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Guest Speakers

Steve WalkerSteve Walker

Acting National Political Director of the Democratic National Committee

Steve Walker helps to shape and implement the DNC's political organizing program to amplify the accomplishments and election of Democrats nationally. Walker has over 20 years of grassroots community organizing and public health experience, serving as an advocate, activist, educator and administrator in the areas of civil rights, environmental justice, HIV/AIDS, homelessness, LGBT equality and offender rights. In 1993, he founded and served as President of the African-American Lesbian and Gay Alliance of Houston (AALGA), which provided empowerment programs for LGBT persons of color. He advocated on a national level as national secretary of the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum (NBLGF) and Co-Chair of the National Black Gay Men's Health Coalition. He was a core organizer of a contingent of black gay men who marched proudly and openly at the Million Man March in 1995. Steve currently resides in Washington D.C and continues working with the LGBT community as an advocate and mentor.

Mona Noriega

Chicago Commission on Human Relations

Mona Noriega has dedicated her life and career to eliminating prejudice and discrimination and is committed to advancing the appreciation of Chicago's diverse population. As an activist since the 1970's, she has developed programs to serve lesbian mothers and their families, organized programs for Latina lesbians and other lesbians of color, helped to open Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund's Midwest Office, served as a business consultant, and co-chaired an effort to bring the 2006 Gay Games to Chicago.

In the 1980's, Noriega began to publish chapbooks for lesbians of color and was instrumental in initiating the first lesbian-of-color performance at Mountain Moving Coffeehouse. Noriega was a co-founder of Chicago's annual International Women's Day dance. She co-founded and served on the Board of Directors of Amigas Latinas, an organization committed to the empowerment and education of Latina LBT women in Chicago. Noriega also worked as the Regional Director of Lambda Legal Defense's Midwest office, which advances the civil rights of LGBT individuals. Noriega's other organizational involvements have included Affinity Community Services, the Lesbian Community Cancer Project, the Girl's Best Friend Foundation board, the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, and Horizons Community Services' Community Leadership Council. Noriega received her MPA and MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her BA from Northeastern Illinois University.


Selisse BerrySelisse Berry

Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Out & Equal

Selisse Berry is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, the world's largest nonprofit organization specifically dedicated to creating safe and equitable workplaces for LGBT people. Under her leadership, the organization has grown significantly with dramatic increases in attendance for the annual Workplace Summit since 1999, the expansion of volunteer regional affiliates across the United States, and many global initiatives. With her guidance, Out & Equal has also created numerous programs to advance its mission, including the annual Out & Equal Workplace Summit, the LGBT Executive Forum and Leadership Celebration, bimonthly Town Call seminars, the world's largest registry of LGBT Employee Resource Groups, LGBT CareerLink online jobs board and substantial programming in the growing network of regional affiliates and global partnerships.

Her clear and unwavering vision has been instrumental in creating an internationally recognized organization whose philosophies reflect the importance of treating all colleagues in the workplace with respect and dignity. Since her first job as a guidance counselor, Selisse has continued her commitment to justice as a teacher and as executive director for several social service organizations prior to founding Out & Equal Workplace Advocates (by frey tforge service) . She has master's degrees in education and theology from the University of Texas and San Francisco Theological Seminary respectively. Selisse and her wife, Cynthia Martin, were married in July 2007, and legally married in 2008.

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