Roz Gould Keith Receives Diversity Champion Award

BY KATE OPALEWSKI

A Diversity Champion, according to the Race Relations & Diversity Task Force, leads by celebrating racial, ethnic or other diversity and also by advocating for the removal of racism, bias and barriers in our communal life.

Roz Gould Keith of Farmington does just that. It's why she was selected to receive the Diversity Champion award for which she was honored during the 18th Annual Diversity Champions Breakfast on May 4 at the Community House in Birmingham.

"This honor is significant in a number of ways. Of course, it's always nice to be recognized for contributions, but this is about making a difference in the lives of others," said Keith, who founded Stand with Trans so transgender youth, like her son Hunter, could receive the support and resources they need.

"In some cases, the work I do saves lives. We are bringing support and resources to trans youth and their families so they can be supported and find community. Four years ago, when my family began this journey there wasn't any support or resources available. We decided as a family to share our story and actively reach out to the transgender youth and allies. It's humbling and remarkable to me to see how far we've come and for a local organization to acknowledge and honor the work I'm doing."

Those are some of the reasons why Joe Grimm nominated her for the award.

"Roz has stepped into a very active role as a trans ally at a time when we are in great need for people to speak out...She lectures, she listens, she empowers people in safe, group environments and one-on-one. Roz and her family helped my class at Michigan State University know what to include in '100 Questions and Answers About Gender Identity,' coming out this year. It is just one of the many ways she works," said Grimm, editor in residence at the MSU School of Journalism.

The Task Force invited all area businesses, non-profit organizations, public agencies and faith communities to give special recognition to an individual whose vision of diversity has caused them to have a significant impact on others. Enrollment of honorees is inclusive and non-competitive.

The mission of the Task Force is to actively promote and embrace an appreciation for diversity and to advocate for inclusivity, equality, and justice in the region. The organization comes together to develop and maintain an open, intentional community that works to overcome racism, prejudice, and discrimination through education, advocacy, and response.

For more information, visit http://www.racerelationsdiversity.org.


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