Dear Grand Rapids Pride Center Community,
It is with appreciation, yet sadness, that we announce Thomas Pierce has stepped down from his role as Executive Director of Grand Rapids Pride Center on October 12, 2020. During Thomas’s tenure at GRPC, he was instrumental in growing our support groups, increasing our capacity to serve, and producing one of the most successful Pride Celebrations we’ve ever had in Grand Rapids. We are truly grateful for the tremendous amount of work Thomas has done for Grand Rapids Pride Center and our LGBTQ+ community in West Michigan.
The Board of Directors is currently re-evaluating the scope of the Grand Rapids Pride Center’s staffing and will be forming a search committee composed of Board and Community members shortly.
Thomas has graciously offered to help during this transition phase to ensure our continued success. We are pleased to announce that Jazz McKinney has accepted the position of Interim Center Director. Jazz is a former member of the Board of Directors, having completed their term in September 2020 where they had served as chair of the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Advisory committee for the past two years. Jazz has more than board experience, they have been involved in several activities including our support groups, accessibility committee and Pride Festival security lead. We are confident the Grand Rapids Pride Center is in good hands with Jazz while we navigate the next phase of leadership for GRPC.
We appreciate the support of the LGBTQ+ community during this time. We started 2020 with momentum, but like many community organizations, we found ourselves suddenly halted by the pandemic in a moment when people needed us most.
We are grateful to Thomas, Jazz, Leslie and all of the volunteers who’ve helped keep programming at Grand Rapids Pride Center going. They are what turn community contributions into life changing action. We thank you for your patience as we evaluate, prepare and plan for our future leadership.
Devin R. Rittenhouse
President, GRPC Board of Directors