About the Stonewall Foundation
Several years ago the Stonewall Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento began deliberations on creating a nonprofit corporation committed to a shared goal -”to advance equal rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.” The Club had been and continues to be successful in its mission to support and elect LGBTQ individuals to public office, assuring a greater voice in governance. However, it was time to broaden objectives using educational mechanisms best undertaken by a separate public benefit organization. The new nonprofit was envisioned to expand our common cause and work in alliance to advance civil rights of LGBTQ individuals and their families.
At the urging of founder Sam Catalano, the Stonewall Foundation of Greater Sacramento, a 501(c)(3) corporation, was established in late 2016. It moved quickly to accomplish its foremost objective, funding a CSUS scholarship, named for longtime LGBTQ advocate Laurie McBride, aimed at students working to increase LGBTQ equity and representation in civic affairs. Since then the Foundation has expanded opportunities for LGBTQ youth by sponsoring student leadership conferences in the Sacramento City Unified, San Juan Unified School District, and Elk Grove Unified School Districts. The Foundation also partnered with the Sacramento LGBT Community Center to fund high school internships through the city’s Thousand Strong Initiative.
Our short and long-term undertakings aim to empower LGBTQ youth and young adults, and their allies. As Foundation resources grow, we will continue to cultivate leadership through educational partnerships with LGBTQ individuals, educators, government officials, and social justice communities to achieve our goals.
Whatever background or means, true advocates share a passion and commitment to empower our community. The Stonewall Foundation supports youth advocacy training to promote LGBTQ leadership that will advance justice.
Sponsoring leadership conferences for LGBTQ+ youth, organized by the Sacramento City Unified School District, the San Juan Unified School District’s PRIDE PAK Education Conference, and the Stars Student Summit with the Elk Grove Unified School Districts.
Named for lifelong activist and early California champion of LGBTQ rights, Laurie McBride, the Stonewall Foundation scholarships supports CSUS college students working to increase LGBTQ equity in civic and government affairs.
There is no more effective way of learning about LGBTQ public policy issues than through direct involvement. The Stonewall Foundation provides opportunities for work and volunteer experience to build new leadership capacity.
About Laurie McBride
The scholarship is named after Laurie McBride, a lifelong activist and early champion of LGBTQ rights. She was a leading advocate in California, and instrumental in pushing for protections long before most of the country even considered the LBGTQ community a discriminated class. Ms. McBride is a former legislative advocate who worked for decades in local, statewide and national movements for civil rights and political access for LGBTQ individuals. She served as an Assistant Secretary of State for California, and was executive director of the Lobby for Individual Freedom and Equality (LIFE AIDS Lobby) from 1990-1998, where she led legislative efforts on employment protections, domestic partnerships, and HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. Bringing together a state-wide activist coalition to advance gay rights across California, she went on to serve as the Co-Chair of the National Stonewall Democrats for 10 years.
From the earliest days of the AIDS crisis, Ms McBride worked to build community coalitions and consensus, first as chair of the San Francisco Community Partnership Against AIDS, and then later with the statewide coalition of the LIFE AIDS Lobby. California was the first to include specific AIDS funding in its state budget for treatment, prevention and education. Numerous attempts to criminalize or quarantine people living with HIV/AIDS were successfully defeated. She led efforts to enact legislation protecting California gays and lesbians from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations – more important today with the specter of a so-called religious liberty bill at the federal level. Thanks to the decades of work by the Lobby and partners, Californian law will continue to serve as a safeguard in this new era of rolling back civil liberties and health care.
The new scholarship is financed by the Stonewall Foundation of Greater Sacramento to cultivate new advocates who, like Ms. McBride, understand that fighting for equality requires ongoing commitment and resolve.
Support the Laurie McBride Scholarship
Your donation is greatly appreciated.