History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Wisconsin - People - Bios

Kathy Flores



Primary Involvements:

Anti-racism and anti-violence Advocate
Advisory Panel, Wis. LGBTQ History Project

Primary Location:

Appleton, WI



Kathy Flores has served on dozens of boards and committees over the years including Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and the Governor's Council on Domestic Abuse.

Born to a white father and Mexican mother and raised in southern California and Michigan, Kathy Flores moved to Wisconsin at the age of 19 already a teen mother of two. At the age of 23, Kathy attended Fox Valley Technical College and then started her career at Kimberly-Clark Corporation where she began working in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

After 7 years in DEI work in Corporate America, Kathy knew she was meant to be working as an activist, advocate and community organizer focused on anti-racism work. Kathy's work went on to include Harmony Café (as its first program director), Sexual Assault Crisis Center (rape crisis advocate volunteer), Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs (Community Education & Outreach Advocate), volunteer roles with an anti-racism focus.

In 2009, she became the City of Appleton's Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator in the Mayor's Office. One of Kathy's proudest achievements during her time with the city was her work to create ordinances to protect trans and non-binary people within the City of Appleton from discrimination in housing, employment and accommodations, making Appleton the first city in Northeast Wisconsin to pass these historic protections and the third city in the state following Madison and Milwaukee.

In 2016, Kathy was hired by Diverse & Resilient and within 2 years, she wrote grants and received funding to create a strong anti-violence program, expanding from just herself as a statewide advocate to a team of 5 advocates with her as director of this statewide program-- including the creation of Diverse & Resilient's first outreach office in Appleton, Wisconsin. Opening in 2019, it is now a thriving program serving hundreds of LGBTQ survivors each year.

Kathy left D&R in April 2023 because the work was taking its toll on her due to her advancing disability. Kathy calls herself many things... crone, mother, partner, movement mother, grandmother, gardener, and an advocate.

Kathy joined the Advisory Panel of the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project in November 2023.


Credits: Web site concept, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb;
Last updated: December-2023.

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