After graduating with her A.A. in criminal justice and a B.A. in sociology from Minot State University (North Dakota), Evans went on to earn a M.A. in sociology from Southern Illinois University (Carbondale). From there she went to law school at Osgoode Hall Law School (Toronto) and graduated with her J.D. in 1997. In law school Evans specialized in Aboriginal/First Nations law and worked in her home province with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) in implementing a treaty land entitlement agreement between the federal and provincial governments and seventy-two of the First Nations in her home province of Saskatchewan.
Her first job after her post-secondary education took her to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she was the Director of Direct Services at the Battered Women’s Program. While in Louisiana, she served on the Executive Committee of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence and was the Board President of the Lambda Community Center in Baton Rouge. Additionally, Evans served on the Board and was Co-Chair of the Louisiana Lesbian and Gay Political Action Caucus (LAGPAC). Evans moved to the Washington D.C. area in 2001 to work as the State Legislative Lawyer at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. From here she went to the Human Rights Campaign to serve as their state legislative lawyer. She was promoted to State Legislative Director in 2005.
Evans was recruited by Equality Maryland (the state’s LGBT rights organization) in 2007 to serve as the organization’s policy director. She occupied this position during the time the state’s high court issued its ruling that it did violate the equality provisions of the state constitution to deny same-sex couples a marriage license. She held this position until 2009. After taking some time off, Evans shifted gears and began work with Baltimore’s Housing Department as a policy analyst. Evans returned to Equality Maryland in December 2011 to lead the organization. In March 2012 the General Assembly passed The Civil Marriage Protection Act, making Maryland the 8th state to pass a marriage equality bill. Evans served on the Executive Committee of Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the campaign that successfully defended this law on the November 2012 ballot.
Vanessa comes to Equality Maryland after graduating from Morgan State University, in Baltimore, with her B.S. in Telecommunications; and is currently working towards her M.A. in Publications Design from the University of Baltimore. Vanessa served as the President of Morgan State’s gay straight alliance, Rainbow Soul, for three years, and in 2007, she had the pleasure of speaking at the formal introduction of the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. Vanessa became an intern for Equality Maryland in the summer of 2008, and assisted with the outreach for the then newly established Maryland Black Family Alliance (MBFA). Vanessa has worked in LGBT advocacy for the last 6 years, and has over 12 years of customer service and administrative experience. One of Vanessa’s proudest accomplishments is her co-creation of the annual LGBT Awareness Week at Morgan State University. Pride and Soul Week was founded to raise awareness on the historically black campus of the struggles LGBT people face; and was designed to bridge the gap between LGBT and heterosexual students, faculty and staff at the University. Because of her work on campus, Vanessa was awarded the Resident Assistant of the year, Outstanding Junior Woman and the prestigious Rainbow Soul Outstanding Leadership Award.
Owen Smith comes to Equality Maryland after several years of experience organizing on issues of gender identity and expression. He has taught workshops on various sex and gender issues for the last five years at gatherings on the East Coast. Owen has been producing and performing in a gender performance troupe called the Charm City Boys for eight years. He is also one of the founding members of Baltimore's Team Trans, a grassroots group aimed at raising awareness and conducting trans-positive trainings. Owen is excited to bring a creative and innovative perspective to Equality Maryland. Owen is motivated to do social justice work because of the many ways in which oppression impacts various populations. His goal is to build strong programs and active, working coalitions in order to create real change and reach the goal of gender equality.
Join us for a special event!
Alliance for Justice is co-sponsoring an event with Human Rights Campaign to explore what activists, nonprofits, and funders can learn from last year's successful state campaigns in support of marriage equality. Panelists will discuss how they built coalitions, brought in new allies, and developed successful communication techniques and messages.
Panelists will also highlight key decisions that propelled their campaigns to victory and plans to leverage the relationships they’ve built with supporters and legislators moving forward.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
A networking cocktail reception will follow
Human Rights Campaign
1640 Rhode Island Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
RSVP at bit.ly/makingchangehappen
Marissa Brown, Alliance for Justice
Richard Carlbom, Minnesotans United for Marriage
Carrie Evans, Marylanders for Marriage Equality
Marty Rouse, Human Rights Campaign
Betsy Smith, Mainers United for Marriage
Tony Wagner, Human Rights Campaign & Washington United for Marriage
First Unitarian Church of Baltimore and Free State Legal Project present:
From Stonewall toSecuring Marriage Rights:
What Does It Mean for Us?
