February 21, 2018 at 6:19 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Peggy Cooper Cafritz remembered as supporter of LGBT rights
Peggy Cooper Cafritz, gay news, Washington Blade

Peggy Cooper Cafritz was a co-founder of the Duke Ellington School for the Arts. (Photo by Wisecaver; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Peggy Cooper Cafritz, a longtime D.C. philanthropist, supporter of the arts, and highly committed advocate for the rights of minorities, who died Feb. 18, was a supporter of LGBT causes and events, according to veteran gay activist Phil Pannell who served for two years as her executive assistant.

“Yes, Peggy supported gay causes and events,” said Pannell. “She hosted an event at her Chain Bridge Road house organized by Wanda Alston that raised money for an LGBT prom for high school students,” Pannell recalls.

“She hosted an event for the D.C. Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gay Men,” Pannell noted. “Her late brother Mario Cooper was an AIDS activist and she was very supportive of his activities.”

Pannell served as co-chair of Cooper Cafritz’s successful 2000 election campaign for the position of president of the D.C. Board of Education.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser joined members of the City Council and scores of community leaders in hailing Peggy Cooper Cafritz as a key figure in a wide range of endeavors that has benefited the city and its residents of all walks of life for more than a generation.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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