COLUMBIA, S.C. — Several community leaders from the Palmetto State have received and accepted invitations to an LGBT Pride Month reception at the White House hosted by the president and first lady.

The reception to be held June 29 in Washington, D.C., South Carolina’s diverse delegation of advocates represents a unified effort in the state to promote equality and tolerance.

Those invited includes Harriet Hancock, an attorney who is the founder and oresident of the Harriet Hancock Center Foundation for the LGBT Community of South Carolina and the chair of the Columbia chapter of Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), which she founded over 30 years ago. Hancock works closely with Ryan Wilson, a past president of the South Carolina Pride Movement and project director for Youth Empowered Against HIV! (YEAH!).

The 15 year-old Harriet Hancock Center is the only LGBT community center in the state of South Carolina. SC Pride is currently planning its 22nd year of events to be held on Sept. 3rd, 2011 in Finlay Park.

Other invited guests include those representing South Carolina’s LGBT communities of color. Dr. Todd Shaw is chair of South Carolina Black Pride and Katasha Davis is the group’s secretary. South Carolina Black Pride will host its sixth annual community expo on Saturday, June 25 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

Attorney Nekki Shutt, who is a member of the SC Equality Board of Directors, will also attend the event with attorney and SC Equality Chair Dean Pierce.

— compiled from release