Tony Valenzuela new executive director at ONE Archives Foundation

Tony Valenzuela, former executive director of the Foundation for the AIDS Monument, is the new executive director of the ONE Archives Foundation.

Valenzuela is the first Latinx person to lead ONE Archives Foundation, the longest continuously operating LGBTQ+ organization in the United States. 

“I’m thrilled to step into the role of executive director at ONE Archives Foundation as this storied organization prepares to celebrate its 70th anniversary,” Valenzuela said in a statement announcing his role.

“Although our work for social justice is never done, understanding our LGBTQ+ history provides us with inspiration and a roadmap to combat the prejudice and discrimination we continue to face today,” he said.

ONE Archives Foundation will mark its 70th anniversary in November 

As an independent nonprofit, ONE Archives Foundation promotes ONE Archives at the USC Libraries — the largest repository of LGBTQ+ material in the world — and provides educational initiatives, public exhibitions, and community programs.

“Tony Valenzuela is admired and loved by the LGBTQ+ nonprofit community,” Chiedu Egbuniwe, board chair of ONE Archives Foundation, said in the statement. “With unparalleled leadership experience, strong relationships, and boundless enthusiasm, Tony is the ideal leader for the organization.

“We are excited to work with him in our mission to keep queer history visible and to advance our vision of a safe future for all LGBTQ+ people,” Egbuniwe said.

Precious to his work at The AIDS Monument, Valenzuela served as the executive director of Lambda Literary, one of the nation’s leading queer literary arts nonprofit, leading the organization for nearly a decade.

While at Lambda Literary, Valenzuela founded the LGBTQ+ Writers in Schools program, the first ever queer educational initiative in the K-12 New York City public schools system.

Valenzuela has been a part of the LGBTQ+ movement since becoming president of his campus queer organization at UC San Diego in 1990. He spent the early part of his career in management roles at the LGBT Center and LGBT VOICES (Voters Organized in Coalition for the Election), in San Diego, and the Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services in Los Angeles.

Valenzuela started as executive director at the ONE Archives Foundation Aug. 15.

Valenzuela succeeds Jennifer C. Gregg, who had been executive director since 2016.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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