Harvey Milk Foundation

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“Hope Will Never Be Silent”~ Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk Ship Naming Ceremony To Take Place Next Week

usns_harvey_milkNavy Secretary Ray Mabus and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi are among the dignitaries expected to attend next week’s historic ship captain-smiley-emoticonnaming ceremony in honour of Harvey Milk.

The Harvey Milk Foundation announced Wednesday that the ceremony will take place Tuesday at Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay Area.

U.S. Naval Institute News reported earlier this month that Mabus will name a fleet oilier the USNS Harvey Milk. 

Milk, who served aboard a submarine rescue ship during the Korean War, was the first openly gay elected official of a major U.S. city. He won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 on a pledge to back gay and lesbian rights. He was murdered by a disgruntled former supervisor the following year.

“Uncle Harvey knew that our individual actions of open authenticity would be the key to harvey4Sailor-sailor-navy-costume-smiley-emoticon-000802-facebookchanging the lives of LGBT people everywhere,” Stuart Milk, Milk’s nephew and co-founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation, said in a press release. “And it was his belief in the power of that visibility which gave him the courage to face those bullets that he both anticipated and would ultimately take his life. As a proud Navy veteran, Uncle Harvey was committed to public service, aided by courage, persistence, and the belief that our shared journey is enriched, and not weakened, by our diversity.”

Also expected to attend the ceremony are Mayors Edwin M. Lee of San Francisco and Kevin Faulconer of San Diego. The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus will perform at the ceremony. The chorus also performed at the San Francisco unveiling of the Milk stamp in 2014, read the article from On Top Magazine. »»»»»»



Our work in the last several months, The Harvey Milk Foundation took impressive strides toward these lofty and important goals. Our volunteers worked tirelessly to make global progress, not just for the LGBT community, but for all targets of hate, discrimination and ignorance.

Here are some highlights from the past year


In 2012, the United Nations, British Parliament and International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) worked collaboratively to bring HMF founder, Stuart Milk, to the UK to present a major talk on LGBT human rights before a full meeting of the House of Lords.

Stuart Milk4The foundation also worked with Southwark Playhouse in London to produce the first European production of Emily Mann’s award-winning play, Execution of Justice. The play sold out all of its 45 performances at the theatre’s 240-seat Main House, providing needed financial support to Stonewall UK, a leading LGBT charity.

While Milk was in the UK, the BBC recorded three separate interviews with Stuart Milk for broadcast on BBC-World News, BBC-The Strand, and BBC-World. During these wide-ranging discussions Stuart addressed the continuing struggle to decriminalise homosexuality in many Commonwealth nations, and the further advancement of LGBT inclusiveness in civil societies.

flagge-regenbogen-whirlpool-60x90And HMF sponsored and partnered again with UK based 17-24-30  for our third annual “No to Hate” rally in London’s iconic Trafalgar Square. Ministers and Deputies and most importantly activists from several minority communities participated alongside London past and present Mayors and national officials. The rally has gathered up to 10,000 people per year for a moving candlelight vigil to combat hate crimes and support all targets of hate around the globe

Following the success of 2011’s Harvey Milk Foundation/Equality Italia “Seven City Human Rights Tour,” HMF partnered with the Rome LGBT Center as they dedicated their new building and library to Harvey Milk. The President of the Province of Rome attended as Stuart presented the Center with a bronze bust of Harvey—the original artist’s proof for the striking bust at San Francisco City Hall, read more highlights »»»»»»

human rights


milkcity-hal2lHarvey Milk, was a visionary civil and human rights leader who became one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Milk’s unprecedented loud and unapologetic proclamation of his authenticity as an openly gay candidate for public office, and his subsequent election gave never before experienced hope  to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) people everywhere at a time when the community was encountering widespread hostility and discrimination. tumblr_n7vgfoXGtE1sp6e2vo1_r1_250His remarkable career was tragically cut short when he was assassinated nearly a year after taking office.

Harvey was born May 22, 1930, in Woodmere, New York. Harvey and his one sibling, Robert, worked in the family’s department store, “Milks”; his Lithuanian born father, William, served in the U.S. Navy and as did his spirited, independent mother Minerva, also of Lithuanian heritage, who was a “Yeomanette” during World War I. Harvey came from a small middle-class Jewish family that had founded a Jewish synagogue and was well known in the New York  “Litvaks” community for their civic engagement. He knew he was gay by the time he attended Bayshore high school, where he was a popular student with wide-ranging interests, from opera to playing football.

Harvey-Blue-Navy-Dress-Uniform-jpgWhile in college at New York State College for Teachers (now State University of New York) in Albany, where he studied math and history, Milk penned a popular weekly student newspaper column where he began questioning issues of diversity with a reflection on the lessons learned from the recently ended World War. He graduated in 1951 and enlisted in the Navy. He attended Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, and subsequently was based in San Diego, where he served as a diving instructor. In 1955, he was discharged with the rank of lieutenant junior grade.

Following his time in the Navy, Milk entered the civilian working world in New York, as a public school teacher on Long Island, as a stock analyst in New York City, and as a production associate for Broadway musicals, including Jesus Christ Superstar and Hair. During the 1960s and early 70s, he became more actively involved in politics and advocacy and he demonstrated against the Vietnam War.

Late 1972, Milk moved to San Francisco, where he opened a camera store on Castro Street, in the heart of the city’s growing waving_crossed_gay_pride_flags gay community. It quickly became a neighbourhood centre. Milk’s sense of humour and theatricality made him a popular figure. Little more than a year after his arrival in the city, he declared his candidacy for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He lost that race, but emerged from the campaign as a force to be reckoned with in local politics.

After some area merchants tried to prevent two gay men from opening a store, Milk and a few other business owners founded the Castro Village Association, a first in the nation organising of predominantly LGBT businesses, with Milk as president. He organised the harvey7Castro Street Fair in 1974 to attract more customers to area businesses. Its success made the Castro Village Association an effective power base for gay merchants and a blue print for other LGBT communities in the US.

In 1975, he ran again for the combined San Francisco City/County supervisor seat and narrowly lost. By now, he was established as the leading political spokesman for the Castro’s vibrant gay community. His close friend and ally Mayor George Moscone, appointed him to the city’s Board of Permit Appeals, making Milk the first openly gay city commissioner in the United States, learn more about The Harvey Milk Foundation’s work, and his nephew Stuart Milk   »»»»»»

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