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Resource Center advocates for the LGBTQ community as well as all people impacted by HIV/AIDS. The Center’s advocacy takes many forms, from meeting with local and state lawmakers about issues important to the LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS communities to working with local government, businesses and schools to make more inclusive environments. We also keep the community informed, and encourage grassroots advocacy to protect our rights.


Examples of Past Work

  • Lead the efforts to get Dallas ISD to adopt a comprehensive anti-bullying policy
  • Rolled out the “Out for Safe Schools” comprehensive LGBTQ anti-bullying training with Dallas ISD and Uplift Education, reaching thousands of students across North Texas
  • Worked with City of Dallas and Dallas County to add transgender employment protections and health insurance benefits
  • Conducted LGBTQ cultural competency training for TABC around the state in the wake of the Rainbow Lounge raid
  • Helped numerous municipalities, companies and other organizations adopt LGBTQ-inclusive policies for employees and residents

The Advocacy team’s work is also widely in local, regional and national media outlets ranging from the Dallas Voice, Dallas Morning News and all five local television newscasts to the New York Times and Huffington Post. Check out some of our latest media mentions.


LGBTQ Cultural Competency Training
Does your organization or business know how to create a fully inclusive environment for LGBTQ employees? Are you looking to learn more or update your knowledge on LGBTQ terms? Want to know the lay of the land when it comes to LGBTQ rights and policy? Resource Center offers cultural competency training at the 101-level that will introduce participants to LGBTQ terms, proper use of pronouns, the coming out process, phobias and “-isms” and give you workplace calls to action to support and affirm LGBTQ colleagues or clients. Our training can be tailored to private business, education, healthcare and many other settings.
Already on your way to a fully inclusive workplace? Resource Center also offers policy audits and advanced training to fit your specific diversity and inclusion goals.

Contact us to learn more!
Call 214-528-0144 or email rmcdonnell@myresourcecenter.org

Contact Us
Rafael McDonnell
Communications & Advocacy Manager
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Patrick Hanley
Policy & Advocacy Associate
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Leslie McMurray
Transgender Education & Advocacy Coordinator
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Meet the Team

Rafael McDonnell, Advocacy and Communication Manager
Rafael McDonnell is the Communications and Advocacy Manager for Resource Center, the LGBTQ community center serving North Texas. At the Center, he works on external communications as well as leads a three-person team who works on education, advocacy and policy issues involving the LGBTQA community on behalf of the Center. Since June 2010, he has successfully participated in or led community advocacy for new or expanded LGBTQ employment protections for over 55,000 public sector employees in North Texas, as well as partner benefits at both Dallas County and Dallas Area Rapid Transit. McDonnell has also worked on and advocated for anti-bullying and non-discrimination policies covering more than a quarter-million students at Dallas ISD, Dallas County Community Colleges and Uplift Education. McDonnell’s 30-year career as a professional communicator includes working at radio and television stations in Dallas, Houston and Oklahoma City, where his work was honored by the Texas AP Broadcasters, the Dallas Press Club and the Texas Public Health Association. Prior to joining the Center in 2008, he was a member of the news office at the University of North Texas and participated in UNT’s Allies program. McDonnell is a former president of Lambda Pride Toastmasters and vice president of Dignity/Dallas, a group for LGBTQ Roman Catholics. He is a former board member of the Trinity Valley School alumni association, a member of the City of Fort Worth Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission and has volunteered for the Tanqueray AIDS Rides & the Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS.

Patrick Hanley, Policy and Advocacy Associate
At Resource Center, Patrick works to advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS community in North Texas. Patrick comes to Resource Center with nearly ten years of experience working in politics and policy both in Washington, DC and London. He spent four years working in a variety of positions in the office of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), ultimately becoming Special Assistant to the Senator. After leaving the Senate, he engaged in targeted advocacy and policy research as the National Security Program Associate at Human Rights First, working on issues related to counterterrorism and human rights. While at Human Rights First, he observed the military commission trials ongoing at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Patrick holds a MSc (with distinction) in Public Policy and Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and a BA (with honors) in Political Science from the University of Florida. Patrick lives with his partner, Alex, and two kittens in downtown Dallas.

Leslie McMurray, Transgender Advocacy Coordinator
Leslie was born and raised in Southern California. She spent 33 years in the radio and television business. Leslie has two beautiful and successful daughters and 4 gorgeous grandchildren. Her transition has only strengthened the bonds she has with her children. Leslie lives in Coppell with her wife, Katie, and Border Collies “Breezy and Patches.” Her 9-5 job is Insurance Assistance Coordinator for Resource Center in Dallas. She also serves as the Transgender Education and Advocacy Coordinator for Resource Center. For fun, she’s a contributing columnist for the Dallas Voice and a frequent resource for Dallas Television and radio stations on issues relating to the Transgender community.