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Diversity in the Ranks

By Jim Smith, DignityUSA Associate Director 

On a visit to Dignity/Houston, I had the pleasure to see their President, Tierra Ortiz-Rodriguez, in action. What is somewhat unique about this chapter President is that Tierra is not Catholic. Her deep interest in the work of justice and her sense that humans are made for community, among other reasons, are what drew Tierra to the Catholic community. Tierra is also straight, and a strong ally to LGBT persons and families. Dignity’s mission to call the Church and society to fully embrace the dignity and equality of LGBT persons and families attracted her to Dignity/Houston (and before that, Dignity/Honolulu). Tierra works as an organizer at Houston’s LGBT community hub, the Montrose Center.

It was a privilege to watch Tierra interact with current members and with visitors new to Dignity. She was proactive, generous and personable, and her kin in Dignity/Houston obviously know a good leader when they see and elect one.