Amending America: LGBTQ Human and Civil Rights
Day 1: July 15, 2016
Time: 5:30 – 8pm CT
Location: Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60613
Day 2: July 16, 2016
Time: 9:30am – 4pm CT
Location: Chicago History Museum, 1601 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60614
The National Archives and Records Administration presents a National Conversation on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ) Human and Civil Rights in partnership with Center on Halsted and the Chicago History Museum in Chicago, Illinois, on July 15-16, 2016.
On Friday, July 15 at 5:30pm CT at Center on Halsted, Modesto Tico Valle, CEO of Center on Halsted, and Jim Gardner, Executive for Legislative Archives, Presidential Libraries, and Museum Services for the National Archives, will speak. The Youth Empowerment Performance Project (YEPP) will perform “Making It Home,” followed by a discussion with the performers and YEPP director Bonsai Bermudez.
On Saturday, July 16, there will be a series of discussions at the Chicago History Museum on LGBTQ human and civil rights in America. At 9:30am CT, David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, will welcome guests. Poet Richard Blanco will deliver the keynote address, followed by a Q&A.
At 11:15am CT, Mary Morten will moderate a panel discussion on “The Issues Before Us” (part 1), exploring legal issues, with James Bennett, Lambda Legal; Dale Carpenter, SMU Dedman School of Law; Naomi Goldberg, Movement Advancement Project (MAP); and Tyrone Hanley, National Center for Lesbian Rights. At 1:30pm CT, Mary Morten will continue discussing “The Issues Before Us” (part 2), exploring socio-economic issues, with Myles Alexander Brady-Davis, Howard Brown Health; Naomi Goldberg, Movement Advancement Project (MAP); Abbe Land, The Trevor Project; and Imani Rupert-Gordon, Affinity Community Services.
At 2:45pm CT, Precious Davis will moderate a discussion on “Issues Affecting Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming People” with Owen Daniel-McCarter, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance; and Sarah McBride, Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
Related Records in the National Archives
About the Speakers
Keynote Speaker: Richard Blanco is the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. history—the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. He is the author of three poetry collections: Looking for the Gulf Motel, Directions to the Beach of the Dead, and City of a Hundred Fires; and two memoirs: The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood and For All of Us and One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey. Whether speaking as the Cuban Blanco or the American Richard, the homebody or the world traveler, the scared boy or the openly gay man, the engineer or the inaugural poet, Blanco’s writings possess a story-rich quality that easily illuminates the human spirit. Blanco’s many awards include the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press, the Beyond Margins Award from the PEN American Center, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Thom Gunn Award, a Lambda Literary Award, and two Maine Literary Awards. A builder of cities as well as poems, Blanco holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing.
James Bennett is the Midwest Regional Director for Lambda Legal, the nation’s largest legal organization dedicated to securing the full civil rights of the LGBT community and those with HIV. He is responsible for expanding Lambda Legal’s organizational reach in ten states with a focus on public policy, development, communication and outreach. In 2013, Bennett chaired ‘Illinois Unites for Marriage’, the statewide coalition that led the successful effort to win the freedom to marry in Illinois. Bennett was a lead strategist in Lambda Legal’s Illinois and Iowa marriage campaigns creating and implementing broad, layered grassroots programs educating thousands and building sustained support for equal marriage rights in America’s heartland. Bennett has more than 25 years of experience in advocacy, strategic planning and development. Bennett serves on the board of RefugeeOne and is a member of Broadway United Methodist Church (known for its vigorous commitment to issues of social justice). Bennett has advocated locally and nationwide for full inclusion of the LGBT community in the Methodist denomination.
Myles Alexander Brady-Davis is the Individual Giving Officer at Howard Brown Health, one of the largest LGBT health organizations in the nation. Myles has devoted their life and professional career to fighting for Human rights and building comprehensive systems of care that ensure the delivery of excellent health and wellness services to vulnerable populations. Currently Myles serves on the governing board of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago’s United Pride Executive committee. They are also on the advisory council for Pride Action Tank and Chicago Restroom Access Project as well as an ambassador for Miley Cyrus’ Happy Hippie Foundation. Myles’ passion for social services stems from their desire to see marginalized populations being empowered and reaching their full potential. Myles and his partner Precious Davis donate their time, energy, and resources daily to dismantle bias, bigotry, and prejudice within their sphere of influence. When Myles isn’t busy working, they occupy their time with family, youth mentoring, and traveling the world with Precious.
