The LGBTQ Advocate Award recognizes a faculty member, staff member, or student who demonstrates a commitment to advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues on campus.
Day in and day out, Pride Center Coordinator Bonnie Johnson shows her commitment to empowering LGBTQ+ students and advancing the standing of the LGBTQ+ community. “Students come to her with questions and issues about how to access resources, how to handle challenging situations, and for a sympathetic ear and a shoulder they can lean on,” one student wrote. Johnson plans Pride Center events such as the National Coming Out Day ice cream social and Lavender Graduation, which have seen record attendance under her direction. She educates student leaders about LGBTQ+ resources at UT, and she led the revision and reintroduction of the Safe Zone training on campus. Johnson also serves as the divisional content expert on LGBTQ+ issues in the Division of Student Life and on the Dean of Students leadership team. In addition to her work on campus, Johnson travels throughout the eastern US to fundraise for the Pride Center’s Vol Means All endowment campaign to ensure resources remain available for current and future students.