The BRAVO team and everyone at Equitas Health are deeply saddened to learn of Gloria McCauley’s recent passing. We send our support and thoughts during this emotional and difficult time to her partner, Chris Cozad; their daughters, Lea, Caelen, and Sasha; granddaughter, K’Lil; and all of the LGBTQ+ youth that Chris and Gloria “fostered” over the years. From its grass roots beginnings in 1996 to the work we do today, BRAVO would not exist without Gloria.
While working as the anti-violence coordinator at Stonewall Columbus, Gloria saw that LGBTQ+ people experiencing violence in Columbus and across Ohio needed more support. Gloria founded BRAVO with $500 from the Lesbian Business Association, a $2,000 grant from the United Way, and a vision of an LGBTQ+ community free from violence. BRAVO blazed the trail for LGBTQ+ anti- violence advocacy in Ohio with support groups, direct crisis intervention, legal advocacy, and self-defense classes.
Gloria also helped to spearhead and give LGBTQ+ sensitivity training for law enforcement in Ohio. She and Chris would go on to spread BRAVO’s mission nationwide by speaking at conferences and working with other communities, law enforcement agencies, and anti-violence organizations. Gloria and Chris worked with the U.S. Department of Justice and served on the board of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs for many years. As nationally recognized experts on LGBTQ+ anti-violence advocacy, they built partnerships with community leaders and government officials that made BRAVO a trusted and invaluable resource for LGBTQ+ Ohioans experiencing and surviving violence.
BRAVO was one of the first organizations to get funding from the Victims Assistance Act (SVAA) and the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). Sponsored by the Ohio Attorney General’s office, this funding made BRAVO’s direct services to LGBTQ+ people affected by violence possible. Thanks to the groundwork laid by Gloria and Chris, the Attorney General’s office continues to support BRAVO’s work.
Gloria’s vision of a future free from violence lies ahead of us. The BRAVO team and all of our supporters know that we will not see this future without continuing to uplift and honor the legacy of Gloria McCauley: advocate, community leader, and fierce defender of survivors. Her drive, commitment, and compassion serve as inspiration for the work we still have to do.
May passion and dedication burn brightly in everyone who speaks her name.