Teach-in for Equality

Saturday, May 9th, 9:30am to 4:30pm – Los Angeles

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Torie Osborn

Torie Osborne

Torie Osborn, L.A.’s best all-round coalition builder.

From January 2006 through January 2008, TORIE OSBORN served in the cabinet of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, and continues as a senior advisor to the Mayor. She inaugurated a new position as public liaison to the philanthropic community, and designed the Mayor’s policy plan on homelessness. She also helped develop the Mayor’s anti-poverty agenda on housing, jobs and economic development, coordinating with nonprofits, business, philanthropy, and city and county agencies. That work linked with the Mayor’s role as Chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayor’s Committee on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, 2006-7.

Since February 2008, she has continued her longtime leadership affiliation with the independent sector, serving as a senior strategist to both the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and The California Endowment on expanding community engagement in order to advance long-term change. She is also completing a Durfee Foundation Stanton Fellowship examining the relationship of philanthropy, local government and nonprofits in tackling poverty and homelessness.

From September through the November 4, 2008 election, Torie volunteered fulltime at the Obama for America headquarters in Culver City/Los Angeles, helping manage the DRIVE FOR CHANGE Campaign to deliver Nevada’s five electoral votes for Barack Obama. Her primary focus was the Latino and African American voter-to-voter outreach effort that brought 1000 Californians to Nevada.

From 1997 through 2005, Torie Osborn was executive director of the Liberty Hill Foundation, one of the nation’s most admired social-change foundations. Liberty Hill funds grassroots community organizations working for social, racial, economic, and environmental justice in Los Angeles County. Ms. Osborn tripled grantmaking and added several new programs and funds to the foundation, including a nationally-renowned voter engagement program, a leadership development project, an environmental justice initiative, and a lesbian/gay community fund. The L.A. Weekly recognized her dynamic leadership by naming her “L.A.’s best all-round coalition builder.”

In the mid-1990s, Torie Osborn was executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in Washington DC, the nation’s oldest gay and lesbian civil rights organization; NGLTF membership doubled and revenues tripled during her tenure. Ms. Osborn was also the executive director of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center from 1988 to 1992, during the height of the AIDS epidemic in Los Angeles. During that time, Torie was a nationally respected leader in fighting AIDS, and in the LGBT movement for equality. Under her leadership, The Center achieved gender and racial parity, and became the world’s largest organization serving the gay community.

Ms. Osborn has been a social activist for 40 years, beginning with the anti-poverty, civil rights, women’s and anti-war movements of the 1960s. Her passionate, life-long commitment to social justice has roots in her childhood when, as the daughter of a State Department employee, she witnessed food riots in Franco’s Spain.

Ms. Osborn has been a contributor to the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, including, most recently, the popular “Modern Love” column in the New York Times (Sunday, April 20, 2008). She has made appearances on The MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour, Good Morning America, National Public Radio and CNN’s Crossfire. Major profiles about her have appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times. She was a monthly columnist for the Advocate for a year (1994), and her award-winning book, Coming Home to America (St. Martin’s 1996), is about the LGBT communities’ contributions to the ongoing national debate on values and visions for America’s future.

Ms. Osborn holds her B.A. from Middlebury College and her M.B.A. in Finance and Marketing from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. She has lectured at over 40 colleges and universities, philanthropic groups, corporations, and communities, and been the recipient of over 50 awards, plaques and commendations from business, government and civic groups.

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