Dale Carpenter is the Judge William Hawley Atwell Chair of Constitutional Law at the SMU Dedman School of Law. Prior to joining SMU, Professor Carpenter taught for 16 years at the University of Minnesota, where he served as a Distinguished University Teaching Professor and the Earl R. Larson Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law. He won multiple teaching awards. He is also an editor of Constitutional Commentary. The Texas native received his B.A. degree in history, magna cum laude, from Yale College and received his J.D., with honors, from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the University of Chicago Law Review. After serving as a law clerk for Fifth Circuit Judge Edith Jones, he practiced at the firms Vinson & Elkins LLP in Houston, and at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin, P.C. in San Francisco. As the author of numerous articles and an award-winning book —FLAGRANT CONDUCT: THE STORY OF LAWRENCE V. TEXAS, about the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that invalidated America’s sodomy laws — he is often asked by the media to comment on constitutional law, the First Amendment, and LGBT Rights and the Law. Since 2005, he has been an active blogger on the popular legal blog, The Volokh Conspiracy,which is hosted by the Washington Post.
Precious Davis is lauded both locally and nationally as an award winning diversity professional, social justice facilitator, and performance artist. She currently is the Assistant Director of Diversity Recruitment Initiatives at Columbia College Chicago, her alma mater from which she received a BA in Liberal Arts. Precious currently implements and oversees the Campus Wide Diversity Initiative and is the first woman of color to hold this position. Davis finds deep meaning in engaging individuals in conversations surrounding bias, bigotry, and prejudice in their communities on the basis and belief that humans can coexist with one another positively through the embracing of each other’s differences and the celebrating of each others human diversity. With over 15 years of diversity training and leadership development experience Precious is a highly demanded speaker and panelist who has been featured at: The University of Chicago, Northwestern University, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The University of Michigan, The Chicago Community Trust, Soho House and The Chicago School for Professional Psychology. With passions in fashion photography, queer performance ,and youth empowerment, Precious served for 3 years as the Youth Outreach Coordinator at The Midwest largest LGBT community center: Center on Halsted. Her work at the Center on Halsted involved and coordinated Youth programming surrounding HIV prevention, Transgender advocacy and LGBT leadership development. Under Precious’ tenure she launched and coordinated a 1.6 million CDC grant which provided outreach, education, and testing services to over 3000 young African American and Latino MSM between the ages of 13 and 29. Precious is known for her dynamic story and remarkable presence. Such story tells the testimony of a young woman who searched long and hard to identity with her body, soul and how multiple experiences created pivotal sustainable moments that ultimately would create a path of transition. Precious’s testimony is a word in due season that resiliently shows the shamanic creative power of healing that exist in pain, beauty, and transition. Through the appreciation of diverse marginalized narratives in history, and the retelling of such narratives, Precious locates herself and juxtaposes that which is complex in order to ultimately find the inner power within us all. As a native Nebraskan she has never lost her Midwestern charm. Precious also serves as a facilitator and associate with The Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, About Face Youth Theatre, The National Conference for Community and Justice STL, TransTech Social Enterprises, Chicago House, and Lurie Children’s Life Skills program. She recently was awarded the prestigious “30 under 30” award from The Windy City Times and included in the 2014 Trans 100 list. Precious recently opened for Grammy award winning artist Jennifer Hudson at HRC’s #Turnitupforchange event, curated the season opener “Transmopolitan Transgender Resilient” for OUT at The Chicago History Museum, and recently was invited to attend “Black LGBTQ Emerging Leader Day” at The White House. Precious is currently engaged to Myles Brady.
Naomi Goldberg, MPP, is the director of policy and research for the Movement Advancement Project, an LGBT think tank providing rigorous research, insight, and analysis to help speed equality for LGBT people. Based in Chicago, Naomi’s work at MAP has focused on the challenges facing LGBT families and workers; issues of economic security for LGBT people; and most recently on LGBT people’s interactions with the criminal justice system. In all these efforts, Naomi has co-authored a series of reports and partnered with leading progressive organizations to increase the visibility of LGBT people and issues within progressive movements and to highlight the need for progressive policy change to advance LGBT equality. Prior to joining MAP, Naomi completed a public policy fellowship at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. She received her master of public policy from the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy and graduated from Mount Holyoke College. Naomi lives with her wife and son in Hyde Park, on the South Side of Chicago.
