Ann Arbor –
Award-winning CNN and ESPN online gay journalist LZ Granderson will keynote the Jim Toy Community Center’s Pride Dinner, honoring the advocate and scholar Dr. Sandra Cole June 25.
Granderson was named the 2011 Journalist of the Year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. He is also a 2009 GLAAD Award winner for his digital journalism. In his weekly CNN opinion column, Granderson often tackles the topics of race, sexuality and gender in both society and sports.
Granderson will also serve as the National Black Justice Coalition’s Third Annual OUT on the Hill’s National Chairman this year. OOTH is a Black LGBT Leadership Summit meant to foster strategy, discussion and organization while educating public officials about black LGBT public policy concerns.
JTCC’s Pride Dinner will award Dr. Cole with the Jim Toy Lifetime Achievement Award and honor her career as a noted sexologist and longtime advocate of equality for transgender individuals. In 1999, Toy and Dr. Cole co-authored new language for Ann Arbor’s non-discrimination policy to include gender identity/expression. Pioneering LGBT advocate Jim Toy himself will present Cole with the award.
Dr. Cole began her scholarly career on the faculty of the University of Minnesota Medical School alongside her late husband Ted Cole. The two of them conducted groundbreaking research on topics such as sexuality and physical disability. In 1977, the Coles moved to Ann Arbor and joined the faculty of the University of Michigan.
Dr. Cole also founded the University of Michigan Health System Comprehensive Gender Services Program in 1993, an academic program providing health care services to transgendered individuals in need of gender-related care, including encrinological, surgical, mental and general health care services.
“Sandra has served many communities,” said Toy. “In particular the medical schools at the University of Minnesota and the University of Michigan, the transgender community in all its diversity, the UM’s Spectrum Center, and the Jim Toy Community Center.
“She has presented at countless national conferences on transgender concerns. She has counciled innumerable couples, families and individuals. We are all incapable of sufficiently honoring that work, but we will do our best to recognize Sandra’s vocation.”
After retiring from seven years of service as the health services program’s director, Cole continues to advocate for transgendered individuals and their families’ equality and social justice.
“I cannot imagine a world without the many changes that Sandra Cole has brought to us all on behalf of freedom and justice,” says Toy. “She has been a pioneer, a teacher, an advocate, an ally and a friend to more people than I can begin to count.”
The Jim Toy Community Center Pride Dinner begins at 6 p.m., June 25 at the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College, 4800 E. Huron River Dr., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $85 per person or $150 for two. Tickets are available online via PayPal, at Common Language Bookstore, or by sending a check to Jim Toy Center, 319 Braun Ct., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. For more information, go to http://www.JimToyCenter.org or call 734-834-0598.