A member of the United Church of Christ’s former Executive Council and a transgender leader within the denomination has been appointed to serve on President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-based Neighborhood Partnerships. Barbara Satin is the first transgender woman to serve on the advisory council.
"Given the current political climate, I believe it's important that a voice of faith representing the transgender and gender non-conforming community—as well as a person of my years, nearly 82—be present and heard in these vital conversations," said Satin, who was involved in the church’s 2003 decision to affirm the inclusion of transgender people in the full life and ministry of the UCC.
Satin recently worked on the development of Spirit on Lake, a LGBTQ senior housing project in Minneapolis that opened in 2013. She also sits on the boards of a number of non-profits that serve LGBTQ people in the areas of philanthropy, training of senior care providers and HIV-AIDS services. Satin is a veteran of the United States Air Force.
The White House announced the appointment of Satin, along with 10 other individuals, to the advisory council on Thursday, May 12. The presidential council, made up of about 15 individuals from across the faith community and charitable organizations, brings together leaders and experts in fields related to the work of faith-based and neighborhood organizations. Its role is to make recommendations to the administration on how to improve the partnerships it forms to serve people in need.
"These fine public servants bring a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their important roles. I look forward to working with them," the president said in a statement.