In the current issue of Vanity Fair, Lia Mandaglio Parifax ’08 and husband, Hudson Taylor, are lauded for their work with Athlete Ally, the nonprofit organization they founded in 2011. The group works to end homophobia and transphobia in sports by encouraging professional and collegiate athletes to support LGBT rights.
The article is penned by Barney Frank, former U.S. representative from Massachusetts, who writes, “They have pursued their effort with dignity, creating an organization of dedicated advocates and enlisting more than 100 renowned athletes (including Andy Roddick, Greg Louganis, Martina Navratilova, D’Qwell Jackson, Yogi Berra, Megan Rapinoe, and Kenneth Faried).” He nominated them for the publication’s Hall of Fame feature.
Athlete Ally has previously been featured in The New York Times, MSNBC, and other national media. Last year, the Mazzoni Center, Philadelphia’s leading HIV/AIDS health provider, honored Parifax for her work. Frederick Raffetto ’87, a partner at the New Jersey legal firm Ansell Grimm & Aaron, serves on the board of directors.
Parifax, a psychology and English graduate with the highest cumulative grade-point average in her class, is an attorney and COO at Coda Leadership, New York City. She earned her J.D. from George Washington University Law School. Taylor, who is executive director of Athlete Ally and coaches wresting at Columbia, was a three-time All-American wrestler at the University of Maryland.
Parifax credits Carolynn Van Dyke, March Professor of English, for sparking her interest in social justice. She gave Parifax the opportunity to dine with Gloria Steinem when the feminist pioneer spoke on campus for the celebration of the Marquis de Lafayette’s 250th birthday. Van Dyke also advised her thesis, “Women’s Reproductive Rights Rhetoric,” which was published in Cambridge University’s International Journal of Law in Context.