About Gloria Casarez

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Gloria was a civil rights leader and LGBTQ activist in Philadelphia and across America. She was the Philadelphia’s first director of the Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs and passed away in 2014 after a long battle with cancer. Gloria was a founding member and community organizer of Empty the Shelters (a youth-led national housing rights and economic justice organization); coordinator for the LGBT Center at the University of Pennsylvania; and executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative in Philadelphia.

As the director of Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs, Gloria Casarez developed and launched key priorities and policy for the Administration in a wide range of areas, including health, city services, civil rights, public safety, and education. During her tenure, Philadelphia adopted the broadest LGBT rights protections in the nation.

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