Jaymes Black

The Trevor Project announced this morning (Wednesday, July 10) that former Dallasite Jaymes Black (they/she/he) has been named as the organization’s new CEO. Black, who identifies as a nonbinary lesbian, is the first Black person and the first nonbinary person to be CEO for the organization dedicated to preventing suicide among LGBTQ youth.

In a statement to The Advocate, Black said, “Stepping into the role of CEO at The Trevor Project is an honor of a lifetime. I am beyond excited to continue working within the LGBTQ+ movement in this new capacity, and at the same time, I know this work is not easy.

“Right now, The Trevor Project — and the LGBTQ+ young people we serve — face historic challenges. Each year seems to bring a new, record-setting volume of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the U.S., and queer and trans peoples’ very identities continue to be used as political talking points. Despite these challenges, I remain optimistic about the journey ahead, and the future for LGBTQ+ young people.”

Julian J. Moore, Trevor Project’s board chair, in a press release announcing Black’s appointment praised their “deep passion for our mission to end suicide among LGBTQ+ young people” and their “résumé that is full of uniquely fitting leadership experience.”

Moore continued, “Their expertise blends nonprofit and corporate competencies, spanning business and community leadership, LGBTQ+ advocacy and coalition building, fundraising strategy and innovation, large budget oversight and financial acumen, call center operations and user experience, and more. They also bring compelling lived experience to Trevor, as a Black, nonbinary leader who grew up in South Texas.”

The Advocate reports that Black will assume their new role as Trevor Project CEO on July 15, taking over from the organization’s co-founder and board member Peggy Rajski, who has served as interim CEO since November 2022 when the board removed Amit Paley from the position amid concerns from staff.

Black comes to The Trevor Project from their role as CEO of Family Equality, where they served for three years. Prior to leading Family Equality, Black worked in the corporate sector, “where they held a variety of senior leadership roles at major companies, most recently at Charles Schwab.”

Family Equality also issued a press release today announcing Black’s departure from that organization: “It is with a mix of gratitude and sadness that we announce the departure of our president and CEO, Jaymes Black, who is taking on a new role with one of our valued movement partners, The Trevor Project. This decision was not made lightly and has been a challenging one for Jaymes, who has shown unwavering dedication and passion for our mission throughout her tenure.”

Longtime Family Eqiuality board member Alexis Kantor will step in as interim president and CEO while the board conducts its search for a permanent replacement.

— Tammye Nash