Dan Furmansky is a social justice advocate that helps progressive non-profits move forward on issues through coalition and movement building; campaign management, communications and writing support; strategic planning and facilitation; organizational capacity building; and legislative advocacy.
For the past 20 years, he has focused on addressing global and domestic human rights issues, economic and environmental justice, animal welfare, fair courts, and food system reforms.
From 2010-12, Dan was director of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s interfaith public advocacy campaign, Standing on the Side of Love, helping individuals translate their faith into action on behalf of marginalized communities across the country. He worked for 5 years as executive director of Equality Maryland, where he launched a marriage equality campaign in the courts, the court of public opinion, and the legislature. During this time, he grew the organization's budget ten-fold and successfully led efforts to pass an LGBT-inclusive hate crimes law, a local transgender anti-discrimination law, and multiple bills to provide rights for domestic partners.
As a consultant, he has convened and managed several coalitions, including the Cannabis Policy Coalition of Maryland and Marylanders for Open Government; launched pilot projects for groups like Justice at Stake; spearheaded public education and engagement campaigns like FairFarms.org for Waterkeepers Chesapeake; led strategic planning processes for organizations including Environmental Integrity Project, Partners for Livable Communities and the Maryland Climate Coalition; and supported successful policy efforts like enacting public financing of Montgomery County, Md. elections (with Common Cause), baning cosmetic lawn pesticides (with Sierra Club Maryland), and decriminalizing cannabis possession (with the ACLU of Maryland). Other clients have included the Marijuana Policy Project, Farm Forward, Leading Edge, Progressive Maryland, the Hatcher Group, and Maryland State Sen. Rich Madaleno, as well as both Equality Maryland and the Unitarian Universalist Association, post-employment.
Dan has served on the boards of Progressive Maryland, Free State Legal Clinic, Public Justice Center, and Equality Federation of Statewide LGBT groups, as well as the co-chair of the Maryland Clean Agriculture Coalition. He has been honored to receive the EPA EnergyStar Congregation Award for national outreach during a cross-country environmental charity bike ride; the DC Capital Pride Hero award; the Mark F. Scurti Award from OUT Law at the University of Baltimore; the Gerald B. Roemer Community Service Award from U.S. Department of Justice Pride; a Washington Peace Center award; and the Cornerstone Award from Jewish Funds for Justice.
Dan has spoken to hundreds of colleges, high schools, human relations commissions, churches and synagogues, conferences, and community organizations and associations on issues related to LGBT equality and bullying, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, the fundamental of grassroots organizing, and professional careers in social justice. He has served as a spokesperson in outlets such as CNN, “The O'Reilly Factor,” NPR, Washington Post, and the New York Times.
In addition to his political advocacy, he serves as a wedding officiant and has guided nearly 100 couples through personalized, meaningful ceremonies. He is also a certified instructor in mindfulness meditation from a Jewish perspective by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality.