Compiled by BTL Staff
ANN ARBOR – The Washtenaw Rainbow Action Project hosted “An Evening of Recognition and Remembrance” at Ann Arbor’s Kerrytown Concert House Oct. 24 to honored two champions for civil rights, and to remember lives lost.
Former U.S. Rep. Lynn Rivers and former State Senator Alma Wheeler-Smith were applauded for introducing and supporting bills advancing the civil and human liberties of all people, including LGBT individuals and groups. State Rep. Chris Kolb and State Sen. Liz Brater honored Rivers and Wheeler-Smith with plaques from WRAP to recognize their valiant efforts in the Michigan State legislature and U.S. House of Representatives.
The reception also honored Matthew Shepard (1973-1998) and Gwen Araujo (1985-2002), both murdered in the month of October. Jim Toy, Dave Garcia, and Melissa Cox, all from WRAP’s Public Policy Committee, offered heartfelt reflections on their lives and deaths.
Those persons recognized were joined by 60 others from HARC, ACLU, Triangle Foundation, Ann Arbor City Council, Ann Arbor and Washtenaw Country Democratic Party, City of Ann Arbor Human Rights, University of Michigan Office of LGBT Affairs, ministers leading faith communities, local business leaders, WRAP Board and Public Policy, and other members of our LGBT and ally family.
The evening ended with the musical talents of Jim Leija, as well as a special recognition of the work of Jim Toy, whose ongoing dedication to the LGBT and ally community continues to amaze.