More than 100 LGBT activists and professionals joined the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation ( GLAAD ) at the MillerCoors Headquarters downtown to celebrate the launch of the GLAAD Chicago Leadership Council June 21.
The council, currently composed of 12 Chicago volunteers, will act as local ambassadors to GLAAD, alerting the alliance to media deemed offensive to LGBT people; organizing media trainings for local LGBT groups; and fundraising.
"Even the friendly media, whether mainstream or LGBT, don't necessarily have all the information they need available to them," said Kevin Boyer, Chicago Leadership Council co-chair.
GLAAD Senior Director Juan Barajas said that GLAAD will be monitoring sports media in Chicago, and working to highlight anti-gay violence, among other things.
Chicago had been the largest city in the United States without a GLAAD leadership council, a fact that left many LGBT Chicagoans feeling unrepresented by GLAAD, Boyer told Windy City Times. He said that the council would put its energy into community initiatives over fundraising.
"Now is the time to give GLAAD a fresh look in Chicago," he said. Read more story below....
In a speech at the launch party, Boyer said that he and Nina Fernandez, the other co-chair, will be actively recruiting women and people of color for the council, which still has 13 open seats.
Candidates interested in volunteering on the council can learn more at www.glaad.org/volunteers .