June 6, 2010

On a High!!!

I'm on such a high right now. It's one of my last nights home before I leave to be a counselor and I just got back from the 19th Annual Awards Dinner for Equality Arizona. With everything that's going on these days, espcially around the hot topic of immigration, it's easy to name all sorts of not-so-good things going on in my state. I left the dinner, though, with a lot of hope and enthusiasm [once in the car on the way home, my exact words may or may not have been "I wish I could go back to Duke tomorrow and get started on stuff for BDU"]. Hundreds of people gathered tonight for this dinner, all of whom are well-connected and all of whom actively support efforts towards equality through their money, time and/or energy. I was fortunate to be invited last minute by a good family friend (she's my parents' age; a lady at our table asked us if we were on a date...I'm not making this up) and Equality Arizona made it possible for me to attend free of charge as a "Young Emerging Leader." I joined public officials, business leaders, educators and so many other passionate and hardworking people. Donna Rossi, an out lesbian and senior reporter for CBS News in Phoenix, emceed the event; David Mixner, activist extraordinaire and a contemporary of Harvey Milk, gave an inspiring keynote address.

Last but not least, as the BDU blog (and sports) are always on my mind...I even managed to score (pun intended!) a picture [below] with 2006 Olympic Ice Dancer, Ryan O'Meara. O'Meara shared his story as the evening's prelude speaker. Be on the lookout for a future post featuring O'Meara, who's agreed to let me interview him!

A few more pictures...

With eight-time (count it...that's 16 years, folks) Arizona Legislator Ken Cheuvront (left) and Phoenix City Council Member Tom Simplot.

With Kyrsten Sinema, who visited Duke in February.

With keynote speaker, activist, political strategist and contemporary of Harvey Milk, David Mixner.

With Arizona's Attorney General and Gubernatorial Candidate, Terry Goddard.


  1. You are officially AMAZING. =) I love the fact that you scored an interview with Mr. O'Meara and I love you even more for doing this!! I'm pumped to hopefully be able to do more with you for Arizona equality. :D

    p.s. you should have said it was a date. ;)

  2. HAhahahaa. Ohh Risa. You're so great. I also love how excited you look in that picture, it captures all of your energy. I can't wait to have you within arms reach again!

  3. I'm with Summer - your energy is contagious and I cannot wait to be with you all again :)

  4. You should post all the pictures! What a great evening and you did say that in the car on the way home!
    Barbara (the cradle robber date/familyfriend/mentor

  5. This is awesome Risa, that's so cool you had the chance to attend the dinner and meet all of those people! I agree with the above commenter, we'd love to see the photos! I can't wait to be back and see all of you again either! :)