NCLR Salutes Openhouse Co-Founder

October 28, 2009

by Andrew S. Ross | San Francisco Chronicle

Civic Ventures Honors Openhouse Co-Founder

Marcy Adelman

Eleven years ago, San Francisco clinical psychologist Marcy Adelman co-founded Openhouse, a nonprofit organization aimed at meeting the oft-unmet social, housing and health care needs of LGBT seniors.

On Monday, Adelman was honored by San Francisco’s Civic Ventures as one of America’s leading “social entrepreneurs over 60 who are using their experience and passion to take on society’s biggest challenges.” Along with the honor came $50,000 in prize money, which she is donating to Openhouse.

read more

Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club Will Honor NCLR Immigration Project Director Noemi Calonje

October 16, 2009

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) today announced that the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club will honor NCLR Immigration Project Director Noemi Calonje with their Legal Services Award, which is presented to individuals who build and protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community. Noemi Calonje will be presented with the award at the Club’s annual awards ceremony on Wednesday, October 21 at 6:00 pm at the Infusion Lounge in San Francisco.

“Noemi is a fierce advocate for the rights of LGBT immigrants, some of the most invisible members of our community,” said NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell. “Only a handful of years ago, the U.S. immigration authorities had never granted asylum based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Noemi’s careful and meticulous work on behalf of our clients helped to change that. These victories are some of NCLR’s proudest moments—not only because each asylum case won strengthens sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes within immigration law—but even more importantly, because they often mean a person’s life has been saved.”

We are so proud of Noemi and would like for you to join us at the 2009 Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club Fall Awards Ceremony to celebrate.

Click here for more information on the ceremony and about other honorees.

read more

Watch the San Francisco Foundation 2009 Community Leadership Awards Feature on NCLR

September 30, 2009

from the San Francisco Foundation

National Center for Lesbian Rights has a pioneering spirit and unwavering commitment to advancing the civil and human rights of LGBT people. Its precedent-setting case victories have rewritten laws to change the legal landscape for all LGBT people and families across the nation. Through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education, NCLR advocates on behalf of LGBT people and their families nationwide. For 30 years, NCLR has been at the forefront of pursuing justice, fairness, and legal protections for all LGBT people.

The following video, produced by Citizen Film, features Executive Director Kate Kendell describing NCLR’s vision for equality and justice for all:

On September 22, 2009, NCLR received a Community Leadership Award. The San Francisco Foundation honored NCLR with the John R. May Award, made for organizational initiatives in response to a significant contemporary problem.

NCLR Attorney Awarded Chicana/Latina Foundation’s 2009 Emerging Leadership Award

September 21, 2009

For Immediate Release

(San Francisco, CA, September 21, 2009) — The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) today announced that Chicana/Latina Foundation will honor NCLR attorney Lisa Cisneros with its 2009 Emerging Leadership Award. The Emerging Leadership Award is presented annually to young leaders committed to social justice and who have demonstrated their commitment with actions and deeds.

Cisneros joined NCLR as a Pride Law Fellow in the fall of 2007. She leads Proyecto Poderoso—Project Powerful—a collaborative effort by NCLR and California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) aimed at improving legal services for low-income LGBT residents of rural California. Proyecto Poderoso is based in CRLA’s Salinas Valley office and is made possible by a generous grant from Pride Law Fund’s Tom Steel Fellowship.

“I grew up in Salinas, and came out as a teenager here. I come from a Mexican-American family,” Cisneros says. “These personal experiences and the opportunity to help deliver much-needed services led me to take on this challenge. My parents taught me that if you want to see the world change for the better, you must jump in and do your part to change it.”

Proyecto Poderoso improves legal services to rural LGBT people by providing community education, building the expertise of CRLA attorneys and staff in the area of LGBT law, and directly providing legal services. The project also draws on support not only from NCLR and CRLA, but also from a network of individuals and organizations, including LGBT groups and allies, as well as Latino organizations.

“NCLR is very proud to work in partnership with California Rural Legal Assistance to improve legal services for low-income LGBT residents of rural California, many of whom are agricultural workers without access to basic services. Lisa brings a unique passion and innovation to NCLR and her work is truly transformative, said NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell. “We are tremendously grateful to see Lisa acknowledged by the Chicana/Latina Foundation, a particularly important leader in providing opportunities and recognition for young women in California. We couldn’t agree more that she is an emerging leader who will help shape the next generation of the LGBT movement.”

Lisa Cisneros received her J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 2007. During law school, she worked as a judicial extern in federal court, and served as a law clerk at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, as well as at NCLR. She was a member of Boalt Hall’s prestigious Death Penalty Clinic, and a senior editor for the California Law Review. Upon graduation, Cisneros received the Francine Diaz Memorial Award for her contributions to the Boalt community and public service.

The Chicana/Latina Foundation will honor Cisneros with the Emerging Leadership Award at its Annual Scholarship Dinner, where they will also honor other women who demonstrate commitment to social justice. The awards ceremony and dinner will take place at the Palace Hotel on October 9, 2009.

For more information, please visit the Chicana/Latina Foundation website at

NCLR to Be Honored at 2009 San Francisco Foundation Community Leadership Awards Celebration!

August 28, 2009

NCLR is very honored to be the organizational recipient of the San Francisco Foundation 2009 Community Leadership Award.  We would love to have you join us for the event on September 22.

To RSVP for the event, visit: