Robert K. Burns, originally from Cleveland, OH, resides in North Philadelphia and recently served as the Deputy Director of the COLOURS Organization and formerly the Director of Mazzoni Center’s Collective Program (a federally funded multi-agency collaborative serving the needs of African American, Latino and Asian/Pacific Islander communities) – both community based non-profits focused on serving the needs of disproportionately impacted sexual minority communities. Burns is a graduate from Lincoln University with his Master in Human Services with a concentration in counseling as well as 2008 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Association of Schools of Public Health – Institute for HIV Prevention Leadership Fellow. As an experienced public health/social service professional and community advocate for over 15 years, Burns expertise extends to working with organizations such as the Free Clinic of Greater Cleveland, AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, BlackOut Unlimited, Brother’s Circle of Cleveland, Black Gay Men’s Leadership Council, Lutheran Children and Family Services (LCFS) and the House of Blahnik. His knowledge in health prevention planning, program development, advocacy, social services practice, and social justice provide him with an strong foundation working in the human services arena.
In Burns most recent role as the volunteer Interim Executive Director of the House of Blahnik he assisted in development of a comprehensive strategic planning process amongst the 10 city leadership team, and helped facilitate the successful 10 year anniversary event, that raised funds for the annual Blahnik educational scholarship award. During this time, Burns simultaneously served as the Deputy Director of COLOURS ensuring the administration of a federal project geared towards providing assistance to LGBT re-entry populations. Burns is one of the founding members of the Black Gay Men’s Leadership Council, a empowerment/advocacy group chiefly responsible for examining the implications of social, political and health discourse amongst African America gay men in Philadelphia. Burns has served as a member and co-chair of the Philadelphia Prevention Planning group, a group responsible for providing the community voice to health disparities impacting marginalized communities. Burns has also worked closely with the Department of Human Services as a Youth Care Worker for Philadelphia’s only LGBT group home – Bethel Community. Burns has maintained an instrumental role through donating his time over the past 10 years as a respected disc jockey across the US working with various community based organizations and Pride organizations.
Robert K. Burns officially started in the capacity of Executive Director on Tuesday, June 15th and is extremely excited about expanding upon the relationships within the LGBT community and partnering allies within Philadelphia. Please join the Board and COLOURS Team in welcoming and supporting Robert in his new role during our Open House and reception October 7th beginning at 6pm at COLOURS 112 N. Broad 3rd Floor, following with our night out at Tabu 200 S. 12th Street for Community Thursdays at 9pm [portion of the proceeds to benefit the COLOURS Organization].