In Anna Waugh’s story in Friday’s Dallas Voice about the death of Thomas Anable, she mentioned that the board of Fairness Fort Worth planned to select a new president “in the near future.” Turns out that future was indeed very near, as the group announced in a press release Friday afternoon that Jon Nelson has been named Anable’s successor. Nelson was one of the founding members of Fairness Fort Worth and has served as the group’s spokesman since it formed in response to the Rainbow Lounge raid.
“Tom’s tireless efforts for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community created a firm foundation upon which we are eager to build,” Nelson said in the release. “The next chapter in obtaining full equality for all of our citizens begins today. We’re encouraged by the growing empowerment within our community and by the eagerness of allies in government, business and civic engagement who walk with us.”
A memorial service for Anable will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at Celebration Community Church, at 908 Pennsylvania Ave. in Fort Worth.
Read Fairness Fort Worth’s full press release below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JON NELSON ELECTED PRESIDENT OF FAIRNESS FORT WORTH
LGBT advocacy organization to expand on legacy.
Fort Worth, Texas, August 25, 2012 – By acclimation, the Board of Fairness Fort Worth has chosen prominent attorney Jonathan D. F. Nelson as president. Nelson takes the helm immediately after the recent death of long-time president Thomas R. Anable.
“Tom’s tireless efforts for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community created a firm foundation upon which we are eager to build,” said Nelson. “The next chapter in obtaining full equality for all of our citizens begins today. We’re encouraged by the growing empowerment within our community and by the eagerness of allies in government, business and civic engagement who walk with us.”
Nelson, a founding member of FFW, has served as the group’s spokesperson since it formed in the wake of what many called a raid at the Rainbow Lounge in June, 2009.
FFW moved on to partner with city officials, strengthening anti-discrimination ordinances and developing provisions for partner benefits. Many FFW members volunteer to teach an LGBT Awareness class for city employees to foster improved relations for citizens and visitors, expanding Fort Worth’s tourism and employment base. To date over ninety-percent of all City of Fort Worth employees have completed the training.
Building upon that success, FFW worked with FWISD officials to prepare counselor training on anti-bullying and methods to insure LGBT youth can thrive safely and authentically in school environments.
Fort Worth Human Relations Commission Chairman Estrus Tucker applauded Nelson’s selection. “The positive attitude, critical thinking, courage and goodwill that have been the hallmarks of Fairness Fort Worth’s leadership is in good hands with Jon Nelson.”
Last fall FFW broadened its reach co-facilitating a conference held at UTA on the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act for the US Justice Department and numerous local law enforcement officials. They followed last spring with a highly successful White House LGBT Conference on Safe Schools and Communities, also hosted by UTA. This summer FFW stepped up to assist an Arlington lesbian couple whose car was viciously vandalized. That incident and the textbook work of the Arlington Police Department garnered national praise.
Tucker added, “Fairness Fort Worth is a crucial asset for the present and future viability of North Texas as a prime destination choice for diverse people and corporations that will benefit generations to come.”
“We will continue to reach out within Tarrant County and look forward to working with the growing number of regional governments and employers who are coming to understand that, by definition, equal rights and opportunities for everyone include our LGBT family,” said Nelson.