Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center Announces
Co-Founder Liz Bradbury M.F.A. is Leaving the Center to Pursue Other Projects
ALLENTOWN, PA - Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center announces that after cofounding the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Center and working for 8 years as the Director of the Center’s Training Institute, Liz Bradbury is leaving the Center to pursue other projects.
Liz Bradbury has been a full-time advocate for Lehigh Valley’s LGBTQ+ community for over 30 years, and an activist for the LGBTQ+ community since the 1970s. She was a founder and leader of the Pennsylvania Gay and Lesbian Alliance for Political Action for 10 years, where she led the successful effort to add Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to Allentown’s existing Human Relations Ordinance. This was the first municipal civil rights passage in Pennsylvania to specifically protect people from discrimination based on Gender Identity. She further led the successful effort to resist a ballot measure and a lawsuit aimed at repealing the ordinance. She then founded and was the Executive Director of Pennsylvania Diversity Network for 10 years until it became the Bradbury-Sullivan Center. She created the Lehigh Valley LGBTQ+ Infoline in the 1990s and ran it 24/7 for 25 years. She also published the Valley Gay Press Opinion and Newspaper for 18 years.Bradbury has been instrumental in the work she has done to pass 11 significant civil rights laws that protect the rights of LGBTQ+ people in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. These laws include the non-discrimination ordinances in Easton (2007), Reading (2009), and Bethlehem (2011). Most recently, Bradbury helped work on the inclusive language of the non-discrimination ordinance for State College, Pennsylvania, which was just passed in January of 2023.
“I’m very proud of the work the Bradbury-Sullivan Center has done for the LGBTQ+ community,” says Bradbury, “and I’m proud I could be part of it. Though I will no longer be at the Center, I’ll continue to serve on Pennsylvania State and community government committees, task forces, and commissions representing the needs and interests of LGBTQ+ communities, as I have done for many years.”
“Liz has given much to our community in the Lehigh Valley and beyond. She has advocated for our community, worked actively on our behalf, and trained many, many people. I fondly remember Board meetings of the Pennsylvania Diversity Network (PDN) with Liz as we addressed issues in the LGBTQ+ community and went on to recreate PDN as the Bradbury-Sullivan Community Center. Liz put much of herself into our center. We celebrate Liz’s contributions to our community. I thank her for all she has done in setting a standard to meet as we move ahead with the work of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center,” shared Board Chair Liz Kleintop.“Those that know Liz personally admire her not only for her LGBTQ+ non-discrimination and marriage equality efforts, but also for her personal lifetime values as a full time advocate for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender community” Coleman said. “I wish Liz well and am confident the community will continue to benefit from her advocacy.”
Liz Bradbury, M.F.A. | Co-Founder (she/her) has been a full-time advocate for the LGBTQ+ community since 1994 and an organizer since 1979. In 2004, she co-founded PA Diversity Network, where she served as Executive Director for ten years. She helped lead successful efforts to pass model LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination and domestic partner legislation in nine PA municipalities. She served for 15 years on the Human Relations Commission of the City of Allentown (including three years as Chair) where she wrote the guidelines for discrimination investigations and trained investigators. She has encouraged many businesses to adopt equal spousal benefits. In addition to her work as Director of the Training Institute, Liz serves on the Pennsylvania Alzheimer's State Plan Task Force at the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.
She previously co-founded, and for ten years, coordinated PA Gay and Lesbian Alliance for Political Action. She has been called in as an expert to testify, speak, and debate on LGBTQ+ issues and marriage equality in dozens of venues. She created the national award winning photo project: Same-Sex Couples: Facing Inequality, which was displayed at Fortune 500 companies and the PA State Capitol in the years before PA achieved marriage equality.
Liz has written over 400 published articles and essays. She is also the national award-winning author of the Maggie Gale Mystery Series. Liz and her partner of 28 years, Patricia Sullivan, were the first couple from Pennsylvania to get a civil union (Vermont 2000). They were legally married in Connecticut in 2009 and now live in Allentown.
Mary Foltz, Ph.D. | Collaborating Scholar (she/her) is an Associate Professor of English and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Lehigh University. She also serves currently as the Co-Director of South Side Initiative. Her research focuses upon contemporary U.S. literature with a specific emphasis on LGBTQ studies, queer theory, and environmental literary criticism. With a Scholars and Society Fellowship from ACLS, she served as the scholar-in-residence at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center during the 2021-2022 academic year. Prior to receiving this fellowship, Foltz developed a number of arts and history programming in collaboration with community center staff. She worked with a team to create two Lehigh Valley LGBTQ+ history exhibitions, “Pride in Print: Moving Above Ground and Embracing our Gaydar” and “Pride Guides and the Early Years of Lehigh Valley Pride Festivals.” She also developed oral history projects to enhance the Lehigh Valley LGBT Community Archive’s collections.
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center is located on Walking Treaty lands, the original and unceded lands of the Lenape people.
We acknowledge the harms of the past and are committed to moving forward in solidarity with Indigenous communities.