Archive for the ‘Gala’ Category

 

United Airlines is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2018 Gala

September 29, 2017

United Airlines is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2018 Equality Illinois Gala, the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ formal celebration, to be held on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at the Hilton Chicago. Gala information, including tickets, is at equalityillinois.org/2018gala.

The Gala is the single-largest fundraising event for the Equality Illinois Institute, which funds the ongoing educational and outreach work for LGBTQ equality throughout the state of Illinois.

“Illinois-based United Airlines, the Presenting Sponsor of the Gala and the Exclusive Airline of Equality Illinois since 2014, is a longtime champion of our work and of LGBTQ rights,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. “It was one of the earliest U.S. corporations to prohibit discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation and, later, gender identity.”

Gregory D. Jones, Chief Diversity Officer of United Airlines, said, “At United, we pride ourselves on being as diverse as the communities we serve around the globe. From our headquarters in Illinois to our operations around the globe, the 90,000 members of the United family act as ambassadors for the core values of dignity, equality, and opportunity in the workplace. These are values United not only shares with Equality Illinois but which we have advanced together. But, we know our work is far from done, which is why we reaffirm our commitment as the official Airline Sponsor and Presenting Sponsor of Equality Illinois and its annual gala.”

GALA INFO

 

EI Gala to Salute LGBTQ Rights Activist Jim Bennett

September 28, 2017

The Equality Illinois Freedom Award, which honors individuals who demonstrate remarkable vision, courage, and leadership in the effort to achieve full equality for LGBTQ individuals in Illinois, will be presented to Jim Bennett at the 2018 Equality Illinois Gala.

The gala will be held on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018 in the Hilton Chicago. Gala information, including tickets, is at equalityillinois.org/2018gala.

For more than a decade as Midwest Regional Director and recently as Chief Development Officer, Bennett has contributed his strong and powerful voice for our community through his work at Lambda Legal, the nation’s largest legal organization dedicated to securing the full civil rights of the LGBTQ community and people with HIV.

“We will always be grateful to Jim for taking on the Herculean task of chairing the Illinois Unites for Marriage coalition, which pulled together LGBTQ organizations, Republicans and Democrats, labor and business and many more for the successful campaign to win marriage equality in Illinois,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois.

Bennett, reacting to the honor, reflected on the importance of the statewide work of Equality Illinois. “Springfield is my hometown. When I came out, I did what ‘everyone does’, I moved to Chicago. I am thankful to Equality Illinois for always seeing Illinois as one state, and I’m thrilled to be part of their efforts to make sure equality reaches all the way across the Land of Lincoln because we really are everywhere,” Bennett said.

“No matter how good we’ve done as a movement in gaining political power and public acceptance, we still find ourselves too often on the outside. We need to know how to play the game as insiders and how to fight for our rights in the streets. I am thankful that Equality Illinois has my back. They are pros at working with our leaders in the General Assembly to stop bad legislation from seeing the light of day and moving good bills. I feel protected.”

GALA INFO

 

Equality Illinois Gala to Honor Planned Parenthood of Illinois

September 27, 2017

The Equality Illinois Business Leadership Award, given annually to organizations that demonstrate remarkable vision, courage, and leadership in the effort to achieve full equality for LGBTQ individuals in Illinois, will be presented to Planned Parenthood of Illinois at the 2018 Equality Illinois Gala.

The gala will be held on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018 in the Hilton Chicago. Gala information, including tickets, is at equalityillinois.org/2018gala.

“We are proud to honor Planned Parenthood for a century of providing access to sexual and reproductive health care and information, often facing tremendous challenges, and more recently for offering transgender health care services including hormone therapy in health centers in Chicago and central Illinois,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois.

Jennifer Welch, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois, said, “Planned Parenthood believes that LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights are deeply connected to civil rights for all. We have long stood with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the struggle for full equality. PPIL will continue to be a strong and passionate advocate for policies that enable ALL Illinoisans to access comprehensive reproductive and sexual health care. I am so proud of the work PPIL is doing to provide quality care to anyone who needs it, no matter who they love, where they live, or how they identify. It is essential that we strive to make every patient feel welcome, comfortable, and cared for.”

GALA INFO

 

Call to Action Issued at Equality Illinois Gala

February 8, 2017

“We live in scary times,” Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson told the crowd Saturday night at his first gala as CEO.

And with that preamble, Johnson issued a call to action for the 1,200 people at the Equality Illinois 2017 Gala and the millions of other Illinoisans who support justice, fairness, and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people and also for everyone marginalized by the rhetoric and actions of the new administration in Washington.

