Equality Michigan Receives $3 Million in Bequests

Equality Michigan, an anti-violence and political advocacy group serving the state's LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities, has announced gifts totaling $3 million from the estate of Henry Messer.

A pioneer in neurosurgery and a lifelong LGBTQ activist, Messer was a co-founder of the Triangle Foundation, which in 2010 merged with Michigan Equality to create Equality Michigan. Messer's bequest includes a gift of $1 million, to be disbursed over four years, in support of the organization's LGBTQ policy and victim services work, and an endowment gift of $2 million, to be administered by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, to sustain those efforts.

"[Messer] dedicated his life to helping those most in need and did not just dream of a future where all LGBT people could live safely and openly, but committed his time, talent, and resources to making that dream a reality," said Joy Geng, vice chair of the Equality Michigan board of trustees. "Out of the tragedy that he did not live to see his dream fulfilled comes an historic opportunity for Equality Michigan to finish the work he started and make that dream come true for future generations. I am confident that our team will not let him down and that his legacy will live on through the organization he loved so much for decades to come."

"Equality Michigan Recipient of Substantial Gifts From Co-Founder." Equality Michigan Press Release 10/21/2014.