Len Meyer’s LGBTQI community advocacy earned this year’s Multicultural Leadership Program (MCLP) Community Leadership Award which will be presented at the April 13, 2019 Graduation.
Meyer founded the Central Illinois Pride Health Center (CIPHC) which was envisioned to answer the LGBTQI community’s health care needs, without judgment or discrimination. Meyer now works full-time as Planned Parenthood’s downstate Community Engagement manager. MCLP is honoring Meyer for their LGBTQI advocacy and community leadership. Meyer has frequently spoken to MCLP classes about social justice needs and inclusion for all in the community.
Meyer is open about their transgender status and is not afraid to share that story to help others gain understanding. “For many people, I’m the first transgender person that they have ever met,” Meyer said. “I want people to know that we are just human beings that deserve the same healthcare, rights, and respect of other humans.”
Besides speaking to MCLP classes, CIPHC was a project for the 2016 MCLP class. This helped launch the health center’s fund-raising efforts and raised its community visibility. Through that connection, Meyer said they were “impressed with the work they (MCLP) were doing with non-profits and local leaders. When Linda invited me to an event to help find board members, I was intrigued. It was great to discover what other local leaders have learned through MCLP.”
Changing perceptions in the community “one person at a time” is Meyer’s goal. “I see myself as a person with a voice that is changing minds and hearts around Central Illinois. I believe in helping people to my best ability and through my work with the center and now with Planned Parenthood of Illinois.
“My passion has always been helping people. When I was an EMT, I helped people in some of their toughest moments. Now, I work to make sure LGBTQI people receive quality and respectful healthcare. I do this by educating and advocating in schools, local organizations, and community events. I am grateful to have the ability to have a voice for those who are oppressed in our community and beyond. I am thankful for all the work I have accomplished these last few years.”
Various community advocates were recognized over the years by MCLP. Len’s unique voice and perspective bring a new dimension to that recognition, part of a continuing struggle to ensure equal access and acceptance to all in our community.
Register by April 4, 2019 to join us at graduation in support of Len and the MCLP Class of 2019 graduates.
By Mike Matejka