LGBTQ Institute Names New Executive Director

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Tim’m T. West aims to deepen the institute’s work in the U.S. South and expand national partnerships

ATLANTA, Ga. (December 15, 2022) — The LGBTQ Institute at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights (The Center) has named Tim’m T. West (he/they) as its new executive director beginning January 2023. West succeeds Ryan Roemerman who successfully guided the institute as its founding executive director since 2015.

“Tim’m is building upon a solid foundation, and his thought leadership and experience will amplify and broaden our impact. This work is critical,” said Jill Savitt, president and CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

West, an educator, youth advocate, poet, hip-hop artist, and author of several books is a Cincinnati native raised primarily in rural Arkansas. A deeply committed academic activist, West has led Teach for America’s National Prism Alliances since 2014, which advances safer and braver classrooms for LGBTQ+ educators and students preK-12th grade. West mobilized and grew TFA’s Prism coalitions from two in 2016 to nearly 30 in 2022, shifting the educational equity landscape to be more responsible and accountable to LGBTQ+ students and educators. 

“Tim’m built long-standing and trusted relationships with national partners that I know will positively impact the LGBTQ Institute’s mission,” said Sarah Ha, vice president of Teach For America’s National Community Alliances.

Since its founding, the institute has focused on the American South, connecting advocates and academics to advance LGBTQ equity through research and education. By fostering intersectional leadership, research, and education initiatives, the institute helps partners create a public imperative for policies that treat LGBTQ people equally and fairly. 

“With the hiring of Tim’m, The Center is reaffirming its commitment to LGBTQ communities across the South and the country at a time of deep concern for our civil and human rights,” noted Roemerman. “As a long-time grassroots advocate and community mobilizer representing a myriad of social justice issues across our nation, Tim’m is uniquely positioned to lead the LGBTQ Institute’s strategic vision. His voice and action will allow us to meet the moment.”

Recently, West was a visiting lecturer in Critical Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Cal Poly Humboldt. Prior to TFA, he served on the inaugural faculty at Oakland School for the Arts; taught English and coached basketball at Cesar Chavez Public High School for Public Policy; and was Director of Youth Services at Chicago’s Center on Halsted. West earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University, and Master of Arts degrees from The New School for Social Research and Stanford University.

“The South is under attack most often when it comes to anti-LGBTQ legislation, even though more LGBTQ people live in the South than anywhere else in the country. Building on the powerful mobilizing that Ryan did over the first seven years, The Center allows us to shine a light, serve as a convener, amplify grassroots campaigns, and be a home for advocates,” said West. 

“My familial roots include Appalachia and rural Arkansas. I’m excited to ensure LGBTQ rights are preserved in our most vulnerable communities, focusing in the South, but expanding that work to engage partnerships with advocates wherever equity and justice for LGBTQ people is threatened.”


The LGBTQ Institute at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights connects academics and advocates to advance LGBTQ equity through research and education focused on the American South.

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is a museum and human rights educational institution located in Atlanta, GA, the cradle of civil rights. Founded in 2014, we create dynamic and empathy- building experiences, teach history’s connection to the present, generate brave and difficult conversations about necessary issues, and inspire the change-maker in each of us to tap our own power to promote civil and human rights in our communities and the world. The Center connects the U.S. civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s to global human rights movements for the rights of people of color, women, immigrants, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ people, and other marginalized groups. Through our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative, the Campaign for Equal dignity, the LGBTQ Institute, expansive educational offerings, and immersive and engaging storytelling we inspire each of us to reflect and think critically, exercise empathy in action, and create positive change locally and globally. For more information about The Center, visit our website at Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @ctr4chr, and LinkedIn at

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Contact: James Richards, 404-844-4692 x.119 [email protected]