We're proud to announce our speakers for Atlanta's International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) on May 17. We'll add more in-depth information as we go, but for now, we present our line-up of activists, community leaders, athletes, and educators who will address homophobia and transphobia pervasive in schools, on the job, in government, in the sports world, and in our community-at-large.
PRELUDE & INTRODUCTION OF ORGANIZERS
Miko Evans -- Executive producer and CEO of Meak Productions Inc., the world's first LGBT exclusive talent agency, casting and production company, and the official radio and audio recording sponsor of Atlanta IDAHO. Also host and producer of Same Gender Loving Expressions, the first LGBT syndicated radio talk show on the Exceptional Radio Network. Visit the websites for more information and to listen to previous broadcasts.
Betty Couvertier -- Producer of Alternative Perspectives, Atlanta's LGBTQI radio program, read about Betty from our previous post.
MISTRESS OF CEREMONIES
Imani Evans -- Founder and executive director of the nonprofit, Women Healing Women, Inc., an organization dedicated to the holistic healing of survivors of sexual and domestic violence, Imani brings 20+ years of advocacy and inspiration to the podium. View her LinkedIn public profile here.
Rev. Chris Glaser -- Author of 11 books, LGBT activist, and gay Christian theologian, Rev. Chris Glaser will open the program as the interim pastor of our host venue, Virginia-Highland Church. For more about Chris, check his website.
Rev. Paul Turner -- Founder and senior pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church of Atlanta, Rev. Paul Turner will close the event with parting words and prayer. For more about Paul, read his bio at his church website.
ENTERTAINMENT & MUSIC
PhoenixYZ -- Performing spoken word, PhoenixYZ's poetry will no doubt touch, inspire and provoke. Visit her MySpace page for words from the Poet Priestess.
Pastor Sonya E. Williams -- Get uplifted! Pastor Sonya will bring a musical ensemble from Restoration Inclusive Ministries, Inc.
ACTIVISTS & COMMUNITY LEADERS
Joan Garner -- Out lesbian and long-time community activist, Joan recently announced her candidacy for Fulton County Commission, District 6. Georgia Equality endorsed her campaign, and according to GA Voice, "If elected, Garner would be first openly gay person to serve on commission." Read Joan's bio at her campaign website.
Bekah Ward -- An educator, Bekah Ward remains passionately involved in the anti-war movement, women's rights and LGBT liberation. Last October, she helped organize a Georgia contingency for the National Equality March and she continues her commitment to keep up the pressure until full equality is achieved.
Tracee McDaniel -- A transgender advocate, Tracee founded the nonprofit Juxtaposed Center for Transformation, where she acts as its executive director. Having served on numerous LGBT organizations, she received the Unity Fellowship Community Leadership Award in 2008 from the Atlanta City Council and the S1C Transgender Community Leadership Award in 2009.
Abby Drue -- Founder and executive director of the Ben Marion Institute for Social Justice, Abby "serves as a facilitator and behavioral development coach" for public institutions, government, and businesses. Click to read her online bio.
Montee Evans -- CEO Lamont "Montee Jamal" Evans founded mojaevans Professional Services, LLC in 2002. He provides consulting services to individuals, nonprofit organizations, small minority businesses and local communities.
Camron Wiltshire -- Creative, trend-setting, and a straight ally, Camron has already accomplished a lot in raising consciousness about social justice, corporate and institutional abuse via We Are All One and We Are Change. Read Camron's mission, which simply stated, is "to inspire and empower people to be the change that they seek. . ." Follow Camron on Facebook.
Anneliese A. Singh, Ph.D., LPC, NCC -- Co-founder of the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition (GSSC) and assistant professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services at The University of Georgia, Dr. Singh currently conducts participatory research and interventions in middle schools aimed at reducing anti-LGBTQ bullying and violence. To read her bio, click here.
Maru Gonzalez, M.Ed. -- Also co-founder of the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition (GSSC), Maru is an elementary school counselor and a relentless social justice activist. She volunteers as group facilitator for YouthPride and serves on the organization's Education Committee. To read her bio, click here.
Austin Laufersweiler -- Listen to GLSEN’s first-ever Student Advocate of the Year. Within a hostile school environment, Austin created Students Promoting Equality and Justice Through a Respectful and United Movement (SPECTRUM). As president, Austin built his activism on systemic change by launching several campaigns including the Day of Silence and Think B4 You Speak. A board member of GSSC, read his bio at their website.
Anne Barr -- In 2007, Anne Barr founded the Decatur Women's Sports League, which includes primarily lesbian athletes from Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, and Gwinnett County. Browse a salute to Anne at the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative.
NOTE: We've not listed speakers in order of appearance unless otherwise stated. We would also like to acknowledge Laura Gentle, who is organizing a pre-event march through her group, Shirt Off My Back, and the Honorable State House Rep. Karla Drenner, who will present the official proclamation that May 17 is the City of Atlanta's International Day Against Homophobia.