FIGHT Remembers Gloria Casarez, Director of the Mayor's Office of LGBT Affairs

Gloria Casarez
Gloria Casarez

During her time as the director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, Gloria brought her fierce commitment to justice and equity for the LGBTQ community to city government and shifted the definition of that community to more clearly include people of color, women, and transgender persons. No one before Gloria was able to raise a rainbow flag over City Hall, and no one before Gloria was as effective in including all of the LGBTQ community within the rainbow. All of us with a need to work with City government benefited from her knowledge and her advice and we knew she was our advocate within the halls of government as well.

Her previous work in HIV/AIDS through GALAEI (Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative) brought a refreshing renewal of spirit to that organization.  We shared a common building for several years, and Gloria made sure GALAEI was a good neighbor to FIGHT as well as an important resource for our Latino/a clients who often needed services that at the time we could not otherwise provide. We were proud to honor Gloria with the Kiyoshi Kuromiya award for HIV/AIDS activism in 2011 in recognition of her many years of activism on behalf of disenfranchised Latino/a LGBT youth.

Gloria wasn’t just a policymaker and activist. She was a kind, generous, and fun person.  She bravely fought her cancer for many years and even as a cancer patient she remained an activist, often refusing to cover her head, or cover over her diagnosis. Everybody loved Gloria, and we will all miss her very much.

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Annette B. Gadegbeku, MD

Annette B. Gadegbeku, MD

Annette B. Gadegbeku, MD is Director of Adult Medicine at John Bell Health Center and Jonathan Lax Treatment Center of Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers. Dr. Gadegbeku is a Family Medicine Physician who specializes in primary care for all ages (from pediatrics to geriatrics)!

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Dr. Mario Cruz

Dr Cruz with PatientDr. Cruz is a board-certified pediatrician who serves as the Medical Director for our Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Center. He has presented and/or published in the fields of community violence and domestic violence prevention, quality improvement, behavioral health, curriculum development, and mentorship.

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