This year’s Kessler Lecture featured the dynamic Urvashi Vaid, who was described by Nan Hunter as “a force of nature and a multi-dimensional activist serving roles as street activist, fundraiser, mentor and an intellectual leader of the LGBT movement.” The Kessler Lecture is the premier event for CLAGS highlighting Scholarship, Art, and Activism. In addition to focusing on the unique experience of this lecture, it is also a fundraiser event where we invite our current and potential major donors to experience the best of our work here at CLAGS. This year’s topic, “What Can Brown Do For You? Race, Sexuality and the Future of LGBT Politics,” bridged a compelling cross section in the discussion race, gender, and sexuality.
The conversation continued at the Kessler “Cocktail Hour” reception, held as a fundraiser to support our work at CLAGS. The reception was held at the Asian American Writer’s Workshop and was complete with delicious hors d’oeuvres, wine, while providing a space to reflect and continue the conversation on race and gender in the LGBT movement. This year’s Kessler Cocktail Hour provided space for those who attended the lecture to decompress and engage in intimate conversations around this compelling topic and life experience for many LGBT individuals. The 19th Annual Kessler Lecture was a success and provided a way to engage communities and donors in a meaningful and sustainable way. CLAGS is delighted to be a leader in engaging our community around scholarship, art, and activism and Urvashi Vaid’s lecture encompasses the complete package of our mission. As CLAGS approaches its 20th Anniversary, my hope is that this lecture will motivate a broader base of donors to support our strategic direction and inspire our existing donors to grow their involvement.