The GSBA Blog


Thank you for supporting LGBTQ students at EQUALUX 2020!

| Nov 23, 2020

EQUALUX: A Virtual Concert for Our Scholars, successfully brought together our community far-and-wide this Saturday, filling our hearts with the amazing stories of our scholars and wonderfully moving performances. In a year like no other, it was heartening to see and feel the outpouring of support for our future leaders. Amidst so much uncertainty for our country and community, one thing that’s certain, is the knowledge that when we come together, we can accomplish much - and that is exactly what happened. To all of you, we say thank you!

If you missed the event, you can watch it here!

A huge thank you must first go to our Entertainment Partner, A Sensible Theatre Company and our producers, Jared Michael Brown and Paul Flanagan, who worked closely with GSBA Programs Manager Carlos Chavez, GSBA Sr. Development Officer Jeff Boyer, and our EQUALUX Co-Chairs, Incoming GSBA Board President Jay Petterson and his husband Michael Mattmiller, whose calm leadership and passionate support kept us focused on our mission. We couldn’t have done this without our wonderful EQUALUX Committee who worked hard to reimagine EQUALUX as a virtual event. We couldn’t be prouder and more thankful for their dedication. 

he night was led by our stylish emcee, award-winning actor and Seattle celebrity, Timothy Pigee, who carried the evening with such warmth, as we celebrated our scholars through a series of truly magnificent performances. Alex Newell kicked off the show with an energetic performance of "Keep It Moving." Then, Rheanna Attendido, Olivia Hamilton, Aviona Rodriquez Brown, Arika Matoba, and Cassi Q Kohl, sung an acoustic rendition MUNA's "I Know a Place," while Lauren Du Pree sung a moving take on “Stand Up” by Cynthia Erivo later in the night. We were enthralled with a routine by two of Seattle’s acclaimed contemporary dancers Nahshon Omari and Dustin Durham who, in collaboration with Devin Marie Munoz, brought X Ambassadors’ song “Unsteady” to life through movement. World-renowned singer Jimmie Herrod also sung a passionate take on “Tomorrow.” The night came to a powerful conclusion with a memorable piece by the genius of Darnell White, a multi-faceted Harlem-based composer and activist, who was joined by fellow New Yorkers Nathan Tolliver, Burgundy Williams, Josh Walker, Kwame Remy, and David LaMarr – reminding us again, that indeed, a New Day is Coming!

We were reminded of the impact your investment has on our scholars, when Washington State Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu talked with GSBA Scholar Astro Pittman about what it means to be a young Black activist and student in 2020, and his hopes for a brighter and more just future.

mary and astro

We also got to know several other GSBA Scholars including Ro Boyce, Manny Lopez, Anna Rink, Nick Takahashi, Bryant Allen, Isa Jolie, Casey Williams, and Kendrick Jackson. They are already making a huge impact on their campuses and in their communities, and we can’t wait to see the difference they continue to make after earning their degrees. These scholars were introduced by supporters of the Fund Shay Thoelke, Jorge Peraza, Dana Savage, Kristi Maldonado, M Abeo, Felipe Lenz Carvalho, and Kyle Rapiñan.

GSBA Deputy Director Mark Rosén, introduced a surprise special segment honoring retiring President & CEO Louise Chernin, and announcing the Louise Chernin Scholarship Fund in her honor. This fund, created by the GSBA Board, will support the work of the Scholarship Fund and the community is invited to make donations and to attend the virtual party in Louise’s honor in late January, date to be announced.

Though we didn’t have the traditional paddle raise moment, several donors raised their virtual paddles with significant donations including Co-Chairs Jay Petterson and Michael Mattmiller, The Beeks Foundation, Glenn Johnson and Michael Melancon, ad Kevin Spratt. The GSBA Board once again stepped up with 100% participation to create a Leadership Match, which was instrumental in helping double guests' donations.

All of this would not be possible without our Board of Directors, led by Board Chair Extraordinaire Stephanie Dallas and Scholarship Fund Chair Carrie Carson. The magic of EQUALUX wouldn’t be possible without our magnificent sponsors, including Title Sponsor Comcast NBC Universal and Event Sponsors Alaska Airlines, Amazon, Carter Subaru, DML Insurance, Fred Hutch, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Kaiser Permanente, Morgan Stanley, Sound, Symetra. We’d like to also thank our Main Stage Sponsor ArtsWest, Voice of Scholarship InterChange Media Arts, Mask Sponsor Brand|Pride, and Print Sponsor Girlie Press.

A very special thank you to the GSBA Development and Scholarship Staff, with the vision of Mark Rosén leading the team of Jeff Boyer, Taylor Briggs, Carlos Chavez in making this evening possible, with special assistance from Toraya Miller, Gabe Neuman, Rachel Chernin, Cade Schmidt, and the rest of the amazing GSBA staff.

Most importantly, from the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank you our guests, for helping make this year's EQUALUX such an outpouring of community love and hope.

If you were not able to join us Saturday night, there's still time to show your support by making a year-end gift to the GSBA Scholarship Fund. We also would like to encourage all guests to renew their GSBA Membership for 2021, and if you are not yet a member, we'd love to have you as a member to contribute as we move with forward vision together into a brighter 2021. Together, we all thrive.