Oct 12 2012
Editor’s note: The Levi Strauss & Co. Pioneer Award honors today’s pioneers in nonprofit organizations around the world. It recognizes the hard work and pioneering efforts of individuals working for or with these nonprofits. Our hope is that calling attention to the work of today’s pioneers will inspire others to join their march forward. We recently presented a Pioneer Award to Cecilia Chung, a volunteer advisor to the San Francisco Lesbian Bay Bisexual Transgender Community Center, whose mission is to connect diverse communities to opportunities, resources and each other to create a stronger, healthier, and more equitable world.
She has a unique blend of policy expertise, charm, elbow grease and determination.
That’s why we love Cecilia Chung. But it’s not the only reason.
Last night, we recognized Cecilia Chung’s extraordinary strides in advancing equality and justice around the world with a Pioneer Award from Levi Strauss & Co.
The Pioneer Award is our way of honoring today’s pioneers: those that embody the spirit of our company by bringing to life the values that we hold dear: integrity, empathy, courage and originality. The award is not just about doing a good deed. Our Pioneer Award recipients are visionaries who see opportunities where others see hurdles. They bring big ideas to life with tenacity and fortitude, all while inspiring others to join them.
Cecilia is the architect of San Francisco’s collaborative Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative, a nationally recognized model program for addressing economic development and justice within the transgender community.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. She’s also a nationally recognized civil rights leader, advocates for HIV/AIDS awareness and care, LGBT equality, and social justice. Cecilia was the first transgender woman and first Asian to be elected to lead the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Celebration; and she was the first transgender woman and first person living openly with HIV to chair the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.
She also knows the most important thing of all – having a good idea is only 5% of the work. Cecilia does the hard work of building and maintaining effective relationships, creating program goals and measures, and keeping everyone focused on the destination, not the potholes, along the journey.
We share Cecilia’s commitment to equality. In 1992, Levi Strauss & Co. was the first Fortune 500 company to provide domestic partnership health benefits. Since then, we’ve also urged the California Supreme Court to invalidate Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage, by signing on to an amicus brief.
We commend Cecilia’s two decades of service and thank her for being a Pioneer.
Posted By: Rebecca Youngs, Associate Editor, LS&Co. Unzipped
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