About seven years ago, I was invited to attend a meeting for people in leadership positions at local LGBT non-profit organizations. As the founder and president of the St. Charles PFLAG chapter, I was flattered and excited to be invited. I learned that the group had been formed to serve as a coalition among leaders, primarily to provide support for one another and to avoid burnout.


For me, it was a real opportunity to get to know the executive directors and others in leadership positions for a wide variety of organizations in the metropolitan St. Louis area that serve and support LGBT people. As a result, our organization has been able to grow and thrive, utilizing the many resources and services within those groups. Likewise, our group has been able to help a large number of people who have been referred to us by others. This give-and-take would never have had the opportunity to take place without the networking made possible by the Leadership Roundtable.


Over time, many people have come and gone in this group. Organizations have dissolved, new ones have formed and leadership has changed hands. The group has seen as many as 20 around the table, to as little as two or three. Topics of discussion have ranged from what is going on with our various organizations, as well as the struggles and triumphs we are facing. Often, the conversation turns to the purpose of the leadership group. What is our mission? Why must we meet face-to-face? Can this information be shared electronically? At one point, our “summer hiatus” turned into two years of not meeting!


Throughout the past six months, however, this group has evolved into a completely new entity, and it is on fire! We have gotten down to accomplishing some real work together. We have identified why we meet, what we wish to accomplish, and how that will be achieved. Our mission statement has been developed, and is as follows:


The LGBTQIA Leadership Roundtable establishes solidarity through networking, partnership, and support of the organizations we represent. We are committed to sharing ideas and information that will inspire momentum and strengthen our community.


We seek to identify others who represent organizations in the community who wish to join us in our mission. Our next meeting will be held on Thursday, December 4 from 10:00-11:30 AM, at the Metropolitan Community Church of Greater St. Louis. The MCC church is graciously hosting our group, as the LGBT Center works to reorganize. It is our intention to resume meeting there once it opens in its new location, so that we may support the people and groups that will be affiliated there. If you are in a position of leadership for a non-profit organization that works with the LGBTQIA community, won’t you please join us in our mission to inspire momentum and strengthen community?



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