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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Mayor Lightfoot, Gov. Pritzker to address Equality Illinois 2020 Gala
2020-02-01

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CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot will deliver the keynote address at Saturday night's Equality Illinois 2020 Gala. United Airlines is the Presenting Sponsor at the annual event in the Hilton Chicago, where more than 1,500 attendees are set to hear about the successes and ongoing challenges of building a stronger Illinois in the face of national headwinds against LGBTQ civil rights.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, Mayor Lightfoot and more than 90 other elected officials and candidates will be introduced. Plus, VIP community members, dignitaries, and allied supporters plan to attend the Gala, which is the Midwest's largest LGBTQ celebration of its kind. Some of the world's most recognizable corporate and brand names are among the sponsors of the event.

Each year at the Gala, Equality Illinois honors champions and organizations who demonstrate remarkable vision, courage, and leadership in the effort to achieve full equality and inclusion of LGBTQ individuals. This year, the Equality Illinois Organization Award will be presented to the Rainbow Cafe of Carbondale, Illinois. The Equality Illinois Freedom Award will be presented to Chicago Reader Publisher Tracy Baim.

In addition to Gov. Pritzker, who will offer remarks to lead off the Gala, and Mayor Lightfoot, other dignitaries planning to attend include Attorney General Kwame Raoul, State Comptroller Susana Mendoza, U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, U.S. Rep. Sean Casten, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, Illinois legislative leaders and many other state legislators, county commissioners, city council members, judges, and candidates.

Illinois businesses and the state's philanthropic community continue to provide robust support for the gala and the ongoing work of Equality Illinois.

The Presenting Sponsor of the 2020 Equality Illinois Gala is United Airlines.

Platinum Sponsors are Breakthru Beverage Group, GCM Grosvenor and Walgreens.

Gold Sponsor is Molson Coors Beverage Company.

Silver Sponsors are Advocate Aurora Health Care, Baker & McKenzie LLP, BMO Harris Bank, Exelon, Gilbane Building Company, Guaranteed Rate, Hilton Chicago, Hinshaw, Kirkland & Ellis, Marshall, Gerstein, & Borun LLP, McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP, Perkins Coie LLP, Revel, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Sidley Austin LLP, TAWANI Foundation, U.S. Bank, Verizon, Wintrust and YWCA Metropolitan Chicago.

When: TONIGHT, Saturday, February 1, 2020, starting at 6:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Silent Auction & Cocktail Party. Media Registration in the Normandie Lounge.

8:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Gala Dinner & Awards Presentation

- 8:00 p.m. - 8:20 p.m. Introduction of Dignitaries, Elected Officials and Candidates; Remarks by Gov. Pritzker

- 8:20 p.m. - 8:45 p.m. Program continues. Remarks by Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson

- 8:45 p.m. - 9 p.m. Keynote address by Mayor Lightfoot

- 9:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Dinner served

- 10:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Presentation of awards to Rainbow Cafe and Tracy Baim

10:30 p.m. - Midnight Dancing

Where: Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago - Grand and International Ballrooms

Who: The Gala annually attracts an influential audience of notable federal, state, and local officials, corporate executives and community leaders.

General media arrangements: The reception/silent auction and the Gala dinner are open press events. Media traditionally take the reception time to talk to political figures, Equality Illinois officials, and other guests before the dinner. In the banquet room, there will be space in the rear of the International Ballroom for reporters and cameras and a mult-box to plug in for audio.

About Equality Illinois

At Equality Illinois we envision a fair and unified Illinois where everyone is treated equally with dignity and respect and where all people live freely regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. We work hard to promote legislation to protect the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning ( LGBTQ ) individuals; maintain the visibility of LGBTQ issues; oppose legislation which seeks to limit the civil rights of the LGBTQ community; and expand statewide grassroots support.

—From a press release


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