By Mik Hyldebrandt

 

The annual HRC Atlanta Gala on May 5 is not only the biggest social highlight as well as their biggest fundraiser of the year, but a golden opportunity to tell the community about the work and progress of the campaign. Peach spoke to Gala Dinner & Auction Committee member, Ryan Roche, about the big night and essential work of the HRC Atlanta.

 

–    Tell us a little about the work of the HRC Atlanta?

Nationally, the Human Rights Campaign represents a force of more than 3 million members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, HRC resists the politics of hate in communities across the country. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are ensured of their basic equal rights and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work, and in the community. Locally, we fight anti-LGBTQ legislation and legislators, and fuel pro-equality candidates to victory.

 

–    Tell us about the direction of the HRC – what are the main focuses of the HRC?

The current focus of the Human Rights Campaign this election year is to build on our grassroots expansion with HRC Rising, a campaign to accelerate progress in states from coast-to-coast, resist the politics of hate, fight anti-LGBTQ legislation and fuel pro-equality candidates and initiatives.

 

–    With all the political turmoil right now, how do you see the role of the HRC in Atlanta and on a national level?

HRC Rising provides another front in our fight against the Trump-Pence agenda and includes mobilizing “equality voters” in Atlanta and beyond who will be crucial to success in local, state and national electoral races in November.

 

–    As a social highlight of the year, tell us about the HRC Gala on May 5 themed Impossible to Ignore – what can attendees expect?

Impossible to Ignore carries an important meaning in 2018. We hoped we would never again need to face an anti-equality administration that makes every attempt to destroy our hard-won rights, but we are not shaken. Attendees will hear about HRC’s accomplishments at both the local and national levels as well as the challenges we have been facing and predict will come up in the near future.

 

Being a social event is one piece of a much larger purpose. The HRC Atlanta Gala provides an opportunity for attendees to hear directly from HRC leadership about the importance for and effectiveness of grassroots mobilization while simultaneously providing HRC with necessary funds to support local and national initiatives. We hope this opportunity gives our attendees and HRC the fuel to take action and mobilize against inequality.

 

–    Tell us about some of the presenters and the performers of the night?

We are excited to welcome Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Raphael Bostic, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. In addition to other surprise attendees, we are honored to present The Armorettes with this year’s Leon Allen & Winston Johnson Community Leadership Award and Victory for the World Church with the Dan Bradley Humanitarian Award.

 

–    How can you attend or get involved with the event?

Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting hrcatlanta.com. Last year’s 30th-anniversary event sold out not too long before the Gala, and we want to encourage those interested in attending to purchase a ticket sooner than later. Other engagement opportunities exist and include volunteering for the event, donating to the silent auction and becoming a corporate sponsor.

 

– Anything you’d like to add?

We want to wish a sincere thanks to a few groups. First, our volunteers who have and continue to put in significant amounts of time and energy to make this event a great success. Next, our corporate sponsors who, in addition to their financial support, also provide safe workplaces allowing their LGBTQ employees to flourish and live authentically. To our table captains who are the backbone of the Gala and serve as ambassadors by spreading the word about HRC’s work. Finally, to the Atlanta and surrounding LGBTQ and allied communities whom we wish to thank for 31 years of dedicated and unconditional support. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do to make this event and our community better.

Tickets for the HRC Atlanta Impossible to Ignore Gala on May 5 at the Hyatt Regency can purchased at hrcatlanta.com.