On Friday, October 7, 2011, Mitchell faculty, staff and students attended the 18th Annual National Coming Out Luncheon at the Minneapolis Hilton. This year’s program theme was Be Inspired, Be Challenged, Be Out, and featured speeches by Mark Gherity, Executive Director of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (MN); Katie Burgess, Executive Director of the Trans Youth Support Network; and Richard Moody, Fashion Authority, Philanthropist, Event Planner, Author, Motivational Speaker and Community Servant. Burgess, who once struggled with homelessness and drugs, challenged the audience to speak out against oppression and fight for those who are marginalized because of their identity.
In his speech, Moody told the audience to Embrace, Educate and Empower. He challenged attendees to embrace who they are and to walk away from those who do not support them. Moody also encouraged attendees to educate others by sharing themselves, talking to people, and helping others see that “We are perfectly ordinary.” Moody’s final point was about empowerment. He told the banquet room full of LGBT people and allies that we need to “use our voices to change people’s perceptions.” Moody, who is a black gay man, closed his speech by challenging the audience to get involved and to let people know that we all have multiple identities. He said, “I am global. I am Minnesota. I am Moody. I am black. I am gay. …”
Below are pictures from the luncheon, attended by Professors Tony Winer, Eileen Scallen, and Denise Roy; Dan Thompson, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students; Lawrencina Mason Oramalu, Assistant Dean and Director of Multicultural Affairs and Mitchell students Brandon Gil, Out!law LGBTQ Community Liaison, Jessica Englund, Out!law Co-Chair, and Jen Renner. Several alumni also attended the luncheon and were pleased to see Mitchell listed as a luncheon sponsor and represented in the Exhibit Hall. Alumni pictured in the slide show include: Kristien Butler ’09, Kathy Davis ’03 and Rebecca Heltzer ’89.
To see the pictures, please visit the original article at http://web.wmitchell.edu/diversity/2011/10/mitchell-supports-quorum-coming-out-luncheon/