Pivotal Civil Rights Litigator Roberta Kaplan and Visionary Brooks Brothers CEO Ken Ohashi to Be Honored at Family Equality’s Night at the Pier this May

The trailblazers in freedom and fashion will be recognized for their extraordinary contributions to the movement for LGBTQ+ family equality on May 13 in New York City

New York, NY — Family Equality, the nation’s leading organization for current and future LGBTQ+ families, is thrilled to announce their 2024 Night at the Pier Hostetter-Habib Family Award honoree Roberta Kaplan (civil rights litigator) and Visibility Award honoree Ken Ohashi (CEO, Brooks Brothers). They will be recognized as part of a program featuring Broadway performances produced by Oscar Award winner, Bruce Cohen and supported by Honorary Chairs Neil Patrick Harris, David Burtka, and Sarah Paulson

“There are few champions for equality as steadfast and successful as this year’s Hostetter-Habib Family Award honoree, Roberta Kaplan,” said Jaymes Black, CEO & President of Family Equality. “At the forefront of some of the most important legal developments of recent years — including United States v. Windsor and, most recently, our historic case against the state of Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay and Trans’ law — Roberta’s fearless pursuit of justice and equal rights has definitively created brighter futures for our families, embodying the spirit of the Hostetter-Habib Family Award, which is given each year to recognize changemakers like her working on the front lines for our families. We look forward to celebrating her remarkable achievements in May.”  

“Ken Ohashi is a passionate leader, loving parent, game-changing corporate pioneer, and openly gay CEO whose influence and pride make an impact on our families every day,” Jaymes continued. “Ken’s visionary leadership and partnerships with Braven, Gold House, GLSEN, and Family Equality sets an example to the world that diversity, equity, and inclusion in business isn’t only a necessity — it’s a pillar that can strengthen businesses and the societies they operate within. Through his momentum at Brooks Brothers and his personal advocacy work, Ken is a true outspoken changemaker putting a spotlight on LGBTQ+ families — the perfect recipient of this year’s Visibility Award.” 

About our honorees

Roberta (“Robbie”) Kaplan is a renowned litigator with decades of experience in commercial, higher education, and civil rights litigation. Described by Chambers as a “modern-day legal giant,” Kaplan is a founder and partner of Kaplan Hecker & Fink, a “new-fashioned, old fashioned” law firm that combines a cutting-edge civil and criminal litigation practice with a groundbreaking commitment to using the courts to serve the public interest. Most recently, Kaplan worked alongside Family Equality, Equality Florida, and LGBTQ+ students and families in Florida, in pushing back against the state’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay and Trans” law, leading to a historic settlement that rolled back key discriminatory provisions and allows LGBTQ+ students, teachers, and families to bring their whole selves into the classroom once more. Kaplan also led the legal team representing E. Jean Carroll in her sexual battery and defamation suits against Donald Trump and successfully argued before the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of LGBTQ+ activist Edith Windsor in United States v. Windsor. In 2018, she co-founded the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund. Among the numerous honors and recognitions Roberta has received, she was recognized as the 2020 “Attorney of the Year” by the New York Law Journal, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Law Journal, and has been honored as “Litigator of the Year” by The American Lawyer, “Lawyer of the Year” by Above the Law, and “Most Innovative Lawyer of the Year” by The Financial Times. 

Ken Ohashi is a highly-regarded industry executive with over two decades of experience in fashion, consumer products, retail, and online platforms now serving as Chief Executive Officer of Brooks Brothers, the oldest fashion retailer in the United States. In a matter of less than two years, Ohashi oversaw the company’s highly publicized acquisition and transformed the company to profitability. Under his leadership, the company has developed partnerships with BRAVEN, Gold House, GLSEN, the Trevor Project, and Family Equality. Prior to working with Brooks Brothers, Ohashi served as President of International and Global Retail for Authentic Brands Group (ABG), oversaw the formation of SPARC Group, and worked as Senior Vice President of International and Global Licensing for Aéropostale. His work has been recognized by some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions, including Institutional Investor Magazine, Bloomberg, Investor Relations Magazine, the Asian American Business Development Center, and Outstanding, an initiative of Yahoo Finance U.K. Ohashi is a member of YPO, a worldwide organization for CEOs under 45, and an active member of the group’s LGBTQ+ CEO network. He lives in Brooklyn with his husband, Adam Freed, and their two children.

About Night at the Pier

Night at the Pier will take place at Pier Sixty in Chelsea Piers on Monday, May 13. With last year’s event welcoming 700+ families, changemakers, advocates, celebrities, and more, Night at the Pier offers New York City a chance to enjoy show-stopping Broadway performances, celebrate inspiring stories, and shape new tomorrows for LGBTQ+ families across the country. 

Family Equality gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Night at the Pier sponsors: Nederlander (Platinum); Kenvue’s Care with Pride, Nick Scandalios, the Ohashi Freed Family, and the Schubert Organization (Gold); The Hostetter-Habib Family, Jujamcyn Theaters and Ambassador Theatre Group, Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP, Koolaburra by UGG, Organon, Playbill, Roberta Kaplan, the Van Degna Family (Silver); Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Daryl and Steve Roth, Genesis Fertility, Grindr, Kramer Levin, Macquire, No Guarantees Theatrical Productions, Rodgin, Barbara, and Jonathan Cohen, Sam Green and Chris Lacovara, Sam Rosenblatt and Mario D’Andrea/Olmstead Properties, Inc., TodayTix, Water for Elephants, and Weeks Lerman (Bronze); CCRM Fertility, Growing Generations, Nicholson Events, Nuage, and Related (Advocate); Bindle Box Films, Gay Water, Insperity, Park Slope Copy Center, and Tradewind (Friend); Teddy Bear Party (Cocktail); RMA of New York (Photobooth); CCS Fundraising (Signature Drink); Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Clockwork, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Fidelity, Gerber, Kenvue’s Care with Pride, Nederlander, Playbill, Target, Warner Brothers Discovery, and Equality Vines (National Corporate Sponsors). 

Learn more and purchase tickets at familyequality.org/natp

About Family Equality

Family Equality is creating a world where everyone can experience the love, safety, and belonging of family. As the leading national organization for current and future LGBTQ+ families, we work to ensure that everyone has the freedom to find, form, and sustain their families by advancing LGBTQ+ equality through advocacy, support, storytelling, and education.

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Press Contact

Tonya Agnew,
Vice President,
Communications & Marketing
(765) 490-4709 / tagnew@familyequality.org