Jane Marquardt’s Legacy and Story
Jane and Tami’s philanthropic activities are rooted in values of peace, love and creating opportunities for individuals to reach their full potential. They primarily focus their philanthropy in three areas: advocating for social justice and equality, creating opportunities for women and children, and ensuring access to legal assistance and protections for those less fortunate. Jane is an experienced attorney and business woman, and her spouse, Tami, is a counselor and former high school English teacher.
Jane and Tami have combined their skill sets to help ensure that all people are immersed in welcoming environments where they can explore their identity and find their authentic selves. Together, their primary goal is to create a community that celebrates diversity and values people regardless of their gender, orientation, or circumstance. You can learn more about Jane and her road to a happy marriage on the Huffington Post.
Social Justice & Equality
With deep roots in Utah, Jane and Tami have directed most of their philanthropic giving to people and causes in northern Utah. As a founding contributor to Weber State’s LGBT Resource Center, Jane was invited to speak at the Resource Center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony and in her remarks, she noted that both she and her wife Tami have firsthand experience with intolerance.
“[Tami and I] know what it feels like to be the victims of discrimination. In the 1980s and 1990s we and our friends lived with the fear of losing our children, of losing our jobs, if it became known that we were gay. […]. We also know what it’s like to have friends who died too early because they couldn’t live with the pain of being rejected by their families. [Weber State’s LGBT Resource Center] will be a place where conversations happen, understanding grows, and in knowing safety, individuals can learn the power that flows from being their authentic selves.” – Jane Marquardt
Under the purview of Weber State’s LGBT Resource center, Jane and Tami founded the “Peace & Possibility” speaker series, which invites advocates to speak about issues that affect the LGBT community and cultivate a culture of inclusiveness on the Weber State campus and beyond.
Jane and Tami have also been committed supporters of Equality Utah since its inception as Unity Utah in 2001. Since then, Jane has served on both the board and the advisory council in critical leadership roles. Tami’s service includes sitting on the Board of Governors for the Human Rights Campaign, the board of the Utah Pride Center, and acting as the Interim Executive Director for the Utah Pride Center.
Opportunities for Women Leadership
Throughout her younger years and professional career, Jane has continued to play an active role in creating opportunities for women. She’s served on a statewide task force on domestic violence, co-authored Utah’s first spouse abuse protective order legislation, and actively participated in programs that encourage women to pursue their professional goals.
Jane also started the Weber State’s Phoenix Achievement Scholarship for Women in 1993, a scholarship awarded to students involved in the Gender & Women’s Studies program who actively enhance the education of women and gender issues across campus. Thanks to Jane and Tami’s unwavering monetary and personal support, this fund has been responsible for awarding over 30 scholarships since its inception.
Tami has also been a strong proponent of creating career opportunities for women, especially through her career as a long-time mentor and counselor. As a teacher, Tami organized conferences to encourage girls to graduate and pursue careers, and she has led powerful demonstrations to show female students how they can take control of their futures.
Legal Access and Protections
Jane Marquardt has been a long-time advocate for the underserved who do not have adequate access to the legal system. She began her legal career at Utah Legal Services by working to provide disadvantaged people with high-quality legal services. Throughout her legal career, Jane has been active in programs that seek to broaden an individual’s access to justice. She also started a successful program to represent abused children in juvenile court.
Through her position at Management & Training Corporation (MTC), Jane has also played a critical role in helping the underserved gain access to academic and training credentials necessary to help them reach their professional goals. MTC focuses on supporting, training, and preparing individuals to re-engage with society and lead independent and self-fulfilling lives.
Tami is a long time member of the board of Utah’s Plan B Theatre, a local theater company that presents plays that are often original plays of Utah playwrights. With the goal of staging theater that entertains, educates and creates conversation, many of the plays have highlighted issues faced by LGBT individuals. Jane and Tami have been supporters of Plan B for many years.
Jane and Tami also helped create the Human Rights Gallery at Salt Lake City’s Leonardo Museum. This gallery frequently showcases exhibits that illustrate the history of the civil rights movement.
They have helped fund two documentaries created by filmmaker Daniel Karslake. For The Bible Tells Me So is a 2007 groundbreaking film that explores the intersection between religion and homosexuality. (This documentary crashed the Netflix server when Katy Perry tweeted how much she loved it.) Every Three Seconds is a 2014 film that tells the story of five regular individuals who made decisions to take action to help solve challenging social problems in their communities. By choosing action over apathy, the film highlights the impact they made on the challenging issues of hunger and extreme poverty.