Fernando Z. Lopez | Global Citizen Award 2018
Executive Director for San Diego LGBT Pride, Fernando moved to San Diego in 1999 as a homeless youth and has since become a prominent LGBT community leader through his work with organizations such as Equality California and Marriage Equality USA, advocating for the rights of LGBT individuals, couples, and families.
In his time with San Diego Pride, Fernando oversaw the creation and growth of Pride Youth Leadership Academy, Youth Internship Program, Pride Youth Lunch Bunch, and Pride Youth Marching Band that foster leadership skill development in LGBTQ+ young people. Through his board service with Lambda Archives of San Diego and We are FAIR Lopez has helped to organize educators in developing LGBT curriculum. Currently the chair of the Community Leadership Council’s LGBTQ Youth Services and Advocacy Committee and a member of San Diego Unified School District’s LGBTQ+ Community Advisory Committee Lopez has been instrumental in organizing local LGBTQ youth serving organizations and leaders to push for reform within the region to better support queer and trans identified youth.
Lopez has expanded LGBT voter outreach, increased San Diego Pride’s international relations work by meeting with over 400 delegates from 127 countries around the world, helped to build a coalition of LGBT athletic organizations to combat homophobia in sport, and worked with US law enforcement and armed services to increase LGBT sensitivity and compassion. Lopez’s years of LGBT advocacy, nonprofit management, public education, diversity consulting, media relations, guest lectures, and organizing have made him a consistent presence ensuring the struggles of the LGBT community are ever visible.