Press

Task Force to honor activists at the 20th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change

Date: 
January 30, 2008

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Communications Director
(Office) 646.358.1465
(Cell) 917.704.6358
rsklar@theTaskForce.org

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 — A Michigan philanthropist, a self-described “Southern out black lesbian social justice activist,” a psychotherapist who works with the leather community and a reproductive rights activist will be honored at the 20th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, Feb. 6–10 in Detroit, Mich. They will be recognized for their outstanding work and dedication to the LGBT movement and the advancement of equality. The awards are generously funded by the Anderson Prize Foundation, administered by Allen Schuh.

This year’s awardees

Jon Stryker, founder and president of the Arcus Foundation, will receive the Creating Change Award, in honor of his leadership and advocacy to create change. The Arcus Foundation is a private foundation that supports groups advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender human rights and groups working globally to promote great ape conservation. Stryker is a founding board member of the Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy in Northern Kenya, Save the Chimps in Ft. Pierce, Fla., and Greenleaf Trust, a trust bank in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Stryker is also a registered architect in the state of Michigan and is president of Depot Landmark LLC, a development company specializing in the rehabilitation of historic buildings.

Mia Mingus, a reproductive rights activist, will also be honored with the Creating Change Award. Mingus, is an organizer and one of the co-executive directors of SPARK: Reproductive Justice Now! (formerly Georgians for Choice) in Atlanta. She believes that reproductive justice is crucial in the struggle for social change and the fight to end oppression.

Through her work on disability, race, reproductive justice, gender, sexuality and transracial adoption, Mingus recognizes the urgency and barriers for oppressed communities to work together and build alliances for liberation. Though her activism changes and evolves, her roots remain firmly planted in ending sexual violence.

Mandy Carter will receive the Susan J. Hyde Activism Award for longevity in the movement. Carter, a self-described “Southern out black lesbian social justice activist,” proudly marks 40 years of working in multi-issue and multi-racial grassroots organizing. Her introduction to social justice activism came through the Quaker-based American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) when a representative of AFSC came to her social studies class in 1965 at Mt. Pleasant High School in Schenectady, N.Y. From that moment on, she has devoted her life to the realization of freedom, justice and equality for all. In 1996, Carter was named one of Ms. Magazine’s Uppity Women for her work in North Carolina to unseat the stubbornly homophobic senator, Jesse Helms.

Carter was a founding board member of the National Black Justice Coalition and was one of only two out gay and lesbian speakers at the rally at the Lincoln Memorial on the historic occasion of the 40th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. In 2005, Carter wrapped up a three-year term as the executive director of Southerners on New Ground (SONG), which was founded in 1993 at the Creating Change conference in Durham, N.C. SONG integrates work against homophobia into freedom struggles in the South.

Barbara Satin will receive the Allan Morrow Community Service Award, for outstanding leadership and advocacy in aging and elder concerns. Satin is a transgender activist and founder of GLBT Generations, a Minneapolis-St. Paul group that since 1999 has been working to educate the public about the needs and concerns of GLBT people as they grow old. GLBT Generations has been a catalyst for the development in the Minneapolis area of a new 41-unit senior GLBT housing complex in conjunction with Spirit of the Lakes United Church of Christ, Satin’s church community. The GLBT housing complex, called Spirit on Lake, breaks ground in spring of 2008 and will open in 2009. Satin is an active leader of City of Lakes Crossgender Community, the largest transgender social support group in Minnesota, and is a member of the United Church of Christ Executive Council, having become the first transgender woman to hold a national leadership role in that denomination.

Guy Baldwin will be awarded with the Leather Leadership Award. Baldwin is a Los Angeles-based psychotherapist, author and activist on behalf of “erotically uncommon people.” Baldwin may be best known for his monthly essays which appeared in Drummer Magazine and were collected in his 1993 book, Ties That Bind. Baldwin is a former titleholder, having served in 1989 as Mister National Leather Association and also as the 11th International Mr. Leather. In 1987, Baldwin launched the DSM Project to mobilize mental health professionals worldwide to press for changes to the official clinical definitions that had long been used to label leather people, gay and otherwise, as pathological. The DSM Project succeeded with the publication of new and substantially improved language in 1993 in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

To request a high resolution photo of any of the awardees, please contact Pedro Julio Serrano at pjserrano@theTaskForce.org.

Watch this video about the conference.

The conference is supported by its founding sponsor, the Anita May Rosenstein Foundation.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.