Showing Our Pride – 2011 Award Winners

“When Love Takes Over!” was Wingspan’s theme for the Pride on Parade float October 8 and the Pride in the Desert picnic tent October 15 at Kino Stadium. Red and pink hearts decorated Wingspan’s official entries and symbolized the love and celebration that encompass everything Wingspan does. Staff and volunteers labored tirelessly to make sure that message was heard.

The winners of the Wingspan Steve Hall, Godat and Community Ally awards also encompass this spirit in all the wonderful ways they serve our community. “It was an honor to present these awards to the incredibly deserving recipients. Their talent, dedication and passion move our community forward,” said Oscar Jimenez, Wingspan director of programs.

Godat Award – Jennifer Hoefle

Jennifer Hoefle earned a master of arts in applied sociology from Northern Arizona University in 2001. She is an educator with 10 years’ experience, five of those as an adjunct faculty member at NAU. There she taught, among other courses, the Sociology of Sexuality and a special-topics course, Race, Class and Gender.

Since 2007 she has served the University of Arizona campus. She was the program director for Social Justice Education Programs through the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership until 2009. She currently serves as the program director for LGBTQ Affairs through the Dean of Students Office.

In that role, her responsibilities include directing the Safe Zone Training Program, running an internship program that provides students the opportunity to plan a variety of events and programs, advising Pride Alliance and collaborating on an LGBTQ Support Group.

 

Community Ally Award – Mari Herreras

Mari Herreras, a fifth-generation Tucsonan, is an award-winning writer with the Tucson Weekly who has been working in journalism for more than 18 years. When she’s not writing about the ugly and beautiful that make Tucson weird and wonderful, she writes with a local women’s writing collective. An anthology of their poetry and essays will be published next month.

When Mari’s not writing, she and her husband explore the city with their super-hero and musical-theater-obsessed 10-year-old son, remind each other to feed the dogs and cats and work around their old house.

In this new media day and age, Mari feels lucky not only to be employed (thank you, Tucson Weekly), but also to have a job that allows her to do what she loves most – writing and hanging out and meeting interesting people.

Steve Hall Award (shared) – Alex Lopez

Puertas Abiertas Co-Coordinator Alex Lopez was born and raised in Tucson. He began volunteering when he was in high school and was active in after-school projects. He volunteered for Tucson Pride in 2009 and connected with organizations serving the LGBT community. Alex joined the Wingspan Development Committee and assisted with the NIGHT THING New Year’s Eve event in 2010.

Active in Wingspan Anti-Violence Programs, he has helped implement the RainbowCONNECT warm line, joined in activities to promote awareness of anti-LGBT-bullying. He also is co-coordinator of Puertas Abiertas, Wingspan’s Latin@ LGBT outreach group, helping plan one social activity a week as well as special events for Puertas Abiertas participants.

Steve Hall Award (shared) – Ana Jimenez

Puertas Abierta Co-Coordinator Ana Jimenez was raised on the Mexico-U.S. border and is passionate about supporting progressive issues that create a positive border culture. Ana has volunteered with the Anti-Violence Programs crisis line for the last four years and serves as a bilingual advocate on an on-call basis when a member of the Spanish-speaking community needs assistance. She has been co-coordinator of the Puertas Abiertas Latin@ LGBT outreach group for the last year. Ana’s passion for sports and cultural events has helped led her to create varied schedule of activities that reach a diverse population.

This year, Ana co-chaired the Tucson Latin@ Gay Pride Planning Committee. As part of her efforts, she has traveled to rural communities to spread awareness of Latino LGBT identities and cultures. Ana’s goals for Puertas Abiertas include widening the program’s reach, involving more participants and expanding activities and projects that will increase the visibility of LGBT Latin@s.

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