Rochester, NY has always been at the forefront of social change and justice. Upstate New York has been a strong voice in the abolitionist movement, the civil rights movement, and the women’s liberation movement. This workshop will focus on the roots of activism and diversity past and current in the social, cultural, corporate, educational, religious and political arenas of Upstate NY to bring about the critical mass necessary for Marriage Equality to pass on June 28, 2011. The Upstate New York Region provided the fertile ground from which liberation movements have germinated, grown and thrived. The legacy of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglas laid the foundation for Rochester corporations — Eastman Kodak, IBM, Xerox and a non-public holding Bausch & Lomb — to secure equal rights in employment, housing, health care, domestic partnership benefits, prior to Marriage Equality. The business community led the way, and the legislative agenda followed. The partnerships of very diverse communities created the environment for passage. The history of these partnerships are rooted in the core values of faith, freedom, individualism and the common good that are the guiding force behind Rochester and Upstate NYs achievements to improve the quality of life for all of its citizens. Rochester is the melting pot of diverse cultures, educational institutions, social reform movements, religious expression and political activism. This workshop will explore how the roots of these diverse strains became united in the quest for equality and justice in New York.
Evelyn Bailey was awarded the 2014 Community Service Award from the Empire State Pride Agenda. She is chairperson of the Shoulders to Stand On program of the Gay Alliance of Western NY, executive producer of “Shoulders To Stand On: A Documentary on the History of the Rochester LGBT Community”, writes a monthly column in The Empty Closet, and has served on the Community Advisory Board for HIV Trials at Strong Memorial Hospital. Ms. Bailey has been a mathematics teacher or the past 30 years as well as a small business owner. She currently resides in Rochester, NY.
Ralph Carter is the past board co-president of Galaxie Pride at Work, the LGBT employee resource group of Xerox Corporation, and is active with Out and Equal NY Finger Lakes regional affiliate and Pride in the Pulpit Committee. In 2001, Mr. Carter received the Gay Alliance Community Leadership Award for advancing LGBT equality in the Greater Rochester area. He has served on the Board of the Gay Alliance of Western NY, served as chairperson of Interfaith Advocates, and currently is chairperson of the Nominating Committee at Presbytery of Genesee Valley at Third Presbyterian Church.
Dan Sapper, a divisional quality leader at Kodak, is the chairperson for Kodak’s Lambda Network Board, and serves on the board of Out and Equal Finger Lakes regional affiliate. Mr. Sapper aims to use his leadership role to help others “who might be in my shoes in the future” — employees who may be “thinking of 'coming out,” or people who left something of themselves at the gate when they entered work. He is 6-Sigma Black Belt Certified, and a world-wide technical leader for sensitometric testing of silver-halide photographic emulsions. Mr. Sapper resides in Rochester, NY.