The Mayor’s Diversity Awards are hosted by the GLBT Commission and honor individuals and organizations for their work to advance issues related to diversity and equal access in our community.
“The Diversity Awards honor outstanding community leaders for their work toward our ultimate vision for Denver – a world-class city where everyone matters,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.
The Diversity Awards were scheduled for October 11 to coincide with National Coming Out Day, an internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
Each of the Mayor’s commissions, including the African-American, Aging, American Indian, Asian-Pacific American, Latino, Office of Strategic Partnerships, People with Disabilities, and Women’s commissions presented an award.
Perhaps the most moving moment of the evening came when the Denver Commission for People with Disabilities presented the award to Linda Chism Andre, the only surviving member of Denver’s Gang of 19.
The Gang of 19 led protests in the 1970s and began a nationwide movement to obtain equal access to transportation for individuals with disabilities.
Here’s a little bit more about Denver’s Gang of 19 from the ADAPT Youth Summit Blog
In 1979, 19 youth with disabilities in Denver Colorado, parked their wheelchairs in front of two inaccessible city buses to stop them from moving, They wanted not to be put in the back of the bus, but to get ON the bus in the first place. Their protest started a movement that made public transportation accessible for people with disabilities across the country. This group of young people is now known today in our community as the Gang of 19. Today the movement has grown into ADAPT.