Chip Alfred Resigns From Equality Forum
This week, Chip Alfred announced that he is resigning his position as Equality Forum (EF) communications director. He’s leaving to work for Philadelphia FIGHT as the director of communications, PR & events — an expanded version of the position most recently held by Mark Seaman. In his new gig, he’ll be responsible for communications, media relations and overseeing major events like the annual gala and AIDS Education Month — something he should do with particular expertise given his success doing similar events for the Equality Forum.
Since he started five years ago, Executive Director Malcolm Lazin says Alfred has been “a valuable member in LGBT History Month. He oversaw our interns and website and helped coordinate the promotion. I enjoyed having Chip work under my supervision. … I wish him well.”
Yesterday, I caught up with Alfred to reflect on his time at EF and to get some scoop on what he has in store for his job at Philly FIGHT:
Did you move to Philly to work for Equality Forum?
Yes. I wanted to move to a bigger city and was looking for a communications director position working for a non-profit organization with a mission I believed in. Landing a job in the LGBT community was the icing on the cake as I have always been very involved in the community and was working in my spare time as a freelance journalist for LGBT newspapers and magazines.
What were you doing before moving to Philly?
I am originally from Albany, N.Y. I received my B.A. in broadcast communication from San Francisco State University. Then, I moved around a lot to advance my career as a television promotion writer, producer and manager. The cities I moved to included Tampa, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, N.C. and Lexington, Ky.
What are some of your proudest achievements at the Equality Forum?
Since I joined Equality Forum in 2008, I’m proud that we have seen significant growth in media coverage, web traffic, social media fans and followers, and enhanced both of our websites.
I’d have to say I’m most proud of the growth and success of LGBT History Month. I oversee the research and creative elements of the project. To see this inspiring educational project embraced by more than 1,000 organizations — and now at least six major U.S. school districts including Los Angeles — is so rewarding!
What will you miss most about Equality Forum?
I will miss all the amazing people and organizations I’ve been introduced to through Executive Director Malcolm Lazin and the Equality Forum. Certainly some of these connections — especially in the media — will carry over into my work in the future at Philadelphia FIGHT.
What experience from Equality Forum will you take to Philly FIGHT?
The most valuable lesson I’ve learned working at Equality Forum is that if you have a passion for what you do, it’s an entirely different experience. I feel like I’m making an important contribution. I have looked forward to every new project and every new challenge. I really like going to work every day! I know there are a lot of people who can’t say that.
Why are you looking forward to working with Philly FIGHT?
When I learned about the position at Philadelphia FIGHT, it seemed like the perfect fit for me. After writing for A&U, America’s AIDS Magazine, for five years — I was named editor-at-large in 2010 — I have learned so much about the people, places and events surrounding the AIDS pandemic, and I have developed a passion for the work. While working on an article for A&U about dance4life, a Philadelphia FIGHT program, I learned more about all that FIGHT does for people living with HIV. I was so impressed with the organization and the people I met. Now I will get to do more than write about these people’s stories, I will actually be doing some of the work.
Anything we haven’t touched on that you’d like to mention?
I’m grateful to Malcolm and Equality Forum for offering me this wonderful opportunity. Now I look forward to starting this exciting new chapter of my life.
Malcolm Lazin tells me that he will immediately replace Alfred with a part-time office manager, and he will hire an LGBT History Month coordinator next spring.
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