This year’s honorees bring an enhanced authenticity to this inspirational event, which honors men and women who exemplify leadership, courage and ongoing commitment in their communities.
Fort Lauderdale, FL (PRWEB) April 28, 2017
Diversity Honors announces five more impressive honorees and two entertainers for the recently added Stoli after party. The gala, presented by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, will take place at Hard Rock Live on Saturday, May 6, 2017, at 7 p.m. and the event will benefit Harvey Milk Foundation and The Pride Center at Equality Park. The globally renowned celebration serves as a kick-off to Harvey Milk Day events around the world and spotlights those who are transforming lives by living authentically and advancing inclusiveness.
The Harvey Milk Foundation’s Lilla Watson Global Leadership Award will be presented to Ireland Senator Dr. David Norris and the Harvey Milk Foundation’s Milan Rozsa Award will recognize youth Isaiah Henderson.
Ireland Senator Dr. David Norris, the father of the Irish LGBT rights movement, is the first openly LGBT elected official in the upper chamber of any national parliament in the world. He was first elected to Seanad Eireann in 1987 and is known as the longest serving member. Senator Norris took on a nation, not only de-criminalizing LGBT people but advancing and then winning marriage equality at the polls. Ireland remains the only nation to achieve Marriage Equality by popular vote.
"Despite great advances in the western world in many countries such as Russia, Chechnya, Uganda and the Arab Muslim States LGBT people are not even at the back of the bus, but under it. The significance of events like Diversity Honors is not only to highlight our achievements but to mark out those places where even the simplest human rights advances have yet to be made. I have travelled a remarkable journey from being a criminal, through no act of my own, to being able to create equal legal and loving marriage here in Ireland,” said Senator Dr. David Norris. “The Harvey Milk Foundation’s valiant work, not only in America but across the world, gives strength and truth to the assertion that we made in the early days that LGBT rights are indeed human rights."
Henderson will be recognized with the Harvey Milk Foundation’s Milan Rozsa Award. He was one of the youngest survivors of the Pulse attack last June, shielded by his mother Brenda McCool, who tragically passed away from gunshot wounds while heroically protecting her son. As a survivor, he has used his voice to advocate for peace and unity. Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, the first openly LGBT elected official in Central Florida, and Stuart Milk, co-founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation and global human rights advocate, will present the award to Isaiah. Sheehan gave voice to the soul of Orlando's LGBT community appearing on national and international TV in the wake of the Pulse nightclub attack.
Other prominent honorees will be Congresswoman Ileanna Ros-Lehtinen, Board President and Interim Executive Director of Miami Theater Center Giselle Kovac and Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Treasurer Dan Hall. This year’s impressive roster of honorees also includes legendary entertainer Tiffany Arieagus; community leader Ilene Berliner; transgender advocate Jessica Norton; CEO of Stoli Group USA Patrick Piana and CEO of Compass in West Palm Beach Tony Plakas. The awards presentation will be hosted by WSVN news anchor Craig Stevens.
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was the first Hispanic woman to be elected and to serve in Congress where she has been a strong and passionate support of LGBT Rights. She was a founding member of the Congressional LGBT caucus and the only Republican member to serve for most of the caucus' tenure and she has been extremely active and public in her support of her transgender son, Rodrigo.
As board president and interim executive director of Miami Theater Center, Kovac continues the theater’s legacy of commitment to the LGBT community by dedicating space for LGBT artists and impacting the community through arts programming and youth outreach. Hall, an attorney who manages a financial counseling company, has been Palm Beach County’s leading fundraiser for LGBT and HIV/AIDS nonprofit organizations for more than three decades.
This collaborative effort between The Harvey Milk Foundation and The Pride Center at Equality Park, along with generous support from Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, has put South Florida on the international stage of LGBTQ rights and activism in honor of Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States who was assassinated shortly after winning a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the election of Harvey Milk to public office.
“This year’s honorees bring an enhanced authenticity to this inspirational event, which honors men and women who exemplify leadership, courage and ongoing commitment in their communities,” said Susan Renneisen, VP Community Affairs & Special Events at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. "Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is proud to present this event to showcase those who advance unity and inclusiveness that transcends to all of us.”
The gala will culminate with a Stoli After-Party, also to be held at Hard Rock Live, with entertainment from illusionist TP Lords and recording artist Kym Sims. TP Lords is known as an all-star entertainer and master with makeup and creativity who can be seen all over south Florida, Orlando and Tampa. Sims, an American singer, grew to fame when her dance anthem “Too Blind to See It” spent 12 weeks on the UK Singles Chart in the early 1990s. Both TP Lords and Kym Sims will impress attendees, who will also enjoy an open bar and electrifying surprises in an exhilarating club-vibe with dancing till dawn.
Sponsors of Diversity Honors 2017 include Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, DMK – Danne Montague-King, Stoli Vodka, Levi’s®, GPR | Goodman Public Relations, Joseph Liberty and Dennis Hottenstein, Mark Griffis, Hotspots Magazine, South Florida Gay News, WSVN, Macy’s, RBC Wealth Management, Craig Zinn Automotive, Mark’s List, iHeart Media, Ludwig Framemakers, Fast Printz, Lightship Media, Gold Coast Magazine and The Miami Foundation.
Tickets are $200 per person for the black-tie optional event. A special photo opportunity with Well-Strung is available for an additional $75. To reserve tickets or for more information, please visit http://www.DiversityHonors.com.