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Dr. Jacobs will say goodbye to The Center next June

Dr. Delores Jacobs

 After 16 years of being Executive Director of the San Diego LGBT Community Center, Dr. Delores Jacobs will not be renewing her contract this year and will exit in June 2018. 

Joyce Rowland, Chair, Board of Directors San Diego LGBT Community Center, writes in a media statement: 

For the past several months, our chief executive officer, Dr. Delores A. Jacobs, has engaged the leadership of the board of directors in important conversations about leadership transition planning and the future of The Center. She told us then and has recently re-confirmed that, although she will fulfill the terms of her current contract (through June 2018), she will not be signing a new contract at the end of her current one. Beginning in June 2017, this will be her final year.

Dr. Jacobs is a legendary activist and leader in the San Diego LGBT community. Her work at The Center began as the director of Behavioral Health Services. Then in 2001, she was honored to begin her leadership role to one of the oldest LGBT safe places in the country.

She has increased the budget significantly during her tenure to over $6 million and works with over 50 staff members and 1,000 volunteers.

According to her bio at the Center, Dr. Jacobs has added many programs that help the LGBT community feel inclusive, safe and accepted:

Her accomplishments include:

“The Hillcrest Youth Center and the development of the 24-unit Sunburst Youth Housing program for formerly homeless LGBT youth; establishing the nation’s first Latin@ Services Department at an LGBT community center; re-assuming the management of AIDS Walk San Diego and Family Matters; launching The Center’s Project TRANS, designed to serve transgender community members and their families and welcoming the civic engagement project Engage San Diego to the Center’s programs.”

In the political realm, she has fought hard both personally and publicly to defeat any anti-LGBT legislation both locally and statewide.

She was there for the community when Prop 8 was passed, and she was there with them to celebrate when it was overturned.

The list goes on for Dr. Jacobs accomplishments in the last 16 years.  

She developed the Young Professionals Council (YPC) to ensure LGBT professionals would continue to help the community from a spectrum of leadership roles, from politics to public service.

Here is the statement from The Center in its entirety: 

The San Diego LGBT Community Center has long had a commitment to transparency in its operations, and today, we wanted to share with you some news about an upcoming transition in leadership.

For the past several months, our chief executive officer, Dr. Delores A. Jacobs, has engaged the leadership of the board of directors in important conversations about leadership transition planning and the future of The Center. She told us then and has recently re-confirmed that, although she will fulfill the terms of her current contract (through June 2018), she will not be signing a new contract at the end of her current one. Beginning in June 2017, this will be her final year.

Delores has led The Center for the past 16 years through a truly historic period in our community’s history. She is already the longest-serving chief executive of The Center, and has made a significant impact on the organization and our community. 

Because of the vision and strong leadership that Delores has brought to these discussions, the board will have ample time to engage in a thorough, community-inclusive and strategic transition process. While we know there will be plenty of time for accolades and celebration of Delores’ many accomplishments, we cannot share this news without acknowledging what a tremendous leader she has been – intelligent, compassionate, thoughtful, forward-thinking and so much more. 

As board members, we have long had the opportunity to see up close how important her contributions have been, how hard she works, and how she prioritizes community needs and coalition building. Those are just some of the reasons we had hoped to persuade Delores to remain in her position. Throughout this process, Delores has continued to hold The Center as the top priority with her calm, stable guidance.

While Delores has always encouraged the board to think about long-term planning and visioning, it’s nearly impossible to think about The Center without her. And thankfully, for all of us, we have a little over a year before that becomes a reality.

Joyce Rowland, Chair, Board of DirectorsSan Diego LGBT Community Center