Cece Cox is recognized for her effective local and regional leadership and advocacy in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights movement. As of January 2015, she has been named co-chair of CenterLink, the national association of LGBT community centers. Cox serves as CEO of Resource Center, which operates the largest LGBT community center in Texas, and provides health services and programs to individuals with HIV. The Center serves more than 60,000 people annually with a staff of more than 50 employees and 1,100 volunteers.
Cox has been an advocate on behalf of the LGBT and HIV communities for nearly 30 years. She was instrumental in the passage of a nondiscrimination policy inclusive of sexual orientation for the City of Dallas, the first anti-harassment policy adopted by Dallas Independent School District and its subsequent anti-bullying policy. She has also personally conducted LGBT cultural competency training for employees of Dallas Area Rapid Transit, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, and faculty and staff of Southern Methodist University and Richland College. Since June 2010, over 50,000 public sector employees and a quarter-million students in the Dallas area have new or expanded LGBT nondiscrimination protections thanks to the Center’s advocacy. The Center also consults with governmental agencies, educational institutions and businesses to make their policies and practices more LGBT-inclusive.
In 2007, Cox joined the Center as associate executive director and became CEO in July, 2010. She has led the Center in expanding programs, staffing and its impact in the community. Before joining the Center, Cox practiced commercial law and provided pro bono legal services to individuals living with HIV. Her activism and support of the community included work at the Turtle Creek Chorale, Legal Hospice of Texas, Youth First Texas, the regional office of Lambda Legal, and an appointment to both a City of Dallas board and task force.
Cox is a member of the executive committee for SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development; the Dallas Assembly; and Dallas Summit. She is a board member of Dallas Women’s Foundation and the national organization, CenterLink. She is also a former president of the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance (DGLA), a former co-chair of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation/Dallas and a former officer of the LGBT Section of the State Bar of Texas. She is an alumnae of both Leadership Dallas and Leadership Lambda.
In 1999, Cox was recognized with the prestigious Kuchling Humanitarian Award from Black Tie Dinner. The LGBT Law Section of the State Bar of Texas recognized her with the Judge Norman W. Black Award in 2013. In 2014, Dallas Voice named her Best Local LGBT Community Leader. In 2010 and 2012, the Voice named her Best Local LGBT Role Model, and she was awarded the Profiles in Leadership Award from Southern Methodist University’s Women’s Symposium. She is a former professional photographer who co-authored One Million Strong, a book chronicling the 1993 March on Washington for gay and lesbian rights. Cox earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a law degree from SMU. Cox is a member of the State Bar of Texas.