“A true history maker in his own right”
Little did Rodney Lofton know when he joined the Diversity Richmond Board of Directors a few years ago where that move would take him. At that time Rodney was executive director of The Renewal Projects, an organization that conducted retreats for people living with HIV/AIDS. Due to a decrease in funding, the organization closed its doors.
During that same time, the program coordinator for Diversity Richmond moved out of state. Diversity’s Bill Harrison asked Rodney if he would fill in until a permanent replacement had been found. “Well, that was one of the best decisions I have made since I came here,” laughed Bill. “I knew Rodney was a good catch and was so taken with his vision of what this place could become. So I asked him if he’d take the job. Thankfully the answer was yes.”
Since that time Rodney has accomplished much. So much, in fact, that he was recently named deputy director. Rodney is the first African American to be hired to a senior level position at Diversity Richmond, a history- maker in his own right.
One of his accomplishments that Diversity is quite proud of is the concept of and the orchestration of Black LGBT History Month last February. The recognitions included a gala where African American LGBT leaders were recognized for their contributions; a series of community conversations at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia as well as forums held at Diversity Richmond. The partnership with the Black History Museum is believed to be the first such in the nation.
“We had hoped to have at least 50 people attend the gala,” said Bill. “We had over 200. It was one of the most powerful evenings I have seen at Diversity. We had so many people here who had never been to Diversity before.”
“Rodney is one of the best things that has ever happened to Diversity,” shared Board Chair, Art Toth. “In such a short period of time, he has tremendously grown our outreach. His vision enhances ours. He is a true team player and a leader.”
Rodney has a national reputation as an HIV/AIDS educator and has authored two books. He is a prolific speaker and can address most any LGBT issue. Rodney and his husband, Faron, live in Richmond’s Northside. He may be contacted at or 622-4646, ext. 203.