PROTECTING RIGHTS, GIVING BACK, STUDENT SAFETY:
ADDITIONAL 2012 LA PRIDE HONOREES ANNOUNCED
On the heels of last week's announcement that Chaz Bono, Dee Rees and Katy Butler will be among the 2012 slate of Community Honorees, Christopher Street West, proud producers of LA PRIDE, is thrilled to announce three other members of this outstanding group: California Attorney General Kamala Harris; event producer extraordinaire, Tom Whitman and fierce advocate for safe schools, Steve Jimenez. LA PRIDE takes place June 8-10, 2012 in the City of West Hollywood.
Kamala Harris is the first woman, first African-American and first Asian American to serve as Attorney General for the State of California. In this formidable elective role, Harris has made the fight against fraudulent foreclosures, the effects of which continue to devastate homeowners throughout our State, her signature issue. However, it is her bold leadership on matters of paramount importance to the LGBT community and unwavering support of marriage equality that have made her a stand-out among elected officials. At her victory party in 2010 she announced she would not defend Prop 8. As the lengthy legal journey continues, Prop 8 is currently on appeal in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Harris continues to champion marriage equality. In 2011, she asked the 9th Circuit to allow marriages to resume while the proposition's constitutionality is considered. "It is a civil rights issue," she has said. "I wholeheartedly believe that equal marriage rights for all will soon be the law of the land." Putting prescient words into action, Harris was recently named one of the National Co-Chairs of President Obama's re-election campaign where she is part of a growing number that support a pro-marriage equality platform. For all that Attorney General Kamala Harris has done, and will continue to do, Christopher Street West is proud to present her with the 2012 LA PRIDE George Moscone Ally Award, named in honor of another passionate ally from San Francisco.
For phenom event producer and entrepreneur, Tom Whitman, when the party is over, his philanthropic work is just getting started. He has been producing high-octane events locally and nationally within LGBT circles for a decade, including those for HRC, GLAAD, the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center and for LA PRIDE'S 2012 Community Grand Marshal, The Trevor Project. It is his more recent charitable endeavor, however, The Gang of 100, that has made him so well-regarded when it comes to giving back. The Gang of 100 is an informal group of friends, men and women, 100-strong that utilize their social connections to raise funds for a variety of Los Angeles-based nonprofits. With 100% of the money raised at Gang of 100 events going directly back to the benefit organization, Whitman has elevated the community service model. Over the past 5 years, The Gang of 100 has raised an astounding $700,000 for The Trevor Project, The Point Foundation, AIDS Project Los Angeles and more. Whitman currently serves as Chair of APLA's Board of Directors, serving as a Board member over the past five years. For motivating his vast and influential circle to excite others about the importance of giving back, and for creating the channel by which it is fun, inclusive and cool, we are excited to present Tom Whitman with the 2012 LA PRIDE Berman Schaffer Service Award.
Steve Jimenez is a teacher by trade, but a rock star when it comes to supporting LGBT youth and their families within LAUSD, the nation's second largest school district. Since 2003, he has been the indefatigable go-to on LGBT student issues, assisting 30,000 teachers, administrators and staff when it comes to the rights and protections LGBT students are entitled to as well as best practices for prevention and intervention of bullying. In 2006, Jimenez was named Coordinator of Project 10, the incredibly innovative support program for LGBT students--one of the first in the country--within LAUSD through which he connects students and their families to available resources and LGBT student events. One of his proudest accomplishments is the LGBT Youth Scholarship program he co-founded in 2007 which has provided thousands of dollars to help LGBT students and allies attend college. Additionally, he co-facilitates the Silver Lake chapter of the renowned support group PFLAG and founded the nonprofit, Gay and Lesbian Administrators and Allies. Overall, Jimenez has contributed immeasurably to the health and well-being of LGBT students for many years, and in doing so, has helped foster an environment of acceptance and better understanding. For his tireless work on behalf of LGBT youth and their families, we are most honored to present Stephen Jimenez with the 2012 LA PRIDE Connie Norman Spirit Award.
Additional honorees and event information will be announced shortly. For more information, visit LAPRIDE.org and sign up to receive email. You can also stay connected by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter @LAPRIDE.