Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 19 in Albright Auditorium as the third President's Forum Series speaker of the spring semester.
Solomonese holds a bachelor's degree in communcations from Boston University, and since taking the helm of the Human Rights Campaign almost a year ago, has journeyed to 22 states and 35 cities, logging 115,000 miles in his first six months. His vision for equality is clear: taking the fight for equality not only to the floor of Congress, but to the kitchen table, to factory floors and to church pews.
He’s met with hundreds of students, including those at historically black colleges, and most recently, began an initiative for mobilizing straight supporters to help build a broad coalition of voters who support fairness.
Solmonese is a former chief executive officer of EMILY’s List, overseeing one of the nation’s most successful efforts to elect progressive candidates by reaching out to heartland and mainstream voters. He led a national staff of 85 political, communications, fund-raising and grassroots professionals with smart and effective management and managed a $40 million budget, strategically investing in key political efforts and elections and raising money for the organization’s mission.
The Human Rights Campaign is a 25-year-old, national organization with more than 650,000 members and a $30 million budget. Solmonese speaks frequently on issues of importance, from CNN to local television on the road, and from the New York Times and the Washington Post to regional daily and weekly newspapers across the country.
Since joining HRC, he’s worked with corporate leaders across the country and helped guide influential businesses, including Microsoft, to take strong public stances for fairness. He’s met with families across the country and advocated for the rights of same-sex couple. He recognizes the need for people to come out, stay out and speak out about equality and has strengthened the coming out project to do just that.