The LA LGBT Center issued a statement today praising the accomplishments of and mourning the death of Rose Greene, who served on its board twice and led its first LGBT capital campaign, which led to the opening of the McDonald/Wright Building on Schrader Boulevard, which served as the Center’s headquarters until the opening in April of the Anita May Rosenstein Campus).
Greene, 72, died on Thursday of cancer.
“Today the Center joins our community in mourning the loss of a true warrior in the fight for LGBT equality, health, and happiness,” said the statement from the Center’s CEO, Lorri L. Jean. “Rose dedicated much of her life to building and strengthening the Center. She served on the Center’s board of directors on two different occasions: for six years from 1989–1995 and again from 2006–2011. She was board co-chair during the courageous and historic capital campaign (the first in the LGBT world) to purchase the Center’s 44,000-square-foot headquarters in Hollywood, now known as the McDonald/Wright Building and one of nine locations. The Center’s success in that campaign inspired others throughout the nation, among them the New York LGBT Center and the Human Rights Campaign.
“She presided over the board during difficult times, including Governor Pete Wilson’s veto of AB101—a bill that would prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation—and the imposition of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,’ and during heady times, such as the decision to mount a second capital campaign to purchase and renovate what became The Village at Ed Gould Plaza. As board co-chair, Rose also helped develop, and then rode, in the first California AIDS Ride in 1994, a 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles that raises money for HIV and AIDS related services at the Center. Now known as AIDS/LifeCycle, the event has raised more than $280 million in the fight against the disease.
Under her leadership, the Center also opened the Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic in 1993, which expanded free and comprehensive early intervention HIV and AIDS medical care. She also was a strong advocate of the Center’s board moving to the next level in giving and fundraising so that more could be accomplished to serve the most vulnerable in our community. The Center is what it is today, thanks in part to Rose’s leadership and vision.
“I’ll never forget that day in the summer of 1992 when my San Francisco office phone rang, and it was Rose, whom I had never met. Her mission was to recruit me to apply for the job of executive director at the Center. Her passion was infectious. Her commitment impressive. She succeeded, and that pivotal moment changed my life. Rose left this Earth way too early at the age of 72. But she went out fighting following a stem cell transplant in her quest to defeat bone cancer.
“Today the Center lauds this tireless champion of the oppressed, this extraordinary, amazing, powerful, hilarious, and loving woman. May she rest in peace.”