KQED Names Snowdon an LGBT "Hero"

Shane Snowdon

Shane Snowdon, director of the LGBT Resource Center at UCSF since 1999, has been named a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) “hero” by KQED TV, Northern California Public Television.

Snowdon was recognized for her many efforts to make UCSF a local and national model for LGBT equality at KQED’s LGBT Local Hero award ceremony on June 29 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco.

“It was absolutely thrilling to walk into the beautiful old Castro Theatre and see 900 people gathered—I’ll never forget that moment,” Snowdon said. “I came out 40 years ago, in a very different time, and my younger self never, ever dreamed that I’d be honored for working to achieve LGBT equality at a major university.

“All evening, I thought about all the LGBT people, and all the wonderful allies, who have worked so hard to make UCSF the national leader we are in LGBT equality. This is truly a shared award.”

Snowdon was honored for her work to advance LGBT equality in health care and employment at UCSF.

In the health realm, KQED cited her for guiding UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco’s largest health care provider, to national leadership in equitable and inclusive treatment of LGBT people. With Snowdon’s assistance, the medical center has achieved a perfect score on the LGBT Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) for four consecutive years, a record unequalled among the healthcare facilities that participate in the annual national survey.

KQED also lauded the intensive education in LGBT concerns that Snowdon provides to current and future health care professionals. She teaches and develops curriculum in UCSF’s schools, offers wide-ranging training to UCSF medical center staff, and consults with other healthcare institutions seeking to become more welcoming to LGBT patients and their families. She also provides information and referrals to members of the local LGBT communities.

In the employment arena, Snowdon was honored for her dynamic advocacy for LGBT workplace equality at UCSF, the largest employer in San Francisco after the city itself. KQED noted her leadership in the successful efforts to persuade the University of California to offer equal benefits to same-sex-partnered employees and equal health coverage to transgender employees.

KQED also praised the LGBT workplace trainings and consulting offered by Snowdon, which “have opened hearts and minds” and helped UCSF and other Bay Area employers address the inequities experienced by LGBT employees.

Snowdon was additionally cited for her efforts to make UCSF an institutional model. “To maximize the impact of [her] groundbreaking work, Shane has organized local, state, and national conferences at UCSF, and consulted with regional legislators and policymakers.”
In short, reported KQED, “Shane’s passionate commitment to LGBT health and workplace equality has made a transformative difference at UCSF—and well beyond.”

Snowdon served for two years as chair of UC’s systemwide LGBT Association of faculty, students, and staff, and in 2004 she was named a UC Presidential Fellow. During her fellowship, based at the UC Office of the President, she was the University’s “LGBT point-person,” providing training and consulting for all UC campuses and laboratories.

Snowdon has been a consultant and board member for diverse Bay Area LGBT groups, and her writing has appeared in a variety of LGBT publications, winning the National Gay & Lesbian Journalists Association’s Award for Cultural Reporting. She has also received the UCSF Chancellor’s Award for Exceptional University Service and the Transgender Law Center’s Ally Award.

Before coming to UCSF, Snowdon was director of the women’s center at UC Santa Cruz. Prior to that, she served as executive director of a national women’s health group, a domestic violence agency, an environmental education center, and a community development organization providing “green” employment and training to ex-inmates, at-risk youth, and recent immigrants. Snowdon was also publisher/editor of the national women’s newspaper Sojourner.

Related Links:

KQED Community, 2010 LGBT Heroes

LGBT Resource Center

UCSF Medical Center earns perfect Healthcare Equality Index score for fourth consecutive year
News Release, June 7, 2010