The Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center Launches Annual LGBTQ Lecture Series

The Burgett Intercultural Center Launches Annual LGBTQ Lecture Series

Leaders from the Los Angeles LGBT Center will present the inaugural talk October 17

The Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center announces a new endowed lecture series that will foster dialogue, encourage inclusivity, and advance the leadership skills of those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community at the University of Rochester. The series will bring to campus leaders who are spearheading influential LGBTQ programs across the country.

The Lorri L. Jean and Darrel Cummings Distinguished Lecture series will kick off Thursday, October 17 with a talk from Jean and Cummings, leaders of the innovative Los Angeles LGBT Center—the world’s largest LGBTQ organization. The inaugural talk includes a networking reception and will take place from 6–7:30 p.m. in the Feldman Ballroom within Douglass Commons on the River Campus. The event is free and open to the public. Register for the event here.

The lecture series is made possible due to the generosity of Loren Ostrow ’73, ’74 (MBA) and his husband, Brian Newkirk. Ostrow has served on the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles LGBT Center for 20 years, and is a recognized advocate for the LGBTQ community.

“We created this lecture series to help ensure that strong, effective leadership in the LGBTQ community always exists,” says Ostrow. “Our goal is to bring in extraordinary, proven leaders to Rochester to inspire, inform, and guide those in the LGBTQ community here.”

Lorri L. Jean

“This lecture series allows us the opportunity to have dynamic leaders like Lorri Jean and Darrel Cummings come to Rochester,” says Colleen Raimond, the Burgett Intercultural Center’s LGBTQ coordinator. “Their work in Los Angeles provides a blueprint for LGBTQ centers around the world like ours.”

Jean, chief executive officer of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, is nationally recognized as one of the most seasoned and effective leaders in the LGBTQ civil rights movement. OUT magazine has twice listed her as one of the 50 most powerful gay and lesbian people in the nation. In 2014, Los Angeles Magazine named her one of the 10 most inspiring women in Los Angeles.

Jean has been an activist on LGBTQ issues since 1979. She served as the lead plaintiff in the successful landmark lawsuit against Georgetown University to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. She also was the first openly gay or lesbian person in history to receive a top secret security clearance from the Central Intelligence Agency.

Darrel Cummings

As chief of staff for the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Cummings is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the center and holds final responsibility for the organization. He also plays a lead role in directing the organization’s external relations efforts, including its work in public policy advocacy, participation in significant coalitions, and its relationship with other community-based organizations.

Additionally, Cummings leads the center’s private fundraising initiatives as well as government funding efforts. He has worked in non-profit organizations for nearly three decades and has held numerous paid and volunteer positions in the LGBTQ community.

“We look forward to learning from these leaders and gaining inspiration that will help us build an even stronger culture of inclusivity,” adds Jessica Guzman-Rea, the Burgett Intercultural Center’s director.

The Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center is a joint venture of the Office of the Dean of Students and the David T. Kearns Center. The center is focused on promoting cultural awareness and engagement, educating on issues of identity, culture, and diversity, and providing avenues for intersection and opportunities for collaboration. For more information on the center, visit

Kristine Thompson, October 2019