Exploring the Legal Implications of Marriage for Gay Couples
A comprehensive overview of legal marriage in the State of Maryland for gay couples. Whether you are already married or just considering, esteemed attorneys Susan Francis and Susan Silber will walk you through everything you need to know before and after you walk down that aisle. Beyond romance, learn what those 1000+ contracts and responsibilities actually mean!
Topics to be discussed include:
DOMA– What is DOMA & Challenges to DOMA; Federal protections outside of DOMA; Considerations when not to marry – (Medicaid, other public benefits, immigration, continuation of prior spousal benefits).
MD Law Overview – 1000+ laws. How protected under MD law? What are protections, benefits, obligations? What is the effect of the federal government not recognizing your marriage? What are the consequences of other states not recognizing your marriage? Strategies to protect your family.
Marriage – Family Law Issues. License – how to marry, what if married elsewhere, what if have a civil union; Pre-nuptial agreements = clarify marital v. nonmarital property, simplify divorce process, collaborative or mediation dispute resolution; Domestic Partnership affidavit– specific benefits.
Protecting our Families. Wills, trusts, health care directive, POA, DP Affidavits, DP or PreNup Agreements
Protecting our Children. Second parent adoption, birth certificate with marriage (full faith & credit issues), problems with de facto/third party parent, donors, surrogacy.
Divorce Issues. Length of marriage, maintaining ties & friendships, DOMA (pension, tax, alimony); dissolution of civil unions/domestic partnerships.
OtherMD Marital Issues. Insurance; Employment – public & private; FMLA; Real Property – Tenants by entirety; Public benefits – Medicaid; Name changes; Taxes – joint – imputed state income; estate; inheritance; alimony & QDROs; transfers between spouses; mortgage interest; tax credit programs; Military & veteran benefits.
Saturday, June 8, 2013, 9am - noon
Enoch Pratt Parish Hall, 514 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
The seminar is free and open to the public. However, space is limited, so please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 410-685-2330 to reserve your seat. Participants are encouraged to submit questions in advance via email.
About the presenters:
Susan Francis is the Foreclosure Prevention Project Manager at the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS). She formerly was an Associate at Silber, Perlman, Sigman and Tilev; and theFamily Law Research Specialist at the Administrative Office of the Courts, Department of Family Administration. She graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2011. She was a member of Law Review and the Omicron Delta Kappa National Honor Society for Leadership. She has interned at the Public Justice Center, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Susan has a B.S. and M.S. in Journalism from Ohio University. She served as Development and Communications Director for the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing for twelve years and was most recently the Development Director forEquality Maryland. She serves on the Board of Directors of Free State LegalProject and the Public Justice Center. She has co-written with Ms. Silber several articles on gay marriage for the Washington Blade, the Maryland Domestic Law Reporter, and the Equality Maryland marriage FAQs on their webpage, and has conducted various workshops on the intersection of family law and LGBT families. Susan and her wife, Sandy, were married in Ontario, Canada in 2004. email@example.com
Susan Silber has dedicated her legal career of over 30 years to advancing the rights of all families, including a focus on same-sex families. Susan founded the law firm of Silber, Perlman, Sigman & Tilev, PA, which is a full service, community-based law firm located in Takoma Park, Maryland. She is an experienced attorney in family, employment, civil rights, and municipal law, and has served as the City Attorney for Takoma Park for 30 years.
In addition to drafting, counseling, negotiation, and litigation, Susan is an experienced mediator and collaborative attorney. She has assisted hundreds of people incooperatively forming their families (e.g., second parent adoptions, livingtogether contracts, powers of attorney, medical directives, and parenting agreements). Sue has been featured on national television and is a frequent guest speaker. She has spoken extensively on Lesbian and Gay parenting issues, including custody, adoption, alternative fertilization, surrogacy, and documents helpful in protecting unmarried and same-sex families. Susan was named a Super Lawyer by her peers in Super Lawyers Magazine for both Maryland and Washington, DC.
Susan is a member of the National Family Law Advisory Council of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, currently serves on the board of Equality Maryland and the Divorce Roundtable, and is a past president of the LGBT Bar Association of Maryland. She was recently honored for her distinguished service by COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere), GAYLAW (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,Transgender Attorneys of Washington, DC), and her synagogue Bet Mishpachah.Susan’s children have two moms. Her family has been featured in three books and was interviewed by Barbara Walters for ABC’s “20/20”. firstname.lastname@example.org
Please join us the second sunday of every month for our Board Meeting.
Contact Vanessa, email@example.com, for more information.