New York, NY, April 22, 2011 - The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today announced Herndon Graddick as Senior Director of Media Programs and Ross Murray as Director of Religion, Faith & Values.
In his role as Senior Director of Media Programs, Graddick will lead GLAAD's programmatic initiatives and oversee the organization's National News; Entertainment; Religion, Faith & Values; Community & Field Media; Advertising; Messaging; and Spanish-Language Media programs. Graddick previously served as GLAAD's Deputy Director of Media Programs. During his tenure, Graddick successfully led GLAAD's efforts to file a complaint with the FCC against the anti-gay Spanish-language talk show "Jose Luis Sin Censura," and remove anti-gay language from Universal Pictures' 2011 film trailer for "The Dilemma." Graddick also oversaw successful efforts to create a partnership with the NBA and the Los Angeles Lakers following the use of an anti-gay slur by Kobe Bryant.
"Since coming to GLAAD, Herndon has demonstrated tremendous leadership and has played a key role in advancing several campaigns that have educated Americans about the dangers of anti-gay slurs and made our media more inclusive," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "With his extraordinary skill set, intellect and vision, Herndon will take GLAAD's work to exciting new heights, and we're thrilled to welcome him to GLAAD's leadership team."
Prior to his work at GLAAD, Graddick served as the Executive Producer of the Global Observatory, a media and communications effort which aimed to bring public awareness to the climate change crisis. He also served as Supervising Producer at E! Networks and the day-of-air news division director at CURRENT TV, the youth-oriented news and entertainment network created by former Vice President Al Gore. As a producer at CNN, Graddick also contributed to the creation of daily primetime programming such as "Paula Zahn Now," "Anderson Cooper 360," and "Live from the Headlines."
In his role as Director of Religion, Faith & Values, Ross Murray will lead GLAAD's efforts to amplify pro-LGBT voices of faith and increase acceptance, respect and understanding of LGBT Americans among religious communities.
"Engaging communities of faith with positive messages about our community is essential to gaining full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "Ross has already been a transformational voice in faith communities across the country, helping to demonstrate the harms of inequality and working to illustrate the common ground we all share. We're excited to welcome him to GLAAD."
Murray comes to GLAAD from the LGBT-affirming faith organization, Lutherans Concerned/North America (LC/NA), where he served as Deputy Director. While at LC/NA, Murray was responsible for major event planning including LC/NA presence and activities in conjunction with the 2009 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) National Youth Gathering, the history-making 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, and the 2010 LC/NA biennial assembly. Murray is also the co-founder and Program Director of The Naming Project, a faith-based youth group serving young people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
In 2010, GLAAD's Religion, Faith & Values program helped raise national awareness around the anti-gay "death bill" in Uganda, advocated for LGBT inclusive policies within the Presbyterian Church, and called on the Oprah Winfrey Network to dispel myths about so-called "ex-gay" programs in a talk-back segment following an episode of "Our America with Lisa Ling."