I would not be the person I am today were it not for the labor of feminist innovators like Audre Lorde, Marsha P. Johnson, June Jordan, and Sylvia Rivera. The Acey Award honors the legacies of the extraordinary lesbian, trans, and queer women who are still with us and from whom we have much to learn.
J. Bob Alotta, Executive Director, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
We are only here because of the trailblazing work of our elders. Our lesbian and trans forebears paved the way for our current movements. Their legacies––forged during the civil rights, feminist, and gay liberation movements–– teach us invaluable lessons about grassroots organizing and persistence despite all odds.
However, their invaluable voices are too often left behind. LGBTQ elders, especially those of color, face hurdles to healthcare, housing, and other staples of economic stability. Our community has not yet built the infrastructure to support them.
To call attention to the need for LGBTQ elder community support and to honor the legacies of those who paved the way, Astraea is proud to announce the new Acey Social Justice Feminist Award. This Pride Month, we welcome you to join us in celebrating our inaugural honorees: Reverend Gale Jones, Angela Bowen, Ali Marrero-Calderon, and Eleanor Palacios.
The Acey Award recognizes lesbian and trans women of color over the age of 62 who have made under-recognized contributions to our movements and often have unmet financial needs as they age. The Award is created in honor of Astraea’s Executive Director Emerita Katherine Acey, who led Astraea for 23 years. Today, Acey is initiating important conversations about aging, activism, and building multigenerational relationships across movements.
“I am pleased that Astraea continues to bring the voices of those relegated to the margins to center stage. Pushing back, pushing forward, and persisting is what Astraea does,” said Acey.
It’s poignant to be launching this Award in 2017; the year that Astraea turns 40. As we watch our founding mothers age while continuing to learn from their visions, we know that our movements are not yet addressing their needs.
Today, Astraea is honored to present the inaugural Acey Award to one of these very individuals who helped shape today’s movements: Reverend Gale Jones. At 65, Jones has worked for decades on behalf of LGBT people of color. She has always sought to draw the margins to the center of Christianity and to use faith to spark and sustain activism.
Read more about Reverend Gale and our other Acey Award honorees––Black lesbian feminist and prima ballerina Angela Bowen, San Francisco Pride mastermind Ali Marrero-Calderon, and Latinx activist Eleanor Palacios––on our website.
Do you know an LGBTQI elder who has changed the world for the better? We want to help lift up their legacies and tell their stories! It’s time for action. Join us in conversation on Twitter this Pride Month using the hashtag #AceyAward.
For press queries, contact Bridget DeGersigny, Astraea’s Director of Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org.