Wingspan formally announced on Thursday that beginning next month, Oscar Jimenez will officially take over as program director for Tucson's LGBT community center.
Outgoing program director Linda Thomas, who joined Wingspan in April 2010, said she wants to spend more time with her partner, Hollace Lyon, and focus on fundraising and development. Thomas, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, will serve on Wingspan's board as development chair.
You can read more about Thomas' new role at Wingspan here.
Oscar currently serves as assistant program director and Anti-Violence Programs manager. He has been on staff for five years, coming aboard in June 2006 as a bilingual advocate/educator, doing outreach to the Spanish-speaking populations through Wingspan’s Puertas Abiertas program.
During his five years on staff, Oscar has been instrumental in the creation of outreach programs to GLBTQ Latino/a and youth populations, including the weeklong Tucson Latino Gay Pride each September; RainbowCONNECT, a crisis warm line for young people who are being bullied or harassed; and Rainbow on the Road, which seeks to identify and support GLBT people in rural communities in Southern Arizona who will be visible resources and role models for the youth in those communities.
“Oscar has in-depth knowledge of all of Wingspan’s programs and has cultivated strong relationships with our grantors,” says Alan Taylor, Wingspan board president. “He is well-versed in and connected to LGBT issues, needs and resources across Arizona. During his five years on the staff at Wingspan he has seen the organization go through several significant changes.
“His first-hand knowledge of the recent history of Wingspan and his vision for making Wingspan even more than it is today are invaluable in leading the organization into the future,” Taylor continues. “Oscar’s personal commitment to Wingspan’s programs geared toward Latino/a people positions him well to expand on these programs and to increase Wingspan’s role in the lives of people of color.”
In fact, Oscar has been associated with Wingspan since 1996, when as a 19-year-old young man confused about his own sexual identity and full of emotional turmoil he discovered Queer Voice, the precursor of today’s Eon, which gave him his own voice and changed his life.
“Absolutely, who I am as a gay man was directly influenced by the Wingspan programs,” he says. “Who I am as a leader and a community organizer is directly influenced by Wingspan."