Emilie Jackson-Edney is a community volunteer, activist and educator living in Boise, Idaho. She envisions a world that honors diversity, fosters mutual respect, and celebrates complete equality. Emilie joined the Pride Foundation Board of Directors in 2013 following 4 years participating on scholarship and grant committee reviews. She has served in a leadership capacity for the past decade for the “Add The Words, Idaho” non-profit organization, which works diligently to add sexual orientation and gender identity anti-discrimination protections to Idaho’s Human Rights Act and to local municipal Ordinances. For the past 12 years, Emilie has facilitated a local support group to assist transgender and gender non-conforming individuals navigate the difficult transition process to live their truth.
Emilie likens her current roll with Pride Foundation and her community involvement to the civil engineering design and construction management profession she retired from in 2005. She says the work she does today will help build those bridges of hope and pave the way for our gay and transgender youth to become future leaders and role models; and for our elders to enjoy the fruits of their labors in their golden years. She states, “It is imperative that people like me help others to overcome their prejudices and bigotries so that legitimate progress toward understanding, acceptance, mutual respect and equality may become a genuine reality instead of just a hopeful dream.” To do this, she says you have to roll up your sleeves and do the heavy lifting that cultural change requires.
Emilie has received numerous awards for her community leadership, advocacy and activism. One of which she is most proud of is the 2011 Public Citizen of the Year awarded her by the Idaho Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.