Nov 21, 2006    #161
Contact: Nick Barron

Nationally recognized LGBT leaders join panel

Four nationally-recognized leaders in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community will take part in a panel discussion at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Law at noon on Nov. 15.

The discussion, “LGBT lives & the law: Coming out and the workplace,” is sponsored by Outlaws, the LGBT student group at the law school. Topics include coming out as a member of the legal community, running for political office as an open LGBT person and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index.

Panel participants include HRC’s Samir Luther, Shook, Hardy & Bacon attorney and Missouri State Senator Jolie Justus, Bryan Cave attorney, Lawyers for Equality President Jason Hall and KKFI-FM General Manager Donna Ross.

Each panel member will have about seven minutes to speak, with the remainder of the 50-minute program dedicated to questions and discussion. A detailed schedule follows this release. The event will take place in the student lounge of the law school, located at 500 E. 52nd Street, Kansas City, Mo., 64110.

            Luther manages HRC’s Workplace Project and is primary author of HRC Foundation’s annual report, “The State of the Workplace for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Americans.” Justus is director of Pro Bono Services for Shook, Hardy & Bacon, serves as a legislative chair for PROMO and the first openly gay member of the Missouri State Senate.

            Hall is a 2002 graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, a founding member of Lawyer’s for Equality, St. Louis’ first LGBT bar association and member of the PROMO Board of Directors. Ross has spoken about transgenderism at several places of higher education, including Portland State University, Lewis and Clark College (Portland, Ore.) and the University of Kansas, and has assisted in many facets several local LGBT groups, including the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students.  UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban affairs.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law

LGBT lives & the law

Coming out and the workplace


Start Time/Food/Intro: Noon

Total Time: 50 min.


Speaker Time: 31 min.


Samir Luther: 7 min.

·         Coming out for a person of color

·         HRC

·         Workplace Project

·         Corporate Equality Index, specifically law firm trends.


Jolie Justus: 7 min.

·         Coming out at a large firm.

·         Workplace policies at Shook, Hardy, & Bacon

·         Experience running for State Senate


Jason Hall: 7 min.

·         Coming out during your clerkship

·         Workplace policies at Bryan Cave

·         Lawyers for Equality


Donna Ross: 7 min.

·         Coming out as transgender

·         Transitioning in the workplace.

·         Legal concerns


Questions/Discussion: 19 minutes*


Conclude by 12:50pm.



*Additional questions can be asked following the panel.


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