Please join us in honoring Rita M. Kissen, who has spent the last decades advocating for education and the LGBT communities, as the 2012 recipient of the Sampson Center for Diversity Catalyst for Change Award.
Rita will be honored at a dinner on Thursday, October 18, 2012, at the Italian Heritage Center, 40 Westland Ave., Portland, beginning at 5:30 p.m. We invite you to join us in paying tribute to Rita by sponsoring a table, buying a seat, or sponsoring a student’s attendance. Along with the recognition, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have honored a leader for change in Maine and at the same time helped support the mission of the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine.
The Sampson Center Catalyst for Change Award, given annually, acknowledges an individual who has been in the forefront for change regarding diversity, equality, and human and civil rights in Maine. Past recipients include Rabbi Harry Sky (2007), Dale McCormick (2008), Sallie Chandler (2009), Allen Sockabasin (2010), and Howard Solomon (2011).
Rita has coupled a 35-year career in education with powerful justice-related research and a long record of community activism for social change. She founded and served as the first president of the Portland chapter of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), served as founding co-chair of GLSEN-Southern Maine (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), and continues her leadership as an active spokesperson for marriage equality with Equality Maine. Rita’s research has produced groundbreaking books on LGBT issues in schools.
Thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration of this opportunity to celebrate Rita and her contributions to Maine.