HRC fetes equality advocates in gala dinner

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Hundreds of people filled a ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Downtown last Saturday for a black tie affair that drew a diverse gay audience and a host of elected officials.

imageThe 22nd Annual Atlanta Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner & Silent Auction unfolded over several hours of speeches, dinners and awards May 2, an annual tradition that draws a Who’s Who of LGBT Atlanta. Actress Cybill Shepherd (photo) attended as the dinner’s guest speaker and to receive the Ally for Equality Award. HRC President Joe Solmonese was also on hand.

Several local and national advocates for equality were feted, including Shepherd; Johnetta Cole, the first black woman to head Spelman College, who received an Ally for Equality Award; YouthPride, which received the Don Bradley Humanitarian Award; and Dani Lee Harris, the Atlanta Police Department’s GLBT Liaison who received the Leon Allen & Winston Johnson Community Leadership award.

imageThe event drew a long-list of elected officials, mayoral candidates and others seeking public office. Included among them was U.S. Rep. John Lewis, City Council President Lisa Borders (photo with Lewis), state Sens. Kasim Reed and Nan Orrock, state Rep. Karla Drenner and Decatur City Commissioner Kecia Cunningham. State Rep. DuBose Porter, a Democrat running for governor, was scheduled to attend, but did not appear at the dinner.

Organizers say that although attendance dipped this year by 15 percent to about 900 people, the event raised about $300,000.

View the Project Q Atlanta photo album from the event.

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