By Press Release Submitted to Published Jan 21, 2015 at 2:04 PM

Diverse & Resilient has selected eight leaders as recipients of the 2014 LGBT Leadership Awards. The awardees are individuals and organizations who have demonstrated leadership in improving the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the state of Wisconsin.

Leonard Sobczak has been awarded the Bayard Rustin Leadership Award in recognition of his longstanding commitment to LGBT wellness, environmental issues, and civic and political causes. Sobczak is a quiet yet strong force for change and he leads as an out gay man.

Sobczak is the president of Eastmore Real Estate and the CEO of the Wisconsin Gazette, a leading voice on LGBT issues. He is currently vice president of the Shorewood Business Improvement District and served on the State of Wisconsin Transportation Projects Commission. He formerly was chair of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission. 

In addition to civic leadership, Sobczak has made lasting contributions to nonprofits in the health and environmental sectors. He is a longstanding board member at Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters and has served on Diverse and Resilient’s board since the agency’s inception.

Bayard Rustin, the award’s namesake, was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. Rustin was a mentor and adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the chief organizer of the historic 1963 March on Washington.  The Bayard Rustin leadership award honors his legacy of working behind the scenes to improve people’s lives through social justice.

Other leadership awards include:  

  • Youth Leadership Award (14-19) – Joshua-Paul Miles, student
  • Young Adult Leadership Award (20-29) – Austin Kieler, student
  • Adult Leadership Award (30+) – Chris Ahmuty, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin
  • Acceptance Journeys Award – Melissa Bollow-Tempel, Editor at Rethinking Schools and Educator at Milwaukee Public Schools
  • LGBT Sustainability Award – Proud Theater
  • LGBT Staff Award – Kathy Flores, Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator for the City of Appleton
  • Community Partner Award – AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin

The awards will be presented at Reviving the Dream, Diverse & Resilient’s signature event that honors the legacy of Bayard Rustin. The event will be held on March 19 at Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin. In addition to presentation of the leadership awards, the event will include mingling, activities and a plated dinner.