The Board of Directors of the Charleston, South Carolina-based LGBTQ organization Alliance For Full Acceptance (AFFA) announced they have named Holly Whitfield as its new Executive Director. Whitfield, the first woman and first person of color to serve in this role, takes the helm after more than a decade of leadership and service in the nonprofit sector. 

“AFFA has built a legacy at the forefront of the movement to advance the rights of LGBTQ+ people in this community,” said Whitfield. “I am proud to be leading this organization into the future, and I look forward to working with our stakeholders and partners toward a region where all LGBTQ+ people are free to thrive and are celebrated for being who we are.”

Whitfield, who began her nonprofit career in 2003, most recently served as Executive Director at Shepherd’s Center of Charlotte, an organization providing community and support services to seniors. Prior to that, she spearheaded a capital campaign to build a transitional living shelter for LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness at Time Out Youth, a Charlotte-area nonprofit serving LGBTQ+ people ages 11-20. She is currently earning a PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology with a concentration in nonprofit organizational health and culture. 

“We are thrilled to be celebrating this new chapter in AFFA’s history,” said AFFA Board President Jeffrey Fleming. “We made a commitment several years ago to represent all the beautifully diverse identities that make up our LGBTQ+ community, and we are proud of what we’ve achieved so far. The road to full acceptance and justice is long, however, and we have miles to go. We are confident that Holly will guide our community to greater progress and look forward to following her lead.” 

AFFA has played a central role in statewide South Carolina advocacy efforts focused on advancing nondiscrimination laws as well as hate crimes legislation. Additionally, alongside partners at SC United for Justice and Equality, AFFA has advocated against the passage of statewide legislation targeting transgender youth and South Carolina’s entire LGBTQ+ community. 

“We will continue to fuel this movement until all of us are free from marginalization and disparate outcomes,” said Whitfield. “We are committed to working together to ensure no one is left behind.” 

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