Speaking Engagements

“Adrian’s opening was very powerful. I do not think any other speaker could have opened this retreat with quite the same feeling.”
- Student at Lehigh University

Adrian regularly presents keynote addresses, workshops or lectures to a variety of audiences. He has spoken at colleges, churches and synogogues, national conferences, public meetings, and rallies. He was one of six LGBT speakers at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington: The National Action to Realize the Dream and he taught a workshop on LGBT employment discrimination at the 2011 White House Community Partners Summit.

Examples of talks Adrian provides include:

  • Creating Safe & Bully Free Schools
  • Trends in the LGBT movement
  • Best Practices for Workplace Equality for Businesses who WANT to do the right thing!
  • Strategies for Success in Organizing for Local LGBT Equality
  • Making Campus Housing Better: Winning Gender Neutral Housing on Your Campus
  • The LGBT Political Landscape in Pennsylvania – And How You Can Help!
  • Within Reach: Why calls for ‘Equality Now’ aren’t that far of a stretch
  • Jewish Perspectives on Gender, Sexuality and Justice
  • Solidarity Forever: LGBT-Labor Solidarity and the Path to a More Equal Nation
  • Grassroots Organizing to Win (workshop only)
  • LGBT Equality in Inconvenient Geographies
  • LGBT Equality and the Democratic Party

To inquire about Adrian’s availability please contact him at aeshanker@gmail.com


October 29, 2014: A conversation about LGBT equality, local governments and the courts, Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, PA (Lecture)


October 9, 2014: First comes love, then comes marriage: A look at LGBT rights in a post-marriage Pennsylvania, Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, PA (Lecture)

October 2, 2014: Rutgers University-Newark, Newark, NJ (Guest lecturer in Steven Goldstein’s political communications class)

September 16, 2014: Grassroots organizing training for Lehigh Valley Coffee Party (Private event)

September 12, 2014: Muhlenberg Alumni Activism Panel, Muhlenberg College Center for Ethics, Allentown, PA (Panelist along with Kelly Howe and Alex Lotorto, moderated by Dr. Brian Mello)

September 7, 2014: ArtsQuest LGBT film series, Bethlehem, PA (moderator of talkback following screening of FRED, with Fred Karger)

August 9, 2014: Emcee, Pride Picnic at Knoebels Grove, Elysburg, PA (Featured speaker, along with Rep. Brian Sims and State House candidate Tony Crocamo)

June 8, 2014: InterAct Theatre Company’s production of Ritu Comes Home, Philadelphia, PA (Featured speaker during talkback) Purchase tickets here.

May 17, 2014: The Path to Marriage Equality in PA, New Hope Celebrates Pride Parade and Block Party, New Hope, PA (featured speaker, with Pennsylvania 8th District Congressional Candidates Kevin Strouse and Shaughnessy Naughton)

May 3, 2014: LGBT Canvass Kickoff Rally for State Rep. Erin Molchany, Pittsburgh, PA (Speaker, with Pittsburgh City Councilman Bruce Kraus, Alex Reber and Rep. Erin Molchany)

April 25, 2014: Carbon County Democratic Party Spring Fling, surrogate speaker for Allyson Schwartz for Governor, Jim Thorpe, PA (Remarks)

April 22, 2014: Democratic Association of Bethlehem Candidate’s Night, surrogate speaker for Allyson Schwartz for Governor (Remarks)

April 10, 2014: Why Marriage Matters in PA, panel discussion at Muhlenberg College. (Panelist with State Rep. Michael Schlossberg, ACLU Attorney Mary Catherine Roper, Melissa Morris and Liz Bradbury) Allentown, PA

April 2, 2014: LGBT Equality and the Democratic Party, First Wednesday Speakers Series, Monroe County Democratic Party, Stroudsburg, PA (Featured Speaker)

March 29, 2014: Advancing LGBT Equality in Pennsylvania, panel discussion at the Pennsylvania College Democrats Conference, Philadelphia, PA (Panelist, with State Rep. Stephen McCarter – prime sponsor of PA Marriage Equality Act and Dylan Steinberg, Esq., Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, Co-counsel for plaintiffs in Whitewood v. Wolf.)

