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HRC’s Kelley Robinson Makes the Time 100 List

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Kelley Robinson – Photo courtesy of the Human Rights Campaign

Kelley Robinson, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, has been named to Time Magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential People of 2024,” marking a significant honor for the head of the nation’s largest LGBTQ rights organization.

Writing for the magazine, Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of the LGBTQ media advocacy organization GLAAD, praises Robinson, the first Black queer woman to lead HRC in its history, as having “a vision for a more equal and just world that, paired with her talent for building coalitions across all intersections, has taken the LGBTQ+ movement — and the larger social-­justice movement — by storm when it is most needed.”

Noting that Robinson is leading HRC at a time when state legislatures are passing an onslaught of bills focused on restricting LGBTQ rights and visibility, Ellis credits Robinson for spearheading campaigns that uplift and center the needs of historically marginalized communities, including queer people of color and transgender people.

“Kelley has a voice that demands to be heard,” Ellis writes. “Whether it’s in front of Congress, at a political rally, or over social media, she inspires and mobilizes longtime advocates and new young activists into action with fresh energy and urgency.

“She has also brought the LGBTQ+ movement to recognize the critical intersectional work needed on gun reform, racial justice, immigration, voting rights, climate, abortion, and safeguarding our very democracy. Her dream of freedom for all truly means all.”

Robinson called being honored by the popular magazine “humbling beyond words.”

“Being honored alongside the world’s most influential voices is something I never dreamed of growing up young, Black, and queer on the Southside of Chicago,” Robinson said in a statement. “At a young age, I saw firsthand the devastating impact of discrimination and bigotry against the LGBTQ+ community.

“This honor reminds me of the countless brave individuals who fought tooth and nail to pave the way for progress,” Robinson added. “As president of the Human Rights Campaign, I carry the stories and struggles of social justice warriors who came before me — their courage in the face of adversity and their refusal to be silenced by hatred.”

Noting that much progress has been made on LGBTQ rights, Robinson warned that the fight is “far from over.” In 2023, the organization declared a “state of emergency” for LGBTQ Americans in response to the wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation, which the Republican Party has intently been pushing in the hopes of using it as a wedge issue in upcoming election cycles, especially this year’s presidential race. 

“The challenges before us are immense, and the battle for freedom and liberation rages on. At HRC, we feel the weight of this responsibility every single day, knowing that lives hang in the balance and that futures are at stake,” she said.

“This recognition is bigger than me. It’s about the power of community. It’s about resilience. It’s about our community’s undying belief that we can build a brighter, more inclusive tomorrow for everyone.”

Robinson joins a host of politicians, business leaders, innovators, artists, and entertainers on the list.

Other LGBTQ luminaries on the 2024 Time 100 include actors Colman Domingo and Elliot Page, fashion designer Jonathan Anderson, Spanish soccer player Jenni Hermoso, Ugandan LGBTQ rights activist Frank Mugisha, and Sri Lankan LGBTQ rights advocate Rosanna Flamer-Caldera.


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