Kathy Najimy, Janet Mock and Robert Hanson to speak at leading conference on LGBT workplace issues; Thelma Houston and Steve Grand announced as headline entertainment

Twitter Handle: @OutandEqual |Hashtags: #oesummit2013, #OutieAwards

Tweetable Quotes:

  • “We look toward leaders like #oesummit2013 speakers & #OutieAwards finalists to make workplace equality a reality” @Selisse_Berry
  • “I look forward to speaking @ #oesummit2013... when our movement is fighting for the passage of an inclusive #ENDA" @janetmock #girlslikeus
  • “Love is love… it is vital that we all be treated with dignity & respect in the workplace & in the world” @kathynajimy #oesummit2013

September 4, 2013—With the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) set to reach the US Senate floor this fall, the 15th anniversary of the Out & Equal Workplace Summit features keynote speakers who have led the way in advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities around the world, both in and out of the workplace.

Kathy Najimy is known for her performances in over 25 films and several TV projects, including the Sister Act, Hocus Pocus, and the Emmy Award-winning TV show King of the Hill. For 18+ years of AIDS activism, Najimy has been honored with the L.A. Shanti’s Founder award as well as the LA Gay and Lesbian Center's Distinguished Achievement award.

Janet Mock is a writer and activist, who founded the #GirlsLikeUs project. While working as an editor at People.com, Mock opened up about her life as a young trans woman in Marie Claire, sparking her work as an activist. Mock’s work has been recognized by the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, the Center for American Progress and the Women's Media Center.

Robert Hanson joined American Eagle Outfitters as Chief Executive Officer in January 2012. Prior to his position as CEO for American Eagle Outfitters, Hanson served as Global Brand President for Levi Strauss, and was a member of the company’s worldwide leadership team. Hanson was recently featured in OUT magazine’s “The Power List” for 2013.

"I look forward to and am honored to be the keynote speaker at the Out & Equal Workplace Summit at this amazing moment in our long struggle for human rights,” said Kathy Najimy. “Love is love, and as marriage equality spreads across the nation and around the globe, it is vital that we all be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace, and in the world."

“I look forward to sharing space and speaking at the Out & Equal Workplace Summit in this particular moment when our movement is fighting for the passage of an inclusive ENDA,” said Janet Mock. “Educating one another by way of our own personal stories is a powerful tool in culture and policy change, and I hope sharing my own corporate workplace and activism experience enlightens and inspires our community to share theirs as well.”

"During this unique time, I feel honored and obligated to demonstrate that each of us with our individuality and diversity can come together to shape the future of business to be a force of positive change in the world,” said Robert Hanson.

Executives, human resources and diversity professionals, employee resource groups and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and allies will gather in Minneapolis from October 28‐31, to consider ways to advance global workplace equality. With increased focus on ENDA, as well as federal and global policy around LGBT workplace protections in places like Russia, India and China, the 2013 Out & Equal Workplace Summit is expected to draw 3,000 attendees from over 30 countries around the globe to share strategies and best practices to create workplace equality, inclusive of all sexual orientations, gender identities, expressions and characteristics. The event is sponsored by over 100 corporations, including presenting sponsors IBM, Thomson Reuters, and The Walt Disney Company.

The Out & Equal Workplace Summit will conclude with a Gala Dinner on Thursday evening, hosted by political humorist and entertainer, Kate Clinton. Entertainment will be provided by country singer Steve Grand, whose debut music video “All-American Boy” went viral on YouTube this summer, as well as music legend, icon and R&B Grammy-winner Thelma Houston.

"In the year 2013, equality should extend to everybody in the workplace,” said Thelma Houston. “We are all equal and should be treated that way."

Each year, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates bestows the Outie Awards to individuals and corporations making a significant contribution to workplace equality. Winners will be announced at the Summit.

“The Out & Equal Workplace Summit is an opportunity for employers and employees to share how they have brought real change to their workplaces and to the world,” said Out & Equal’s Founder and CEO Selisse Berry. “With ENDA being considered in the US Senate, we come together to celebrate the recent momentum of the LGBT equality movement while knowing that there is much work left do. We look toward inspirational leaders like our keynote speakers and Outie Awards finalists to make global workplace equality a reality."

Long considered the leading conference on the topic, the event features over 120 workshops, panels and speakers, along with cultural programming and entertainment. For more information about the Summit, and to register, visit http://outandequal.org/summit-2013.

Founded in 1996 by Chief Executive Officer, Selisse Berry, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates (commonly known as “Out & Equal”) is the world's leading organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workplace equality and inclusion. Out & Equal believes that people should be judged by the work they do, not by their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Out & Equal mobilizes tens of thousands of employees, managers and executives via a network of regional affiliates and the world's largest Employee Resource Group Registry. Through LGBTCareerLink, an online job search and career development service, Out & Equal serves diversity-friendly employers and LGBT job seekers. Through trainings and webinars, Out & Equal educates diversity friendly employers on both the basics and best practices in the field. Out & Equal is best known for the hallmark annual Out & Equal Workplace Summit that convenes over 3,000 LGBT, HR and diversity professionals to advance this movement. The 15th anniversary Workplace Summit will be held in Minneapolis, MN from October 28-31, 2013. More information is available online at www.OutandEqual.org.

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