Task Force to honor longtime human rights activists during Pink & Purple Weekend

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force will honor actor Jeffrey Wright for his unwavering support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. Wright has been a longtime activist for human rights around the world, including support for LGBT equality and working to end resource-related conflicts. He will be honored at the Pink & Purple Recognition Awards Brunch taking place at the Mayflower Hotel on Sunday, May 5, from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Brunch“Jeffrey Wright has made it clear that LGBT people are part of the fabric of this country, and that we cannot move forward unless all of us are treated equally. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to honor him.” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Among the characters he has portrayed, Wright was cast as Norman “Belize” Arriaga in Tony Kushner’s award-winning play Angels in America. His portrayal of a gay nurse forced to take care of the homophobic Roy Cohn as he lay dying from AIDS won him the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play. He stars in the upcoming films Broken City, A Single Shot and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. He has also been cast in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.

Other honorees include Robert Raben, who served as counsel to former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts and was appointed principal deputy assistant attorney general and then assistant attorney general. Raben brings a nuanced understanding of the intersection of law, policy, politics and media to his work. His work in Congress included advising members of Congress on copyright, property and trademark law and policy, as well as the federal judiciary. From his work at the Department of Justice, Raben dealt with both chambers of Congress and both sides of the aisle as chief lobbyist and strategist on a range of issues, including intellectual property, federalism, tort reform and cybercrime.

The Task Force will give special recognition to a longtime supporter of LGBT equality, the Highlander Research and Education Center, which for 80 years has served as a catalyst for grassroots organizing and movement building in Appalachia and the South. The center works with people fighting for justice, equality and sustainability, supporting their efforts to take collective action to shape their own destiny.

The Pink & Purple Recognition Awards Brunch is the signature event of Pink & Purple Weekend, a weekend of diverse events for the LGBT community. Other events throughout the weekend include Dusk, which is a party for women and their friends held on the Hotel Helix patio on Friday, May 3 from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. This event will feature DJ Rosie, who recently won the title of “Best DJ” in the 2012 reader’s poll for the Washington Blade. Dance the night away with DJ Brett Henrichsen at Cobalt during Pink & Purple Party on Friday, May 3 from 10 p.m. – 3 a.m.

Sponsorships, tickets and hosting opportunities are all available online at www.theTaskForce.org/pinkandpurple.

Sponsors: 42Below, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, AT&T, Avalon, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Brinker International, Comcast, David Bohnett Foundation, DCI Group, Harmon, Curran, Spielberg + Eisenberg LLP, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Prudential Financial, Southwest Airlines, The Art of Shaving, United Food and Commercial Workers and Washington Blade

Hosts: Judith Batty, Monique Hall, Brian A. Johnson, Eddy Morales & Hugh Harris, David M. Perez, Lee Rubin & Jim Walker, The Raben Group, Matt Thorn & Michael LeMasters