HARVEY MILK DIVERSITY BREAKFAST NAMES GEOFF KORS RECIPIENT of 2015 HARVEY B. MILK LEADERSHIP AWARD
The Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast Committee announces that the forth-annual Coachella Valley Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast has sold out and will be held on Harvey Milk Day, the birthday of the slain gay civil rights leader, Friday, May 22, 2015, from 9:30-11:00 AM.
The breakfast will be held at the Hilton Palm Springs, 400 East Tahquitz Canyon Way, to honor the memory of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California and his legacy of groundbreaking inspiration in the struggle to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. The event is designed to strengthen coalitions among the many diverse community organizations that work toward equality in the Coachella Valley.
Receiving the Harvey B. Milk Leadership Award of the Coachella Valley will be a long-time leader and one of the most accomplished legislative and policy strategists in the LGBT movement Geoff Kors. Over the past two decades, he has helped to enact scores of local and state laws, including helping to pass anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBT people and people with HIV/AIDS during his tenure as the Director of the ACLU of Illinois' Gay and Lesbian Rights and Aids and Civil Liberties Projects from 1994 to 1995, originating San Francisco's landmark equal benefits law as a board member of the Harvey Milk Club in 1996, and leading Equality California from 2002 to 2011 as the organization passed more than 70 pieces of LGBT equality legislation.
Geoff has been a leader in building coalitions in support of LGBT rights and the rights of all people to be treated equally under the law. He built coalitions with LGBT and allied civil rights organizations, labor, business and others in support of equality efforts and secured the first support for marriage equality from the NAACP, the United Farm Workers, AT&T, Pacific Gas & Electric, California Teachers Association, SEIU and many others. Geoff has also been a strong advocate for educating youth about the LGBT community and protecting youth from harm. He brought the idea for creating Harvey Milk Day – the first and only official state day of recognition for an openly LGBT person in the nation – to the legislature and led EQCA’s successful effort to pass this groundbreaking law. Geoff also led EQCA’s effort to pass legislation requiring LGBT history to be taught in public schools, banning anti-LGBT bias in instruction, prohibiting bullying in our schools and ensuring non-discrimination in foster care. Geoff currently is helping lead the effort to ban conversion therapy.
Keynote speaker will be Kris Hayashi, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center, who has been active in social, racial, and economic justice organizing for over 20 years. For the last 10 years Hayashi served as the Executive Director/Co-Director of the Audre Lorde Project, a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color organizing center based in New York City. Previously, he served as a Trainer/Organizer at Western States Center in Portland, Oregon and as Executive Director of Youth United for Community Action, a youth organizing group in California, led by young people of color organizing for social and environmental justice.
“This has been a year of unprecedented visibility for the transgender community in everything from media coverage to the president’s State of the Union address,” said Hayashi. “However violence continues to be a major issue, with epidemic levels of violence against our community this year and among transgender women of color in particular.”
Sponsors for the event include: Platinum sponsor The Desert Outlook, Gold sponsors Grace Helen Spearman Foundation, The Standard Magazine Palm Springs, Desert Daily Guide Media Group, and the Coachella Valley Independent. Silver sponsors Bank of America, Boyd & Lisette Haigler, Geoff Kors and James Williamson, Gray Public Relations & Marketing, Hilton Palm Springs, Human Rights Campaign, Infusion Beach & Hotel, Morgan Stanley, NicholasSnowLive.com, LGBT Community Center of the Desert, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, Trans* Community Project / Devin Payne.
Table Sponsors include Blooming in the Desert Ministries UCC, Borrego Community Health Foundation, CCBC Resort, City of Palm Springs, Desert AIDS Project, Desert Business Association, Emerald Kingdom, Desert Regional Medical Center, Equality California, Greater Palm Springs Pride, Hunters, Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce, Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus, Palm Springs Human Rights Commission, Raymond Gregory & Eric Ornelas, Suzanne M. Severin Mediation and Training Services, The Desert Stonewall Democrats and Transgender Community Coalition.
Student Table Sponsors:
Desert Business Association, Desert Regional Medical Center, Hunters, Reggie Cameron, Steven Henke, Tom Stansbury & Larry Fechter, Toucans Tiki Lounge, Zebra Organics.
Proceeds benefit Gay Straight Alliance organizations in the Coachella Valley. For more information call 760-416-8711 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.