2016 Communities That Care Awardees Announced

We at the OutCenter are excited to present our "Communities That Care" award winners!


Nathan Triplett, Political Director at Equality Michigan, will accept an award on behalf of the organization. Equality Michigan has been one of our valued strategic partners in the cause for justice. They have not only helped us at the OutCenter grow, but have also been a frontrunner in the conflict about transgender teens and bathroom use at schools.


Eve Berndt, a recent St. Joseph High School graduate, was one of the pair that led the "A Night for Equality" fundraiser as part of a senior service project. The event went spectacularly, raising enough money to support the Teen Pride Prom, but even raising more to support our Teen Pride GSA program for months onward. Eve has been a continued advocate and ally to LGBTQ+ teens in the tri-county area.


Carmen Smith was the other half of the "A Night for Equality" team. Like Eve, Carmen has also been a continued advocate and ally to LGBTQ+ teens in the tri-county area. After the event, she wrote an article about her experience for The Odyssey Online; read it here.



Elizabeth McCree of The Law Office of Elizabeth L. McCree, PLLC will receive an award for her pro-bono support of a local transgender teen and her continual commitment to social justice. A recent addition to the OutCenter Board, Beth McCree has a commitment to community wellbeing and is changing the way the court system works with LGBTQ+ youth. Read more about Beth in this article from the Benton-Michiana Spirit Community Newspaper.


And finally, The Michigan Organization for Sexual Health (MOASH), as part of their Building A Movement for Michigan Gay-Straight Alliances (BAMMGSA) program, has done amazing work in helping us build our capacity to develop GSAs at area schools. They have also supported our Teen Pride GSA program like no other. A few of their team members will accept a "Communities That Care" award on behalf of MOASH.


We thank all of the winners for their dedication to LGBTQ+ equality in Southwest Michigan, and we look forward to honoring them at 2016 Lake Effect Pride. Join us on July 29th at the Inn at Harbor Shores to celebrate the awardees' accomplishments, and to start looking forward to even more!


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