S. House and sent a wave of women, folks of color and progressive candidates to DC. In 2020, we won the U.S. presidency and the U.S. Senate — including two Senate seats in Georgia. And today. we can see Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson on the Supreme Court bench.
This is a moment where more is possible than ever before. This is a moment where we face a generational opportunity to rise to these challenges and create real, sustainable change. Because there's actually enough political will to drive broad and big transformation.
Folks across the nation — including LGBTQ+ folks — are being brought back to this foundational truth: that our fight against oppression and for liberation is intersectional at its core. And that the only way to truly get free is if we get free together.
I believe we are entering this next chapter of HRC at a pivotal moment -- and with a powerful mandate:
I see this next chapter of HRC as centering on equality and liberation for all — period. If this year has taught us anything, it’s that playing small doesn’t serve us. Being incremental doesn’t serve us. And we don’t get anywhere by leaving anybody behind.
We will build political power to win today and rebuild our democracy tomorrow.
We can win anywhere because we are everywhere. We will be relentless in building political power by and for our communities.
And we will build a world where LGBTQ+ people can be healthy, joyful and celebrated in all aspects of our lives. From the classroom to the corner store, from the news desk to the health clinic, LGBTQ+ people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. And we deserve every opportunity to thrive.
This is our mandate. This is our mission. And I believe that we can achieve it together.
Kelley Robinson, She/Her/Hers , President , Human Rights Campaign