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April 4, 2008


Eight honored by Equality
Toledo for fairness work


Toledo--Celebrating three years of service to the community, honoring those who fight for LGBT acceptance and electing a slate of board members is a tall order for one afternoon, but Equality Toledo accomplished it on March 29.

Their annual meeting, held in the University of Toledoís Libbey Hall, saw fifty people come out for the event.

After recognizing the efforts of former executive director Kim Welter, attention turned to the recipients of the Equality Awards, the first of which was given to ProMedica Health Systemís director of corporate diversity, Jewell Lightner.

Under Lightnerís stewardship, ProMedica has extended antidiscrimination policies to include LGBT people, covering thousands of employees.

Lightner eloquently told the assemblage of the need to protect all people from discrimination, and the drive towards fairness in employment.

She and Welter, who is now the program manager for outreach and education at Equality Ohio, were not alone is being honored at the reception.

Dr. Cynthia Beekley, the exiting superintendent of Springfield Local Schools in the Toledo area, was honored by the Safe Schools Project. Beekley took a suggestion from one of her teachers, to bring in the Safe Schools Program to do a diversity training, and turned it into a mandatory in-service for the entire staff of the district.

Faith and Fairness Equality Awards were given to Rev. Margaret Mallory, a leader in the West Ohio conference of the United Methodist Church, Marcy St. John of First Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green, and Bob and Gene McEvoy, a heterosexual couple who hosted the Shower of Stoles display in their own home when their church refused to do so.

The awards wrapped up with one given to Toledo councilor Joe McNamara, who sponsored the domestic partner registry that passed in the city last year.

Leaders of the organization thanked outgoing board members and then held an election on the slate of new board members, which was accepted unanimously.

The new members are Maria Coleman, Kellie Duckering, Kurt Erichsen, Pat Groves, Cheri Holdridge, Mary Martin, Rob Salem, Jacqui Snudery and Bill Takacs. They join returning members Diane F. Britton, David Mann, Mary Powers, Sherry Tripepi, Cindy Voller and ex officio member Mark Mockensturm.

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