February 8, 2014: Interfaith Freedom to Marry Worship Service, Metropolitan Community Church of the Lehigh Valley, Allentown (Remarks)

February 7, 2014: Freedom to Marry Rally, Northampton County Courthouse, Easton, PA (Remarks)

November 22, 2013: Supreme Change: The Legal Landscape After Windsor, Law Symposium hosted by the Connecticut Bar Association and the University of Connecticut School of Law (Speaker, with Anne Stanback) More info here. Hartford, CT

November 7, 2013: Bridge the Gap for Marriage Equality, Rally and March from Pennsylvania to New Jersey (organizer/speaker)

November 1, 2013: Social Action Shabbat, Congregation Or Ami (guest speaker) Lafayette Hill, PA

October 29, 2013: The Future of Marriage Equality, Lafayette College (panelist), Easton, PA

October 21, 2013: March for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Center for Popular Democracy (Speaker) Allentown, PA

October 6, 2013: Congregation Am Haskalah Speaker Series, Jewish Perspectives on Gender, Sexuality and Justice (Lecturer) Bethlehem, PA

September 30, 2013: Human Right’s Campaign’s ‘Philadelphia Tee Up for Marriage Equality‘ gala dinner (guest speaker) Bala Cynwyd, PA

August 27, 2013: Rally for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, hosted by Organizing for America (Speaker, alongside Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan and Easton Mayor Sal Panto)

August 24, 2013: 50th Annual March on Washington: The National Action to Realize the Dream, hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network and Martin Luther King, III. Washington, DC (Invited Speaker) More information here.

August 18, 2013: Pride in the Park, Allentown, PA (Marriage Equality in Pennsylvania)

August 13, 2013: PRIVATE EVENT: Scholarship Awards Dinner, Gay and Lesbian Organization in the Workplace at PPL Corporation, Allentown, PA (Remarks)

August 11, 2013: Pride Picnic at Knoebels Grove, Elysburg, PA (Marriage Equality in Pennsylvania)

August 7, 2013: Philadelphia Town Hall Gathering to mobilize for the National Action to Realize the Dream, , Community College of Philadelphia (Panelist with: Martin Luther King III, PA State Rep. Brendan Boyle, PA State Rep. Jordan Harris and others)

May 30, 2013: Peace, Justice and Equity in Education and Beyond, The Swain School, Allentown, PA (Panelist with: Dr. James Peterson, Carmen Ambar, Chris Kovats-Bernat, and Heather Johnson)

May 22, 2013: The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce presents: Equality in the Workplace Stratus-Sphere, Stratus Restaurant, Allentown, PA. (Keynote Speaker).

April 17, 2013: Beyond the Red Equal Signs: Marriage Equality, the Supreme Court, and What it All Means, Muhlenberg College, Seegers Union Room 113. 7:30pm (Guest Lecture)

April 11, 2013: Philadelphia City Council – Committee on Labor and Civil Service, Public Testimony on behalf of Councilman Jim Kenney’s LGBT Equality Bill

March 29, 2013: Guest on “Due Diligence” on Voice of Russia Radio. 5-6pm, listen online here.

