The Mary Renault Society

The Triangle Area of North Carolina

Reflections for Our Future

Ian Palmquist

Ian Palmquist grew up in Raleigh, where he got his introduction to gay rights/civil liberties as a high-profile member of the “Enloe Six.” Then at Carolina he joined the B-GLAD (Bisexuals, Gays, Lesbians, and Allies for Diversity), soon after becoming a leader of the group. He followed this by spending twelve years in the Equality North Carolina organization, eventually heading the group as Executive Director… after which he returned to studies for his MA in Public Administration from Harvard University. Ian was the recipient of the LGBT Center of Raleigh's Distinguished Service Award in 2014.

Ian is now Deputy Director of Equality, the national strategic partner to state-based organizations working to win equality in the communities we call home. He leads an all-star team of experienced movement professionals working to build strong, resilient, and adaptive leaders and powerful organizations that are securing legal protections, improving the lived experience of LGBTQ people, and advancing racial equity. He also serves as a board president of the Adaptive Leadership Network.

He will reflect on his journey as an advocate from a closeted high school kid in Raleigh in the early 90s to serving the LGBTQ+ movement at the national level today, and the progress and challenges along the way. He will share his take on what’s happening for LGBTQ+ rights across the country, how North Carolina fits in, and where the movement is headed in the years to come.

A native North Carolinian who lives in Washington DC, Ian has spoken to MRS before. Welcome him back.


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