Parity Awards 2016 Honorees

This year we are honoring individuals who have done extraordinary work for LGBT communities: Amanda Bluglass, film maker, whose documentary Out of Order captures so much of Parity's history and our ongoing ministry; the Rev. Bertram Johnson, Minister of Justice, Advocacy and Change at The Riverside Church in the City of New York, a "graduate" of our emerging pastors community who has led by example in his struggle for ordination; and Senior Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah for her lifetime of activism and leadership. 

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Amanda bluglass

Amanda Bluglass is a British freelance film maker. Educated at Cambridge University, England, she had a career in BBC radio and television journalism for over more than a decade. Since becoming a freelance video director ten years ago, she has developed her love of fine art and has sold drawings, prints and sculpture alongside her film career. This strong sense of visual aesthetic is evident in her films, which is matched by an emphasis on strong narratives.


She has collaborated extensively on projects across the UK and USA. Directing credits include internationally recognized multi award-winning short documentaries.

Amanda has worked with BBC, Channel 4, NASA, Nike and London Olympics 2012.

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rev. bertram johnson

Bertram Johnson is an ordained teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). For over two decades Bertram has provided pastoral care and social service leadership in churches, non-profit, and faith-based organizations dedicated to justice and public health. Most recently, Bertram worked nationally to promote awareness and access to prevention and support services among communities most disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS. Bertram is a native Floridian and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Master of Social Work from Rutgers University.

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rabbi Sharon kleinbaum

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum serves as spiritual leader of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. She was installed as CBST’s first rabbi in 1992, arriving at the height of the AIDS crisis when the synagogue was in desperate need of pastoral care and spiritual leadership. She guided the congregation through a period of loss and change, while addressing social issues of the day and building a strong and deeply spiritual community. Under her leadership as Senior Rabbi, CBST has become a powerful voice in the movement for equality and justice for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions and a significant force challenging the radical right’s dominance over religious and political life in the United States and around the world.  For many years Rabbi Kleinbaum has been ranked by Newsweek among the 50 most influential rabbis in America. In 2012, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College awarded her the "Keter Shem Tov Award," their highest honor.