Chicago Human Relations Commissioner Mona Noriega and Personal PAC CEO Terry Cosgrove will be the 2017 recipients of the Equality Illinois Freedom Award for their lifelong commitment to fighting for the civil rights and personal freedoms of all Illinoisans.
The recognition will be made at the Equality Illinois 2017 Gala, the Midwest's largest LGBTQ formal celebration. It will be held on Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave.
In addition, Equality Illinois will honor the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago with its Business Leadership Award.
Starting as a citizen activist in the late '70s, Noriega organized events to help women build their community and was a trailblazer for advocacy for Latina lesbians. In 1993, she went to work for Lambda Legal and, in 2011, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Noriega to serve as chair and commissioner of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations.
Cosgrove is president and CEO of Personal PAC, the Illinois political organization that focuses on electing pro-choice candidates in the state. He got his start in advocacy in the 1970s, when he worked for a tenants' rights organization in Champaign-Urbana while also active in the gay and lesbian rights movement. He also serves as commissioner on the Illinois Commission on Human Rights, appointed by Gov. Pat Quinn in 2011.
Tickets and more information about the gala are available at EqualityIlinois.org/2017-gala .