Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin has hired the city’s first LGBTQ liaison to serve as both a spokesperson for the city and as a representative of LGBTQ interests.
Josh Coleman, who currently works as vice president of Central Alabama Pride, will start his new role on June 25.
Woodfin made the announcement Sunday at PrideFest held at Sloss Furnaces.
As a way to make the city more inclusive, Woodfin also plans to create the Mayor’s Office of Social Justice and Racial Equity. Details on this office haven’t been released yet.
A diversity officer will also be hired in the city’s economic development department, the mayor told city councilors last week.
As LGBTQ liaison, Coleman will focus on the public safety of the LGBTQ communities. Coleman will build upon the relationship between the LGBTQ community and the city through provision of fair and professional policies and services, according to the mayor’s office.
"We are very excited to have Josh at the table," Woodfin said. "Birmingham is the city that taught the world the importance of inclusion. Josh will help us continue to uphold that legacy of equality by ensuring that all of our citizens have a voice in this administration."
Besides working at Central Alabama Pride, a nonprofit organization focused on celebrating pride and diversity in Central Alabama, Coleman is a volunteer with the Human Rights Campaign, a certified life coach and an ordained minister. Previously, he worked as chief operating officer of Rickmark Inc., a large multiunit Pizza Hut franchisee.
Coleman is known for his commitment to social issues, specifically LGBTQ equality. He is the national committeeman for the Alabama Young Democrats, an advisor to AYD’s LGBTQ caucus, and board member of Greater Birmingham Democrats. Since 2008, Coleman has worked on several political campaigns and advocacy efforts.
"It really is an honor to serve in this position, and have a mayor interested in making sure that all of its residents are represented,” Coleman said. "This is the next step in Mayor Woodfin’s commitment to having an of having an open, fair and inclusive city.”
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