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Michigan Fairness Forum announces recipients of promoting equality awards

The Michigan Fairness Forum emerged in the aftermath of Proposal 2 in 2004 when the Michigan state constitution was admended to include an anti-gay marriage amendment. An all volunteer, statewide initiative, it has helped provide a communications link for the state's LGBTQ organizations, conducting research and surveys to help guide a strategic plan to achieve full equality.
This year it recognizes the work of three individuals who have been engaged in helping achieve LGBT equality. Named after three long-time leaders, the awards include the Kathleen Russell Vision Award, the Howard Israel Community Award and the James W. Toy Justice Award. This year, MFF recognized the following individuals:
The Kathleen Russell Vision Award has been awarded to Dr. Faye Schuett. MFF called Schuett a "visionary and tireless leader who devoted six years of time, talent and treasure to co-founding and sustaining the Peninsula Group and Michigan Fairness Forum". Schuett is also a leader in diversity efforts at Schoolcraft Community College in Livonia, where she received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her work as founding director of its Service Learning Honors Program.
The Howard Israel Community Award has been awarded to Arlene Kish who has been dedicated to serving and benefiting Michigan's transgender community, "a community that is woefully under-served, often misunderstood and frequently under attack politically, religiously and physically", said MFF leadership. Kish is a transgender community organizer, coordinator, planner and consequently, a leader. In her role as transgender community activist, Kish identifies the need for support from an extended range of supporters.
The James W. Toy Justice Award has been awarded to Curtis Lipscomb, a long-time community activist, MFF described Lipscomb as having "enormous wealth of experience and knowledge, as both a professional and as a volunteer. He brings a deep understanding of LGBT issues and a bottomless cup of compassion on behalf of the LGBT community.Enthusiastically open to and well-versed in building collaborative relationships, Curtis has worked with a wide variety of LGBTA community efforts, both in the LGBTA realm and in the general non-profit and for profit worlds." Lipscmb became KICK's first salaried executive director early in 2011 and is the first LGBT community leader to give genuine attention to how metro Detroit and Michigan fit into the larger national LGBT movement.
Learn more about the Michigan Fairness Forum and take the survey off the home page to help build a strategic full equality plan. Visit http://www.michiganfairnessforum.org.

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