Sharity Global Podcast
Diversity and #MeToo with Randy Stephens
Chapters
Sharity Global Podcast
Diversity and #MeToo with Randy Stephens
Feb 06, 2020 Episode 9
Carol Wick / Randy Stephens

Randy Stephens joins founder Carol Wick as they talk about the changing work environments since the beginning of #MeToo movement and focus on gender identity. We discuss how to ensure your nonprofit is prepared to address any concerns that might arise. How can you ensure that your organization is a safe sanctuary for both clients, staff and volunteers?

A graduate of both Auburn University and Cumberland School of Law at Samford University Randy Stephens has been active in addressing the inequalities of social injustice as both an attorney and later as the Executive Director of the LGBTQ Center in Central Florida.  After spending a year as a law clerk for the Alabama Supreme Court, Randy served as General Counsel for the Alabama Education Association.  Such a position required active involvement in researching and drafting protected legislation on behalf of teachers and support personnel along with representing such employees on a myriad of issues, ranging from termination, discrimination, and other disciplinary actions.  

Moving to Central Florida in 1992 Randy assumed the position as Vice President of First American Title Insurance Company, which required assisting consumers in securing legal title to their properties.  After spending over a decade in such a position Randy was eager to become more involved with LGBTQ equality and was approached to become Executive Director of the LGBTQ Center of Central Florida (The Center) located in Orlando, Florida. Being the oldest continuing LGBTQ organization in the State of Florida it had fallen on economic hardship and was grossly ineffective in addressing LGBTQ issues. Having initially securing financial backing from local businesses and the community Randy was able to concentrate on improving the Center’s involvement on local issues by meeting with many local political and administrative leaders in the area.  Such communication opened the door for successful protections for many discriminated persons, both LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ.  This included local protections involving employment, housing, and health insurance. Prior to marriage equality for all Randy served as one of the designers in the city and county application of Domestic Partnerships, which served as a catalyst for such protections in numerous cities and counties throughout the State of Florida. 

One of the highlights of Randy’s tenure with The Center was a partnership with Harbor House of Central Florida, working with its Executive Director, Carol Wick.  They created the Red Door Project which initially addressed the occurrence of same-sex domestic violence. Their initial findings revealed that over 50% of the respondents to a survey, operated in conjunction with the University of Central Florida, had been a victim of such violence but were either afraid or ashamed to inform local law enforcement of such actions. Based upon such a survey they created a program to educate the public and in particular law enforcement agencies of the hidden signs of same-sex domestic abuse, bringing the issue out of the shadows and into the light.  

Upon retiring from The Center Randy continues to be involved in addressing inequality for all groups by meeting with local leaders and is very active in the political community and encouraging voter registration by minorities who have been ignored in the past.



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