Advancing LGBT Civil Rights
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, July 18, 2016
CONTACT: Brad Luna, LUNA+EISENLA media | 202-812-8140 (mobile)

2016 Democratic National Convention 

Oscar-Winner Dustin Lance Black to Dedicate Historic Marker to First LGBT National March Organizers

Historic Marker for the Philadelphia Conference to take Place During the Democratic National Convention

PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Equality Forum, the nation’s premier lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights summit, announced today that Academy Award-winning screenwriter and LGBT activist, Dustin Lance Black, will serve as the keynote speaker for the Philadelphia Conference Historic Marker Dedication slated for Wednesday, July 27th from 11:00 – 11:30 am (ET) at the Arch Street Meeting House (320 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106).

The Philadelphia Conference Historic Marker will designate where 300 activists from around the country met in February 1979 to organize the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The seminal 100,000-person demonstration, which took place on October 14, 1979, defined a national civil rights movement.  A leader for a march on the National Mall was San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk. When he was assassinated in November 1978, San Francisco activists called for a Philadelphia Conference to fulfill his dream.

“For the LGBT civil rights movement, the Philadelphia Conference is akin to Seneca Falls,” said Malcolm Lazin, Equality Forum’s Founder and Executive Director.  “Given Dustin’s Oscar-winning biopic of the late civil rights activist Harvey Milk, whose assassination inspired LGBT activists prompting the organization of the Philadelphia Conference, it’s an honor to have him dedicating this historic marker.”

Lazin recently penned an op-ed on Huffington Post, Stonewall Isn’t the Only LGBT Site Worthy of National Monument Status, writing that the efforts to record LGBT civil rights sites and events marks an important turning point in recognition and respect.”

Dustin Lance Black is a screenwriter, filmmaker and social activist. He has won the Academy Award® and two WGA Awards for Best Original Screenplay for MILK. He is also a founding board member of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), which successfully led the federal cases for marriage equality in California and Virginia with lawyers David Boise and Ted Olson, putting an end to California’s discriminatory Proposition 8.

Black topped the list of OUT Magazine’s 40 under 40, and has repeatedly been named “one of the 50 most powerful LGBT people in America today."


Academy Award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black to keynote

historic marker dedication to First LGBT National March Organizers


Wednesday, July 27th from 11:00 am – 11:30 am (ET)


Arch Street Meeting House, 320 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106


  • Oscar-winning screenwriter and LGBT activist Dustin Lance Black                               
  • Malcolm Lazin, founder and executive director, Equality Forum
  • Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla
  • Paul Steinke, executive director, Preservation Alliance
  • Lynne Calamia, Executive Director, Arch Street Meeting House

Equality Forum 2016 will bring together prominent, national voices for discussions on the state and future of the LGBT movement, and hold two historic marker dedications and award ceremonies from July 25th – 28th, concurrent with the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA. 

To view the full list of events, please visit:

MEDIA RSVP:  Media interested in covering any of the Equality Forum events scheduled for July 25th – 28th should RVSP to:  Brad Luna, LUNA+EISENLA media,


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About the Equality Forum

Equality Forum coordinates LGBT History Month, produces documentary films, undertakes high-impact initiatives and presents the largest annual national and international LGBT civil rights summit.  

Equality Forum is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to advance national and international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights through education.  For more information on the Equality Forum, please visit:



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