The OUT Foundation Welcomes New Executive Director
Founded in 2017, The OUT Foundation’s mission is to remove the barriers that block LGBTQ+ individuals’ access and participation in fitness, health, and wellness, to ensure their success. Over the last 3 years, The OUT Foundation has grown and expanded its programs to become one of the world’s leading nonprofits in the LGBTQ+ wellness space. Dedicated to nurturing, empowering, and celebrating LGBTQ+ bodies and minds, guaranteeing the community thrives.
Beginning this August, Founder, Will Lanier, will be transitioning to a new role as Chief Mission Officer for the organization, and former Associate Director, Eddie Plata, will now serve as the Executive Director.
“When I held our first workout in 2011 in NYC, I never imagined that small social group would grow into an LGBTQ+ nonprofit that has served thousands of individuals,” said Will Lanier, Chief Mission Officer. “I am excited to transition into this new role to continue advocating for inclusion.”
The OUT Foundation’s largest international initiative, OUTAthletics (formerly OUTWOD) has rebranded as the organization looks to expand its work beyond CrossFit.
“From our success with OUTAthletics to our OUTHealth initiatives, we have built a robust network of LGBTQ+ community members and allies who believe in inclusion for all,” said Eddie Plata, Executive Director of The OUT Foundation. “I’m committed to expanding upon the work Will and our team have done to grow the organization and positively impact even more LGBTQ+ lives through fitness, health, and wellness.”
Knowing it can be tough finding a safe, inclusive gym – and because it can be really intimidating to walk into a space and not know if they’re LGBTQ+ friendly – the organization recently launched the first-of-its-kind ‘Inclusive Gym Finder’ tool. This tool is for anyone looking to start their fitness journey in a supportive community, for those moving to a new city and trying to find a gym where they’ll be accepted for who they are, or for people who are traveling and trying to get a workout in somewhere they know they’ll be welcomed.
And in the coming year, The OUT Foundation looks to expand upon its successful chapter pilot program in Portland, Maine to bring more local chapters of the organization to other areas across the country. These chapters will raise funds to support local at-risk LGBTQ+ young adults through the OUTAthlete program, to bring access to fitness,health, and wellness, to even more underserved LGBTQ+ people in communities across the country.
“As we’ve been learning and growing, we realized our brand and our goals need to grow as well,” said Chloie Jönsson, President of The OUT Foundation Board of Directors. “So as we continue our work, we’ll be expanding it to include advocacy for inclusion in fitness and beyond and I’m excited to work with Will and Eddie in their new roles to continue to fight to build a more inclusive community for all.”