For immediate release

NYLAG’s Virginia Goggin to Receive AVP Courage Award

September 2, 2011 – Virginia Goggin, Coordinator of the LGBT Law Project of the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) will be honored at the 15th Annual Courage Awards presented by the New York City Anti Violence Project (AVP). The Courage Awards were established in 1997 to honor outstanding individuals and organizations whose work on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities – particularly on behalf of victims of hate and bias, and survivors of same-sex domestic violence – has made a profound impact. The award honors those who display particular “courage” – whether in the course of living their lives, providing outstanding services, advocating for societal change, or affecting public policy.

As Coordinator of NYLAG’s LGBT Law Project, Goggin helps to compensate for the shortage of experienced lawyers providing free services to LGBT individuals and works on long-term macro-level solutions to the systemic issues that keep these communities in poverty. The Project provides free civil legal representation and advice on a wide array of matters to low-income LGBT New Yorkers and offers group trainings on the specific legal issues affecting this population. The LGBT Law Project’s practice areas include housing discrimination, legal name and document change, wills and health care proxies, public benefits, immigration issues, joint adoptions and orders of protection. Goggin is being recognized specifically for her role as a partnering attorney for AVP’s new Domestic Violence Legal Clinic. This free and confidential Legal Clinic is provided as a collaborative service between AVP, the New York Legal Assistance Group, Sanctuary for Families and the Urban Justice Center. The Clinic offers free legal consultations to LGBT victims and survivors of intimate partner violence.

Courage Awards will also be presented to CNN Newsroom Anchor Don Lemon, corporate supporter Time Warner Inc., and Goggin’s fellow AVP Domestic Violence Clinic attorneys Andrew Sta. Ana and Ted Farley. In response to the Award announcement, Goggin commented, “It’s a tremendous honor to share the stage with such hard working individuals who embody the spirit and mission of the NYC AVP. It will be an inspiring evening and a recognition of the strides we have made thus far to protect the rights and safety of vulnerable LGBT individuals.”

The 2011 Courage Awards will take place at Studio 450 (450 West 31st Street, 12th Floor) on Thursday, September 22, 2011, at 6pm. Hosted by actor Michael-Leon Wooley, the event will feature a cocktail reception, the award presentations, and a musical performance by Bronx-native Kat Deluna. For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Mark Buhrmester at [email protected] or visit https://nycavp.wufoo.com/forms/courage-awards-2011/.

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The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) provides free civil legal services to New Yorkers who cannot afford private attorneys. Founded in 1990 on the premise that low-income individuals can improve their lives significantly if given access to the justice system, NYLAG has a comprehensive range of services and core practice areas. For more information, go to www.nylag.org.