WASHINGTON -- December 9 -- "Yesterday, Mary Frances Berry stepped down as chair of the United States Civil Rights Commission, ending a quarter century of leadership of this important advisory panel. Throughout her tenure, Dr. Berry served as truth-teller and conscience-in-chief to presidents, governors, members of Congress, and our nation on civil rights issues. Her dedication has been untiring. In fact, some friends have expressed gratitude for her discovery of e-mail, since it allowed them to sleep through the night without phone calls from Dr. Berry with her latest brainstorm for protecting our rights.
Dr. Berry embodies the Task Force's belief that no one is free when others are oppressed. She is someone who truly understands the intimate relationship between sexual freedom, gender freedom, reproductive freedom, racial equality, and economic justice. As Dr. Berry said so eloquently during her keynote address at this year's Creating Change Conference in St. Louis, "When you're in a movement, you're not just in a movement for yourself, you're in a movement for all the people who can't speak for themselves."
As a nationally recognized leader, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and as a board member of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, Dr. Berry will continue to speak boldly for those who can't speak for themselves. We salute her years of service on the Civil Rights Commission, and look forward to her challenging and inspiring us for years to come."
Reporters requiring a high resolution photograph of Dr. Mary Frances Berry speaking at the Task Force's Creating Change Conference in St. Louis, can download it at http://www.thetaskforce.org/images/ccberry.jpg.
Founded in 1973, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force was the first national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights and advocacy organization and remains the movement's leading voice for freedom, justice, and equality. We work to build the grassroots political strength of our community by training state and local activists and leaders and organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation. Our Policy Institute, the community's premiere think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a world that respects and makes visible the diversity of human expression and identity where all people may fully participate in society. Headquartered in Washington, DC, we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, and Cambridge.