Northwest Ohio Community Shares presented Sherry Tripepi with the Robert Brundage Award at its annual Share-A-Glass event at Gathered Glass (Downtown Toledo) in February 2016. Sherry is deserving of this recognition for her work with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) communities of Northwest Ohio as well as for her contributions as a Social Work professor at the University of Toledo.
Sherry has been an extremely valuable asset to the LGBT community because of her extensive knowledge of local resources, her willingness to collaborate, and her dedication to equal rights for marginalized populations. She was a key member of the inaugural Toledo PRIDE planning committee, helping to organize the Community Connection element of the event.
Sherry also served as the Executive Director of EqualityToledo – a NOCS member agency – for six years and provided amazing leadership to help the organization grow and make a larger impact. Some highlights of her time as Executive Director, include: working with multiple schools and school districts to deliver the Safe Schools Anti-Bullying program, training health care workers about LGBT health needs, the development and continued success of Toledo PRIDE, and LGBT equal rights protections secured with local governments. Her accomplishments are many in her work with the LGBT community, but her spirit of openness and collaboration are what have made her great.
In the tradition of Robert Brundage, she is always willing to take the time necessary to fight for what is right. When people had questions, no matter what time of day, she was always prompt to respond and work towards a resolution. It is this unfaltering commitment that makes her deserving of recognition.
Sherry is also a dedicated Social Work professor at the University of Toledo. She has worked at the University of Toledo as a Social Work professor since 2007 and worked as a Clinical Social Worker at the University Counseling Center from 1997-2007. Over the years she has trained many aspiring social workers to be dedicated professionals caring for the welfare of others. As a professor she is responsible for teaching the next generation of social change agents. Sherry’s character of integrity, friendliness, humility, and reliability are exactly the traits we hope young people develop as they work towards positive social change.
Her friend and colleague, Paul Valdez, presented her with the award. According to Paul, “Sherry is a person that does not seek recognition or praise, and has made many sacrifices for the greater good. These selfless acts and her true dedication to ensure equal rights for others makes her a deserving person for this award.”