Tyrone Hanley serves as Policy Counsel at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. In this role, he supports NCLR’s federal policy initiatives, with a focus on criminal justice reform, economic justice, and HIV/AIDS . Prior to attending the University of the District of Columbia’s David A. Clarke School of Law, Tyrone worked as the HIV Prevention Manager at SMYAL, a DC-area LGBTQ youth organization. He has also served as the Gender Public Advocacy Center’s Youth Program Coordinator and as an AmeriCorps/National AIDS Fund member at HIPS, a DC-based harm reduction organization for sex workers and drug users. Tyrone graduated from the University of Richmond with a degree in Sociology and a Spanish minor.
Kim L. Hunt has a 30-year career spanning the public, private, and nonprofit sectors with a focus on advocacy, nonprofit management, and training. She is currently the executive director of Pride Action Tank (PAT), a social lab devoted to improving outcomes for LGBTQ communities through a collaborative process of inquiry, advocacy, and action. PAT, which launched in the fall of 2015, is a project of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, where Ms. Hunt also serves as an advocacy advisor. She is the former executive director of Affinity Community Services, a social justice organization that works with and on behalf of Black LGBTQ people and queer youth. While there her accomplishments included working with the board to grow the organization’s income, launching a youth leadership program, greatly increasing public policy involvement and visibility, and securing state funding to implement HIV prevention programs. Prior to becoming an advocate for LGBTQ rights, Ms. Hunt worked in the private and public sectors. She co-founded a management consulting firm that worked with communities throughout the Midwest to create and implement community development plans and increase the capacity of neighborhood institutions and groups. The first 15 years of her career were in urban planning where she focused on public transportation. In her spare time Ms. Hunt is a co-host of a monthly LGBTQ storytelling event, the political columnist for FOP Magazine, a member of various boards and advisory councils, and occasionally an instructor for courses and workshops.
Abbe Land is the Executive Director & CEO of The Trevor Project, a nationally recognized nonprofit providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth. Abbe has an impressive history of ensuring care to underrepresented populations and advocating for youth in the LGBTQ community. Prior to joining Trevor, Abbe served as Co-CEO of The Saban Free Clinic in Los Angeles. Abbe has a wealth of public policy knowledge as an elected Councilmember of the City of West Hollywood from 1986-1997 and from 2003-2015, Abbe served as Mayor five times. She is known for her leadership on women’s issues, LGBTQ rights, and civil liberties. She was instrumental in the development of the City’s Women’s and Disability Advisory Boards, and domestic violence prevention program for same-sex couples. Through her political advocacy, the city enacted landmark gun control legislation and created innovative programs to address homelessness. She also is involved with the National Council for Suicide Prevention; Women Against Gun Violence; the L.A. County Department of Health Services’ Women’s Health Policy Council; Planned Parenthood Advocacy Board; and the AIDS Community Action Foundation. Abbe has been recognized by the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her commitment to affordable housing, as well as the Good Neighbor Award for her work as a longtime LGBT activist and advocate at this year’s Gay Men’s Chorus of LA, Voice Awards, plus numerous other recognitions.
Sarah McBride is the National Press Secretary at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the largest LGBTQ civil rights organization. Prior to joining HRC, Sarah was the Campaigns and Communications Manager for LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress. Sarah completed her undergraduate degree at American University, where she served as student body president and made national headlines when she came out as transgender in the student newspaper. A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Sarah currently serves on the Board of Directors of Equality Delaware, the state’s primary LGBT-advocacy and -educational organization. In that capacity, Sarah helped lead and served as the primary spokesperson for the successful effort to add gender identity and expression to her state’s non-discrimination and hate-crimes laws during the 2013 legislative session. In 2008, Sarah worked for Governor Jack Markell (D-DE) and, in 2010, for former Attorney General Beau Biden (D-DE). During college, Sarah interned for the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and the White House, the first out trans woman to intern there.
Mary Morten is the President of Morten Group, a consulting firm focused on clients in the nonprofit, for-profit, and foundation fields, which provides a customized approach to solving organizational and resource development challenges and exploring new opportunities. In 2016, Morten Group celebrates 15 years of service. Mary’s work as an advocate, filmmaker, and activist in the areas of LGBTQ and women’s rights and violence prevention has spanned over 25 years and compliments her belief that we all have work to do in our communities. Previous positions include: a Mayoral appointment as Mayor Daley’s liaison to the LGBTQ community, Director of the Office of Violence Prevention for the Chicago Department of Public Health; Associate Director, Interim Executive Director and Board President of Chicago Foundation for Women. Recent acknowledgements include: in 2014, a YWomen Leadership Award from the YWCA of Evanston-Northshore; in 2013, a Leppen Leadership Award from About Face Theatre; in 2012, a Black Excellence Award for Documentary Film from the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago; and in 2010, the Freedom Award from Equality Illinois. Mary is an inductee and board Co-chair of the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame.
