For Evan Davidoff, it’s all about training the next generation of activists

Evan Davidoff has been working for human rights for half his life.

“It’s always been a passion of mine. I’ve been involved in LGBTQ advocacy since high school,” says Davidoff, now 30 years old.

Now, he’s the founder of a nonprofit called the Global Partnership for Emerging Leaders, designed to empower the next generation of gay rights leaders. The idea behind GPEL is to bring together a group of 12 to 15 young activists, then keep them connected through a series of online training seminars and workshops.

Davidoff hopes that the first graduates of the program will serve as mentors for the next.

“I like the idea of passing the baton,” he says.

The first group of activists is set to meet each other in July. Applications are being accepted through June 17.

Davidoff says he got the idea for the organization several years ago, after attending a meeting of gay activists from around the world in Israel.

“I had such a great experience and made contacts with other activists around the world,” says Davidoff. “But there was no follow-up to it—nothing to keep us in communication with each other.”

So two years ago, he founded GPEL, serving as the organization’s executive director. Last summer, the organization was granted nonprofit status.

It’s a natural fit for Davidoff, who has a master’s degree in social work. He’s worked in New York for its gay community center, its gay synagogue, and Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. The latter works to expand economic opportunities and promote social justice.

Davidoff says after operating GPEL out of his home or a coffee shop, he is happy to have a home base at WeWork Studio Square.

“I looked at the space through 3D goggles a couple of weeks before it opened,” says Davidoff. “We moved in right when it opened. It’s great to finally have a desk to call my own.”

He said that through WeWork’s Member Network he was able to connect with a couple of people who were interested in joining his organization’s leadership team. He’s used the office for team meetings, to screen a television show, and for a big party on June 18 celebrating Gay Pride Month. It’s free for WeWork members.

“WeWork has really become our home,” he says.

Photo: Hugo Fernandes

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