‘We will play our role, and we will play it vigorously,” Johnson promised, committing Equality Illinois to an aggressive agenda focusing on that will help make “Illinois more fair for LGBTQ people in places our stakeholders tell us they are hurting the most–in schools, in their access to health care, and in the criminal justice system.”

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Gala Celebrants Send Messages About LGBTQ Equality

February 5, 2017

From a U.S. senator to gala celebrants to volunteers, the Equality Illinois 2017 Gala Saturday night was filled with love for LGBTQ Americans and the many communities we intersect that have come under attack from the new administration, including refugees and immigrants, women, and people from all races, nationalities and religions.

Thank you to everyone for a fabulous evening, made even more exciting by the messages you shared.

As Senator Tammy Duckworth wrote, “I showed up at the #EIGala tonight because LGBTQ rights R Human Rights! (also a great party!)”

SEE MORE MESSAGE BOARDS

 

Excitement Building for Equality Illinois Gala Saturday Night

February 3, 2017

The excitement is building for the Equality Illinois 2017 Gala on Saturday night at the Hilton Chicago Hotel. You can still join the fun by clicking the link to purchase tickets today.

The important work of Equality Illinois advocating for the civil rights of LGBTQ Illinoisans is funded by events such as the gala.

When we talk to a state legislator, communicate with a member of Congress, train correctional officers, educate employers about inclusive work places and do many more things fighting for the rights of LGBTQ Illinoisans, we thank everyone who has contributed, whether it is through the gala or donating a few dollars or giving of their time.

TICKETS

 

Gala to Offer Vision for LGBTQ Rights During Challenging Times

January 31, 2017

The Equality Illinois 2017 Gala this Saturday will feature individuals who have benefited from the work of the state’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, recognize those who have fought for equal rights and cared for our community, and offer a vision for the ongoing fight to improve the lived equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Illinoisans.

More than 1,200 community members, community leaders, dignitaries, and supporters, including Sen. Tammy Duckworth and other elected officials, plan to attend the Gala, which is annually the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ formal celebration, on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at the Hilton Chicago. Some of the world’s most recognizable corporate and brand names are among the sponsors of the gala.

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TICKETS

 

Join the excitement at the Equality Illinois 2017 Gala

January 4, 2017

We’ve entered into a new year and are excited about many new things, such as our 2017 Equality Illinois Gala taking place in just ONE MONTH from today! Join us, commemorate with us, and help us take equal rights for #LGBTQ Illinoisans to a new and exciting level. To get excited, watch the video below. To get REAL excited, purchase your tickets today.

TICKETS

 

(Pictures of 2016 gala courtesy of Mystic Images Photography.)

 


EI Honors Mona Noriega and Terry Cosgrove

December 12, 2016

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Chicago Human Relations Commissioner Mona Noriega and Personal PAC CEO Terry Cosgrove will be the 2017 recipients of the Equality Illinois Freedom Award for their lifelong commitment to fighting for the civil rights and personal freedoms of all Illinoisans, the organization announced Monday.

The recognition will be made at the Equality Illinois 2017 Gala, the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ formal celebration, to be held on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at the Hilton Chicago.

“Mona Noriega and Terry Cosgrove epitomize the criteria for the Equality Illinois Freedom Award, which was created to honor individuals and organizations who demonstrate remarkable vision, courage, and leadership in the effort to achieve full equality for LGBTQ individuals in Illinois,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois.

READ THE ANNOUNCEMENT

GALA INFORMATION

 

Equality Illinois Honors Lurie Children’s Hospital

November 17, 2016

lurie_signFor its dedication to improving the lives of LGBTQ Illinoisans, Equality Illinois will honor the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago with its Business Leadership Award.

The recognition will be made at the Equality Illinois 2017 Gala, the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ formal celebration, to be held on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at the Hilton Chicago.

“Lurie’s dedication to serving LGBTQ youth and families has earned it the deep appreciation of Equality Illinois and earned it the Business Leadership Award,” said Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson.

READ THE ANNOUNCEMENT

GALA INFORMATION

 

Equality Illinois 2017 Gala

October 18, 2016

galasocialmediaicon-1We are excited to announce the Equality Illinois 2017 Gala on February 4, 2017 at the Hilton Chicago.

The Midwest’s largest LGBTQ gala and fundraiser supports the work of Equality Illinois.

The Equality Illinois 2017 Gala is a celebratory winterfest of the accomplishments that advanced LGBTQ rights over the last year and a gathering of forces for the challenges that remain in our fight for full equality for all Illinoisans.

