Recognizing landmark contributions in advocating for and advancing our fundamental human right to sexual freedom.
This year, the 10th anniversary of our Sexual Freedom Summit, Woodhull will honor two extraordinary individuals for their life-long commitment to sexual freedom as a fundamental human right: Nadine Smith and Kate Kendell.
“It is particularly fitting that on this 10th anniversary of Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit we are celebrating two legends, two extraordinary individuals whose tireless work on behalf of sexual freedom has changed the landscape of our world forever.” said Ricci Levy, CEO and founder of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation. “Kate Kendell and Nadine Smith have dedicated their lives to overcoming discrimination based on sexual or gender identity. I can’t wait for everyone to celebrate their incredible accomplishments when we gather together at the Summit.”
Kate Kendell led the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a national legal organization advancing the civil and human rights of LGBTQ people and their families. NCLR’s legal, policy, and legislative victories set important precedents that improve the lives of all LGBTQ people and their families across the country. Kate retired from her position in 2018.
Kate grew up Mormon in Utah and received her J.D. degree from the University of Utah College of Law in 1988. After a few years as a corporate attorney, she was named the first staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah.
In 1994 she accepted the position as Legal Director with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and made the move to San Francisco. In 1996 Kate was named as NCLR’s Executive Director. Under Kate’s leadership, NCLR won custody and family law cases, achieved victories on behalf of LGBT athletes, won protections for LGBTQ students and elders and secured asylum for over 300 clients. NCLR was lead on the California marriage equality case in 2008 and was later part of the team of attorneys to secure national marriage equality in the 2015 US Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges. Together with GLAD, NCLR filed a federal lawsuit challenging Trump’s transgender military ban in August 2017, which secured a nationwide preliminary injunction stopping the ban from moving forward.
Kate has appeared in hundreds of media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, NPR, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, and dozens of on-line blogs. Kate is also a visible and vibrant social media voice.
Nadine Smith is the co-founder and CEO of Equality Florida, the state’s largest organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
A former award-winning journalist turned organizer, Nadine was one of four national co-chairs of the 1993 March on Washington. She was part of the historic oval office meeting between then-President Clinton – the first such meeting between a sitting President and gay community leaders. She served on the founding board of the International Gay and Lesbian Youth Organization, which celebrates 35 years in 2019.
She is a Florida Chamber Foundation Trustee, a board member for Green Florida and served on President Obama’s National Finance Committee. In 2013, was named one of the state’s “Most Powerful and Influential Women” by the Florida Diversity Council. She was also given the League of Women Voter’s Woman of Distinction Award earlier this year. She currently serves on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Florida Advisory Committee.
Nadine lives in St. Petersburg with her wife Andrea and son Logan.