The Guilford Green Foundation features four annual awards, each choosing an exemplary person of both the vision of GGF and the core principles of leadership and service.
Dawn S. Chaney Award
Cecelia Thompson is the Director of Action Greensboro. Prior to serving with Action Greensboro Cecelia was the first staff person at Guilford Green Foundation. During her tenure GGF expanded its reach. She realized that the power of philanthropy was more than just dollars; but in involving individuals to commit their time and talents. Cecelia created a network that was focused on creating a community that included straight allies and other non-profits. By making sure that the LGBTQ community had a place in Greensboro, GGF became a social enabler for people who wanted to get involved in the community. GGF included grant making to support LGBTQ causes but evolved to include social events such as Green Queen Bingo, Halloween parties and other occasions to bring people together in a welcoming environment. Cecelia advocated against Amendment One and was co-chair of last year’s very successful Gala which celebrated marriage equality.
GGF Distinguished Leadership Award
Michelle Kennedy is the Executive Director of the Interactive Resource Center. Michelle has served at-risk, underserved people and the LGBTQ community throughout her life. Prior to working with the IRC Michelle was the Associate Director for the Strategic Action for a Just Economy in Los Angeles. Michelle has worked with the Greensboro Housing Coalition and the NC State Energy Office. She believes that safe, affordable housing should be accessible to everyone, without exception. While at the IRC Michelle instituted a “No Barrier” shelter to allow those in need a safe, judgement-free space for people experiencing homelessness. Michelle is active in many community social issues ranging from police-community relations and racial equity to addressing the needs of late teens and young adults who identify as LGBTQ. LGBTQ youth make up approximately 10% of the population, yet almost 40% experience homelessness. Michelle has made sure the makeup IRC staff and volunteers reflect the populations they serve.
Rev. David Fraccaro
GGF Distinguished Service Award
David Fraccaro is the Executive Director of FaithAction International House – a non-profit organization that serves new immigrants while connecting Greensboro’s diverse community across lines of culture and faith. David believes that if we are to become an inclusive, welcoming and diverse community we must build relationships across lines of culture, identity and faith by turning strangers into neighbors. Stranger to Neighbor Dialogues provide bi-monthly opportunities for Greensboro residents to eat, learn from each other and share stories. Each dialogue focuses on the gifts of one particular group through the arts and community discussion. Recent dialogues have featured our diverse Southeast Asian, Muslim, Latino, West and Central African, LGBTQ, Middle Eastern, and Sikh communities in the Piedmont Triad. Most recently, in partnership with the Community Theater of Greensboro and the Guilford Green Foundation David and FaithAction focused on building connections between our diverse immigrant and LGBTQ communities. The evening began with a Latino LGBTQ Remake of the famous Mexican Talk Show “Casos de la Vida Real”. The show/panel focused on the Intersection of Identity: LGBTQ Latino Stories of Resilience.
Christopher M. Sgro
GGF Visionary Award
Chris Sgro is a political strategist best known for his work advocating for LGBT rights in North Carolina. He is Executive Director of Equality NC and its affiliate the Equality NC Foundation. Chris was elected to the Equality Federation whose goal is to serve state-based organizations advancing equality nationwide. Chris has been a strong advocate for LGBT issues including non-discrimination, transgender heath work, youth advocacy and moving forward after marriage. He was a founding member of LGBT Democrats of North Carolina and has served as treasurer for the LGBT Democrats of Guilford County. Chris has worked with nonprofits such as America Votes, an issue advocacy group, and CARE, a national anti-poverty organization. He was director of economic development for US Senator Kay Hagan and a member of the senator’s senior staff. Chris is married to Ryan Butler. The couple had a marriage ceremony in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 2006, but became legally married in North Carolina on October 10, 2014, where they were the second same-sex couple to receive a marriage license in Guilford County.