Please join us as a guest, table host, sponsor or contributor.

GALA INFORMATION AND TICKETS

 

Pelosi and Mariano Accept Awards at EI Jubilee Gala

February 13, 2016

Pelosi screen picOne week ago tonight – U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi accepted the Equality Illinois 2016 Freedom Award at our 25th Anniversary Gala in the Hilton Chicago Hotel.

Her full acceptance speech and other moments during the Equality Illinois Jubilee Gala, including the recognition given the Mariano’s grocery chain with the 2016 Equality Illinois Business Leadership Award, can be seen on our YouTube channel.

Relive this wonderful evening.

WATCH HERE

 


Thank you!

February 8, 2016

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Thank you, President Obama

February 6, 2016

Thank you, President Obama, for greeting tonight’s Equality Illinois 25th Anniversary Gala with your message. You honor us.

 

Saturday’s 25th Anniversary Gala Features Nancy Pelosi

February 5, 2016

Pelosi meme 2The Equality Illinois 25th Anniversary Gala this Saturday will celebrate a quarter century of progress for LGBT Illinoisans and the organization’s enduring commitment to securing equal treatment for all.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is the special guest for the jubilee celebration of the state’s oldest and largest organization advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans.

Also being honored is the Mariano’s grocery chain.

We look forward to seeing you there for a grand celebration.

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J.B. Pritzker Chairs 2016 Gala

January 21, 2016

J.B. Pritzker Gala Chair MemeJ.B. Pritzker, the Chicago entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist and longtime advocate for LGBT causes, is the chair of the Equality Illinois 25th Anniversary Gala, we announced today.

The Feb. 6 gala at the Hilton Chicago will honor House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi with the 2016 Equality Illinois Freedom Award and the Mariano’s grocery chain with the Business Leadership Award.

Mr. Pritzker’s support for LGBT rights dates back to his parents’ advocacy in the 1970’s and has continued over the years through the hard-won battles here in Illinois.

GALA INFORMATION

 


Help Us Honor Nancy Pelosi

January 12, 2016

Pelosi meme 2Now that 2016 is upon us, it’s time to make your plan to celebrate at the largest LGBT event of its kind in the Midwest, the Equality Illinois Gala on Saturday, February 6.

Join us in celebrating our 25th Anniversary at the 2016 Gala and help us honor our Freedom Award recipient, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The Equality Illinois Gala is the largest and most extraordinary LGBT event of its kind in the region, attracting over 1,400 guests, public figures, community activists, and businesses leaders.  You will not want to miss your opportunity to be part of this experience.

LEARN MORE, TICKETS

 

Mariano’s Receives Business Leadership Award

December 18, 2015

EqilGala_MarianosFbMeme_RevisedCongratulations to the Mariano’s​ grocery chain, which will be recognized with the 2016 Equality Illinois Business Leadership Award for its outreach to the LGBT market and embrace of LGBT employees. The award will be presented at the Equality Illinois 25th Anniversary Gala at Feb. 6, 2016.

From the planning stages of Mariano’s entry into the Chicago-area market in 2010, it has sought to create a welcoming environment for staff and customers. Company leaders came to Equality Illinois to develop a plan to build and maintain a diverse employee team that was fully inclusive of LGBT Illinoisans in recruiting, hiring, advancement, benefits and community outreach.

Join us at the Equality Illinois Jubilee Gala to honor Mariano’s and also the previously announced recipient of the Equality Illinois Freedom Award, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

GALA INFO

 

Equality Illinois Freedom Award to Honor Nancy Pelosi

November 17, 2015

Pelosi meme FB

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s visionary advocacy for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans as a Member of Congress, Democratic Leader and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives will be recognized with the 2016 Equality Illinois Freedom Award.

Leader Pelosi will accept the recognition at the Equality Illinois 25th Anniversary Gala on Saturday evening, February 6, 2016 at the Hilton Chicago.

“From her first speech in the House of Representatives in 1987, when she pressed Congress to take a leading role in fighting AIDS, to the present day and her leadership on the Equality Act, Leader Pelosi has always sought to address the challenges faced by LGBT Americans,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.

“For her devotion to the principle that LGBT Americans deserve to be able to live full, equal lives, for her understanding that government must play a role in achieving that, and for her outspoken leadership in the fight for equality, Equality Illinois is proud to recognize Leader Pelosi with the 2016 Equality Illinois Freedom Award.”

