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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on July 29th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 22 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 21, Issue 22

Pacific Pride Foundation announces new executive director

By Zac Ezzone

After two decades of working in different roles for various organizations in the LGBTQ-plus movement, Kristin Flickinger is starting a new venture as the executive director of the Pacific Pride Foundation.

The foundation announced the hire on July 13, following a four-month nationwide search.

“Kristin is going to be a key part in achieving our strategic plan to take the organization to the next level of growth, to make us the recognized leader for issues relevant to the LGBTQ-plus population, and to broaden our programming to meet the challenging and diverse needs of our community,” foundation board of directors Chair Lynn Cunningham Brown said in a press release. 

Flickinger told the Sun that her activism began with her serving as the president or chair of student organizations. In the late 1990s, she joined the National Gay and Lesiban Task Force, which is now known as the National LGBTQ Task Force, in Washington, D.C. Later, Flickinger managed a field office in Oregon during the same-sex marriage campaigns in the mid-2000s. 

More recently, Flickinger has worked at the Los Angeles LGBT Center in different roles for more than seven years. While working at the center, Flickinger said she was the director of the Southern California office of AIDS/LifeCycle and later director of programs for the entire center.

Flickinger left the center at the end of last year and said she is excited for the opportunity to lead the Pacific Pride Foundation, which is an opportunity and a responsibility that she said she doesn’t take lightly. 

“I don’t take it for granted to be a leader in the community or to be driving the direction of a really great organization,” Flickinger said.

She said the foundation is providing services to the LGBTQ-plus community in a way that no other organization does between Los Angeles and San Francisco. 

This includes sensitivity training, where foundation staff members go to local government agencies and businesses to teach people on how to serve members of the LGBTQ-plus community. This sort of training includes discussions over how to serve the community members in a health care setting or how to respectfully use pronouns. 

“It’s important that when you walk into a space where you’re receiving health services or social services, that you see people like yourself and that people understand the unique needs that members of your community may have,” Flickinger said.

The foundation also operates youth and older adult group meetings, offers counseling services, and administers free HIV and hepatitis C testing.

After officially starting in her new position on July 21, Flickinger said she’s beginning to meet with local community leaders to learn more about the needs of Central Coast residents. Specifically, Flickinger said she wants to dive into learning about the needs of the local Latinx community.

Flickinger said she expects to see some differences between serving a more rural area like Santa Barbara County compared to a place like Los Angeles. But there are broad similarities that apply anywhere. 

“Everybody needs a place to access the things that they need access to in a way that is safe, and there are a lot of similarities there no matter where you are,” Flickinger said. “That’s Los Angeles, that’s Santa Barbara, that’s anywhere.” 








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