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Equality PA Presents The Bayard Rustin Award & The Pioneering Advocacy Award to leaders in the LGBT Community


We will be honoring Broadway stars, Jonathan Groff, star of “Hamilton,” a breakaway hit, and Sheryl Lee Ralph, star of the the orginal “Dreamgirls.”

We hope that you can join our inaugural Equality Awards Happy Hour at the Pennsylvania Society graciously hosted by; authors John Berendt (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) and Sean Strub (Body Counts):

135 W 87th St, New York, NY 10024
December 11, 2015, 4pm- 6:30 pm
Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served

$250 Tickets are limited and non-transferrable

To RSVP click here.

More information about the event:

We hope that you can join our inaugural Equality Awards Happy Hour at the Pennsylvania Society graciously hosted by; authors John Berendt (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) and Sean Strub (Body Counts). We appreciate your support and we look forward to working with you in the future.

Equality Pennsylvania:

Equality Pennsylvania is the commonwealth’s leading organization advancing equality and opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Pennsylvanians.

As the only equality organization based in Harrisburg — we advocate for policy change at the municipal, state, and federal level; we organize grassroots supporters to engage in the political process; we educate the public about the experiences, values, and needs of LGBT people; and we endorse candidates who are committed to being champions for equality.


The Bayard Rustin Award: Bayard Rustin, born in West Chester, PA, was an American leader in the civil rights and gay rights movements. He was an advocate for visibility of the community even as many tried to erase his own identity. This award recognizes a Pennsylvanian who is continuing the work to ensure that the LGBT community will be visible, accepted, and celebrated in our society.

The Pioneering Advocacy Award: For too long people in the LGBT community – especially transgender people and people living with HIV and AIDS have been kept in the shadows. However, some people have been shining the light on all of the members of our community for many years, before there was the level of awareness and acceptance that exists today. This award recognizes pioneering work to stand up for people who are on the fringes of society simply because of who they are or who they love.

Jonathan Groff – Recipient of the 2015 Bayard Rustin Award

Jonathan Groff is not only a star of the stage and screen, he is also a Pennsylvanian and a member of the LGBT Community.  As a successful actor, he is a highly visible role model and activist for the LGBT Community.  And in this role, every day, he brings home the strong and resonant message that LGBT people can do anything, be anything, and can live lives of value and worth.

Sheryl Lee Ralph – Recipient of the 2015 Pioneering Advocacy Award

As a popular actor and singer, Sheryl Lee Ralph is also a highly visible role model. She began her advocacy for people with HIV and AIDS in a time when many people were afraid to speak out for fear of being ostracized from society. Her ongoing work with The DIVA Foundation and DIVAS Simply Singing! makes a real difference in people’s lives in the LGBT community.


John Berendt


Sean Strub
Mickey Rowley

Host Committee:

Ellen Toplin
Harvey Hurdle
Ted Martin
Mike Testa
Jessica Rothchild
Terry Mutchler
Rep. Dan Frankel


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Thank you to our 2017-18 Strategic Partners

Equality Federation Human Rights Campaign Gill Foundation Gill Action Fund Freedom for All Americans
American Unity Fund ACLU PA Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund Johnson Family Foundation Schlegel-Deibler Charitable Foundation

To become a strategic partner with a contribution, sponsorship, or service of $2,500 or more,
contact Elle Hammond at

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