Transgender Actress Josie Totah Awarded At HRC’s Time to THRIVE Conference

(Photo: Josie Totah)

HRC Foundation’s sixth annual Time to THRIVE Conference in support of LGBTQ youth took place this past weekend Anaheim, CA with an opening plenary featuring advocates, award-winners, special guest speakers and musical entertainment.

Transgender actress Josie Totah, Chicago school counselor Brian Coleman and Judy and Dennis Shepard were presented with Upstander Awards.

Judy and Dennis Shepard have been tireless allies and LGBTQ advocates since the horrific murder of their son, Matthew Shepard, in 1998.

Brian Coleman is the 2019 American School Counselor Association School Counselor of the Year. He also supports the school’s LGBTQ student group and a mentorship program.

Josie Totah, who starred in the NBC sitcom “Champions,” came out as transgender in a powerful op-ed for Time.

Other speakers included Becky Pringle, Vice President, National Education Association; Richard Yep, Chief Executive Officer, American Counseling Association; Chad Griffin, President, Human Rights Campaign; Sarah McBride, Press Secretary, Human Rights Campaign; Betty DeGeneres, LGBTQ Advocate and Mother of Ellen DeGeneres; Rey Ocañas, Executive Vice President, Director of Communications and Responsible Business, BBVA Compass, Sara Cunningham, parent-advocate & founder of FreeMomHugs & HRC Youth Ambassadors Seth Owens and Ashton Mota.

OneUp, a musical duo comprised of couple Adam Bastien and Jerome Bell, closed out the evening with an incredible performance.

Time to THRIVE is held in partnership with the American Counseling Association and the National Education Association, with AT&T, BBVA Compass and Toyota as presenting sponsors. In its sixth year, HRC Foundation’s premier national event addresses safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ and questioning youth, and brings together youth-serving professionals to discuss best practices for working with and caring for LGBTQ youth and their families in schools, community centers, health care settings and beyond.

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