On Sunday, Cleveland Stonewall Democrats held their annual Freedom Fund Celebration, this year as a virtual event due to COVID-19 (video below).
The evening recognized the 20th anniversary of the organization founded in 2000 to advance equal rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, particularly through supporting the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates who support our mission
“There is so much more work to do but we have accomplished a great deal in 20 years,” said Dara Adkison, President of Cleveland Stonewall Democrats. “When we were first founded, there weren’t any out elected officials in Ohio and now there are quite a few. But as we continue to have even more, we need to have that representation be more diverse, more equitable, and more representative of the greater LGBTQIA+ community. And that’s something that I look forward to having Cleveland Stonewall Democrats fight for in the upcoming years.
The event featured pre-recorded messages from former and current elected officials as well as myriad LGBTQ+ and ally community leaders. Ohio State Representative Janine Boyd delivered an emotional and moving tribute to the power of allyship:
I as a black woman especially am so so grateful and renewed to be able to celebrate the Cleveland Stonewall Dems. Every time I have had the privilege of arguing against some ridiculous, self-righteous, bigoted piece of legislation in the Ohio House has been a proud moment for me. I have always felt the presence of the Cleveland Stonewall Dems as I made those arguments. I have felt them with me. Knowing that they are my ally as much as I am theirs makes me proud.
The event also recognized various community leaders for their work:
- The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus was awarded the “Stephanie Tubbs Jones Freedom Award.”
- Phyllis Seven Harris, Executive Director of the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, was given the “Cleveland Stonewall Democrats Leadership Award.”
- The Buckeye Flame’s own Ken Schneck was honored with the “Dave Ream Standing OUT Award.”
- Watch the video below.
- Registering to vote LITERALLY takes less than two minutes. Go to https://www.vote.org/register-to-vote/ohio/ to start and finish this process right this very second.