HRC Gala to feature John Berry, openly gay member of Obama administration

Wed. October 10, 2012 4:55 PM

Chicago, IL - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced today that John Berry, Director of the United States Office of Personnel Management, will speak at its 21st annual Chicago Gala Dinner and Auction on October 20, 2012. Hundreds of HRC's strongest leaders, allies and supporters will gather for a night of excitement celebrating the accomplishments made in the past year and looking forward at future goals that have yet to be achieved.

In addition to John Berry, featured guests include: speakers Marty Rouse, HRC National Field Director; and Illinois state Representative Greg Harris; and guest presenter Kathy Guzman, senior editor at The L Stop and a respected voice in the lesbian community. Kraft Foods will be honored with the Corporate Equality Award this year for continuing their dedication to equality and also in celebration of their first year with a 100 percent rating on HRC's corporate equality index – an independent analysis and rating of large US employers and their policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. Little City Foundation will receive the Community Equality Award from state Rep. Greg Harris, the champion of the Illinois Civil Union law. Little City will be honored for being the first adoption agency in Illinois to get HRC's All Children All Families seal – an initiative seeking to enhance LGBT cultural competence among child welfare professionals and educate LGBT people about opportunities to become foster or adoptive parents to waiting children.

Just two weeks before critical federal, state and local elections, the fundraising event reminds civil-rights-minded attendees that their voice matters and to "Make Equality Count." Guests will kick off the evening with an optional VIP reception at 5 p.m., followed by a silent auction and general reception at 6 p.m. The dinner program will begin at 7 p.m. and be immediately followed by live entertainment and the DJ stylings of DJ Corey Sanford of Music Masters Entertainment.

Tickets are available now; prices start at $225 for general admission, $350 for VIP. To purchase tickets or for more information, please go to

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.