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LGBTQ+ Progress Awards

LGBTQ+ Progress Awards 2022 sponsored by Northwestern Mutual

LGBTQ+ Progress Award Winners

Established in 2015 by the Shepherd Express, the LGBTQ+ Progress Awards recognizes individuals, businesses and organizations that have, through their long-term community engagement—from arts and culture to philanthropy and from activism to health and education—contributed to the progress of equality, human rights and quality of LGBTQ life in Milwaukee and Southern Wisconsin.

Thursday August 4 at 5:00 p.m. at Saint Kate - The Arts Hotel.

The following are the 2022 recipients:

Pioneer of LGBTQ Progress: Gary Hollander, PhD

As founder and decades-long president of the capacity building organization, Diverse & Resilient, Hollander advanced LGBTQ health, focusing on underserved and marginalized Black, brown, and indigenous communities.

Sponsored by:

Diverse and Resilient

Philanthropy: Dr. Robert Starshak and Ross Draegert

The philanthropic power couple of Starshak and Draegert have over the course of several decades supported major LGBTQ community, social service and political projects.

Sponsored by:

Greater Milwaukee Foundation

Activism: Elle Halo

Trans advocate and activist Elle Halo has become a prominent leader in the struggle for social and racial justice as well as LGBTQ rights.

Sponsored by:

UW Credit Union

Arts & Culture: Karen Valentine (aka Michael Johnston)

Coming out in 1978 Johnston immediately became engaged in the community and over the decades has worn many hats (and wigs) as an LGBTQ press columnist, fundraiser, philanthropist, volunteer, mentor and, of course, as drag icon Karen Valentine.

Sponsored by:

Marcus Performing Arts Center

Education: Greta Voit

Greta Voit, a science teacher at Waukesha North High School, is a long-time Gay-Straight Alliance advisor. She is a fierce advocate for just schools and queer kids in Waukesha.

Sponsored by:

Cream City Foundation

Health: Holton Street Clinic

For 30 years a nonprofit community health service, Holton Street Clinic conducts awareness and outreach programs and provides evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of STI and HIV.

Sponsored by:

Vivent Health

Business: Penzey's Spices

A local purveyor of both flavorful and political spice, Penzey’s has long been on the forefront of social justice with its unapologetic attacks on homophobia and racism as well as financial support for civil rights related causes.

Sponsored by:

Planned Parenthood

Equality: Lesbian Alliance of Metro Milwaukee

Since 1989 LAMM has represented the Milwaukee lesbian community, advocating for lesbian rights and awareness as well as providing social, health and education support to its members and the community at large.

Sponsored by:

Stephanie Murphy DDS