MassEquality Board Member Named A Social Justice Champion By Chelsea Collaborative

Organization cites commitment to ensuring that equal rights and opportunities are open to all

BOSTON, Massachusetts—On Dec. 7, 2012, the Chelsea Collaborative will honor the Two Sisters and a Wife Foundation, a family foundation managed by long-time MassEquality board member Sara Whitman, with its Social Justice Champion Award.

Whitman’s family foundation granted the Collaborative $40,000 last August to replace funding that the anti-poverty and immigrants’ rights organization had returned to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. The money was returned by the Chelsea Collaborative out of concern that the organization might be put in the position of having to discriminate against LGBTQ people in order to adhere to the funder’s grant guidelines.

“Social justice organizations depend upon the generosity of private foundations and donors to do their work. Thanks to Sara’s support, the Chelsea Collaborative became the first organization in the country to reject funding by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development in order to maintain their commitment to opposing discrimination against LGBTQ people,” said MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini. “It was an incredibly brave act, and an incredibly meaningful one, and it was supported by the Two Sisters and a Wife Foundation.”

“The money we returned paid for about 80 percent of our immigrants’ rights work. The only reason we were able to continue that work is because of the funding we received from the Two Sisters and a Wife Foundation,” said Chelsea Collaborative Executive Director Gladys Vega. “Sara’s commitment to social justice has ensured that everyone in our community has access to equal rights and opportunities.”

Whitman will be honored along with Foley Hoag LLP, Metro North Regional Employment Board, and Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash at the Chelsea Collaborative’s 24th Annual Holiday Gala Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 30 Washington St., Somerville. Tickets are $50.

MassEquality is the leading statewide grassroots advocacy organization working to ensure that everyone across Massachusetts can thrive from cradle to grave without discrimination and oppression based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. We do this by partnering across issues, identities and communities to build a broad, inclusive and politically powerful movement that changes hearts and minds and achieves policy and electoral victories.

[From a news release]


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