Thursday, June 5, 2014
PROVIDENCE—Lt. Governor Elizabeth H. Roberts received an award for her leadership on behalf of the LGBTQ community from Youth Pride Inc. at the State House yesterday. The group sponsored a day-long "Celebration of Inspiration" for YPI youth members, staff, board of directors, friends and allies. The event was attended by Governor Lincoln Chafee (an honoree), Rhode Island Representatives Frank Ferri and Deborah Ruggiero, and Senator Donna Nesselbush.
YPI Executve Kerri Kanelos led the reception and introduced youth speakers Samson Hampton and Brandon Fernandes. Hampton presented a framed photo of YPI youth to Lt. Governor Roberts, citing her tireless advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community, including her work and leadership on marriage equality, LGBT elder care and adult long-term care, and transgender health issues.
After the ceremony, Lt. Governor Roberts said, "I'm honored and very proud to accept this award, most especially because it's from our LGBT youth who lead by example every day. Youth Pride is a special organization, and one that deserves our unending support."
The day's events included a lobbying effort by YPI youth who met with legislators about causes and issues important to them. YPI Director Kanelos also announced the release of YPI's Annual Report, highlighting the programs and success stories of the 750 LGBTQ youth and their straight allies who have been served through the drop-in center at YPI headquarters on Westminster Street in Providence.
YPI's mission is to meet the unique and ongoing needs of youth and young adults impacted by sexual orientation and gender identity/expression thorough advocacy, support, and empowerment to bring about social change.