Linda Schneider and Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority (SCCMHA) made an exceptional contribution to the LGBT and Ally communities in mental health. Under Linda Schneider, Clinical Director, the SCCMHA is entering its third year of their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Advocacy Initiative – a concerted effort to create a more welcoming environment and to improve services for LGBTQ+ individuals in Saginaw County. Examples of accomplished include: bringing SOGI topics training to more 200 professionals in the community; creating new partnerships with local LGBT advocacy organizations; increasing safe space visibility throughout the mental health service network; and will host a regional LGBTQ+ conference for mental health program leaders in September.
The City of Bay City became the 43rd city in the state of Michigan that adopted an anti-discrimination ordinance aimed at protecting of the LGBT community and individuals with physical and mental handicaps. The City of Bay City has been outstanding in working to improve the quality for LGBT people through the political or electoral process. Additionally, Bay City has created a welcoming environment for employees, citizens, and visitors.
Katrina is a strong ally and advocate of the LGBT community. Katrina educates others via inspiring diversity and inclusion presentations in Dow Chemical in Midland and other locations. She helped to develop basic inclusion awareness training for employees and now a training that is a core part of new hire orientation. Wrobel is an active member of GLAD, Dow’s LGBT and ally employee resource network group and has delivered training to over 100 new hires and counting, creating a more open and positive work environment for employees who are LGBT, allied or have family that are LGBT. Communities need more Katrina Wrobels.
Kevin is a 26 years old Saginaw resident and has demonstrated being a future leader of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) issues through education and advocacy. He attended Perceptions and PFLAG Tri-Cities meetings when he was senior at Saginaw Township’s Heritage High School. He became a PFLAG member and has been the PFLAG treasurer since he was 21 years old. Kevin was involved with LGBTQ groups in Delta College and Saginaw Valley State University, attended LGBTQ conferences and brought LGBTQ issues into political discussions and events including Saginaw County Democratic Party meetings. Dedicatoria is aware of most LGBTQ issues and commitment to resolve them.
Greg and Michael have hosted a 4th of July celebration at their Bay City home since 1997 – twenty-one years this year. So many area LGBT and allies have enjoyed the celebrations in Bay City’s fireworks at their home. People felt accepted and safe each year while Greg and Michael graciously showed their love and support – their personal LGBT project to the community.
Andrew is a social worker with Mid-Michigan Health and teaches Social Work at Saginaw Valley State University and LGBTQ activist for several years. As a former SVSU student, Gardner-Northrop shared education about: gay men being banned from donating blood, organized national speakers that raised awareness of LGBT discrimination and advocacy; co-founded “Speaking Out Loud” which focused on LGBT advocacy; organized “Fagbug” at SVSU; coordinated speaking event with Jonathan D. Lovitz at SVSU; and assisted with “Hudson Taylor – Athlete Ally” on campus. More recently, Gardner-Northrop’s role with Mid-Michigan Health has allowed him to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ sensitivity for patient care. Having a passion for advocacy, he will continue to work on LGBTQ causes. He married Adam Gardner-Northrop in 2014 and the two remain in the Midland area.
Donice has been a pillar of the LGBT+ community, an advocate for workplace equality and a founding member of GLAD, Dow’s LGBT and ally employee resource network group at Dow Chemical Company in Midland. She has coordinated countless sexual orientation and gender identity education, workshops, conferences, etc. Mrs. Hannegan receives the highest award because she has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to the community, engagement, equality and respect for all.