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    Longtime Pacific Center Executive Director Leslie Ewing Announces Retirement

    Leslie Ewing, who has dedicated much of her life to LGBTQ civil rights, on March 27 announced her retirement as Executive Director of the Pacific Center in Berkeley. She has served in the role for over a decade, helping the organization to grow, evolve and better meet the needs of the thousands who benefit from the Center’s services.

    It would take volumes to list her accomplishments, which include co-founding the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, serving as the Development Director of Lyon-Martin Health Services, co-founding the ACT-UP affinity group Queer and Present Danger, volunteering for years with The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and much more.

    Here is the letter that she sent to us and others late last month:

    Dear Friends, 

    Pacific Center has supported the Alameda County LGBTQ community for over 46 years through the provision of therapy and social support services, and it is with a combination of triumph and deep sadness that I am announcing my retirement, and thus resignation, as its Executive Director. My last day will be July 31, 2019. For more information about this role please click

    The last ten+ years have provided many challenges that the staff, board and volunteers at Pacific Center have collectively addressed with great courage: the recession, dwindling funding sources, and the last presidential election with its resulting repressive legislation and rise in hate crimes … even here in Berkeley. Our accomplishments during these last ten years are a testament to their tenacity.

    Today, the organization is stronger than ever:

    • We are helping over 3,000 people a year   
    • We offer services at four locations
    • The number of peer groups has grown from 5 to 18
    • Our government grants are now renewable contracts
    • The budget has doubled over the last 6 years
    • Our reserve account carries a balance in excess of $100,000 
    • We now have an Endowment Fund to ensure our future

    Personally, I am most proud of the work generated by the staff and board in recent years to enact systemic program changes that address privilege, equity and inclusion within our own LGBTQ communities. Pacific Center staff and stakeholders have made a commitment to continue this work as part of our organizational strategic plan into the future. We know that to fail to take this action diminishes our claim as being part of a larger social justice movement. 

    This culture of courage will continue to inspire future leaders at Pacific Center, and I encourage interested candidates for the Executive Director position to please send your cover letter and resume via email to:

    Thank you, everyone, for a wonderful decade at Pacific Center

    Leslie Ewing, Executive Director

    All of us here at the San Francisco Bay Times and “Betty’s List” thank Leslie for her friendship, support and outstanding, dedicated service to the LGBTQ community and beyond. For more information about the Pacific Center, please go to: