Background, History, Purpose, and Goals
At its 2006 annual retreat, the New York City LGBT Executive Directors' Group identified the need to increase the level of diversity and inclusion of people of color in their organizations as a critical need. There was also the acknowledgement that while there were some activities that each organization could engage in that might raise the level of diversity of staff members working within their individual organizations, in order to effect impact at the level required and desired, an entity or entities outside of the organizations themselves should take on the responsibility of coordinating what is envisioned as a movement-wide effort to increase diversity. This effort which began to be outlined by the ED Group and dubbed "The Pipeline Project," would work to achieve significantly increased levels of diversity within LGBT advocacy and service organizations and in the leadership of those organizations with a program that focused on:
- Recruitment and retention of diverse talent for LGBT organizations
- Mechanisms, programs and strategies to advance people of color to leadership positions within LGBT organizations
- Programs and strategies to both prepare LGBT organizations for significant levels of diversity and inclusion.
In January 2008, the Arcus Foundation awarded the project its first grant, $35,000 for the comprehensive planning of the Pipeline Project.