Philly’s Getting a Gloria Casarez Mural

gloria casarez

Philadelphia’s first Director of the Mayor’s  Office of LGBT Affairs, Gloria Casarez, will be memorialized in a new mural thanks to a team up between Mural Arts, William Way and other community organizations. More from Philadelphia Gay News (PGN):

Mayor Nutter announced the mural plans April 22 during the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations’ [Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR)] Awards. The unscripted announcement was a surprise to friends and family members, most of whom had not known about the mural proposal.

[PCHR Executive Director Rue] Landau told PGN that the idea has been in the works since the beginning of the year. “We had considered trying to dedicate the mural in July, coinciding with the 50th-anniversary celebration,” she said, “but the time frame was just too short.”

Plans now are for the mural to be completed in time to dedicate it in October, coinciding with LGBT History Month, National Coming Out Day the one-year anniversary of Casarez’s passing, and with the annual raising of the rainbow flag at City Hall, a celebration that was championed by Casarez.

A site for the work has not yet been selected, though organizers are scouting locations in the Gayborhood and Bella Vista.

Casarez is perhaps most known through her public role as the Mayor’s LGBT liaison, but her resumé shows a lifetime of service to the LGBT and other under-serviced communities. She is a founding member of housing rights and economic justice nonprofit Empty the Shelters, she was a coordinator of the LGBT Center at the University of Pennsylvania and executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative [GALAEI]. She passed away after a battle with cancer in October.