Join us as we celebrate fifteen years of faith, activism, and advocacy!
For more than 15 years, CLGS has been advancing the well-being of LGBTQ people and shaping new conversations about sexuality, gender, and religion. From our earliest beginnings, we have forged new paths to bring greater inclusiveness to the world of faith and scholarship, built programs by and for LGBTQ and allied communities of color, and added new international and interfaith initiatives. Now it’s time to celebrate!
We invite you to join us at our Gala on Saturday, May 7th for delightful food, a silent auction, excellent company, live music, and the recognition of several key leaders in the movement for LGBTQ equality and faith. This is a chance to honor both the powerful work being done by our Roundtables and other programs and look ahead to new initiatives and continuing plans. Your ticket or sponsorship will help us continue to make a significant impact on our world.
The event will be held in the Hazel Wolf Gallery at the Brower Center, in downtown Berkeley, a building and organization which supports sustainable ecology within a beautiful state of the art facility. The Brower Center is conveniently located at 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, California 94704, very close to BART and municipal parking.
Leading Voice Award Honorees
Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto is a scholar/pastor/activist. A 1980 Master of Divinity graduate of PSR, Oliveto also holds a Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy in Religion and Society from Drew University. She has served in urban and rural settings in both parish and campus ministries on the East and West Coasts. Oliveto was the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at PSR from 2004-2008. She left PSR to break the “stained glass ceiling” when she was appointed as the senior pastor of the 11,000 member Glide Memorial United Methodist Church, becoming the first United Methodist clergywoman to serve as lead pastor in one of the top 100 largest United Methodist Churches. In addition to her parish work, she is an adjunct professor of United Methodist Studies at Pacific School of Religion and has also taught at Brite Divinity School and Drew Theological School. Oliveto has been an outspoken activist for LGBTQ justice in church and society for nearly four decades. She has served on the board of directors of the Reconciling Ministries Network in The United Methodist Church for twelve years, chairing the board for three years. She has led legislative efforts to change UMC policy on LGBTQ persons for several General Conferences, and was arrested for civil disobedience at GC 2000.
Nicole Santamaria, is the Secretary of Asociación Colectivo Alejandría, a collective of transgender and intersex people seeking to promote awareness, provide training and education, and advocate for their community. Nicole is also a member of the Salvadoran Network of Defenders of Women’s Human Rights and a facilitator of varying workshops. At her core, Nicole is an artist, designer, facilitator, and art therapist who has transformed her “artistic skills into tools for social design.” She describes herself as a “woman in constant construction and deconstruction because [she] believes in the evolutionary nature of the human being.” Nicole dreams of, and has dedicated her life working towards, an El Salvador free from violence, in which human life is valued and recognized as the lifeblood of the country. Nicole Santamaria, was a petitioner in 2013 in the hearing at the IACHR for Hate Crimes against LGBTI community in El Salvador, was a panelist in the meeting of experts for the Education, the Culture and Arts for the OAS, a Fellow of the Mujeres Adelante Program 2014, a Fellow for social changers at iLEAP and Seattle International Foundation 2014, Panelist at the White House 2015 to end Gender based violence and many other work spaces to build social justice in her country and region for all women and for all human beings.
Ana Montano is the Immigration Attorney at AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP) and founder of NGO-Asistencia Legal Para la Diversidad Sexual/LGBTI Justice Clinic (ALDES). ALDES has worked to establish a legal clinic in El Salvador, similar to the ALRP model, to provide legal assistance exclusively for the LGBTI community. Ana received her J.D. from UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. Human rights and community service is in Ana Montano’s blood. Having come of age within the dynamic social and political environment of San Francisco’s Mission District, Ana affirmed her life-long commitment to support the under-represented. Through her work as a public interest attorney she has effected constructive change in the lives of the poor, people living with HIV/AIDS, the elderly, and the LGBT community. Ana was an extern for Judge Joseph Grodin at the California Court of Appeals 1st District and active in the La Raza Lawyers Association. In addition to her social justice work, Montano’s legal savvy is balanced by a deeply-rooted passion for the visual arts. She was the managing curator for the Laney College Art Gallery, in Oakland, as well as her own gallery, ‘ArtBeat’. She produced a photo-documentary exhibit on folk arts of El Salvador and several videos on Latino artists. “After all”, says Montano, “Healthy communities thrive not only on justice, but also on imagination and creativity.
Are you a PSR or GTU Student? Would you like to Volunteer at the Gala?
We need help making this event cute & successful! We’re looking for student volunteers to commit to 1-2 hours of volunteer time before, during, or after the Gala on May 7 in exchange for free admission to the event. Day-of volunteer options will include event set up, event take down, and managing the registration table. Pre-event volunteer tasks include calling local businesses and affiliates about silent auction items. If you are interested in volunteering please contact, Deseree Fontenot at email@example.com.