Metro Weekly

Eric Holder to speak at Lawyers for SMYAL event

Inaugural event will bring together members of legal profession to support SMYAL's mission

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at Capital Pride's 2015 Heroes Gala.

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at Capital Pride’s 2015 Heroes Gala.

Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL), the local organization for LGBT youth in the D.C. Metro area, will play host to former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at an event called Lawyers for SMYAL on Wednesday, May 11.

The inaugural event will serve as a fundraiser for SMYAL’s programming for LGBT youth, and will also serve as a forum in which to engage members of the legal community on LGBT-related issues.

“With a wave of anti-LGBT legislation sweeping the country, including bills to police transgender students in school bathrooms, LGBTQ youth need our support now more than ever,” Sultan Shakir, the executive director of SMYAL, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have former Attorney General Holder, one of our community’s most loyal allies, join us at our inaugural Lawyers for SMYAL event.”

“As a member of the legal community, I am excited to bring together dear friends and colleagues in support of SMYAL, an organization near and dear to my heart,” said Edward Palmieri, a SMYAL board member and Facebook Associate General Counsel for Privacy and Regulatory Affairs. “I am proud to support SMYAL and excited to share with fellow members of my profession the important work that SMYAL does every day empowering LGBTQ youth throughout this region: reducing bullying in schools, providing safe spaces for LGBTQ youth to be their authentic selves, and building the next generation of youth leaders.”

Lawyers for SMYAL will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Covington & Burling at One City Center, 850 10th St. NW. For more information, visit or

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at

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