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PRESIDENT'S FORUM

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006
7:30 p.m., in Albright Auditorium

Joe Solmonese

Our Founding Principles and Identity Politics

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, based in Washington, D.C., will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 19 in Albright Auditorium. His talk, part of the President’s Forum Series, is free and open to the public.

Since taking the helm of the Human Rights Campaign just over a year ago, Solmonese has journeyed to 22 states and 35 cities, logging 115,000 miles in his first six months. His vision for equality is clear: taking the fight for equality not only to the floor of Congress, but to the kitchen table, to factory floors and to church pews.

The Human Rights Campaign is a 25-year-old, national organization with more than 650,000 members and a $30 million budget that works for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equal rights.

Committed to making it clear that nobody has a monopoly on religion, he has launched a Religion and Faith program, which provides resources for GLBT and straight-supportive people of faith while combating those who use religion as a weapon. Most recently, he began an initiative for mobilizing straight supporters to help build a broad coalition of voters who support fairness.

Solmonese is a former chief executive officer of EMILY’s List, overseeing one of the nation’s most successful efforts to elect progressive candidates by reaching out to heartland and mainstream voters. He led a national staff of 85 political, communications, fund-raising and grassroots professionals with smart and effective management and managed a $40 million budget.

He speaks frequently on CNN and at local television stations while on the road, and from the New York Times and the Washington Post to regional daily and weekly newspapers.

Solmonese has met with corporate leaders across the country and helped guide influential businesses -- including Microsoft -- to take strong public stances for fairness. He’s met with families across the country and advocated for the rights of same-sex couples, and recognizes the need for people to come out, stay out and speak out about equality.

He graduated from Boston University in 1987 with a bachelor of science degree in communications.

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