Welcome!‎ > ‎News‎ > ‎

PFLAG Cleveland Awards Baldwin Wallace University with Community Award

posted Nov 12, 2019, 4:27 PM by Kavita Sherman   [ updated Nov 13, 2019, 6:38 AM ]

Commends BWU for Its Diversity and Inclusion Values and Support of LGBTQ People

  PFLAG Cleveland congratulates Robert C. Helmer, president, and the Board of Trustees of Baldwin Wallace University for receiving the 2019 Bruce G. Kriete Community Award. The award was given to President Helmer and the board after they formally disaffiliated with the United Methodist Church, which had voted to tighten prohibitions on same-sex marriage and exclude LGBTQ from clergy. The presentation took place at Baldwin Wallace with students, faculty, staff, board members and parents of BW’s community attending the ceremony.

The Bruce Kriete award is given annually to a person who, in the past year, has stepped out of their comfort zone or took a risk to support the LGBTQ community in Northeast Ohio. Previous award recipients range from little known individuals, such as Jennifer Romanic, a Hudson High School teacher whose advocacy saved a student, and Tammi Brown, who pioneered the first LGBT Visitors’ Guide, to Dick Feagler, a Plain Dealer columnist, to U.S. Senator Rob Portman. 

Bruce Kriete was an longtime member of both PFLAG Akron and PFLAG Cleveland. He consistently attended meetings at both chapters, offering wise and compassionate advise through his family’s story. After Bruce died, PFLAG Cleveland named its annual community award after him to remember  the ways he supported, educated and advocated for LGBTQ people.
President Robert C. Helmer (2nd from right) receives the Bruce G. Kriete Community Award from PFLAG Cleveland board members (from left): Frank Groh-Wargo, Tom Falcone and Sharon Groh-Wargo.

The Bruce G. Kriete Community Award is awarded to leaders who have, in the last year, advanced LGBTQ equality as vanguards, demonstrating leadership in the face of adversity, placing what is right above what may be popular—leadership which is potentially transformative for our community.