In Honor of Pride Month, Marquis Who’s Who Presents the LGBTQ+ Catalysts for Change Maker’s List

UNIONDALE, N.Y.June 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Marquis Who’s Who (MWW), the world’s leading biographical publisher, is proud to announce the honorees for its June Maker’s List, featuring figures from the LGBTQ+ community as catalysts for change in recognition of Pride Month. Each month, the Marquis Maker’s List highlights both renowned and lesser-known individuals, who have proved to be remarkable and pioneering in their fields of endeavor. The Maker’s List is overseen by Erica Lee, CEO of MWW and Star Jones, award-winning media personality, women’s and diversity advocate, and executive editor of the MWW Maker’s Lists.

“Our June list is calling out the key LGBTQ+ figures that have influenced real change and continue to charge forward to fight for and support this community,” said CEO Erica Lee. “As we head into another Pride Month, Marquis wanted to pay homage to how far we have come and spotlight what individuals are doing to further LGBTQ+ acceptance and expand the public’s knowledge.”

“This Marquis Who’s Who Maker’s List reflects the unbridled diversity that’s a powerful, central attribute of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Star Jones, executive editor of the Maker’s List. “As we celebrate Pride Month this June, we acknowledge that the remarkable achievements and contributions of the featured LGBTQ+ change-makers do more than bring visibility to their community, they infuse equality into our way of life.”

The MWW Maker’s Lists are compiled monthly with oversight by executive editor, Star Jones. Since the beginning of 2021, MWW has spotlighted Thought Leaders in January, Catalysts for Change for Black History Month in February, Women Luminaries for Women’s History Month in March, Business and Finance Leaders in April, and Influencers in STEM and AAPI for May. The selection committee for the MWW Maker’s Lists consists of 13 individuals from diverse backgrounds, including publishing, entertainment, law, business, journalism, marketing, graphic design, public relations and print media.

The LGBTQ+ Catalysts for Change list includes:

Alphonso David: David is a U.S. attorney and LGBTQ+ civil rights leader, who became the president of the Human Rights Campaign in 2019. He is the first civil rights lawyer and person of color to serve as president of the organization. He also worked on New York’s first marriage equality case, Hernandez v. Robles.

Anderson Cooper: Cooper is an American broadcast journalist and the anchor of Anderson Cooper 360°. He was also the first openly LGBTQ+ person to moderate a presidential debate and remains an important public figure and role model in the LGBTQ+ community.

Beth Ford: Ford is the CEO of Land O’Lakes, an American agricultural cooperative, and the first openly gay female CEO of an American Fortune 500 company. She was also named to the Fortune Most Powerful Women List in 2020, receiving a nomination for the third year in a row.

Billy Porter: Porter is an American actor and singer, who recently broke his silence about his HIV-positive diagnosis. A Broadway performer, Porter won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Lola in “Kinky Boots.” He was also awarded the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. Porter stars in the television series “Pose” and won the 2019 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, becoming the first openly gay Black man to be nominated and win in any lead acting category at the Emmys.

David Johns: Johns is executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition and the former executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, which works across federal agencies and with partners and communities nationwide to produce a more effective continuum of education programs for African American students. He has worked on issues affecting low-income and minority students, neglected youth, and early childhood education and with historically Black colleges and universities.

Imani Rupert-Gordon: Rupert-Gordon is the executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). The organization works to advance and support the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families through litigation, legislation, policy and public education. In 2020, Rupert-Gordon was presented with the Impact Award by The Chicago Foundation and she was named the 2021 Sex Education Trailblazer by SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change.

Jacqueline Woodson: Woodson is the critically-acclaimed author of more than two dozen award-winning books for children and adolescents, including New York Times bestsellers, “Red at the Bone” and “Brown Girl Dreaming.” She is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a three-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. She was named the 2015 Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation, the 2018 Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress, and was selected for the 2020 MacArthur Genius fellowship. Woodson was the recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2020, the highest international recognition given to an author and illustrator of children’s books.

