LBT Women Organization, Aqua Foundation, Presents Ally Awards
By now, you’ve probably heard President Obama’s inaugural speech - the references to Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall, each representing the history of political movements for women, African Americans and LGBT individuals in the United States.
We were asked to think of these movements as our journey. So whether or not we are women, African Americans and/or LGBT-if we really want equality, we need to think of ourselves as allies within all of these movements.
The Aqua Foundation for Women honors its own allies during the second annual Aqua Ally Awards on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Bacardi Building in Coral Gables.
In a statement from the Aqua Foundation, the reason for the awards is "to honor allies of the LGBT community because without them our victories would be slower to come and our ultimate equality would be harder to achieve. With them our burden is lightened..."
Furthermore, as Executive Director of the Aqua Foundation Robin Schwartz shared with SFGN: "When leaders such as President Obama and the NAACP publicly support gay marriage, it leads the way for others to follow."
She also added that the Aqua Foundation "felt it was important to show our gratitude to those who support our community. This is our way of saying ’thanks.’ "
Among the honorees at the Aqua Ally Awards is the aforementioned NAACP, television journalist Cristina Saralegui, and South Florida philanthropists Charles Million and Tim Nardi.
Accepting on behalf of the NAACP will be Adora Obi Nweze, President of the Florida State Conference of the NAACP. This past June, Nweze spoke at the 2012 annual Pride Seder at Temple Israel of Greater Miami about why the NAACP supports the LGBT community: "If there is discrimination in this country anywhere, it is wrong. Any time we see people who are being discriminated against, we must speak up and speak out."
Cristina Saralegui is known as the "Latin Oprah." The Aqua Foundation statement discusses Saralegui’s work as an LGBT ally: "She has used her fame and her television show to help start a conversation about HIV/AIDs in the Hispanic community. Her foundation, Arriba la Vida/Up with Life Foundation, does vital work, educating about AIDs and supporting research."
Local couple Charles Million and Tim Nardi will also be honored at the Aqua Ally Awards. "Tim and Charlie make it possible for community organizations like the Task Force and Aqua to hold fundraisers which provide needed funding for programming," said Schwartz. According to the Aqua Foundation statement about the Aqua Ally Awards, one of a million and Nardi’s many contributions was when they found "the venue for Aqua Affair and donat[ed] the appetizers for the event."
For allies who would like to follow the example of these honorees, Schwartz discussed opportunities: "We welcome our allies to join our grants or scholarship committees, volunteer at our events and support our work by donating."
Attending the Aqua Ally Awards is also a way for LGBT allies to start supporting the Aqua Foundation for Women.
If you go to the Aqua Ally Awards 2013