New York, NY: Intersections International is pleased to announce that noted communications and development strategist Dr. Keisha E. McKenzie has been named director of Believe Out Loud, its initiative to empower Christians to work for LGBTQ equality and shatter the false dichotomy between the LGBTQ and Christian communities.
Responsible for mobilizing an online community of more than 5 million people each month, McKenzie said she understands the importance of finding online community in helping LGBTQ people connect offline as they reconcile their identities and their faith.
“Because of my own experience and the stories I’ve heard from others in the community, I can’t be naive about the hostility that LGBTQIA people can face, whether in our families, in church, around ministers or other Christians, or in society at large,” said McKenzie. “I want us to have room in our faith, in our homes, and in our communities to flourish. That’s part of what motivates me to do the work we do at Believe Out Loud.”
McKenzie comes to the role after spending two years as a consultant for the program. As consultant, she spearheaded initial development and stakeholder communication for Believe Out Loud.
She also is the founder and owner of McKenzie Consulting Group, LLC, which provides communication, educational, nonprofit, and other consulting services to clients in the New York and Washington, D.C., metro areas. Her specialty is in organizational systems and social good, using communication in social change organizations to benefit society.
“My faith requires me to work for the common good, and not just for my own private benefit,” McKenzie said. “At Believe Out Loud, we’re in a position to support people across the United States as they figure out how to become engaged in the wider justice conversation.”
Prior to coming to Intersections, McKenzie was the communications coordinator for Unity of Gaithersburg, one of the oldest Unity fellowships in the D.C. metro area. From 2010 to 2015, she served as board member and director of development for Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International, Inc., a global nonprofit that provides community and advocacy for LGBTQIA individuals with a Seventh-day Adventist connection, their families, and those who support them. She also has served as an advisor for grant program development for Prince George’s County public schools in Maryland.
McKenzie was born in the U.K., and completed her undergraduate studies in English, with a minor in law and political science, from Northern Caribbean University in Jamaica. She holds an M.A. degree in technical communication (2006) and a Ph.D. in technical communication and rhetoric (2012) from Texas Tech University.
“We are thrilled that Dr. McKenzie will be heading up Believe Out Loud, one of Intersections’ signature programs,” said the Rev. Robert Chase, founding director of Intersections. “Keisha brings solid experience and credentials, a profound understanding of intersectionality –– so critical in achieving LGBTQ justice –– and a passion for including all people in God’s abundant grace. We are honored to have her at the helm of this vital effort.”
Believe Out Loud promotes awareness, education, information, and discussion by leading and participating in grassroots campaigns that engage its online community to take action offline. It is a program of Intersections International, a multicultural, multi-faith, permanent initiative of the Collegiate Churches of New York, the oldest corporation in North America, dating back to 1628. Intersections leads people to unite across lines of difference in mutual pursuit of social justice, globally and locally, and creates safe space for engaging dissimilar communities in dialogue, service, advocacy and artistic expression. Its mission is to work toward a just world –– united in diversity.
Believe Out Loud is a program of Intersections International