• Matt Esnayra

LGBTQ Center Long Beach ousted executive director after accusations of racism

(Photo: LGBTQ Center's Facebook)

The LGBTQ Center announced Tuesday they would not be renewing the contract of Executive Director Porter Gilberg, who was facing accusations of racist and misogynist behaviors towards Black employees.

The big picture: A tenet of the LGBTQ Center Long Beach mission statement is "equity for LGBTQ people through culturally responsive advocacy,", but according to the letter by former staff members, the center suffers from "anti-Blackness within the organization" and that under Gilberg's tenure he created a "traumatizing and hostile work environment ..., particularly for The Center's Black employees."

  • Gilberg's nonrenewal of his contract comes after a two-month internal investigation into the accusations.

  • Black Lives Matter: As nationwide protest and calls for reforms to the police and the civil justice system grow louder, there is also a call for corporations and non-profits to examine their own implicit bias in the workplace.

What they're saying: “The Center approached this situation with a singular goal in mind, and it comes as no surprise that the investigation the Board commissioned arrived at their pre-ordained conclusion,” Gilberg said to the L.B Press-Telegram. “I cannot express the deep pain The Center’s Board has caused me with this betrayal.”

  • In the letter, former employees wrote that under "Porter Gilberg’s tenure as Executive Director of The Center is marked by a culture of intimidation and fear. This culture has directly resulted in high turnover of staff and in particular Black staff members. Many staff members have witnessed him yell at and shame their colleagues. Staff have been subject to harassment of and degrading gossip about staff, volunteers, and community members. Gilberg often exhibits obvious conflict with and contempt for staff members, regularly showing his disdain for them. Staff are often pushed to work unsustainable hours and Gilberg openly belittles and criticizes those who work fewer than 50+ hours per week."

Here's the letter:

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