David Brinkman, ’94
Maile Klein '2009'
The Gender Studies Program prepared me to face the largest health care crisis of my generation, AIDS.
As a young gay man, I lacked the role models and self confidence needed to become a leader in the LGBT and AIDS community. I found and developed the skills and courage needed through the Gender Studies Program.
Since graduation, my passion for social justice has fueled a lifelong commitment to the work of nonprofit organizations. Over my career in the nonprofit sector, I’ve worked with small grassroots agencies as well as large institutions to further their missions and improve their stature in the philanthropic communities of the Pacific Northwest and Southern California.
Since my first job at Cascade AIDS Project, I’ve lost many friends to AIDS. During these moments of loss and other instances of navigating uncharted territory, I’ve drawn from my Gender Studies education and gratefully been a part of advances in the epidemic. Today I proudly serve as Chief Executive Officer of Desert AIDS Project, providing medical and social services to 2,000+ people living with HIV/AIDS, prevention education to the community and advocacy for the cause. I remain grateful to the Gender Studies Program for helping to make it all possible.
I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.
David Brinkman, MBA
CEO, Desert AIDS Project
Palm Springs, CA