Olivia

Women at the Helm

photo by Monica Holder
LINDA ELLIS Executive Director, Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative

Linda Ellis, executive director of the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative, the only organization in Georgia specifically advocating for lesbian health issues, began working with nonprofits as a graduate student in theology. “I didn’t have real plans for what to do with the degree–other than to have good conversations and make peace with my conservative religious upbringing—and meet women,” Ellis says. Because her master’s program in theology emphasized involvement with community organizations, says Ellis, she began to work with affordable housing and community development organizations. 1n 1997 Ellis became the first executive director of YouthPride, an organization for LGBT youth in Atlanta, serving there until she became executive director of The Health Initiative in 2002. Ellis has dreams of broadening the organization’s scope. “We’ve been able to build a strong network of Atlanta-area low-cost clinics committed to providing LGBT supportive services. Our goal now is to expand that network statewide.”

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