Honoring Four “Luminaries of Equality”
Thursday, August 20
Bacardi Headquarters, Coral Gables
The Luminary Awards, presented by SAVE and The Young Guardians, have grown so much over the past couple of years. The first ceremony, held two years ago, marked the first time the best and brightest young LGBT and allied professionals in Miami-Dade County were honored with their own awards ceremony. Last year, SAVE and The Young Guardians dedicated an entire evening to honor these important young minds, and the event was a great success. This year, the Luminary Awards promise to be bigger and better than ever.
This year’s Luminary Awards will be held on Thursday, August 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Bacardi Headquarters, located at 2701 S. Le Jeune Road in Coral Gables. Dress in something chic and fun and enjoy an evening in the famed Bacardi Headquarters. The evening’s festivities will be held in an exclusive penthouse space overlooking Coral Gables’ beautiful downtown area. In addition to the awards ceremony, there will be hors d’oeuvres offered, live entertainment and dancing for everyone’s enjoyment, and open bar provided all night long by sponsor Bacardi and co-sponsor Grey Goose.
This year, four young LGBT or allied professionals will be honored with the “Luminary of Equality” award. These honorees will have the chance to mingle with hundreds of important names in South Florida’s LGBT community, and younger activists who aspire to be a future “luminary of equality” will have a chance to meet the awards winners and thank them for their tireless work, which has successfully promoted equality and tolerance in our community and beyond.
Florida has seen many LGBT rights victories in the past twelve months, such as a fully-inclusive human rights ordinance in Miami-Dade County and the legalization of same-sex marriage statewide this past January. The work that has been done in the past twelve months, and the work that continues to be done this year, could not be done without these four young people who have given their time and energy to promote equality everywhere they go.
The 2015 Luminaries of Equality honorees, who will be honored on August 20, are:
A.J. Blechner: He has worked for a long time to help further SAVE’s transgender prejudice reduction initiative. In this capacity, he has worked as a volunteer canvassing leader and through his work he has proven himself to be a true advocate for transgender justice not just in Miami-Dade County but statewide as well.
Father Grey Maggiano: He is the Associate Rector at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, located in downtown Miami. Since starting his work at the Cathedral in 2013, he has worked to ensure that the Episcopal Church in South Florida has expanded their equality initiatives to reach out to LGBT parishioners and other congregants who value equality as a major moral value. His past missionary work has taken him to Rwanda, Honduras and Colombia. Before moving to Miami, he and his wife lived in Washington, D.C.
Jessica Fernandez: She is the co-owner of the Miami public affairs consulting firm AI Advisory and is also the president of the Miami-Dade Young Republicans. She is being recognized by SAVE and The Young Guardians for her role in promoting and furthering the cause of equality in demographics that have been traditionally overlooked, such as with younger South Florida conservatives.
Nadege Green: As a journalist, Green’s work has been published by The Miami Herald and has aired on South Florida’s NPR and PBS station, WLRN, and she has won numerous awards. Her articles on the local LGBT equality movement have been praised for their attention to detail, and her human-interest stories revolving around the “queer experience” in America have been particularly well-received.
Tickets are available for purchase now for this important evening. The ticket cost per person is $60 if purchased in advance, and $75 if purchased at the door. $60 pre-sale tickets are still available now and can be purchased by going to the Luminary Awards’ online submission form, located at ticketbase.com/events/luminaries2015. A 99 cent fee is charged for every online ticket order made.
SAVE is one of South Florida’s leading LGBT advocacy groups, helping protect LGBT people from discrimination in Miami-Dade County since 1993. SAVE focuses on three ways to make a difference in the Miami-Dade community: political advocacy, community outreach, and candidate endorsements. Their vision is to one day see a community where people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender have full equality in all facets of life.