Executive DirectorCompany: The Bayard Rustin Fund
Role: Session Presenter
Walter Naegle was Bayard Rustin’s life partner from 1977 to 1987, the last decade of Rustin’s life. In November 2013, he accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom that Barack Obama bestowed posthumously on Bayard Rustin at a White House ceremony; that same year, Walter was featured in the “OUT100,” OUT magazine’s annual list of the most influential members of the LGBTQ community.
He serves as executive director of The Bayard Rustin Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustaining Rustin’s vision of a more peaceful and equitable world. An accomplished photographer, he accompanied Rustin on a number of international missions, investigating the conditions of refugees and prospects for democracy in countries experiencing social change including El Salvador, Grenada, Haiti, and South Africa. He has presented at numerous conferences and symposia, including Creating Change and Lavender Law, and is a former volunteer with the GI Rights Hotline and the Prisoner Visitation and Support Program.
With Jacqueline Houtman and Michael Long, Walter is the co-author of “Troublemaker for Justice: The Story of Bayard Rustin, the Man Behind the March on Washington.” This acclaimed biography for young people was named a “Best Book of the Year” by School Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews.