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Civic leaders, organizations honored

Fabulous FAB honorees announced

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The FAB (Fall Achievement Benefit) event is a vital source of funding for the LGBT Center of Central PA to foster inclusive communities and holistic well-being for LGBTQ+ people through social, educational, and cultural engagement.

This year's FAB was held October 6 in Lancaster where area civic leaders and organizations were honored. Congratulations to the following:

Amber Hikes

As Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs in Philadelphia, Amber Hikes has had an impact that reaches much farther than the city limits. In this role, Amber has set her sights on advocating for the most vulnerable populations within the LGBTQ+ community - specifically youth, elders, transgender people, and people of color. In her first year leading the office, Amber helped facilitate an international conversation about race and discrimination in the LGBTQ+ community with the addition of black and brown stripes to the rainbow flag. The #MoreColorMorePride flag and the accompanying campaign has spread across the state, the country, and around the world - drawing attention to the need for intentional inclusion of LGBTQ+ people of color in our movement. Amber believes in employing an intersectional lens in all aspects of community work and leans daily on the words of sister Audre Lorde: “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle, because we do not live single-issue lives.”

Dr. Arthur Williams

In 1998, as the AIDS crisis grew to epidemic proportions, Dr. Arthur Williams II left his career in oncology and devoted his specialty time and training to HIV. In 2002, he became the medical director of Hamilton Health Center’s HOPE program, providing evidence-based care to HIV patients in Harrisburg. Dr. Williams is the only African American HIV specialist providing care in Central PA. As a well-known HIV/AIDS expert, he conducts educational seminars both locally and nationally. In 2005, Dr. Williams was a featured speaker on the CDC’s international web conference on AIDS, where he presented his model HIV Medication Adherence Program. He was one of three physicians who helped revise the state’s ADAP formulary, which expanded funds to cover HIV medications. He has participated in many clinical trials, and recently completed his own on a successful daily regimen for African Americans and Hispanics. In 2015, Dr. Williams was appointed Chief Medical Officer for Hamilton Health Center.

Dr. Rebecca Cox-Davenport

Dr. Cox-Davenport has been a faithful volunteer with the Common Roads program in Lancaster since March 2017, rarely missing a Friday evening. She goes above and beyond, bringing homemade baked goods each week and getting to know the youth individually. She has helped them go apartment hunting, brought them care packages when they’re recovering from surgery, and chaperoned Center events like the Safe Space Prom and the trip to Trans Wellness Conference. Dr. Cox-Davenport has worked with LGBTQ+ youth for almost two decades. She was the GSA advisor at Lander University in Greenwood, South Carolina, and worked as a nurse educator in a teen outreach in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is currently an assistant professor at Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences in Lancaster.

Louie Marven

The LGBT Center would not be where it is today without Louie Marven’s outstanding leadership and personal dedication. He gave nearly a decade of his life to the Center, first as Youth Programs Director and then as Executive Director. During his tenure, Common Roads merged with the LGBT Center, the current physical space at 1306 N. 3rd St. opened, key funding sources were secured, and the LGBT History Project was created. Louie developed programs to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ youth, young adults, and older adults, and provided training on a wide range of LGBTQ+ topics. His leadership brought the Center through both exciting and challenging times with thoughtfulness and humor, and he built partnerships that continue to serve the Center well today. Louie’s legacy is making the vision for the Center a reality, and establishing it as the community hub for resources, connection, and support. He now works as a Training Specialist with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, developing resources and providing training and technical assistance around serving male survivors.

Barry Loveland, Sharon Potter, Michelle Simmons, Melinda Eash

In honor of the 25th anniversary of Common Roads, we will also be recognizing the vision and dedication of these four individuals who founded and provided leadership to this important program. Creating affirming spaces for LGBTQ+ youth in Central PA to connect with one another and find support is so vital, and this program has been doing that since 1993 - impacting an untold number of youth over that time. The program continues to thrive today because of the foundational work that each of these individuals have done, with weekly meetings in Harrisburg and Lancaster, an annual GSA Leadership Summit, support for GSA’s throughout the region, and additional youth events. These individuals paved the way, in a time with much less visibility and support for LGBTQ+ youth, and we honor them for that.

The Central Voice is media sponsor of the 2018 FAB Awards.