San Diego – Equality California will honor three tireless advocates for LGBT rights at its annual San Diego Equality Awards luncheon on Sunday, June 7, 2015. California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Southwest Airlines’ Lidia Martinez, and Dr. Shaun Travers of UCSD will each be recognized for their efforts to ensure that all Californians are treated equally. San Diego City Councilmember Todd Gloria, San Diego LGBT Center CEO Delores Jacobs, Equality California Board President Andreas Meyer and Equality California Institute Board President Joyce Rowland will present the awards at the Prado at Balboa Park.
“This year’s awardees come from diverse backgrounds – public service, business and academia – but all share the same commitment to affirming the civil rights and basic human dignity of all Californians,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “They’ve fought for the rights of the LGBT community in healthcare, in housing, on campus and in all the diverse ethnic and geographic communities that we’re part of. Without their work, our community would not be where we are today.”
Speaker Toni Atkins (DSan Diego) was elected in 2010 as the first openly lesbian speaker in California’s history. Atkins will receive this year’s Vanguard Leadership Award for her openness and courage, which have inspired others to be more visible in their personal lives and active in their communities. Atkins, who grew up in Virginia in a home with no running water, was first elected in 2000 to the San Diego City Council, where she served eight years and acted briefly as the city’s first openly gay mayor. During her time in public service, she has championed issues ranging from homeless LGBT youth, to affordable housing for our community and others, to advancing transgender issues.
Lidia S. Martinez is corporate community affairs manager for Southwest Airlines and will receive this year’s Ally Leadership Award. Martinez has been a strong ally of the LGBT community, strengthening Southwest’s partnerships with LGBT organizations across California and the country, and building bridges between the LGBT community and the diverse communities of which our members are also part. In addition to her unwavering support of LGBT equality, Martinez serves as a board member for various civil rights and civic organizations, including MALDEF, the Hispanic College Fund, the Women’s Foundation of California and others.
Dr. Shaun Travers is a campus diversity officer at UCSD, where he also directs the campus LGBT Resource Center. Travers will receive this year’s State Farm Good Neighbor Award for his efforts on campus, across San Diego and statewide. Travers is a current board member of the San Diego LGBT Community Center and is a fourtime former board chair. He also serves on the University of California systemwide President’s Advisory Council on LGBT Students, Faculty and Staff. He lectures frequently on the intersections of race, sexuality and gender, and of the opportunities and challenges of working in and with the LGBT community.
Each year, Equality California recognizes individuals and organizations who have made an impact on the movement to secure full and lasting equality for LGBT people at its annual Equality Awards — a series of formal events held in San Francisco, San Diego, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, and Sacramento.
This year’s San Diego Equality Awards will take place on Sunday, June 7 at the Prado at Balboa Park, located at 1549 El Prado, San Diego. Individual tickets are $250. The 2015 Equality Awards are sponsored by AT&T, La Crema, PG&E, Sempra Energy, Southwest Airlines, and State Farm Insurance. For more information about the Equality Awards visit, www.eqcaawards.com. For tickets or sponsorship information, contact Scott Gizicki at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 323848-9801.
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization dedicated to creating a fair and just society. Our mission is to achieve and maintain full and lasting equality, acceptance, and social justice for all people in our diverse LGBT communities, inside and outside of California. Our mission includes advancing the health and well-being of LGBT Californians through direct healthcare service advocacy and education. Through electoral, advocacy, education and mobilization programs, we strive to create a broad and diverse alliance of LGBT people, educators, government officials, communities of color and faith, labor, business, and social justice communities to achieve our goals. www.eqca.org