Lavender Community Pride Award for LGBTQ Individual: Jan Malcolm – Serving All People
Commissioner Jan Malcolm. Photo courtesy of the State of Minnesota
Minnesota Department of Health Jan Malcolm expresses surprise, gratitude for earning a Lavender Community Award.
Jan Malcolm was appointed commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health in January 2018, and she has been working to improve the health of Minnesotans ever since. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Malcolm represents more than just a public figure to the community; she represents hope, change, and a better tomorrow.
“It’s a real honor, and a surprise! It feels like it integrates several important chapters of my life, personally and professionally,” Malcolm says of earning a Lavender Community Award.
For Malcolm, being a public figure holds extra responsibility as someone who is representing not just Minnesotans, but the LGBTQ+ community.
“We know that LBTQ+ people experience health disparities due to a number of factors. At the Minnesota Department of Health our mission is to ‘Protect, Maintain, and Improve the Health of ALL Minnesotans.’ Our vision is for Minneosta to be a state of health equity, in which all people have the best chance to live healthy lives, and all communities are thriving, free of systemic barriers. This most certainly includes THIS community,” Malcolm says.
She also emphasizes the importance of appointing more LGBTQ+ folx to public positions.
“For public policy to serve all people, it’s important that all communities be at the table. We make our commitments to equity and justice real by who does the work, and who sets the agenda, which is the job of leaders,” she says.
Not only does Malcolm mean a lot to the LGBTQ+ community, but the community also means a lot to her. For Malcolm, the LGBTQ+ community means “strength, pride, and belonging.”
“I am so grateful to the community for the courage, leadership, and tireless advocacy that has created so much positive change over the span of my career and lifetime,” Malcolm says.