(San Francisco, CA) – Transgender Law Center (TLC), the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people, is thrilled to announce that this year’s Claire Skiffington Vanguard Awardee for SPARK! 2018 will be star actress Laverne Cox.

“Laverne has not only broken barriers and charted new paths in Hollywood, but she has remained a steadfast advocate and role model. She has continued to use her career as a vehicle to drive change and to use her voice as a platform to highlight issues faced by transgender people, particularly in this time when our rights are under intense attack,” said Cecilia Chung of Transgender Law Center. “We are grateful for this opportunity to honor her work as we celebrate 16 years of Transgender Law Center doing what it takes to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation.”

Transgender Law Center introduced the Claire Skiffington Vanguard Award in 2005 to recognize community members who have been part of the movement’s vanguard. Past awardees include Miss Major, Willy Wilkinson, and Reverend Louis Mitchell.

Laverne Cox is a two-time Emmy-nominated actress and Emmy-winning producer best known for her work on the critically acclaimed Netflix original series “Orange is The New Black” where she plays the groundbreaking role of Sophia Burset. Laverne is the first Trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show and the first openly Trans person to be nominated for an Emmy in an acting category.

Laverne Cox will accept the award at SPARK!, Transgender Law Center’s gala celebrating 16 years of igniting change, on October 18th at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco. Tickets and sponsorships are available here.

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Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation. https://transgenderlawcenter.org