BY BTL STAFF
Perceptions in Midland has announced their annual Pride awardees in advance of the organization’s 9th annual LGBT & Ally Pride Awards Banquet on June 27 which honors individuals and businesses who have worked to further equality in the Great Lakes Bay Region.
Angelia Williams, Business Pride Award
Williams of Great Lakes Bay Health Centers is the special projects director and has worked on LGBT issues with staff, students, parents and the community. She has been a vital role in addressing the needs of LGBT youth in Saginaw city high schools.
Amy McDonald, Champions of Pride Award
McDonald is a licensed professional counselor covering the Great Lakes Bay Region and based at family and children services in Midland. She offers services to a wide range of clientele and specializes in LGBT, gender, and sexuality issues. Amy has served the area LGBT community with deep respect as an advocate, educator, therapist, clinician and friend.
Trevor Ewers, Champions of Pride Award
Ewers is an associate research scientist and the Global Culture Change Leader with GLAD (LGBT & Ally Employment Resource Group) for The Dow Chemical Co. Dr. Ewers, with a small group, created and continues to lead the annual “Great Lakes Bay Pride LGBT Workplace Summit” that promotes workplace equality through inclusive education, training and regional support along with Perceptions and other collaborating businesses/sponsors.
Ellen Keeler, Champions of Pride Award
Keeler is a Bay City mother and grandmother and was concerned when her transgender grandson tried to commit suicide. When learned that most transgender people have little to no support from their families, were evicted from homes and lost jobs because they are transgender, Keeler became the coordinator for the local Perceptions transgender support group.
Dr. Elizabeth “Libby” Pionk, Rising Star Award
Dr. Pionk, a lesbian, has dedicated herself to the specialty of family medicine with a special interest in LGBT health and associated medical cases, situations, and policies where healthcare is not tailored to the LGBT patient. She has been been a conduit and liaison between the professional healthcare community and the LGBT/SOGIE community.
J. Steele-Louchart, Rising Star Award
Steele-Louchart has been involved with the Saginaw Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Youth Advocacy Council and served as a volunteer with LGBT youth. He has been an active part of the MAX System of Care initiative at the Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority to increase access to services and improve outcomes for LGBTQ youth with emotional and behavioral needs.
Vanessa Guerra, Political Award
Guerra, the state representative in the 95th House district, has been an elected voice of LGBT equality by supporting and co-sponsoring legislation that would expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Right Act. She has supported House Resolutions declaring June LGBT Pride Month every year she has served in office and has attended and participated in numerous Perceptions and LGBT activities.
The banquet, emceed by David Custer, WNEM TV5 anchor and reporter, is at the Andersen Enrichment Center, 120 Ezra Rust Drive in Saginaw, from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $30 each, $20 for students or those with limited funds and can be purchased online or by mailing a check to Pride Nomination Committee c/o Perceptions, P.O. Box 1525, Midland MI 48641. Checks should be made payable to ‘Perceptions’ and ‘Pride Banquet’ should be noted in the memo line.