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Chicago Equality Rally on June 11

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The Chicago LGBTQ community and allies will be gathering Sunday, June 11, at 11 a.m. at Andersonville Midsommarfest in solidarity with the Equality March for Unity and Pride in Washington, D.C.

Speakers and musical performances will promote visibility, unity and pride.

The rally will be held at the intersection of Clark Street and Balmoral Avenue—an intersection that is home to Midsommarfest's Pride Stage and is anchored by local, gay-owned businesses.

The event is being hosted in partnership with the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, Windy City Times and Andersonville merchants, and with the support of 40th Ward Ald. Patrick O'Connor and 48th Ward Ald. Harry Osterman.

The Chicago Equality Rally has confirmed* the following speakers, performers and attending elected officials:

—Event emcee: Fawzia Mirza, actor/writer/producer

—Speakers: Kim Fountain, Center on Halsted; Emmanuel Garcia, Vives Q/Crossroads Fund; Candace Gingrich, Human Rights Campaign; Kim Hunt, Pride Action Tank; Brian C. Johnson, Equality Illinois; Brother Michael C. Oboza, Bisexual Queer Alliance of Chicago; Channyn Lynn Parker, TransLife Center-Chicago House; Ava Santos-Volpe, Ava's Change4Youth; and Rabbi Rachel Weiss, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation

—Performers: Jess Godwin, Darrian Ford and Lakeside Pride Music Ensemble

—Elected officials: State Sen. Heather Steans, state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, 40th Ward Ald. Patrick O'Connor, 48th Ward Ald. Harry Osterman and 46th Ward Ald. James Cappleman.

The program will feature American Sign Language interpretation by Heidi Woelbling; Danica Milich will be the stage manager.

In addition, Andersonville Midsommarfest will give $1 from each individual gate donation on June 11 to three Illinois-based organizations: Center on Halsted, Equality Illinois and Ava's Change4Youth.

Chicago Equality Rally attendees are encouraged to RSVP via the public Facebook event ( at "Chicago Equality Rally at Andersonville" ). More information about the rally will continue to be updated on the public Facebook event and at as it becomes available.

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