We wish to express our heartiest congratulations to our 2020 DOJ Pride Award recipients, Special Agent Brett Kalina and Pauli Murray.
Special Agent Kalina is the recipient of our 2020 James R. Douglass Award, which recognizes individuals whose efforts have contributed positively to the work-life environment for LGBTQ+ employees in the Department of Justice. The award, established in 1997, is named in honor of Jim Douglass, a founding member of DOJ Pride, who died in 1996.
Special Agent Kalina served as the Chair of “Bureau Equality” (formerly the LGBT Advisory Committee) for a number of years and served as the leader in a number of initiatives that furthered the education, awareness, and recruitment of LGBT FBI employees. In an effort to advance the FBI’s mission of building healthy relationships with the LGBT community in the greater San Diego area, Special Agent Kalina has been a pioneer in establishing the San Diego LGBT/Law Enforcement Summit.
Pauli Murray is the recipient of our 2020 Gerald B. Roemer Community Service Award, which recognizes a person’s contributions to the broader LGBTQ+ community. Established in 1998, the Roemer Award recalls the life of Jerry Roemer, who died in 1997 from complications of AIDS.
Murray was a vocal feminist who publicly identified as a woman, yet privately struggled with both sexuality and the confines of assigned gender identity. Self-proclaimed as a “rebel, instigator, and survivor, at times a nettle in the body politic, an opener-of-doors,” Murray’s achievements and contributions to our community are lengthy and significant. To name just a few: in addition to serving on John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Commission on the Status of Women and being a co-founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW), Murray was the first Black Deputy Attorney General of California, the first Black person to earn a doctorate in juridical science from Yale University, and the first Black writer (alongside James Baldwin) to integrate the prestigious MacDowell Colony for artists. Murray is also considered the first Black woman to be ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church, a final career Murray was moved to pursue following the death of longtime life partner, Renee. Due to the extraordinary nature of Murray’s contributions to humanity, in 2018, the Episcopal Church made an exception to its own rules and formally declared Murray a saint.