The Woodhull organization announces the recipients of the 2015 Vicki Sexual Freedom AwardJohn D'Emilio, Monica Raye Simpson, and Diego Miguel Sanchez.
"These are outstanding leaders and courageous activists," said Ricci Levy, executive director of the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance. "We are inspired by their work, by the lives they lead and look, with hope, toward a future they helped to secure."
The awards will be presented during Woodhull's Sexual Freedom Summit ( www.sexualfreedomsummit.org/ ) , August 13-16, 2015, in Alexandria, Virginia.
John D'Emilio is a pioneer in the field of gay and lesbian studies and the history of sexuality, authoring more than a half a dozen books, one of which was quoted by Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case, the historic decision that declared state sodomy statutes unconstitutional.
Monica Raye Simpson, named a new civil rights leader by Essence Magazine, has organized extensively against human rights violations, the prison industrial complex, racism and intolerance, and the systematic physical and emotional violence inflicted upon African American women and the African American LBGT community in the South.
Diego Miguel Sanchez was senior policy advisor to Congressman Barney Frank, making history as the first openly transgender person to work as a legislative staff member on Capitol Hill. Diego testified before Congress for transgender rights and was among The 100 Most Powerful Latino/as in Corporate America.
Established in 2010, the Vicki is named after Victoria Woodhull, the namesake of the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance. Woodhull was an American suffragist born on Sept. 23, 1838, who was described by Gilded Age newspapers as a leader of the American women's suffrage movement in the 19th century. She became a colorful and notorious symbol for women's rights, free love, and spiritualism as she fought against corruption and for labor reforms. A strong advocate for collaboration and for full equality rather than "just" individual rights, Woodhull was generations ahead of her time.