Bruce Bastian to Keynote Peace and Possibility Speaker's Series


The Jane and Tami Marquardt Peace and Possibility Speaker Series aims to bring high profile LGBTQ leaders and advocates to Weber State University to provide cultural opportunities, enhance the "welcomeness" and inclusion of campus, and to cultivate the "ally" community.  This year, our good friend and fellow philanthropist Bruce Bastian will keynote our series.  

Bruce is the co-founder of WordPerfect, and has been a generous contributor to the LGBTQ+ Community as well as the arts across the country and here in Utah.  

Come join us for the annual Marquardt Peace and Possibility Speaker Series on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at Noon in Ballroom C of the Shepherd Union Building. We are very excited to welcome Bruce W. Bastian as our keynote speaker this year. All are welcome to attend and the event is free. 

For more information, click here


LGBTQ+ Olympians make a great example


With the 2018 Olympics entering the second week, I’ve been reflecting on the number of “out” LGBT Athletes competing in the games.  This year 15 “out” athletes are participating in the Winter Games, beating the record of 7 in Sochi in 2014 and this year some of those 15 are men.  Standing out (no pun intended) is Figure Skater Adam Rippon.  

Adam’s skating has come second to his openness about being a gay athlete and what that means and doesn’t mean.  According to the Olympic Creed  “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part,” the Olympic Creed reads, “just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.” Few have been the personification of that Olympic Creed quite like Rippon.  

Other LGBTQ+ Olympic Athletes have made an impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ people at home.  Skier Gus Kenworthy, who participated in Sochi in the closet, is out this year, and kissed his boyfriend on National TV after his qualifying slopestyle free skiing run.  Gus said, ““To be able to do that, to give him a kiss, to have that affection broadcast to the world, is incredible. The only way to really change perceptions, to break down barriers, break down homophobia, is through representation. That’s definitely not something I had as a kid. I never saw a gay athlete kissing their boyfriend at the Olympics. I think if I had, it would’ve made it easier for me.”

These Olympians are not only exemplary athletes, but wonderful examples to the thousands of LGBTQ+ youth that aspire to compete at the Olympics.  These athletes are breaking stereotypes and paving the way for the future Adam Rippon’s of the world.  Congratulations to all the athletes on a wonderful Olympic games. 

United Way of Salt Lake Legislative Priorities


Last week, I attended the United Way of Salt Lake’s annual Legislative Preview Breakfast.  I always look forward to this event.  It is an event that showcases the work United Way does, creating a collective impact by working with the government, the private sector and the community.  During the breakfast, we heard from Legislative leaders from both parties, as well as the Lt. Governor, who spoke about working together to make our community better.

The United Way fights for policy that supports early Childhood Education, Student Success, vital human services, and healthcare.  This year the United Way is also supporting 2 ballot initiatives, Our Schools Now, and Utah Decides Healthcare.  To learn more about Our Schools now, visit and to learn more about Utah Decides Healthcare, visit

During the 2018 Legislative Session, there are several key issues the legislature will take up, including high quality preschool, literacy, school counselors and effective instruction.  This year, you can help the United Way advocate for these important issues by visiting


Quiet Heros - Show Times announced!

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Award winning director Jenny Mackenzie along with Jared Ruga have produced an incredible film telling the story of Dr. Ries, and Dr. Snyder called Quiet Heros.  Quiet Heros debuts on Sun January 21 at the Sundance Film Festival.  

Sun. 1/21, 6:30 p.m., Wagner, SLC
Tue. 1/23, noon, Egyptian, PC
Fri. 1/26, 7:00 p.m., Holiday 4, PC

Advance tickets are already sold out, so click here to learn about the waiting list.  Tami and I are proud to support the preservation of the work done by Dr. Kristen Ries and Dr. Maggie Snyder and look forward to seeing this film.   For more information about the Sundance Film Festival, visit


Peace and Possibility Project continues support for YWCA of Utah

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The YWCA of Utah has been a voice for women, a force for change and a place for hope since 1906.  In May 2013 YWCA Utah began the nonpartisan Utah Women’s Well-Being Initiative.  The purpose of the initiative is to strengthen the well-being of Utah women across important dimensions of their lives through research, education, collaboration, and public policy – so that women flourish, their families and communities thrive, and Utah prospers.

In 2015, YWCA hired its first Public Policy Advocacy and Outreach Director, and since then has made significant inroads for Utah women at the legislative level, beginning to lobby on behalf of the initiative and the YWCA.  They have also begun important research on the impact of women with Utah Valley University, as well as launched a policy newsletter to keep women more informed about public policy that affects Utah families.  

In 2018, the Peace and Possibility Project will continue to support the YWCA of Utah with a yearend grant.  For more information about the Women’s Well Being Initiative, please visit