The Harvey Milk Coachella Valley Diversity Breakfast honors the memory of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California, and his legacy of groundbreaking inspiration in the struggle to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality. The event is designed to strengthen coalitions among the many diverse community organizations that work toward equality in the Coachella Valley.
The 11th annual event took place Thursday, May 11 at the Palm Springs Convention Center honoring Commissioner Nicole M. Ramirez, Queen Mother of the Americas International Imperial Court System U.S.A. – Canada – Mexico will receive this year’s Harvey B. Milk Legacy Award; and California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara will be honored with the Harvey B. Milk Leadership Award.
NICOLE M RAMIREZ
Commissioner Ramirez has been a Latino/LGBTQ activist for over five decades and is currently a San Diego City and County Commissioner who has served and advised the last eight mayors of San Diego. Ramirez has worked with Cesar Chavez and Harvey Milk and received the Cesar Chavez Social Justice Award from his widow Helen Chavez.
He is a past State President of Equality California and has served on the National Boards of the National Gay Rights Lobby, National LGBTQ Task Force, Human Rights Campaign, and is currently the National Chair of the National GLBTQ Civil Rights Network U.S.A. Nicole is the reigning Queen Mother of the oldest LGBTQ organization in North America, the International Imperial Court System (founded in 1965), with 70 chapters in the U.S.A., Canada, and Mexico. Nicole is also the founder of the San Diego Harvey Milk Breakfast and co-founded San Diego Pride in 1974.
Raised in East Los Angeles by immigrant parents, Commissioner Ricardo Lara made history in 2018 by becoming the first openly gay person elected to statewide office in California’s history. Commissioner Lara previously served in the California Legislature, representing Assembly District 50 from 2010 to 2012 and Senate District 33 from 2012 to 2018.
Commissioner Lara earned a BA in Journalism and Spanish with a minor in Chicano Studies from San Diego State University.
When he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, Harvey Milk (1930- 1978) became one of the first openly gay men to be elected to political office in the United States. On election night, Harvey Milk reminded his supporters: “This is not my victory – it’s yours. If a gay man can win, it proves that there is hope for all minorities who are willing to fight.”
He was assassinated (along with Mayor George Moscone) on November 27, 1978, only eleven months after taking office. Although he did not live to see his dreams fulfilled, the example of his life and leadership has made him an important national symbol for the struggle for human rights. To learn more about this fearless civil rights leader www.harveymilk.com.
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