Vancouver Pride executive director Andrea Arnot to join Rainbow Refugee leadership team

The head who oversees Vancouver’s largest, hottest, and most seen annual LGBT+ celebrations will likely be bidding adieu as she prepares to assist helm a Vancouver-based queer refugee group.

Rainbow Refugee introduced on June 3 that Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) executive director Andrea Arnot will change into Rainbow Refugee’s new managing director, as of September 1.

Arnot will likely be in command of finance, human sources, and operational strategic course, and can type the group’s co-leadership team with programming director Aleks Dughman Manzur, who oversees all programming, schooling, and advocacy efforts.

Manzur, who joined the nonprofit in March, is the vice-president of the Canadian Council for Refugees and an internationally skilled lawyer who focuses on human rights, ladies’s rights, reproductive and sexual well being regulation, LGBTQ+ rights, and refugee rights. 

The new co-leadership mannequin at Rainbow Refugee is a part of the group’s effort to advance into native and nationwide leadership on LGBT+ and HIV–constructive refugee points. The group assists people who find themselves fleeing persecution due to sexual orientation, gender identification or expression, sexual traits, or HIV standing.

Arnot replaces Stephanie Goodwin who has served because the group’s interim managing director since March. Goodwin, who’s the previous executive director of Out on Screen (which runs Out in Schools and the annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival) and the previous B.C. director of Greenpeace, will briefly stay with Rainbow Refugee after Arnot begins. 

Arnot informed the Georgia Straight that as she’s going to stay with the VPS till August 31, she’ll have the ability to see by way of this yr’s Pride season, which incorporates the Vancouver Pride Festival from July 30 to August 1.

The VPS announced on June 3 that’s now accepting functions for a brand new executive director.

Arnot posted a press release on her personal social media about her departure: “Over the course of the final yr, as a cis, white girl, I’ve been reflecting on what my position inside the social companies/arts/tradition scene needs to be. My position at VPS has been a really seen leadership position and most of the choices that I (and our board) have made, have had far reaching results on the satisfaction motion in Canada. As somebody who walks by way of the world with a variety of privilege, I imagine it’s time for me to step again and take a extra behind-the-scenes position to permit area for another person to be on this place.”

During her time as VPS executive director, Arnot oversaw the VPS transition from a volunteer working board to a governance board with a paid employees year-round. 

In addition, Arnot led the VPS by way of a interval by which the participation or elimination of uniformed members of the Vancouver Police Department from the Pride parade turned an ongoing subject of debate and dialogue. During that timem, the VPS undertook a number of measures, together with conducting consultations with group members and increasing range initiatives and involvement.

Some of the choices the VPS made is among the many issues Arnot stated she feels proud to have been part of.

“I’m glad we did not permit uniforms or marked automobiles beginning in 2018 and am grateful that our board was in a position to subject a press release in solidarity with BLM concerning defunding the police in 2020,” Arnot stated. “It took us longer than it ought to have to acknowledge that regardless that we characterize an unlimited array of oldsters, it’s our job to hear to probably the most marginalized voices in order that nobody is left behind and everybody can have a good time who they’re within the parade.”

When the Straight requested Arnot what she would really like to see for Pride sooner or later, she espoused the significance of one thing that harkens again to the socio-political roots of the parade: advocacy for equality.

“I actually hope that they’ll proceed to uplift and help racialized of us, individuals with disabilities, gender numerous communities, and Indigenous voices,” she stated. “My recommendation, Pride organizations have a variety of energy. Use that energy for good and arise for folk who may not have a seat on the desk nor a voice.”

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