True Diversity Dinner gives Everyone a Place at the Table

Update: It was awesome! Read A Diversity Dinner to Remember for the planned, unplanned and many inspiring moments of the evening. Thank you, John and Heather.

September is the Mayor's Diversity Month, beginning just two weeks after Mayor Sullivan vetoed the Anchorage Assembly's LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance. The main event of Diversity Month is the Mayor's Dinner.

The evening of food, awards and entertainment was called the Diversity Dinner by Mayor Begich, but Mayor Sullivan changed the name to "Unity" after vetoing Ordinance 64, and invited Lynn Swann, an anti-gay Republican political candidate from outside, to give the keynote address.

The irony of his actions inspired allies John Aronno of Alaska Commons and Heather Aronno of to plan an alternate diversity dinner, with input from other bloggers and LGBT newsletter editors.

Please join us for a real diversity celebration, on the same night as Sullivan's "dis-unity" dinner. True Diversity Dinner will be a wonderful evening of pro-diversity entertainment, speakers and awards:
September is our Mayor's Diversity Month and September 25th is the Diversity Awards banquet at the Hilton in downtown Anchorage. Unfortunately, Mayor Sullivan is uncomfortable with the term "diversity" and has changed the name to the "Unity" Awards Banquet and celebration. The mayor has stated publicly that he does not celebrate the ways in which we are all different, but rather, the ways in which we are the same.

Some of us do not feel celebrated at all, and are organizing a true diversity celebration on the same night, in the spirit of the current administration's own definition of diversity. We have rented the Snow Goose (September 25th, doors open at 7pm and festivities begin at 7:30). We wish it to be as diverse and multi-cultural as possible and much more fun than whatever will occur at the Hilton. And while the "Unity" Dinner will feature a silent auction and cost the small price of $60 a ticket… Ours will be only $10 (just to cover costs) and is quickly filling up with local performers, awards, and speakers including Assemblywoman Elvi Gray-Jackson, Diane Benson, and Shannyn Moore!

It will be a great night, after what has been a rough summer for many in our Alaskan family, and we hope you can join us. Tickets are available in advance through Borders Books & Music (and hopefully some place in mid-town or downtown, TBA.)

Awards in excellence in the representation, advancement, and advocacy of diversity will be handed out at the True Diversity Dinner. Voting has begun for the 6 award categories HERE on a tab of the main web site for True Diversity Dinner.

In addition to the True Diversity Dinner, there will be one LGBT event on the official Mayor's Diversity Month calendar: A GLBT Open House at the Community Center.

The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Anchorage is hosting a Diversity Month Open House with entertainment, door prizes and light refreshments to welcome our GLBT friends and allies. The GLCCA Open House is on Sept. 26, from 5-7 p.m. at 336 E. 5th Ave.


jay in uk said...

Out North might be able to let them use their on line tix system to boost sales in advance. Someone can call them at 279-8099. This is a great idea and it can be a great, fun, healing, invigorating night. All the best from us both in London.

Jay and Gene Dugan-Brause

E. Ross said...

Thanks for the offer. They chose to stay with one ticket location, and the tickets sold out!

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