HRC Announces Academy Award-Winning Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black to Address Equality Convention

by Sarah McBride

WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, announced that Academy Award-winning screenwriter, filmmaker, and advocate Dustin Lance Black will address the organization’s Spring Equality Convention in Washington, D.C. Black, who won an Oscar for his 2009 screenplay Milk about San Francisco Supervisor and trailblazer Harvey Milk, recently created, directed and wrote the ABC docudrama When We Rise, a miniseries chronicling many of the most significant moments in the modern LGBTQ equality movement.

“Throughout his career, Dustin Lance Black has used the power of storytelling to open hearts and change minds,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “While we find our movement in challenging times, Lance's work consistently reminds all of us of the LGBTQ community’s history of perseverance and determination in defying the odds and overcoming barriers. From Stonewall, to San Francisco, to the steps of the Supreme Court, the stories he has helped share with the world give LGBTQ people and our loved ones hope for what we can achieve moving forward. HRC is honored to welcome our friend and champion to our Spring Equality Convention.”

A longtime LGBTQ equality advocate, Black served as a founding board member of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), which successfully challenged California’s discriminatory Proposition 8. In 2012, Black wrote “8,” a play based on the Proposition 8 federal district court trial. In addition to his work with AFER, Black served on the board of the Trevor Project and co-founded Uprising of Love Coalition, which seeks to “raise awareness of violence and discrimination committed against LGBTI people in the international community.”

After gaining acclaim directing documentaries, Black co-produced and wrote for HBO’s award-winning drama Big Love. In 2008, Black wrote Pedro about Pedro Zamora, the famous openly-gay Real World cast-member living with HIV. The next year he won the Academy Award for his critically acclaimed biopic Milk. In the years since, Black wrote the screenplay for award-winning film J.Edgar and directed the 2012 film Virginia. Black’s most recent project, When We Rise, depicts some of the LGBTQ movements most trying times and pivotal triumphs, from the AIDS crisis to the overturning of Proposition 8 and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. When We Rise is airing all this week at 9 PM Eastern/8 PM Central on ABC.

The HRC Spring Equality Convention, March 9 through March 11, is an annual event consisting of training, workshops, a lobby day, and other events for volunteers and leaders of the organization as they work toward their vision - a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

For more information on and to register for the Equality Convention, visit To inquire about media credentials, please email

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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