Tennessee Equality Project will recognize two Champions of Equality from Shelby County at the TEP Gumbo Contest presented by Hilton Memphis on February 19, 2017 at the Hilton in East Memphis. These champions effected positive policy changes to bring equality and fairness to their communities specifically homeless LGBTQ youth and transgender people of color in the Memphis area. Learn more about this year's champions and purchasing tickets today to help us celebrate their accomplishments at the TEP Gumbo Contest.
Stephanie Reyes is the Youth Services Manager of OUTMemphis. Reyes is known for passionate work on the Metamorphosis Project which includes Youth Emergency Services, the Memphis Youth Count, an Emergency LGBTQ Youth Shelter and local Shelter Evaluations. The Metamorphosis Program will provide stable housing and services to homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youth, as well as prepare them to be more stable on their own. We know that nationally, nearly 40% of young people on the street identify as LGBTQ. A recent survey in Washington, DC, found that 43% of their homeless kids are LGBTQ. More than just a safe space to sleep each night, Metamorphosis Project provides an opportunity for youth who have been cast aside or kicked out to have the chance to work hard, and lift themselves up.
LaRonia Hurd-Sawyer, RN, MSN-CNL, MPH, is the Executive Director for PEAS Inc.- Partnership to End AIDS Status Incorporated in Memphis which offers a variety of interdisciplinary programs that target persons who experience health disparities, such as men who have sex with men, African American women of childbearing age, individuals of transgender experience, and other persons impacted by various chronic illnesses. PEAS Inc. utilizes programming that is designed to affect behavior changes specifically in communities of color of any age, gender, and who have experienced any form of trauma or who may participate in high risk behavior or who represent the affected HIV community. Through her leadership, Hurd-Sawyer PEAS pursued culturally competent means of engaging transgender African American individuals not previously attempted in our community.
TEP Foundation gives thanks for the work and accomplishments of these Champions of Equality!