March 27, 2013: The New “Real” America, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA (Panelist with Dr. James B. Peterson, Kathryn Boockvar, and Lorraine Pasquali)

March 23, 2013: Vigil for Marriage Equality, Federal Courthouse, Allentown, PA (Speaker)

March 3, 2013: Philadelphia Gay & Lesbian Wedding Expo (Keynote Speaker) Newtown, PA

February 16, 2013: Keynote Address: Within Reach: Why calls for ‘Equality Now’ aren’t that far of a stretch, Lehigh Valley LGBTQIA Intercollegiate Conference, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA

February 16, 2013: Guest Trainer on LGBT Equality: Lehigh County Democratic Committee Candidates Training, Allentown, PA

February 15, 2013: University of Pennsylvania’s production of 8: The Play (Moderator and Panelist of talkback with Bob Schoenberg) Philadelphia, PA

February 14, 2013: Featured Guest: From the Closet to the Altar: An American Epiphany, Lehigh Valley Discourse, WDIY 881. FM (with host, Alan Jennings, and guest Liz Bradbury)

November 28, 2012: LGBT Organizing To Win: On Campus and In Your Community (Lecture) Lehigh Carbon Community College, Schnecksville, PA.

November 3, 2012: LGBT for Obama Pub Crawl, (with State Rep-Elect Brian Sims, State House Candidate Chris Dietz, Harrisburg City Treasurer John Campbell) Harrisburg, PA

October 25, 2012: Best Practices for Gender Identity Non-Discrimination in the Workplace, Human Resources Committee Education Meeting at Lehigh Valley Health Network (Guest Speaker) PRIVATE EVENT

October 22, 2012: Phone Bank and Obama Debate Watch Party, Kevin Deely for PA State Representative (Guest Speaker with Josh McNeil, Executive Director of Conservation Voters of PA) Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA.

October 20, 2012: Philadelphia Family Pride’s Family Matters Conference (Workshop: Creating Safe & Bully Free Schools, with Louie Ortiz) Arcadia University, Glenside, PA. More Info and Register here

October 17, 2012: 10th Anniversary Reception, Gay and Lesbian Organization in the Workplace at PPL Corporation (Keynote Speaker) PRIVATE EVENT

October 11, 2012: Coming Out Day Celebration (Keynote Speaker) Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA.

October 3, 2012: LGBT Citizens and Allies for Will Sylianteng Fundraiser (Host and Speaker) Ambler, PA. More info here.

September 23, 2012: LGBT for Obama Rally and Phonebank (Surrogate Speaker) Bethlehem, PA

September 8, 2012: Civic Theatre of Allentown’s production of 8: The Play (Guest Actor and talk back with Liz Bradbury) Buy tickets here

September 2-7, 2012: Attendance at the Democratic National Convention as an Alternate Delegate for President Barack Obama for Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District.

August 27, 2012: Dessert Reception for Eugene DePasquale, Democratic Nominee for Pennsylvania Auditor General, Host and Remarks, PRIVATE EVENT

August 19, 2012: Pride in the Park, Allentown, PA (LGBT for Obama, with Jerame Davis and Bil Browning)

August 11, 2012: Pride Picnic at Knoebels Grove, Elysburg, PA (LGBT for Obama)

August 12, 2012: North East Pennsylvania PrideFest, Wilkes-Barre, PA (LGBT for Obama)

July 18, 2012: Voter ID Town Hall, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA (Moderating panel discussion about the negative effects of Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law. With Sara Mullen, ACLU-PA and Dan Bosket, Allentown NAACP)

July 15, 2012: Reading Pride Celebration, Reading, PA (LGBT for Obama; Introduced Manan Trivedi for Congress)

July 13, 2012: Shoestring Productions Presents “8″ The Play, Reading Area Community College, Reading, PA (Leading talk back following the show) Buy tickets here

June 18, 2012: Bethlehem Area School District, Bethlehem, PA (Public Testimony: On Administrative Change Granting Benefits to Legally Marries Same-Sex Partners)

June 12, 2012: Best Practices for Workplace Equality, Training for Members of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce

June 5, 2012: ArtsQuest LGBT Film Series, Bethlehem, PA (Moderator, Talk Back following screening of Gun Hill Road with Dr. Kim Gallon, Ashley Hope, and Peter Nagy)

May 22, 2012: LGBT for Obama, Lehigh Valley, PA Kickoff (Surrogate Speaker, with Dr. Elinor Warner) Sign up here!