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GALA INFO

 

25th Anniversary Year Supported by Jubilee Sponsors

November 4, 2015

470x246_JubileeSponsorsFinalWebTo help Equality Illinois celebrate its Silver Anniversary year and the work behind its quarter century of advancing LGBT rights, four companies have agreed to become Jubilee Sponsors–BMO Harris Bank, Coca-Cola, MillerCoors and United Airlines.

Their contributions will fund statewide educational and outreach activities throughout 2016 and help Equality Illinois chart its course for the future.

“These companies have all demonstrated leadership in building LGBT-inclusive businesses and supporting the LGBT community,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois. “We thank them for helping to make possible our ongoing work to build on our past successes.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 2016 GALA

 


Equality Illinois 25th Anniversary Gala

October 26, 2015

EqilGala_800x800SquareWebArtEquality Illinois is entering our 25th year and we plan to celebrate in a big way with our 2016 Gala on Saturday, February 6, 2016, starting at 6:00 p.m. at the Hilton Chicago Hotel.

The Gala is the largest ‪‎LGBT‬ event of its kind in the Midwest, drawing more than 1,400 guests, including nearly 100 public officials and many more community VIPs.

You have helped create all the successes and milestones of our movement over the last quarter century and we want to celebrate with you at the most anticipated, elegant and fun society event of the year. Make sure to get your tickets now; we are offering a special anniversary discounted pricing through November 15.

TICKETS

 

Thank You!

February 15, 2015

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Celebrating Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day 2015Happy Valentine’s Day from Equality Illinois.

We’re excited to be celebrating tonight at the 2015 Equality Illinois Gala at the Hilton Chicago Hotel.  With the gala falling this year on Valentine’s Day, we highlight the significance that this first full year of ‪marriage equality holds for LGBT Illinoisans.

Valentine’s Day used to be a day of dread for many LGBT people and their families, who often felt uncomfortable displaying their true feelings in public. On this Valentine’s Day, the Equality Illinois Gala will fill two hotel ballrooms and make an emphatic public statement that “Love is Love.”

 

Robust Business Support Backs Equality Illinois

February 4, 2015
EqilGala2015_400x400SocialMedia2

Wirtz Beverage Illinois is Presenting Sponsor of the 2015 Gala

The contributions made by the Illinois business community toward the work of Equality Illinois, the state’s oldest and largest advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans, continue at a robust pace, fueled by a shared belief that fairness and inclusiveness are not only the right thing to do but are also good business practices.

For the upcoming 2015 Equality Illinois Gala on Valentine’s Day, February 14, in the Hilton Chicago, the Midwest’s largest LGBT formal event, more than a score of businesses are Gala Sponsors, and many dozens more are supporting our work by donating items for the luxury silent auction.

The Gala’s presenting sponsor is Wirtz Beverage Illinois. Gold sponsors are BMO Harris Bank, Exelon, GCM Grosvenor, Leo Burnett, McDermott Will & Emery LLP, MillerCoors, Omnibus Advertising and Marketing, Sidetrack, and United Airlines. Silver sponsors are Coca Cola, Hilton Chicago, J&L Catering, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Schiff Hardin LLP, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Sidley Austin LLP, and Winston & Strawn LLP. Bronze sponsors are Baker & McKenzie LLP, Chapman and Cutler LLP, Dream Town Realty, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Mariano’s, McGuireWoods LLP,  Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP, ReedSmith LLP, Supergurl Images, and Walgreens. Media sponsors are Bestgaycities.com, Chicago Phoenix, ChicagoPride.com, GC Magazine, GRAB Magazine, Michigan Avenue Magazine, The L Stop, and Windy City Media Group.

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EQIL Honors Lea DeLaria with Freedom Award

January 23, 2015

Lea DeLaria HedshotIllinois native Lea DeLaria, a groundbreaking performer who was the first out comedian to appear on a late-night talk show and whose numerous stage and screen appearances include her standout role of prison inmate Big Boo in the hit Netflix series “Orange is the New Black,” will be honored with the Equality Illinois Freedom Award.

“Lea DeLaria is a cutting-edge performer who has used her talent to entertain and enlighten millions of Americans,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.

DeLaria, born and raised in Belleville, Illinois, will accept the award at the 2015 Equality Illinois Gala, whose theme is “love is love is love,” on Saturday, February 14, in the Hilton Chicago.

“As an out performer for over 33 years who has made it her life’s work to change peoples perception of butch, queer and LGBT, it is an honor for me to receive such recognition from my home state,” DeLaria said. “I feel I’m doing Belleville proud. Go Maroons!”

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