Jason Lindsay: Lindsay is the founder and executive director of the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence. The organization was founded after the Pulse shooting in Miami, and it endorses candidates, aids campaign strategies and mobilizes the LGBTQ+ community to support gun reform. Lindsay served in Iraq as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve and has 13 years’ experience working in politics, government and campaigns. Previously, Lindsay was a congressional relations officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Karine Jean-Pierre: Jean-Pierre is a political campaign organizer, activist, political commentator and author who serves as White House Deputy Press Secretary. She recently made history by becoming the first openly gay woman and second Black woman in 30 years to deliver a White House press briefing. Jean-Pierre is a former lecturer in international and public affairs at Columbia University, a previous senior advisor and national spokeswoman for MoveOn.org, and a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. She also served as the chief of staff for Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris during Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.

Mary Claire CheneyCheney is the younger daughter of Dick Cheney, the former vice president of the United States, and his wife, Lynne Cheney. Politically conservative, she is involved with a number of political action committees. She married her wife Heather Poe in 2012, and in 2013, was a signatory to an amicus curiae brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage during the Hollingsworth v. Perry case.

Rachel Levine: Levine is the United States assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services, making her one of only a few openly transgender government officials in the United States and the first to hold an office that requires senate confirmation. She previously served as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health from 2017 to 2021.

Sarah Kate EllisEllis is the President and CEO of GLADD, an organization that has refocused to supply crucial advocacy to accelerate acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community through a variety of initiatives, campaigns and programs. Ellis commissioned GLAAD’s annual Accelerating Acceptance report, providing a window into national sentiment toward the LGBTQ+ community. She also launched the GLAAD Media Institute (GMI), which focuses on research into LGBTQ+ representation and acceptance, consulting on LGBTQ+ storylines in media and Hollywood, and training activists on LGBTQ+ media advocacy and storytelling that creates change.

The full LGBTQ+ Catalysts for Change list is organized alphabetically below, by first name:

  • Alphonso David
  • Anderson Cooper
  • Andrea Jenkins
  • Annie Segarra
  • Arlan Hamilton
  • Beth Ford
  • Billie Jean King
  • Billy Porter
  • Bishop Yvette A. Flunder
  • Chase Strangio
  • Darren Walker
  • David Johns
  • Don Lemon
  • Erica Woodland
  • Eugene Lee Yang
  • The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson
  • George Takei
  • Imani Rupert-Gordon
  • Jacqueline Woodson
  • Jamie Clayton
  • Janelle Monáe
  • Janet Mock
  • Jason Lindsay
  • Joelle Joanie “JoJo” Siwa
  • Jonathan Capehart
  • Karine Jean-Pierre
  • Laverne Cox
  • Lee Daniels
  • Lena Waithe
  • Lil Nas X
  • Mary Claire Cheney
  • Matthew Tyler Oakley
  • Meghan Duggan
  • Nadine Smith
  • Natalie Wynn
  • Neil Patrick Harris
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • Rachel Levine
  • Rachel Maddow
  • Rashad Robinson
  • Roxane Gay
  • RuPaul
  • Sameer Jha
  • Sarah Kate Ellis
  • Sarah McBride
  • Sharice Davids
  • Sydney Freeland
  • Tim Cook
  • Urvashi Vaid
  • Walter Schubert

About Marquis Who’s Who®

Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the first edition of Who’s Who in America®, Marquis Who’s Who® has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion, and entertainment. Today, Who’s Who in America® remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians, and executive search firms around the world. Marquis® publications may be visited via the official Marquis Who’s Who® website at www.marquiswhoswho.com.

About the Marquis Maker’s Lists

The Marquis Maker’s Lists seek to highlight, celebrate and recognize those people whose ideas, philosophies, positions, example or standards, talents, gifts or aptitude, discoveries, innovations or breakthroughs have the ability to influence, affect and transform. The selection committee for the Marquis Maker’s Lists is comprised of 13 diverse professionals from a variety of backgrounds in publishing, entertainment, law, business, journalism, marketing, graphic design, public relations, and print media. Committee members conduct extensive independent research and analyses to vet candidates relevant to each month’s Maker’s List theme. The committee meets routinely to thoughtfully dialogue through individual nominations to determine eligibility for inclusion. Thereafter, a thorough and objective ranking system is utilized and applied by the committee and tabulated by the executive director to confirm, authenticate and finalize each list.

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