“BRIDGING LGBTQ AND MAINSTREAM COMMUNITIES”
Thought Leader: Linda Ellis, Executive Director of The Health Initiative
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Photographer: Jenna Shea Photography
Designer: Monica Kraeger
LINDA ELLIS SAYS: “I am eager to encourage all to find a home among their neighbors and to share their respect for Human Dignity.”
ABOUT LINDA ELLIS
Linda Ellis describes herself as, “A slightly older than middle-aged, white, cisgender lesbian. My partner and I have 2 teenage boys. As a person of the Christian faith, I consider my unique role in this time and place to be helping to bridge the LGBTQ community with individuals within the mainstream community. I am eager to encourage all to find a home among their neighbors and to share their respect for human dignity.”
As Executive Director of The Health Initiative, a statewide organization that supports LGBT health, Linda Ellis addresses specific medical issues, giving seniors peacefulness through their “LGBTQ Elders” initiative and assisting individuals with job searches and finding a place to live. In the same location, she also directs the Phillip Rush Center, which is Atlanta’s LGBTQ Community Center that also includes office space for 6 progressive political organizations in Atlanta.
Linda understands that LGBTQ folks, and anybody who suffers from oppression and discrimination, naturally protect themselves by walling off and circling the wagons. Her work often times includes encouraging the community to open its wagons and to feel less of the need to protect itself.
Linda validates dignity for all in this summary, “Bridges are most important! We all have more in common than we realize, and if we can just provide places for LGBTQ individuals to sit and talk to people who don’t know us or don’t know our experience, what we can find is that we have more in common than not.”