Carolyn Laub is a nonprofit strategy consultant, social entrepreneur, and executive coach. She helps nonprofits and foundations with strategic communications, strategy development, policy advocacy, growth, and fundraising. With each client, she leverages her deep content expertise in LGBTQ equality, education equity and justice, youth leadership, and community organizing.
Previously, Carolyn founded and led (1998-2014) a youth leadership social justice non-profit, Gay-Straight Alliance Network, which organizes LGBTQ youth to advocate for safety, equity, and restorative justice in schools. She grew 40 GSA clubs in California to 940, trained youth advocates who helped pass 12 pieces of legislation, and took her statewide model in California to scale nationally, accelerating a movement of 4,000+ GSA clubs today.
Carolyn is an Echoing Green Fellow, Ashoka Fellow, and Pahara Fellow. She lives in San Francisco with her wife and two daughters.
Why are you a strategist for good?
“I believe in the power of people to change their communities. I began organizing in college for food justice, ending sexual assault, and funding ethnic community centers on campus. Then I spent nearly two decades organizing with LGBTQ and straight ally youth to create safe and just schools through policy and cultural change. We fought for and won LGBT-inclusive history curriculum in California, because the stories told about us shape the world we live in.”
What’s your superpower?
“My mathematician father says I discovered prime numbers all on my own at 5 years old…or so the family legend goes. What’s true is that I excelled at math and dreamed of becoming a mathematician. But in college I came out as queer, got politicized and became a community organizer. Today my mathematical superpower shows up as keen project management, organizational and analytical skills that I use for good. (Not that math is bad.)”
What good have you done that you’re proudest of?
“I helped pass a California law to accurately represent LGBT people in history and social studies, then led the coalition of youth and family organizations and academics to implement it. Working with the state’s education bureaucracy was long and arduous. Now California has the most LGBT-inclusive K-12 history curriculum in the nation (and likely the world!) and 10 LGBT-inclusive textbooks. We literally changed history by including the stories of LGBT people: LGBT families; pioneers like Bayard Rustin, Sylvia Rivera, and Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon; gender and sexual diversity in the Harlem Renaissance; the struggle for transgender civil rights; and the freedom to marry.”