Jerry Peterson, Executive Director, The Ruth Ellis Center
Family Strengthening and Family Acceptance Among LGBTQ Youth
Does Family and Kinship Strengthening work for LGBTQ Youth?
What are the specific needs of LGBTQ youth and their families?
How do issues of LGBTQ acceptance and structural racism intersect in regards to family and kinship strengthening?
How do you talk about the harms done when families do not accept LGBTQ youth?
Plus your own questions!
Jerry Peterson has more than 30 years of experience in the non-profit sector and expertise in executive
leadership as well as developing community collaborations between the public and private sectors to
address vital issues for lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.
Prior to the Ruth Ellis Center, Peterson’s most recent role was facilitator for the LGBTQ Youth Advocacy
Collaborative, a collaboration of six non-profit agencies working to reduce mental health disparities in
California by reducing rejecting behaviors and increasing accepting behaviors toward LGBTQ young
people in families, schools, service providers and faith groups.
Peterson also spent 14 years with the United Way of Allen County in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he
served as its president and CEO for four years. In this position, he led the $6 million, 30-person
organization, nurtured community partnerships and launched a 10-year initiative to improve reading
levels of children by the third grade.
He has a
master’s degree in theology from Bethany Theological Seminary and a bachelors of arts in social work
from Elizabethtown College.