The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to Earl Fowlkes who has joined the board of Damien Ministries, which was founded in 1987 by Louis Tesconi to serve the poorest of the poor living with HIV and AIDS. Damien Ministries, Inc., was entirely volunteer run until 1996 when the organization hired a paid executive director and expanded services to include case managers, faith-based outreach and a food bank.
Fowlkes serves as president and CEO of the Center For Black Equity, Inc. (formerly the International Federation of Black Prides). He founded the IFBP in 1999 as a coalition of organizations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and South Africa to promote a multinational network of Black LGBT Pride and community-based organizations. There are now more than 40 Black Pride events around the globe.
Previously, Fowlkes served for 15 years as executive director of the D.C. Comprehensive AIDS Resources and Education Consortium and Damien Ministries, organizations that provide services to persons living with HIV/AIDS. He has worked on health, political and LGBTQ issues in many communities for nearly 30 years. He is the current chair of the D.C. Commission on Human Rights. In 2009, he was appointed by then-Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine as an At-Large member of the Democratic National Committee and in 2013 was reappointed, and elected chair of the DNC LGBT Caucus. In December 2014, he was elected president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club.
Congratulations also to John Westfall-Kwong, the new director of development for the National LGBT Bar Association Washington, D.C. The National LGBT Bar Association is the country’s largest organization of LGBT and allied legal professionals.
D’Arcy Kemnitz, executive director of the LGBT Bar said, “As a longtime leader in the community and an individual with unparalleled development experience, I have no doubt that he will be a valued part of our organization. We are eager to see where John will help take the LGBT Bar at this time of unrest in our nation.”
He most recently served for 12 years as the director of development at Lambda Legal. Prior to that he served as vice president for Individual Giving & Development Administration at Lighthouse International and as national director of direct marketing for the American Foundation for AIDS Research. He received his bachelor’s in Business Administration & Marketing from California State University Long Beach.
Finally, congratulations also to Thomas Murphy who has joined the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association as its new communications intern. Murphy is a Tennessee native majoring in foreign languages at Austin Peay State University. He spent a semester abroad studying at a French university and also interned in the Tennessee State Legislature. Outside of school Murphy writes book reviews for a Nashville-based regional LGBT newspaper. Murphy came to NLGJA through a partnership with The Washington Center, which places students with organizations whose work they show interest in.
“I am really excited to be working at NLGJA this semester,” he said. “I understand the importance of clear and accurate coverage of LGBTQ issues in the mainstream media, which is what first interested me about the organization.”