Taking On Open for Service

Jillian Walker - Executive Director - Open for Service

Jillian Walker - Executive Director - Open for Service

So there is work to be done and I am ready to tackle it head on. And while I don’t know if my child will be gay or straight, I know I want him to feel safe, to feel strong, and to be welcome wherever this road leads him.
— Jillian Walker

In today’s political environment I find myself struggling to find a place to give back, support and make a difference.   I’ve raised signs; I’ve marched, and ultimately I stand up for what is right.  But now I find myself ready to create change and put in the hours it will take to make things right.

With with years of volunteer work, board work, even board creation under my belt I knew I had the chops to do something big, but what made me feel I could remotely be qualified to help run an organization like Open for Service? I'm a straight woman married to a loving husband and a mother. Let me stop there, I'm a mother. And while my son is still in diapers I know the kind of world I want him to be raised in.

I know we live in an amazing country, however there are still perceived values that I'm not ok with. Put simply, there is a dire need to grow more allies like me for people who are marginalized. So I'm standing up, digging into policy across the country and showing my support by joining an organization that helps those who are struggling today. Open for Service won't solve all the hurdles the minorities face today, but we can help find safe places, doctors, housing, employment, and direct the, “almighty dollar” to those businesses that are allies. It’s more than just a smile on the sidewalk, it’s really demonstrating what inclusion and equality looks like.  It’s going out of your way to show your support – and following through with it.

So there is work to be done and I am ready to tackle it head on. And while I don't know if my child will be gay or straight, I know I want him to feel safe, to feel strong, and to be welcome wherever this road leads him. I take my work at OFS with great sensitivity. I take it as a privilege and plan to bring passion to this role each and every day.   

I recently looked up what makes a great Executive Director, and it isn’t so much about skills as it is attributes: authenticity, conviction, joy, and humor. I have these. Now let's get to work.  <3

 

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