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The LOFT Community Activist Award

what is happiness essayThe LOFT is honored to be presenting its Community Activist Award to former LOFT board member and transgender rights activist Joann Prinzivalli.

Joann is the founder and state director of the New York Transgender Rights Organization (NYTRO), an unincorporated association consisting of member chapters around the state of New York. NYTRO chapters are dedicated to grass roots transgender activism in their local communities and centered on local and state-level advocacy for the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) and other trans-inclusive legislation.

In 2009, Joann commenced a lawsuit to compel the New York City Board of Health to revise its birth certificate amendment rules for transgender people born in New York City, currently pending in Supreme Court, New York County.  After successfully defending against the City’s motion to dismiss, the lawsuit is currently being handled by Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF).

Working on behalf of the wider LGBT community, Joann has worked on the Westchester County Executive’s LGBT Advisory Board since its inception in 2002. Since 2007, Joann has also added a transgender presence to the board of the Paul Rapoport Foundation, which provides support for programs and organizations working in the area of social services, health care, legal rights and issues, and community empowerment for the diverse LGBT community in the New York metropolitan area, and she serves as the foundation’s Secretary. She was once a member of the board of The LOFT, where she served as Trustee and chair of the policy committee.

Joann has also devoted herself to a broader involvement in the local community as a board member and former chair of the board of the New York Civil Liberties Union Lower Hudson Valley regional chapter. She has also been involved with Stonewall Democrats of Westchester, and has been elected as a Democratic Party district leader to better serve local residents in White Plains.

Professionally, Joann Prinzivalli is the Chief Counsel for Insignia National Title Agency, a title insurance agency located in Manhattan.  She previously served as Vice President and Chief Underwriting Counsel for Stewart Title Insurance Company and has over 30 years of experience with title insurance underwriters and agents. She has also been of counsel to the real estate department at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, and at one time was General Counsel of Westchester Federal Savings Bank.

She received her B.A. from Notre Dame College of Staten Island and her J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 1978, where she was editor of The Forum.

Joann lives in White Plains, New York, with her spouse Trudy Katz and their adorable but feisty cat, Princess Natasha Marie the Destroyer, Mistress of All She Surveys.