HRC announces 2009 Equality Dinner honorees

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced today its honorees for the 14th annual Equality Dinner.

On March 14, HRC will honor Brad Beasley, Suzanne Bradford and Judy Lojek for their contributions to Nashville’s GLBT community.

“This year’s dinner theme is ‘Have to Believe,’ and these honorees embody the determination and dedication it takes to improve the lives of GLBT Nashvillians,” said dinner co-chair Jenn Garrett. “We’re thrilled to honor them in an historic election year.”

EQUALITY AWARD:  Suzanne Bradford and Judy Lojek are longtime leaders in the Nashville GLBT community, both on the front lines and behind the scenes.  Suzanne is vice president of investments with the Rowland-Bradford Group of Raymond James & Associates.  She has served for six years on the board of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s Brooks Fund, which she currently chairs. She has also served on the boards of Nashville CARES, Artrageous and the Nashville Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Judy is an attorney in private practice. Judy and Suzanne have co-chaired both Artrageous and the Tennessee HRC Federal Club. They are longtime HRC and Federal Club members, and have volunteered at numerous Equality Dinners. Judy and Suzanne are also active in local politics and have hosted fundraisers for numerous progressive candidates.

COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD:  Brad Beasley joined the Metro Nashville Public Health Department in 1991 as an HIV/STD health educator and the liaison between the health department and Nashville’s gay community. That year, he organized the first outreach and HIV testing efforts to gay bars, making the health department the first municipal agency to do so in Tennessee. Brad is known for his dedication and willingness to meet “anyone, anytime, anywhere” to provide STD screening and counseling. At the request of the Tennessee Department of Health in 2000, he developed and implemented the only Hepatitis A vaccination program in the Southeast that provides free vaccines to gay men. Brad was able to add Hepatitis B to the program and expand the program’s outreach to gay bars over the next several years. In 2004, the vaccination program was chosen by the American Public Health Association (APHA) Gay and Lesbian Caucus for a poster presentation at APHA’s national conference.

Active in the Nashville community, Brad chaired Nashville Pride in 1994 and 1995. He was president of the Music City Bears in 1996-97 and has served on the board of One-In-Teen. He has also served on the community advisory boards for the Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Trials Network and the Vanderbilt AIDS Clinical Trials Network, as well as the advisory committee for OutCentral. Brad and his partner, Blaine, have been together for 14 years.

Co-chaired by Jeremy Davis, Jenn Garrett and Christy Ikner, this year’s Equality Dinner will take place at the Loews Vanderbilt Plaza Hotel on March 14. The event will begin with cocktails and a silent auction at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and the program at 7:30 p.m.

Live entertainment and this year’s keynote speaker will be announced at a future date. Tickets are $175 and can be purchased at

About the Human Rights Campaign

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian and gay political organization in the United States.  The HRC envisions an America where gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are ensured of their basic equal rights—and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work, and in the community.  HRC has more than 500,000 members, both gay and non-gay; all committed to making this vision a reality.

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