Harvey Milk

Ticket Stub graphics_MILK-11Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast – Coachella Valley

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Friday, May 18, 2018

9:30-11:00 am (Registration begins at 8:45am, Program begins at 9:30am sharp)

Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros

Open to all – this event is for individuals, businesses, interfaith groups, civic officials and nonprofit organizations.

What do we do?

This essential community event seeks to bring together all who support equality and justice to celebrate the memory of Harvey Milk, an influential civil rights activist.

Why do we do it?

The breakfast will honor the memory of Harvey Milk, an American hero, and strengthen coalitions among the many diverse community organizations that support justice and equality for all individuals.

Youth Engagement

The breakfast has a significant impact on the youth that attend. Our goal is to bring at least 200 high school students to the 2018 breakfast.  In the last three years, Palm Springs Pride has provided $82,484 in financial resources to Coachella Valley Gay-Straight Alliance organizations and youth related programs to assist students and school advisors at the grassroots level. This is the largest donation ever made through the Greater Palm Springs Pride Youth Fund in support of Coachella Valley LGBTQ youth. Almost all of the funds were raised through the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast.

Programming made possible by the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast includes:

  • empowering youth to educate their schools and communities on key issues important to the students,
  • supporting peer mobilization efforts,
  • grassroots work to create safer schools and healthier communities for LGBTQ youth,
  • advocating for just policies that protect LGBTQ youth from harassment and violence, and, in the spirit of Harvey Milk,
  • We believe in providing resources for students to organize in coalition with other youth groups across identity lines to address broader issues of oppression and sometimes to just have a little fun!

In today’s political climate maybe more so than ever before we are guided by Harvey Milk’s dream for a better tomorrow. Our common vision of an equal and just world without hate serves as the foundation for the annual Coachella Valley Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast.

Tickets for the event are available in various levels (service fee applies when purchasing online. Click here to order by Mail):

  • $65 Advance General Admission (includes breakfast)
  • $56 Donate a ticket to support the Pride Gay Straight Alliance Fund and send a student to the breakfast.(100% charitable donation) A table of ten students can be sponsored for $560.
  • $650 Co-Sponsor Table (includes table for ten and co-sponsor listing in printed program / $90 is a charitable contribution) Click here to order by Mail
  • $1,000 Bronze Sponsor (includes table for ten and co-sponsor listing, proportional logo in printed program and name on table sign $440 is a charitable contribution) Click here to order by Mail)
  • $2,500 Silver Sponsor (includes one preferred table for ten, co-sponsor listing, proportional logo in printed program and name on table sign $1,940 is a charitable contribution) Click here to order by Mail)
  • $5,000 Gold Sponsorships and $10,000 Platinum Sponsorships are also available.

2017 Honorees


The Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast Committee announces that Community Organizer and Civil Rights Advocate Ruth Debra will be the recipient of the 2017 Harvey B. Milk Leadership Award at the 6th Annual Coachella Valley Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast on Friday, May 19, 2017, at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

Ruth, who defines herself as a radical old lesbian feminist, moved to Palm Springs in 2003 with her spouse Sherry Fulton. On moving to Palm Springs, she became involved with Pride, and subsequently The Pride and then Golden Rainbow Centers, serving several years on their boards.  Active in Democratic politics, she has served as the first female Chair of Desert Stonewall Democrats.  She is on the National Steering Committee for Old Lesbians Organizing for Change (OLOC) and facilitates a Coachella Valley group of Old Lesbians.  She also volunteers with Equality CA, and has been active in the marriage equality movement, marrying Sherry on October 11, 2008 (National Coming Out Day) during the brief window of legality in California.

A founding member of the L-Fund, a lesbian philanthropic organization to help lesbians in financial need, and Desert Women for Equality; she has been a member of the Harvey Milk Diversity Coalition for the past four years, and can be seen organizing and participating in rallies, marches, community discussions just about any week of the year.
Prior to her work here in Palm Springs, Ruth was a member of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), supporter of the Freedom Riders and the Freedom Singers, and deeply involved in the Civil Rights and Peace and Justice movements from high school on. Disappointed in the way women were treated in both the Civil Rights and Anti-Vietnam War Movement, Ruth became active in the Women’s and then Lesbian Rights movements, and also became involved in the formation of the National Organization for Women.

The Harvey B. Milk Hero of the Year award is presented to Jeff and Hillary Whittington; two parents whose first-hand account of family life showcases the power of love amid unexpected change.

“One of the most inspiring things that Harvey Milk had done as far as our family is concerned,” said Jeff Whittington, “was to encourage people to come out; to let their voices be heard; break down the walls, break down the barriers and start allowing people to see them for their authentic selves and be true to themselves, and this is our coming out … this is us making our voices heard …”

Jeff and Hillary reside in San Diego, CA and are the proud parents of two children, Ryland (9) and Brynley (5).  Shortly after Ryland’s birth, it was discovered that he was profoundly deaf.  Jeff and Hillary quickly armed themselves with information and set forth on a path towards cochlear implants for Ryland.  They soon found themselves working as advocates for deaf children and their families, and little did they know that their advocacy work was just preparation for what was coming next.  Ryland was assigned female at birth, but upon the acquisition of sound and speech, began to declare that he was indeed a boy.  Once again, Jeff and Hillary dove into the research and began to discover what Ryland was trying to tell them.  At 5 years old, they understood Ryland to be transgender and they assisted him in making the social transition to their son.  Just as they had done with the work involving deaf children and families, they have now taken the opportunity to be educators and advocates for transgender youth.  Hillary’s book Raising Ryland chronicles their experiences and sheds light on the work they now do for transgender youth.


When he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, Harvey Milk (1930- 1978) became one of the first openly gay men to be elected to political office in the United States. On election night, Harvey Milk reminded his supporters: “This is not my victory – it’s yours. If a gay man can win, it proves that there is hope for all minorities who are willing to fight.” He was assassinated (along with Mayor George Moscone) on November 27, 1978, only eleven months after taking office. Although he did not live to see his dreams fulfilled, the example of his life and leadership has made him an important national symbol for the struggle for human rights.

Proceeds benefit Coachella Valley youth through Gay-Straight Alliance clubs and LGBT youth related programs.

For more information call 760-416-8711 or email

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