March 23, 2016 at 3:54 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
June Crenshaw named interim head of Alston Foundation
June Crenshaw, gay news, Washington Blade

June Crenshaw is new interim executive director of Alston Foundation. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The Wanda Alston Foundation, which provides housing-related services for homeless LGBT youth in D.C., announced on Wednesday that it has named veteran LGBT rights advocate June Crenshaw as its interim executive director.

The announcement says Crenshaw will replace Kenneth Pettigrew, the foundation’s executive director for the past two years, following Pettigrew’s decision to take a new job with the D.C. Department of Health’s HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Administration, known as HAHSTA.

The announcement says the foundation has begun a search for a permanent executive director. Crenshaw is scheduled to begin as interim director on April 1.

The Alston Foundation, among other things, operates the Wanda Alston House for homeless LGBT youth. The foundation and house were named in honor of the late lesbian and women’s rights activist and mayoral aide Wanda Alston.

“As a result of Ken’s leadership, the Wanda Alston foundation is in a great position to expand and grow,” said Chris Hartmann, president of the foundation’s board. “Obviously, we are sad to lose Ken, but excited for him as he pursues his new position.”

Hartman said the foundation is also pleased that Crenshaw has agreed to serve as interim executive director.

“We are honored to have June join us as we go through a period of transition,” he said. “Her experience and record of accomplishment in our community make her an excellent choice to continue the work of our organization,” he said.

The statement released by the foundation on Wednesday notes that Crenshaw has a long history of volunteer leadership in the D.C.-area LGBT community, including her role as a member of the Advisory Board of the D.C. Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs.

She has also served as a member and as chair of the board of Whitman-Walker Health; as chair of the board of Rainbow Response Coalition, which advocates on behalf of LGBT domestic violence victims; and currently served on the Board of Governors of the Human Rights Campaign.

It couldn’t immediately be determined whether Crenshaw would become a candidate for the permanent executive director’s position.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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