We're all just kvelling that our own Reverend Irene Monroe, longtime Velvetpark contributer, has been chosen to receive GLAD (not GLAAD!)'s 2012 Spirit of Justice Award for her contributions to the advancement of equality for LGBT people. GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) is New England’s leading legal organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.
The award will be presented at the 13th annual Spirit of Justice Award Dinner on Friday, October 26th at the Boston Marriott Copley Hotel.
From GLAD, on the honoring of Rev. Monroe:
Reverend Monroe’s powerfully-voiced syndicated queer religion column, written with unconditional love toward all readers, has helped to shape public dialogue on LGBT and racial justice issues. Reverend Monroe’s work aims to highlight how religious intolerance aids in perpetuating other forms of oppression such as racism, sexism, classism and anti-Semitism.
"I am honored to be this year's awardee,” said Reverend Monroe. “But I've not been in the struggle alone. The interconnectedness between my work and that of GLAD's is best depicted by the African proverb that states, “I am because we are; and since we are, therefore, I am.” My social justice work in churches and in the streets comes to fruition because of GLAD’s activism in the courts on behalf of us all."
Reverend Monroe is a founder of numerous faith-based LGBT organizations including: The Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry, Equal Partners of Faith, and Christian Lesbians Out. She is one of the founders and member emeritus of the National Black Justice Coalition. Reverend Monroe also served on the Religious Advisory Committee of Human Rights Campaign and was a commissioner on the GLBT Commission in Cambridge that attends to and addresses the needs of Cambridge's queer community.
Reverend Monroe’s syndicated column appears in The Huffington Post, Bay Windows, The Advocate, and The Bilerico project.
Reverend Monroe is featured in the film, “For the Bible Tells Me So,” and has been profiled in O, Oprah Magazine. She was also profiled in the Gay Pride Episode of “‘In the Life’ TV” where the segment on her was nominated for an educational Emmy. She has received the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching several times.
In 1998 Reverend Monroe was the first African American lesbian to be bestowed the honor of being Grand Marshall in the Boston Pride Celebration. Reverend Monroe sits on the advisory boards of several national LGBTQ organizations.
Past Spirit of Justice awardees include Governor Deval Patrick and his family, Bishop Gene Robinson, Tony Kushner, Terrence McNally, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, Tim Gill, Laurence Tribe, Beth Robinson, Mandy Carter, Reverend William Sinkford, GLAD Founder John Ward, and GLAD Civil Rights Project Director Mary Bonauto.
From all of us at Velvetpark, a big fat mazel tov to Rev. Monroe, and the fine folks at GLAD for recognizing greatness when they see it. For more of Rev. Monroe's writings, visit her archive here at Velvetpark, as well as her personal website.