May 19, 2012: Allentown Public Theatre (Grassroots Fundraising Training for the Board of Directors) Private Event

May 5, 2012: Equality Forum, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA (Moderator, Think Globally, Win Locally: A Panel of Activists Winning LGBT rights at the Local Level – with Mary Jane Karger and Ted Martin)

April 17, 2012: Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA (Keynote Speaker, Induction Ceremony for Pi Sigma Alpha, Political Science Honors Society) Private Event

March 4, 2012: Bucks County Gay & Lesbian Wedding Expo, Newtown, PA (Keynote Speaker with Doylestown Borough Councilmembers Det Ansinn and Marlene Pray: How You Can Help Us Win Marriage Equality in Pennsylvania)

March 2, 2012: The White House Community Partnership Summit, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (Presenter: Building Support for LGBT Workplace Non-Discrimination from the Local Community to the Federal Government)

February 15, 2012: Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners, Wyncote, PA (Public Testimony: Non Discrimination Ordinance)

January 13, 2012: LGBT Business Initiative Kickoff Breakfast, Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, Allentown, PA (Featured Speaker)

January 25-29, 2012: The National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, Baltimore, MD (Co-Presenter with Ted Martin, Strategies for Success in Organizing for Local LGBT Equality)

December 11, 2012: Holiday Party for Equality, Scranton, PA (Remarks at Fundraiser for Equality Pennsylvania)

December 7, 2011: Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners – Public Affairs Committee, Wyncote, PA (Public Testimony: Non Discrimination Ordinance)

November 28, 2011: Business Matters, WFMZ-TV (Panelist, Should School Districts be Required to Have Gay-Straight Alliances?)

November 17, 2011: Whitemarsh Township Board of Supervisors, Whitemarsh Township, PA (Public Testimony: Passage of Municipal Non Discrimination Ordinance)

November 16, 2011: Philadelphia City Council – Committee on Law and Government, Philadelphia, PA (Public Testimony: Equal Benefits Bill)

November 12, 2011: Lehigh Valley LGBTQIA Intercollegiate Retreat, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA (Keynote Speaker: The LGBT Political Landscape in Pennsylvania – And How You Can Help!)

November 5, 2011: Mid-Atlantic LGBTA Conference, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Bloomsburg, PA (Opening Remarks and Co-Presenter with Aaron Bova, Making Campus Housing Better: Winning Gender Neutral Housing on Your Campus)

October 24, 2011: Bangor Area School Board, Bangor, PA (Public Testimony, Opposing Mandatory Parental Notification for Gay Straight Alliance Attendees)

October 17, 2011: Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA (Panelist: Students for Queer Advocacy Career Panel)

October 15, 2011: Philadelphia Family Matters Conference, Widener University, Wayne, PA (Co-Presenter with Ted Martin, The State of Equality for LGBT Families in Pennsylvania)

June 21, 2011: Bethlehem City Council, Bethlehem, PA (Public Testimony: Passage of Municipal Non Discrimination Ordinance)

May 25, 2011: Easton City Council, Easton, PA (Public Testimony: Passage of Domestic Partner Benefits for Same-Sex Partners of City Employees)

May 13, 2011: Emmanuel United Church of Christ, Allentown, PA (Lecturer: The Rev. Dr. Willis Matthias Memorial Lecture)

April 30, 2011: Equality Forum, Philadelphia, PA (Moderator, Pennsylvania Strategy Summit – with Liz Bradbury, Ted Martin, and Brian K. Sims)

February 6, 2011: The National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, Minneapolis, MN (Panelist with Ted Martin and Brian K. Sims, Pennsylvania Caucus and Strategy Session)

January 19, 2011: Allentown City Council, Allentown, PA (Public Testimony: Passage of Domestic Partner Benefits for Same Sex Partners of City Employees)