On Monday, October 22nd, we hosted Vision 2020: The 2018 Upstander Legacy Celebration in New York City. It was an evening to celebrate all of our Upstanders and to look to the future of the foundation.
During the celebration, we made some exciting announcements:
- Beginning in November, Jane Clementi will start her new role as the foundation’s first-ever Chief Executive Officer!
- We launched the Million Upstander Movement — an ambitious campaign to recruit 1 million new Upstanders by the fall of 2020, the tenth anniversary of Tyler’s death.
- We shared an important update about True Faith Doesn’t Bully, our campaign to end religious-based bullying, including the launch of a new web page with resources, including a new video!
You can join the Million Upstander Movement today taking the Upstander Pledge today and by sharing it with your friends and family!
2018 Upstander Awardee
Activist, Advocate and Former Second Lady of the United States
2018 Corporate Upstander Awardee
Chely Wright rose to fame as a commercial country singer in the 90’s, and has since released eight studio albums and charted more than 15 singles on the Billboard charts. The Academy of Country Music named Wright “Top New Female Vocalist of 1995.” Her first hit came in 1997 with “Shut Up and Drive” followed two years later by her first number one single, “Single White Female,” and in 2005 “The Bumper of My S.U.V.” In 2010, Chely Wright released her eighth album, Lifted Off the Ground produced by Rodney Crowell, revealing a dramatic artistic transformation and emerging as a singer songwriter of the first order.
Chely made history by being the first country music star to publicly come out as gay, which she revealed in her 2010 memoir entitled “Like Me.” That same year Wright founded The LIKEME® Organization, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance, resources and education to LGBT individuals and their family & friends, as well as founding The LIKEME® Lighthouse, an education and community center for gay youth in Chely’s hometown of Kansas City, MO.
In 2016, Wright released her latest critically-acclaimed studio album entitled I Am The Rain, produced by Joe Henry-produced and praised by Rolling Stone as a “real triumph,” noting “Wright tempers the darker themes on her album with character-driven story songs whether inspired by her years as a touring musician or springing from her vivid imagination.” The Bluegrass Situation noted that “the album’s quiet confidence showcases what is probably the truest side of [Wright].”
Currently Chely is working on a new studio EP as well as a holiday EP, both of which are being crowdfunded through PledgeMusic.
Cacophony Daniels is a live-singing drag darling and “queen of screlt.” She has toured internationally with her cabarets, including Wanna Bette?, her tribute to Bette Midler, and Under The ‘C’, her tribute to the late Howard Ashman, for which she received a 2017 Bistro Award. She is a co-host of the weekly show Broadway Mondays at Hardware Bar. You may also have seen Cacophony as the prissy “Queen Bee” on The Mysteries of Laura opposite Debra Messing on NBC. Her alter-ego, Courter Simmons, appeared on Broadway in Jersey Boys and is an actor and singer.
Kyle Branzel is equal parts actor and musician. He realized that he was a performer when his 2nd grade costar, Mrs. Claus, sang his line instead of hers and he went on with the show, just like a professional.
We are grateful to our partners:
Premier Sponsor ($50,000)
Champion Sponsors ($25,000)
Changemaker Sponsors ($10,000)
Upstander Sponsors ($5,000)
Benefactor Sponsors ($2,500)
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