LYRIC’s Toni Newman Calls Nomination of Dr. Rachel Levine “Historic and Reflective of America’s Diversity”

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LYRIC’s Toni Newman Calls Nomination of Dr. Rachel Levine “Historic and Reflective of America’s Diversity”

19 January 2021 – San Francisco, CA: Following today’s announcement by the incoming Biden / Harris Administration of Dr. Rachel Levine to be assistant secretary of health, Toni Newman, Interim Executive Director for San Francisco’s esteemed nonprofit LYRIC (www.lyric.org), called the nomination “historic.” If confirmed, Levine will be the first openly transgender federal official to receive Senate confirmation. 

“The incoming Biden / Harris Administration promised a cabinet that looked like the people it is charged with serving,” said Newman. This nomination of Dr. Levine is historic and reflective of America’s diversity.”

Levine has been leading Pennsylvania’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, becoming the public face of the state’s public health response as she has led regular briefings alongside Gov. Tom Wolf. Levine was first appointed as Pennsylvania’s health secretary in 2017, also leading the state’s response to the opioid epidemic during her tenure. The Pennsylvania official was confirmed three times by the state’s GOP-controlled legislature, the Biden transition noted in a statement announcing her nomination, and Levine was the first transgender person appointed to a Cabinet position in Pennsylvania when she became its physician general in 2015.

LYRIC is the San Francisco Bay Area’s leading organization offering expertise in youth workforce development, healthcare navigation, individual counseling, and group-based community building to marginalized low-income LGBTQQ+ youth.  In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, LYRIC has continued its vital work for LGBTQQ youth in our community.

Newman is the former Interim Director for Employment Services at the San Francisco LGBT Center and a consultant for the Transgender Strategy Center. Toni is a graduate of Wake Forest University and current candidate for her Juris of Doctorate (JD). Toni served as the Executive Director for St. James Infirmary and the Director of Development for Maitri Compassionate Care, and previously served as the Interim Director of Development & Communications at To Help Everyone Health and Wellness Centers and as a Strategic Fundraiser, Volunteer Recruiter, and Legislative Aide for Equality California. Additionally, Toni is a best selling author, noted for her memoir I Rise – The Transformation of Toni Newman released in 2011, which is based on the poem I Rise by Wake Forest University Reynolds Professor, Dr. Maya Angelou. 

LYRIC’s mission is to build community and inspire positive social change through education enhancement, career trainings, health promotion, and leadership development with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQQ) youth, their families, and allies of all races, classes, genders, and abilities. For more information and to make a donation, go to www.lyric.org