June 28: 2012 Spokane Equality Awards

On Thursday, June 28 thirteen public servants will receive the 2012 Spokane Equality Awards from LGBT communities at the University of Washington, Washington State University, and Eastern Washington University. Keynote speakers are Lt. Governor Brad Owen and Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown. The press release is as follows:

Date: Thursday, June 28, 2012

Time: 5:00pm-8:00pm

Location: Nyne Bar and Bistro, 232 W Sprague Ave, Spokane, Washington

RSVP: Email Leoule A. Goshu leoule@uw.edu.

As the finale to 20 years of Spokane Pride, the 2012 National Equality Awards will honor thirteen public servants actions to advance the University of Washington (UW), Washington State University (WSU) and Eastern Washington University (EWU) lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities’ missions of “human rights, justice, and equality for all”

The 2012 National Equality Awards is a joint effort of three Washington State universities LGBT centers with at least 120 Eastern Washington community and business partners. The ceremony celebrates the 20th anniversary of Spokane Pride.

Of the 13 honorees, Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, Air Force Major Margaret Witt, Spokane Pride Founder Helen Bosner and Spokane City Council’s Jon Synder will be the featured speakers.

The honorees are responsible for Washington State’s anti-discrimination laws (2006), medically accurate and comprehensive sex education law (2007), hate crimes law (2009), domestic partnership law (2009), anti-bullying law (2010), “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal (2012), marriage equality legislation (2012) to include people of all genders and sexualities. Plus, honorees created Eastern Washington first Pride Parade (1992), the first Spokane-produced LGBT film for national audiences (2012) and equality policies for all faith communities (2012).

Three state universities LGBT communities’, 120 Inland Northwest Business Alliance members, OutSpokane and more affirm the awardees’ actions, values by congratulating:

State of Washington Honorees:

I. These honorees are responsible for Washington State’s anti-discrimination laws (2006), medically accurate and comprehensive sex education law (2007), hate crimes law (2009), domestic partnership law (2009), anti-bullying law (2010) and marriage equality legislation (2012) to include people of all genders and sexualities.  

• Christine Gregoire, Governor, State of Washington

• Brad Owen, Lt. Governor, State of Washington – Keynote Speaker

• Lisa Brown, Senate Majority Leader, State of Washington – Keynote Speaker

II. These honorees are responsible for Washington State’s marriage equality legislation (2012):

• Andy Billig, State Representative, State of Washington and President, Spokane Indians Baseball Team

• Timm Ormsby, State Representative, State of Washington

• Marcus Riccelli, Senior Policy Advisor of the Washington State Senate Majority Leader and Vice President, University of Washington Graduate Student Senate

* * * * *

City of Spokane Honorees:

These honorees are responsible for introducing marriage equality legislation (2012) and for the largest gathering at Spokane City Council in 7 years.

• Ben Stuckart, President, Spokane City Council

• Jon Synder, Member, Spokane City Council – Speaker

• Amber Waldref, Member, Spokane City Council

 * * * * *

Eastern Washington Honorees:

• Margaret Witt, Retired Major, United States Air Force – Speaker. Witt is the first openly gay service member to successfully challenge “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law and be reinstated in the armed services by federal order. (2012)

• Helen Bosner and PFLAG – Speaker. Bosner and PFLAG created and led Spokane first Pride Parade (1992) with 500 attendees.

• Inland Northwest Clergy for Inclusion. Inland Northwest Clergy for Inclusion is responsible for creating safe and celebratory spiritual communities for people of all gender and sexualities.

• Rich Cowan, North by Northwest Co-Founder and Co-Owner. Rich Cowan is responsible for producing Spokane’s first LGBT film for national audiences: “Oy Vey, My Son is Gay” (2010).

For more information, contact Leoule Goshu at leoule@uw.edu or 206-321-1232.

* * * * *

The 2012 National Equality Awards is a joint effort of three Washington State universities LGBT centers with at least 120 Eastern Washington community and business partners. The ceremony celebrates the 20th anniversary of Spokane Pride.

The University of Washington Q Center envisions “communities where justice, equality, compassion, and respect for all people prevail.”

The Eastern Washington University Pride Center advances a “culture of inclusion and respect for diversity through education, outreach and collaboration.”

The Washington State University Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center (GIESORC) promotes “education, empowerment, and engagement for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and ally (GLBTQA) constituents” and “coalition building within the Washington State University system and in surrounding communities.”

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About nwchr

The Northwest Coalition for Human Rights (NWCHR) exists to facilitate connections and communication among organizations and individuals who are engaged in human rights and social justice work in the Northwest region of the United States, with special focus on the Inland Northwest. The coalition, inspired by Bill Wassmuth's former Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment, will give strength to those working at the local level by allowing them to share resources, information, and ideas, as well as making them part of a larger support system. The University of Idaho Office of Human Rights, Access, and Inclusion (HRAI) in Moscow serves as the administrative home for the NWCHR, and the Coalition strives to build strong membership from throughout Idaho and eastern Washington, as well as from other parts of the Northwest region. All are welcome to join NWCHR and give their input.
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