FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 6, 2013 DHS Pride presents Award of Service to Co-Founder of the Military Partners and

Families Coalition

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Department of Homeland Security Pride (“DHS Pride”) honored Tracey Hepner, co-founder of the Military Partners and Families Coalition (MPFC) at a ceremony today and presented her the DHS Pride Award for Service. Hepner received the award for the tireless work the MPFC does to provide support, resources, education and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender military partners and their families. “DHS Pride reduces anxiety for LGBT employees by demonstrating it is safe to be exactly who you are at work,” said Hepner. “When an employee knows they can approach supervisors and peers about family or personal concerns and celebrations, it fosters a healthy workplace culture.” The DHS Pride Award for Service is given for the purpose of recognizing an individual’s notable support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community or significant achievement in a career field that can be held up as an example of the capabilities of LGBT personnel. Award recipients are drawn from current and former DHS personnel and individuals associated with the DHS community. The DHS-recognized employee association commemorated LGBT Pride Month at the ceremony honoring DHS personnel who have made headway for LGBT community. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano and many leaders of DHS agencies attended the event at U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) headquarters today. Secretary Napolitano, inaugural Award of Service recipient, spoke at the ceremony and reinforced her unwavering support of DHS personnel, her intense support of a DHS

based on unity and inclusion and her support of DHS policies and protections for LGBT personnel and shared the several accomplishments of DHS in providing LGBT employees equality and safety in the workplace. Keynote guest speaker Gautam Raghavan, White House Office of Public Engagement and LGBT Liaison, spoke about inclusiveness and the landmark efforts the Obama administration has made in the last year for the LGBT community. “We are working hard to ensure DHS Pride will become something our members can be proud of,” said DHS Pride President Adam Sulewski. “We’ve come a long way this past year, with obtaining our 501(c)(3) determination and our membership growth. This next year will require the finalization of the foundations of our organization and ensuring opportunities for socializing and networking for our members nation-wide. We also need to continue to improve as an informational resource for employee protections and benefits. DHS Pride is proud to do this work and demonstrate just how much the LGBT community can contribute to ensuring the safety and security of our country. We are very honored by the attendance of DHS and DHS component leadership, and look forward to future engagement with the Department.” In the past year, DHS Pride has achieved 300 members, including representatives from each of DHS’s operational components. It is currently the largest employee association recognized by the Department. DHS Pride also received a successful 501(c)(3) from the Internal Revenue Service, and launched a quarterly newsletter. ### DHS Pride, Inc. is a non-stock corporation in the State of Maryland and a 501(c)(3) organization with over 300 members nationwide. Information about DHS Pride and rights/protections/issues for DHS LGBT personnel can be found at, or Twitter @DHS_Pride. To join DHS Pride or receive additional information, the organization can be reached at:

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