Title: Executive Director
Company: Montgomery Pride United
Location: Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Meta Ellis, Executive Director at Montgomery Pride United, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in civil rights organization.
Ms. Ellis has provided longstanding leadership at the forefront of the civil and gay rights movements as executive director of Montgomery Pride United, an organization established in 2015 to provide a safe space for LGBTQ individuals, hosting support groups, supplying emergency food and hygiene products, masks and clothing and offering senior services, sexual wellness workshops and mental health support, as well as accommodating community gatherings for progressive groups. In addition, Ms. Ellis co-founded the Bayard Rustin Community Center and Thrift Store, named after civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who was an indispensable force behind the civil rights movement alongside Martin Luther King Jr.
Ms. Ellis is the oldest daughter of one of the few white families who supported the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a political and social protest campaign against the policy of racial segregation in the public transit system of Montgomery initiated in 1955 after Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat on a Montgomery city bus to a white man. Her father, the Rev. Robert Graetz, ministered to the majority-Black Trinity Lutheran Evangelical Church and drove people to and from work during the year-long boycott, which ended with the abolition of city bus segregation. Rev. Graetz and his family suffered harassment that included bombings of their home.
For her civil rights efforts, Ms. Ellis was honored with a Community Hero Award from the Montgomery Advertiser, was a co-recipient of the Billy Jack Gaither Humanitarian Award and was named as one of the Faces of Pride for Alabama by USA Today. As a career highlight, she cites helping build Montgomery Pride United with her wife, Emma McDaniel-Ellis. In the near future, Ms. Ellis would like to expand Montgomery Pride United to add facilities and services that currently include the largest LGBTQ library in the state. She is also helping to develop two museums about her family’s contributions to the community.
Contact Ms. Ellis: