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2013 LGBT Heroes

LGBT Pride Month Local Heroes

Watch KQED's 2013 LGBT Pride Celebration online


Michael Discepola

Michael V. Discepola, M.A.

Michael Discepola is the director of the Stonewall Project for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. The Stonewall Project is a family of programs dedicated to providing client-centered harm reduction counseling, treatment and support services to gay men, transgendered men who have sex with men, and other men who have sex with men, and who are having issues with drugs and/or alcohol. Since 1993, Michael's work has focused on community health and wellness for LGBT communities. He is a member of the San Francisco HIV Prevention Planning Council (HPPC), and has served as the community co-chair for both the HPPC and the Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS). Michael has provided culturally responsive services, advocacy and leadership for 20 years in the fields of HIV prevention, harm reduction, community-based mental health, and substance use treatment.



Dawn Harbatkin, MD

Dawn Harbatkin, MD

Dawn Harbatkin, MD has been the executive director at Lyon-Martin Health Services since May 2012 and the medical director since January 2006. She served briefly as interim executive director from 2006-2008 and again in late 2010. Lyon-Martin is a community clinic in San Francisco that provides excellent health care to women and transgender people in a safe and compassionate environment, with sensitivity to sexual and gender identity. Services are provided regardless of ability to pay. Dr. Harbatkin also completed a fellowship through the California Health Care Foundation's Healthcare Leadership Program. Her primary interest is in improving access to comprehensive, quality health care, particularly for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Her work focuses on developing clinical systems and programs that reach this community; educating health care professionals about their specific needs; and addressing policy issues at the local, state and federal levels.



Jodi L. Schwartz<

Jodi L. Schwartz

Jodi L. Schwartz became LYRIC's executive director in 2005. She has more than 30 years of experience in nonprofit work, and an ardent commitment to social justice. During Ms. Schwartz's tenure at LYRIC, she developed San Francisco's first LGBTQQ youth-specific case management program, and facilitated the formation of the Community Partnership for LGBTQQ Youth – an eight-agency continuum of services for LGBTQQ youth, ages 16-24. Additionally, Ms. Schwartz led the launch of capacity-building initiatives to promote LGBTQQ youth inclusion in San Francisco's behavioral health and workforce development systems in San Francisco's public schools and in youth organizations citywide. Before joining LYRIC, Ms. Schwartz was the managing director of Resource Development Associates — a consulting firm working to strengthen public and nonprofit efforts to promote social and economic justice for vulnerable populations. She was also the co-founder and executive director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice — a private, nonprofit criminal justice organization designed to reduce society's reliance on incarceration as a solution to social problems.


Stu Smith

Stu Smith

Stu Smith was a CEO in Silicon Valley in the 1960s and was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in the late 1980s. He began volunteering at Shanti Project, offering practical and emotional service as a way to help himself and others. Smith served on the Shanti board and discovered the challenges nonprofits face in communicating their missions and needs. To this end, he joined the boards of various organizations, establishing relationships that ultimately allowed him to create his own non-profit. Tin Pan Alley Productions is an Internet portal that connects nonprofits to resources needed to carry out their missions. An early adopter, Smith employs social media to reach even more people and organizations. He is board chair emeritus of Shanti Project, board chair of The Paratransit Coordinating Council, member of the Castro Country Club Advisory Board, member of the newly created LGBT Senior Task Force, adjudicator for the Neighborhood Courts Program, producer and host of public access television show The Drag Show, Bay Times newspaper columnist and Advisory Board member of the MTA Disability Placard Committee.


Also on KQED.org this week ...

POV: When I Walk
Disability Culture Month

Each October, KQED hosts a Celebration of Disability Culture, airing special programs that explore the complex web of experiences and issues faced by people with disabilities.

voting booths
California Election Watch 2014: The Voter Guide

Don't have time to sort out all the statewide propositions and races for the upcoming November 5 election? Get help from KQED's Voter Guide!

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