|Here are a few things we bet ya didn't know about Lea!
Lea was given the presitigious 2010 "Ally of the Year" award from Equality Maryland recognizing her work and
commitment to LGBT justice.
Lea will be one of the recipients of the first James Baldwin Civil Rights Award to be presented January 2011 in
Lea seriously loves technology and is the very definition of a "gadget person." She is going to build her own
computer (yep, for real!),
and calls herself a Gospel geek. :)
Lea has performed, lead workshops, lectured in France, The UK, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg,
Belgium, and beyond to churches in small villages and to sell out audience, and even in stadiums leading a 2000
Lea has a wicked sense of humor.
At the age of 11, teaching herself to play piano “by ear,” her talent was recognized by the Peabody Conservatory of
Music's Preparatory program who chose her to receive a full scholarship to study classical piano. Lea also learned
to play the clarinet, melody bells, flute, but continues to get stumped by the guitar – go figure.
Lea speaks conversational Dutch and French, but is frustrated by not mastering either.
Lea is a serious trivia buff and loves Trivial Pursuit. She is a devoted reader of “Mental Floss” magazine and reads
the encyclopedia for fun – for real! She also has a thing for history, vampires, books (lots of books!), conspiracy
theories, cathedrals, George Carlin, world religions, and chocolate.
Lea is a 2003 “Keeping the Blues Alive” W.C. Handy Award winner (the “Grammys” of the Blues)
Recognized for her outstanding academic achievement while attending Morgan State University (BA in Political
Science, minor in Economics), Lea was inducted into the Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society for the Social
Lea was voted “Most Outstanding Graduating Senior” by her classmates during her senior year at Mercy High
School Catholic school for girls in Baltimore. Yes, she wore bobby socks and saddle shoes daily for four years.
Married at 18 years old to David Gilmore, Lea is celebrating her 27th anniversary this year and is still claiming
sanity. She is also the proud mom of two sons, Jonathan (26) and Gabriel (20) Gilmore.
In a performance honoring Muhammad Ali, "The Champ" was so moved by Lea's singing of his song
"The Greatest Love of All" that he made an effort to walk across the stage, grab her saying "you are amazing...thank
you so much...never stop doing what you do" It was a magic moment.
Lea's secret ambition was to be a race car driver...and she meant it.
Recognized for her commitment to social justice and the reach of her music and activism, in 2005 Lea was chosen
by internationally acclaimed ESSENCE MAGAZINE as one of “25 Women Shaping the World” and was prominently
featured in their “Leadership” issue.
Lea has appeared in over 45 musical theater productions including: Dreamgirls, Purlie, Raisin, Little Shop of
Horrors, Ain't Misbehavin', and more.
Lea is a committed social activist and has dedicated her professional career to working for justice and equality for
all. She has been the Deputy Director for the ACLU of Maryland, has fought for reproductive justice for women of
color, with a focus on Native American women; and has given keynote speeches around the world on human, civil
and women's rights. Lea now serves on the Board of Directors of The ACLU of MD, The Public Justice Center and
The Creative Alliance of Maryland.
Although Lea is an only child, she has 43 first cousins, just on her mom's side.
Lea collects tea pots from all over the world.
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