As many of you know, the last several months have been marked by change and opportunities for Equality California. We have seized this moment to take stock, to look at the big picture and to ensure that Equality California is well-positioned to continue to lead the LGBT equality movement in California.
Throughout this process, we've promised to keep you informed about our progress and today we have some exciting updates to share.
We're proud to report that after many weeks of very hard work by our board and dedicated staff, EQCA is experiencing positive developments at every level. National partners like the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund and the Gill Foundation have invested significantly in Equality California to advance equality in the coming year, our staff is increasing in size and we are well-positioned to execute our ambitious plans in the legislative, electoral and public education arenas in 2012.
We're continuing to build on that momentum. We've selected Laurie Hasencamp, a tireless advocate for LGBT equality and a long-time backer of Equality California with interim executive director experience, to serve as EQCA's Interim Executive Director. In this role, over the next four-six months, she'll support the staff and boards of directors as they advance the great work that has already been done and continue the work to position EQCA for future success under the leadership of a new executive director when the time comes.
Laurie has played a local and national role in the movement for LGBT equality as a member of the Lambda Legal Board of Directors, the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy Founders and Legal Councils, the GLSEN National Leadership Council, The Serra Project Board of Directors and the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, among others. She has been recognized by numerous organizations for her commitment to social justice and to achieving LGBT equality. In 2008 she received a Women of Distinction award from USC as a community leader; in 2011, she received the Los Angeles Lesbian & Gay Lawyers Association Co-Presidents Award and the City of West Hollywood Paul Starke Warrior Award for her community service work in the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities.
Laurie begins her work with EQCA in earnest on Tuesday, February 28 and will be based in West Hollywood. You can read more about her here.
Change is always challenging. With of your support, we have continued working at every level to achieve full equality. We have made many historic gains. If you haven't yet, we encourage you to check out our recent report on our 2011 success stories and our plans for advancing equality, including the freedom to marry, in 2012.
Thank you, again, for your ongoing support, engagement and commitment as we continue to strengthen EQCA in the fight for full and lasting equality for LGBT people in California.
Clarissa Filgioun, President
Cary Davidson, President
Equality California Institute