Women at the Helm 2014

Meet the next wave of out leaders!

Executive Director, Basic Rights Oregon

Jeana Frazzini is proof that volunteering is not only good for the soul, but can also lead to a rewarding career. She began as a volunteer with Basic Rights Oregon in the 1990s, shortly after moving to the state. She became their development director in 2005 and, three years later, executive director. “I didn’t so much choose my professional field,” she says, “rather, I had no choice but to fight back. Having come out as a lesbian in the context of intense political battles that questioned the very humanity of LGBT people, I was ready to take a stand.” Since then, Basic Rights Oregon has won victories for the freedom to marry, increased access to transgender-inclusive healthcare, passed the Oregon Safe Schools Act, and successfully defended and implemented non-discrimination and domestic partnership laws. For her work, she was named one of the Equity Foundation’s “Women Who Lead,” and was appointed to the Oregon Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. And while such honors are nice, the biggest motivation, she says, are the people she’s fighting alongside. “When someone shares what is true for them and when they have the space, support, and safety to live that truth, that is the heart of inspiration for me.”

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