For their incredible work within the LGBTQ+ community, the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings celebrate Kevin Heard, founder of the Detroit Regional LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and Mark Erwin, director of development and advancement at the Ruth Ellis Center, as the final Pride Month Game Changers honorees.
Kevin Heard founded the Detroit Regional LGBT Chamber of Commerce in 2013 with the mission to promote and empower Metropolitan Detroit LGBT, allied business members, non-profit members, corporate partners and their employees through leadership, advocacy and education. The chamber has since grown to have 16 corporate partners and over 100 members. Heard currently works for Gannett | USA Today Network as diversity and engagement program manager, where he helps oversee Gannett’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
In his ten years at Ruth Ellis Center, Mark Erwin has brought significant visibility and resources to the crisis of LGBTQ youth homelessness through innovative events, collaborations, and partnerships. Under Erwin’s leadership, VOICES, the Center’s annual gala has become widely recognized as a signature LGBTQ+ event in Detroit, and has hosted guests such as Wanda Sykes, Lily Tomlin, Margaret Cho, Billy Porter, Jack Antonoff, and Sandra Bernhard, among others. Additionally, Erwin played a lead role in the development of the Ruth Ellis Health & Wellness Center, which has been highlighted in national case studies for its innovation and collaboration with Henry Ford Health System.
The Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings have celebrated Pride Month and share stories across their platforms of Game Changers throughout Detroit. Those recognized provide access, opportunity and year-round support to young people in our community who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer. Earlier this month, the Tigers and Red Wings selected Officer Dani Woods and Roz Keith, founder and executive director of Stand with Trans, as honorees.