By David T. Valentin
After three years as executive director for Lambda Literary, Sue Landers will be stepping down from her role on December 1st of this year.
When appointed executive director three years ago, Landers said, “I believe that LGBTQ writing is absolutely vital for our collective happiness and survival. For decades, Lambda Literary has fostered precisely the kind of radical imagination we need to build a more equitable world. I am honored to join this incredible organization and look forward to serving our LGBTQ+ community.”
Little did she know how much her words and leadership would be needed in 2020 when a pandemic pulled the world to a grinding halt. Like many nonprofits that year, LAMBDA struggled financially and considered shutting down the nonprofit organization.
To pull together the organization and its members at a time where LGBTQ+ people could not meet and may feel isolated and lonely in unsafe spaces and communities, LAMBDA Literary hosted a slew of virtual events, including their very first Virtual Lammy Award celebration, to gather enough money to keep the nonprofit organization up and running.
In her resignation letter sent by email, Landers writes, “I am grateful to have led Lambda during a time of historic change. As COVID-19 touched all our lives, it decimated far too many nonprofits. As you know, even Lambda came close to shutting our doors. Thank fully, that didn’t come to pass because you—our community and allies—dug deep to ensure Lambda’s solid financial footing. I am proud to say that Lambda Literary is here to stay.”
Under Sue Landers leadership, the nonprofit organization was able to: host their first livestreamed Lammys ceremony; quadrupled the reach of LGBTQ writers in schools; hosted events that centered and celebrated Black LGBTQ lives (which I had the opportunity to attend), and many other successful campaigns to bring LGBTQ+ voices and stories into the spotlight.
You can read Sue Landers’ resignation letter on the website here.