Soulforce Announces Change in Leadership

cindi haven

After four years as Executive Director of Soulforce, Rev. Dr. Cindi Love is leaving Soulforce for an appointment to the role of Executive Director of ACPA—College Student Educators International. Haven Herrin, Deputy Director of Soulforce, has been appointed Acting Director effective February 1, 2014.

ACPA celebrates its 90th year at its annual convention in Indianapolis March 29-April 1, 2014. Love will be introduced to the global membership at that time. ACPA’s offices are at the National Center for Higher Education at One Dupont Circle, NW in Washington, D. C. ACPA is recognized globally for its leadership in addressing issues and trends in student affairs within the context of higher education with particular emphasis on diversity, multi-cultural competency and human dignity as well as outreach and advocacy on behalf of students.

Love says, “ACPA’s ability to adapt, grow, and change throughout its 90 year history is witness to its deep commitment to serving student affairs educators as they evolve within the context of culture and society. I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to encourage attention and implementation of the core values of ACPA on college campuses. Accepting this role feels like a natural next step from my work at Soulforce. Our founders and volunteers have dedicated their lives to pushing back boundaries and challenging practices and policies of exclusion in schools and churches. They advocate for full participation, fairness, activism, and meaningful change everywhere they go. I have learned so much about creating connection and dialogue from our extraordinary Soulforce community. It will be wonderful to assist student affairs educators as they help their campuses find new ways to ensure full access, safety and justice for all students.”

Herrin’s advancement to Executive Director of Soulforce follows a path from Co-Director of the first Equality Ride beginning in 2005, to Director of Young Adult Activism, to Development Director, to Deputy Director. From Dallas, and an art school graduate of the University of Richmond, Herrin has provided creative and forward-thinking leadership for the organization. Herrin has extended the reach of Soulforce’s work on religious reconciliation and nonviolent activism globally as a World Board Member of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Association, and a Steering Committee Member of the Global Interfaith Network.

“I joined with Soulforce in 2005 during the first Equality Ride pilot,” Herrin said. “Being from Texas, I believe it took me less than a breath to resonate with the idea that religion can be warped into a tool for furthering injustice. What appealed to me about the Equality Ride, and all the work of Soulforce, is our fearlessness in addressing problems for which there is no template solution.”

Herrin’s predecessor was quick with praise: “From the earliest days of my tenure at Soulforce, I knew that Haven Herrin was this fantastic amalgamation of characteristics of people whom I deeply admire,” Cindi Love said. “Haven was always questioning status quo with grace, always filling up a room with captivating ideas, always turning accepted norms upside down and inside out for reconsideration, always standing in staunch solidarity with those who should never have to stand alone. Haven has been catalytic in the creation of the best of Soulforce. I know that I leave this organization in very competent, committed, and caring hands. The role of Executive Director is simply the next ordered step for Haven’s impact and influence in the world for equity, inclusion and justice for all human beings.”

Christopher Carr, Board Chair of Soulforce, had this to say, “While we are saddened at losing the tremendous asset that is Cindi Love, we are pleased she has been provided an opportunity that will allow her to continue in her journey with an organization whose efforts are in solidarity with our work. We also welcome Haven Herrin who represents the very best of Soulforce with poise, strength, and commitment to see our mission forward.”

Speaking about the transition of leadership, Herrin said, “I wish Cindi Love well as she brings the principles of Soulforce to a new realm and look forward to our future work together.”

Herrin sums up commitment to Soulforce this way, “More than anything, I believe in that moment when an activist realizes just how powerful they are. That is why I have worked with Soulforce since 2005 with unflagging commitment. The opportunity to be Executive Director of Soulforce is a rare gift; I promise to continue its legacy of daring and compassionate social change.”

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Soulforce is committed to freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people from religious and political oppression through relentless nonviolent resistance. For more information about current Soulforce projects and past actions, see www.Soulforce.org