H. Franklin Brooks Fund partners with Vanderbilt Law School

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The H. Franklin Brooks Philanthropic Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has announced a partnership with Vanderbilt University Law School in the presentation of Wanderlust 2006, the fund’s second annual travel raffle.

“We are excited to support the Brooks Fund in furthering Franklin Brooks’ legacy of championing human rights, especially among the GLBT community,” said Edward L. Rubin, dean and John Wade-Kent Syverud Professor of Law at Vanderbilt Law School.  “Professor Brooks was a moral force in his days at Vanderbilt, and we are eager to support his legacy.”

The year’s raffle winner will enjoy a trip that includes airfare for two and a week’s stay at a privately owned villa in Armissan in the South of France.

Raffle tickets are $50 and may be purchased at www.thebrooksfund.org or at The Community Foundation’s Web site, www.cfmt.org. All those purchasing tickets are invited to attend a private party on June 9 at Bar 23 where the winner will be announced.  This event will also include an auction of other domestic trips and travel-related goods and accessories.

The Brooks Fund exists to protect the dignity, safety and health of Middle Tennessee’s GLBT community. By supporting and encouraging the development of programs, the Brooks Fund increases philanthropic options and opportunities within the GLBT community. It was named for H. Franklin Brooks, a Vanderbilt professor of French and Italian for 25 years.

While at Vanderbilt, Franklin was instrumental in leading the dialogue that eventually helped include gays and lesbians in Vanderbilt’s anti-harassment policy in the late ’80s. It was important to Franklin that young gay people had positive role models. To that end, he was the faculty sponsor for the first lesbian and gay student organization on campus.

After Franklin’s death in 1993, a group of his friends wanted to honor him and to continue his forthright championing of human rights. So in 1995, The H. Franklin Brooks Philanthropic Fund was created at The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to encourage the inclusion, acceptance and recognition of Middle Tennessee’s lesbian and gay citizens by promoting respect and equality, improving services and strengthening alliances.

With the help of generous donors, supporters and volunteers, over the past ten years, The Brooks Fund has donated almost $130,000 to fourteen different non-profit organizations. These organizations provide a wide range of services to the Middle Tennessee community, including cultural activities such as film festivals, theatrical events, and historical projects; outreach programs such as crisis prevention, violence, and healthcare access; youth programs such as educational scholarships, mentoring, and counseling; community services such as hotlines, peer counseling, and support groups; and training programs such as sensitivity/diversity, youth issues, and safety.