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Meet Georgia Equality’s local heroes for 2017

Georgia Equality hosts 13th Annual Evening for Equality Gala with cocktails, dinner and a host of LGBT-friendly elected officials, gay bigwigs and these local heroes.

By Matthew Holley

Continuing its ongoing efforts to advance fairness, safety and opportunity for all of Georgia’s LGBT communities, Georgia Equality cordially invites you to its 13th Annual Evening for Equality.

Hundreds of Georgia’s most important community leaders attend the annual soiree to bear witness for the presentation of Georgia Equality’s Equality Awards at a lavish dinner reception to honor the achievements and contributions of the movement’s leaders and luminaries from the past year.

We’ve gathered all of the deets for the who, what, where, when and why of one of gay Atlanta’s most highly anticipated celebrations.

WHO:

Georgia Equality has strived endlessly for over a decade evolving its magnanimous mission, “to advance fairness, safety and opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities and our allies throughout the state.”

In all actuality, GE is two organizations working as one. Georgia Equality, Inc. guides the compass to pass pro-equality legislation and aims to elect passionate, open-minded public servants who only yearn to further GE’s advancement. Additionally, the Equality Foundation of Georgia conducts a myriad of tasks such as voter registration, educational activities, providing information to lawmakers, and working to organize and rally LGBT residents, allies and friends across the entire state.

WHAT:

The 13th Annual Evening for Equality is a traditional gala, hosted each year allowing all of GE’s leaders, members and friends to come together for one evening and revel in the camaraderie and compassion each individual has for equal rights for all citizens of Georgia.

WHERE:

Evening for Equality will be held at InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, in one of the host hotel’s luxury ballrooms. For all attending guests who wish to stay at the InterContinental, a discount code is provided at the GE website.

WHEN:

The evening commences on Saturday, June 17, with the Host & VIP Reception beginning at 6:00 PM, General Tickets admissions at 7:00 PM and the gala officially starting at 7:30 p.m.

WHY:

For this one night, GE has opted to take a moment to say thanks and shine light on specific individuals and groups who have risen above and beyond over the past year. Each honoree is award an accolade pertaining to the work he, she and/or they contributed for creating positive change in such a polarizing political climate. The 2017 Equality Award Honorees are:

Daniel Driffin, The Allen Thornell Political Advancement Award

Daniel is the first person openly living with HIV to address the Democratic National Convention in the past 20 years. He is a graduate of GE’s Youth HIV Policy Advisory program and is the co-chair of the Fulton County Task Force on HIV/AIDS. He also founded THRIVE SS, which is a nonprofit concentrated on providing networking opportunities for black gay and bisexual men living with HIV. is the co-chair of the Fulton County Task Force on HIV/AIDS.

The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, The Champion for Equality Award

The GLBC organization has been at the helm on educating the legislature on HIV/AIDS issues, with an aware priority to drive home support for Comprehensive and Inclusive Civil Rights and Nondiscrimination legislation. The caucus has always been undeniably supportive of Georgia Equalities issues during General Assembly.

Jen Slipakoff, The Guiding State Award

As a mother of a transgender girl, Jen has been a precise and outspoken advocate for transgender rights in Georgia. She has worked alongside Georgia Equality, as well as PFLAG and the HRC Atlanta Steering Committee.

Pro-Georgia, The Phillip Rush Community Center Award

Since its inception, ProGeorgia has progressed from a group of 12 organizations with a budget of $250,000 into a political driving force of 32 organizations with a budget of $1.3 million. ProGeorgia has helped transform the political landscape of Georgia through synchronized civic engagement efforts, resulting in registering more than 80,000 people to vote.

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