RALEIGH, N.C. — Equality North Carolina Foundation has announced its legislative and champion awardees for 2012. They, along with keynote speaker Rev. William J. Barber, who will receive a special award for his efforts against Amendment One, will be honored at the Nov. 17 Gala event held at the Empire Room, 203 S. Elm St., on Nov. 17, 6:30-10 p.m.

The Student Leadership Award inaugural winner is Sammi Kiley, Winston-Salem. She led Salem College and the community in the fight against Amendment One.

The Legislative Leadership Award recipient is Rep. Larry Hall (Dist. 29), Durham, N.C. He is considered to be one of the strongest opponents of Amendment One.

The Bob Page Equality Champions, awarded in five geographic regions are:

Charlotte Region: Chris McLeod and Krista Tillman, Charlotte, N.C. The two teamed up to become what was known as Straight Allies Charlotte to fight against the anti-gay Amendment One in May 2012.”

Eastern Region: Sherre Toler, Wilmington, N.C. She stepped down from her position as director of elections in Harnett County so she could voice a partisan stance against Amendment One.

Triad Region: Rev. Julie Peeples, Greensboro, N.C. Since the amendment’s defeat, she has worked with youth and adults to rid themselves of toxic faith community in the coming out process.

Triangle Region: Pam Spaulding, Durham, N.C. She was a big editorial contributor in the fight against Amendment One.

Western Region: Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Asheville, N.C. She and her allies have been a strong voice for LGBT equality.

Earlier in the day, from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., the Equality Conference will take place at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Elliott Center.

Workshops include, but are not limited to, “Using local grassroots efforts to build safer learning communities in NC;” “Rural organizing in the south;” “Faith-based reconciliation: reaching out and reaching in;” and “Overcoming diversity challenges in the LGBT community.”

qnotes will run extensive coverage on the event in the Nov. 10 issue.

For rates, registration and information, visit equalitync.org.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988,...