GLSEN Announces Wilson Cruz as Chair of Board, Imara Jones as Vice Chair

For Immediate Release: July 27, 2023



For the First Time in GLSEN's 33 Year History, the Organization’s Board Chairs and Executive Director Are Either BIPOC, Nonbinary, and/or Trans People

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 26, 2023) - Today, GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network) announced that actor and activist Wilson Cruz will be the new Chair of GLSEN’s board, with award-winning journalist and TIME 100 Most Influential People Imara Jones as Vice Chair.

“Wilson Cruz and Imara Jones are incredible leaders and activists who have done amazing, impactful work to transform GLSEN over the last few years,” said GLSEN Executive Director Melanie Willingham-Jaggers. “We’re honored to have both of them in this fight with us as GLSEN moves forward into a new chapter, and we’re proud to have a leadership team that reflects the values, power, and beautiful diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. Together, we’re going to rise up for LGBTQ+ youth across the country and fight back against those who seek to erase them.”

“GLSEN is doing the work needed right now to protect LGBTQ+ youth, especially at this time when vicious attacks, hateful rhetoric and legislation are at its highest,” said Wilson Cruz. “After serving on the board for several years, I’m thrilled to assume leadership as Chair. Every student deserves to feel safe at school, and every student deserves access to an inclusive and affirming school environment. Together, we’re going to make this a reality for youth across the country.”

“Protecting kids should be apolitical. That’s why GLSEN’s work, to make schools safe for all young people, regardless of who — or where — they are, is vital. This is particularly the case for those who are beyond the coasts, transgender and people of color,” said Imara Jones. “I’m proud to take on the role as Board Vice Chair and, alongside my colleagues, to do what I can to support GLSEN’s Executive Director and staff in carrying out this essential mission.”

About Wilson Cruz

Award-winning Actor, Producer, Activist, “Actorvist,” and Humanitarian Wilson Cruz currently stars as Dr. Hugh Culber on the Award-winning Paramount+ series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. He appeared on the Netflix series THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, in Hulu’s 2020 GLAAD Award- Winning original animated kids’ series THE BRAVEST KNIGHT, and played Rickie Vasquez on MY SO-CALLED LIFE. He is also the Executive Producer of the critically acclaimed docuseries called VISIBLE: OUT ON TELEVISION airing on Apple TV+ that investigates the importance of TV as an intimate medium that has shaped the American conscience, and how the LGBTQ movement has shaped television. He received the Vito Russo Award from GLAAD in 2022.

About Imara Jones

Imara, whose work has won Emmy and Peabody Awards, is the creator of TransLash Media, a cross-platform, non-profit journalism and narrative organization, which produces content to shift the current culture of hostility towards transgender people in the US. She was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People on the planet in 2023. As part of her work at TransLash, Imara hosts the TransLash Podcast with Imara Jones, which received the 2023 Outstanding Podcast Award from GLAAD ; as well as the investigative, limited series, The Anti-Trans Hate Machine: A Plot Against Equality which received the Excellence in Podcasting Award from the National LGBTQ+ Journalists Association. Imara is also the first trans person to ever receive an award from the National Black Journalists Association, having garnered the Journalist of Distinction Award in 2022. Also in 2022, Politico named her as one of the 40 power players at the intersection of race, politics, and policy in the United States. Imara has been featured regularly in The Guardian, The Nation, MSNBC, CNBC, NPR, Fast Company and GQ.


GLSEN is a multi-racial, intergenerational LGBTQ+ organization working nationally and locally to transform K-12 educational systems in the United States. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools, via action at the national, state, and local level. Since 1990, GLSEN has improved conditions for LGBTQ+ students across the United States and helped launch an international movement to address LGBTQ+ issues in education.