Mel Ferrand
Age: 58

This longtime resident of Ravenswood/Lincoln Square says she has been a social and political activist all of her life. The product of our great American melting pot, Mel Ferrand is the daughter of a Jewish mother and a Latino father. In addition, she is an out lesbian, who says coming from these unique and diverse roots she fell quite naturally into becoming an independent thinker determined to create social change. Soon after arriving in Chicago some 20 years ago, she became active in everything she could: political campaigns, neighborhood groups, labor groups, women’s organizations, and the gay and lesbian community. Among her many accomplishments, Ferrand is a journey-level union carpenter, has served as an officer of the Ravenswood Community Council and was co-chair of the Education Committee of that neighborhood organization, is a past president of the Illinois NOW PAC, past co-chair of the Illinois Pro-Choice Alliance, founding member of the Grant Park Advisory Council and Chicagoland Pride At Work. She is currently a union delegate and elementary school teacher on Chicago’s near west side.

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Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City's Gay Community, the book is edited by Tracy Baim and features the contributions of more than 20 prominent historians and journalists. It is published by Surrey Books, an Agate imprint, and is hard cover, 224 pages, 4-color, with nearly 400 photos.
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