For over a decade, Imani Rupert-Gordon has worked to advance social justice efforts in higher education and local communities. Currently, Imani Rupert-Gordon serves as the Executive Director of Affinity Community Services. Affinity is a social justice organization that works to support and provide resources for all people, with a particular emphasis on LGBTQ women of color. Previously, Imani served as the Director of the Broadway Youth Center (BYC), part of Howard Brown Health in Chicago. Under her leadership, BYC was successful in its efforts to obtain a special use permit that allowed the program to continue services uninterrupted. She also oversaw the expansion of services at BYC, improved relationships with the community and local government, and established a more sustainable budget through increased donor participation. Prior to coming to Chicago, Imani worked for 8 years at the University of California, Santa Cruz. There, she served as a lecturer and developed campus wide programming. She was also a founder of the incredibly popular Social Fiction Conference that helped students dismantle biases and examine issues of social justice through science fiction, gaming and fantasy. When she is not working, Imani enjoys reading science fiction, watching science fiction and playing her guitar. Imani holds a Bachelors degree in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Masters degree from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.
Modesto Valle is the Chief Executive Officer of Center on Halsted, the most comprehensive community center in the Midwest dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community in Chicago. A native of Chicago, Valle is a longtime community activist and organizer. He founded the Chicago Chapter NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt in 1990 and was instrumental in bringing the AIDS Memorial Quilt to the National Mall in 1996. He has served as both a volunteer and staff member at a number of Chicago-area non-profits including Chicago House, Test Positive Awareness Network and Open Hand Chicago, where he served as the organization’s first Volunteer Services Director. Valle was named CEO of Center on Halsted in 2007, where he oversaw the opening of the 175,000 square foot community center. Since taking the helm, Center on Halsted has grown into a full-fledged community center with an annual operating budget of more than $5 million. Under his leadership, more than 1,000 community members visit the Center every day. Patrons participate in the wide variety of programs and services offered ranging from volleyball, cooking classes and yoga to HIV testing, group therapy and job training. Valle was instrumental in bringing several landmark efforts to the Center, such as the first LGBTQ-friendly affordable housing project for Seniors and the nation’s first LGBT clinical psychology internship with Northwestern University. Valle attended DePaul University and Notre Dame’s Seminary School. In addition, he holds certificates in nonprofit management from Harvard Business School and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He has served on the board of the NAMES Project Foundation, Equality Education Project, City of Chicago LGBT Health Council, Illinois Violence Prevention Authority Board, City of Chicago Employment Task Force, Welcoming Committee NATO, Illinois HIV/AIDS Advisory Council, Board Member of Horizons Community Services and the Chicago Children’s Choir. In recognition of his work, Valle has been named Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Magazine, inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame, honored by the national NAMES Project Foundation and the Norman Bobins Leadership Award and he received a Red Ribbon Leadership Award from the State of Illinois. He also earned numerous yearly awards for Center on Halsted.
About the National Archives
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent federal agency that serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, so people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The agency supports democracy, promotes civic education, and facilitates historical understanding of our national experience. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at: archives.gov.
About Center on Halsted
Center on Halsted is the Midwest’s most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people of Chicagoland. More than 1,000 community members visit the Center every day, located in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview Neighborhood. Learn more at centeronhalsted.org.
About the Chicago History Museum
The Chicago History Museum stands at the crossroads of America’s past and its future. If you live in Chicago or visit here and are curious about the city’s past, present, and future, the Museum should be your first stop. The Chicago History Museum cares for, showcases, and interprets millions of authentic pieces of Chicago and U.S. history. For thirteen years, the museum has hosted “Out at CHM”, an annual slate of public programs examining LGBTQ history, which led to “Out in Chicago,” an award-winning exhibition presented in 2011 tracing the history of these communities in Chicago. Learn more at chicagohistory.org
About the National Archives Foundation
The National Archives Foundation is an independent nonprofit that increases public awareness of the National Archives, inspires a deeper appreciation of our country’s heritage, and encourages citizen engagement in our democracy. The Foundation generates financial and creative support for National Archives exhibitions, public programs, and educational initiatives, introducing America’s records to people around the U.S. and the world. Learn more at: archivesfoundation.org.
The “National Conversation on Rights and Justice” in Chicago is presented in part by AT&T, Ford Foundation, Seedlings Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust, and the National Archives Foundation.