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Cindy Watson, CEO

JASMYN Executive Director, Cindy WatsonCindy Watson, CEO of JASMYN, has been a community organizer and non-profit administrator for nearly 30 years, and has worked for 6 years as a legal advocate for children, families, and people with HIV / AIDS.  In 1980, she opened a battered women’s shelter for Inupiaq women in northwest Alaska, and later ran a women’s center for rural women in Vermont.  In 1996, she developed a school-based pilot program in Florida focusing on child victims.

She has worked with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth since 1994, and was a founding board member of the Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network, Inc. (JASMYN).   Ms. Watson has been the Executive Director of JASMYN since 1998, and has developed comprehensive youth development programs for teens and young adults at JASMYN.

She was appointed a Commissioner of the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission in 2006, and is a past Chair of the Commission.  She is also the past Community Co-Chair for the First Coast Community AIDS Prevention Partnership, a community planning group where she has been an active member since 1995.

She is a trainer on diversity issues with a focus on sexual orientation and gender identity, and HIV / AIDS education.  She holds a B.A. degree in Psychology from Furman University, and has completed training with the Community Coaches Program of the Nonprofit Center of Jacksonville.

She and her spouse, Garnett Harrison, were married in Toronto, Canada in 2004, and are parents to two teenage boys  and an adult daughter.   Her favorite past-times include camping, bird watching, and hanging out with her granddaughters.

I am inspired every day at JASMYN by the courage of young people, the passion of our staff, and the dedication and commitment of our board of directors and community supporters. Every day we invest our time, money, and resources into making Jacksonville a safer and more affirming place for our LGBTQ youth and the larger community. The future belongs to those who create it.

- Cindy Watson