Press

Messenger-Anderson Communications Scholarship Intern Joins National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Los Angeles Office

Date: 
June 15, 2004

Elliot Imse from University of Wisconsin-Madison Joins Task Force Team

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

Los Angeles, June 15, 2004 — As coverage of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and its issues remain prominent in mainstream media, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has chosen and placed its Messenger Anderson Communications Scholarship interns to assist in the increasing demand on the communications department. (Detailed information about the program is at the bottom of this release).

Elliot E. Imse, recipient of the 2004 Messenger-Anderson Journalism Scholarship and Los Angeles Internship, is a University of Wisconsin-Madison student majoring in journalism. For the past year and a half, Imse was head coordinator of the university's only lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) mentoring program, and will be the public relations specialist for the university's LGBT Campus Center this fall.

Aside from engaging in grassroots activism for the Howard Dean presidential campaign earlier this year, Imse organized an all-inclusive marriage booth in the center of the UW-Madison campus to demonstrate support for equal marriage rights. He also co-organized the National Day of Silence for the UW-Madison campus, which attracted more than 150 supporters, and concluded with an "end the silence" protest march to the Wisconsin state capitol.

Imse is one of four Messenger-Anderson interns working at the Task Force this summer. The three other interns are from Mills College, Elon University and the University of Arizona and are working in the Task Force New York and Washington DC offices. The interns will be assisting the communications department in reaching out to state and local media to encourage objective coverage of the Task Force's mission and views. The interns will also be working on independent communication projects to gather information and data on the media's coverage of LGBT issues.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Messenger-Anderson Journalism Scholarship and Internship program is an annual scholarship open to high school seniors and undergraduate college students planning to major or seek a career in journalism or communications. The $240,000 scholarship fund was donated by Larry Messenger and Jim Anderson in memory of Lawrence and Selina Messenger. The Messengers believed encouraging gay and lesbian people to shape media coverage of LGBT issues is a critical step in achieving equal rights for all LGBTpeople.

The scholarship award is $5,000 for the first year, renewable at up to $2,500 per year, up to a maximum of $10,000, if the student continues to meet eligibility requirements. Students awarded a scholarship must complete the Task Force Messenger-Anderson Internship program at one of the Task Force's offices in Cambridge, Los Angeles, New York City or Washington, DC.

More information about the scholarship and internship program can be found at http://www.thetaskforce.org/about/messengerandersonguidelines.htm

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by 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.