2015 LGBT Equality Institute Program

Equality Institute_web slide 2015

Program Guide

Meetings will be in the Hyatt Regency Chicago West Tower, 151 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago, in the Regency Ballroom A and the Acapulco, New Orleans and Toronto Ballrooms.

Friday, March 20
3 – 6 PM



3:30 PM
Addressing LGBT Equality at the State Level: State Sen. Heather Steans, Ramon Gardenhire (AIDS Foundation of Chicago), Mike Ziri (Equality Illinois)

5 PM
Special Guest: Amanda Simpson, Executive Director, Army Office of Energy Initiatives, Defense Department, and the first transgender woman presidential appointee

Saturday, March 21
9 AM – 5:30 PM



9:30 AM
The New Agenda for LGBT Youth: A Panel Discussion
: State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, Jane and James Clementi (The Tyler Clementi Foundation), Cassandra Avenatti (Project Fierce Chicago)

The Federal Agenda: Johnathan J. Smith (Senior Counsel, Office of the Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice)


Equality South of I-80: Jonna Cooley (Phoenix Center), Michelle Jett (Illinois Safe Schools Alliance), Marcus Fogliano (Peoria Proud)

Role of People of Faith in LGBT Organizing: Chris Pett (Equality Illinois Board, Dignity), Pastor Jamie Frazier (Lighthouse Church of Chicago), Pastor Carole Hoke (Fondulac New Church United Church of Christ), Rev. Rachelle Brown (Metropolitan Community Churches), Carr Harkrader (Interfaith Youth Core)

Public Service in this Political Climate: Cindy Wolfson (Courts Matter IL), Nicole Bashor (Equality Illinois PAC Board), Eric Nelson (Victory Fund), and Ald. Ray Lopez

Transgender Issues 101: Channyn Lynne Parker (Chicago House – TransLife Center), Josie Lynne Paul (Chicago House – TransLife Center), and Ethan Rice (Transgender Legal Defense Fund)

Criminalization of Gender Non-Conformity: Owen Daniel-McCarter (Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois), Monica James (Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois)

Advocating for the Rights of K-12 Trans Students in Illinois: Owen Daniel-McCarter (Illinois Safe Schools Alliance)

Access to Healthcare: The LGBT Experience: Eliot Colin (Rad Remedy), Dr. Magda Houlberg (Howard Brown Health Center), Dr. Cory Brown (Howard Brown Health Center), and Blue (Howard Brown Health Center)

HIV/AIDS – Prevention Today: Dan Frey (AIDS Foundation of Chicago), Marina Kurakin (AIDS Legal Council of Chicago), Dr. Houlberg (Howard Brown Health Center), and Dr. Wenho Yang (Howard Brown Health Center)

Changing the Numbers – Addiction and Suicide Prevention: Jeff Zacharias LCSW, CSAT, CAADC (New Hope Recovery Center), Greg Cox LSW, CADC (New Hope Recovery Center)

Networking 101: Michael Nordman (Equality Illinois)

Fostering Ally Development through Support, Education, and Advocacy: Toni Weaver (PFLAG), Arlene Collins (PFLAG), Raina Hodgson (PFLAG), Marcia Prichason (PFLAG)

Building an Issue Campaign Ecosystem: Chelsey Wininger (Organizing for Action), Aquiles Damiron-Alcantara (Organizing for Action)

Community sponsors of the 2015 LGBT Equality Institute are:
Lambda Legal, Human Rights Campaign, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, PFLAG, SEIU Health Care Illinois, AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, Howard Brown Health Center, Illinois AFL-CIO, Anti-Defamation League, and UFCW Union Local 881.

Institute Logos Updated

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