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Utah Pride Center’s new CEO is a trans healthcare advocate

The Utah Pride Center completed its search for a new leader to replace outgoing CEO Rob Moolman. Trans healthcare advocate Stacey Jackson-Roberts, who was raised in Beaver, Utah, will take the helm effective September 1.

The Utah Pride Center Board of Directors released a statement saying they know “Stacey Jackson-Roberts, MSW, LCSW-C will bring valuable expertise, insight, and leadership skills to the Utah Pride Center, pointing to her decades of experience in healthcare policy, program administration, labor relations, and clinical practice.”

Jackson-Roberts was born and raised on a cattle ranch and dairy farm in Beaver, Utah. With family ties in more rural
parts of Utah, she says she knows what it’s like to grow up in communities that are less affirming to LGBTQ+ individuals. In a statement, Jackson-Roberts says she plans to use those life experiences to focus on increasing resources in more remote parts of the state and in systemically marginalized communities.

“As a transgender kid growing up in a small town in the outskirts of Utah, it was hard to find belonging and acceptance. I know there are LGBTQ+ youth in more rural parts of the state that need the support, that need to know the Utah Pride Center is there for them, and wants them to feel heard, loved, and accepted,” she said.

According to Jackson-Roberts’ LinkedIn profile, she graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Law and Constitutional Studies in 2003. In 2011, she earned a degree in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at American University, and in 2013 earned an MSW at Smith College School for Social Work. At Smith, she was the president of the Student Body Council, a Social Action Rep., and an LGBTQ Rep. to the Curriculum Committee. Her thesis was titled ‘Pushed to the Edge: The Treatment of Transsexuals through Time.”

She has been in private practice at Venus Rising Therapy and Consulting, LLC in Silver Spring Md. since 2016. She was also a lead therapist at the Chase Brexton Health Care Center for LGBTQ Health Equity from 2016 – 2020.

“As the Lead Therapist for LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health, at a federally qualified health center in Baltimore, Stacey built out
a dedicated line of LGBTQ+ services in a predominantly BIPOC community in a high need, underserved city,” the Center Board wrote in their announcement. “While there, she worked to form a coalition of allied BIPOC, LGBTQ+, healthcare organizations, and labor unions to pass state legislation in Maryland. This was key in making preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) more accessible. Stacey also helped found Collective Action for Safe Spaces, which works to end street-based sexual harassment and assault among women, queer, trans, black, and indigenous people of color in the Washington D.C. area. She also previously served as a Health Policy Fellow with the Transgender Law Center in California, working to expand health care parity for gender diverse individuals.”

Jackson-Roberts says she will begin September 1 and will launch a “listening tour” to determine how to move forward in her leadership role at the Center.

“We plan to partner with community members, leaders, and allied organizations to host events throughout Utah. We will also host virtual town halls to help make participation as accessible as possible,” she told QSaltLake Magazine. “The valuable feedback gained from the listening tour will inform strategic planning to meet the diverse needs of the LGBTQ community throughout the Beehive State.”

She says she plans a progressive approach to leadership at the Center.

“While interviewing, I noted that I would be utilizing a “Crawl, Walk, Run Model,” she said. “In this model, the initial phase will be focused on assessment and rapport building with the various stakeholders. I’ll also be balancing the ‘fierce urgency of now’ of many challenges our community faces juxtaposed with building and enhancing programming that is sustainable and evidence-based with regard to efficacy.”

Over time she hopes to expand the Center’s reach into the far reaches of the state

“During my tenure, I hope to build long-term programing that extends into rural areas of Utah and is deeply rooted in intersectionality and anti-racism,” she said. “My vision of the future includes enhanced virtual services, expanded health services, collaborative development of housing for LGBTQ Elders and transitional housing for LGBTQ folks who lack secure housing, and partnerships with allied organizations that mutually build the capacity of each organization to meet the needs of LGBTQ community members.”

For more information on the Utah Pride Center, visit utahpridecenter.org.

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