Diversity Honors, the globally renowned celebration that benefits Harvey Milk Foundation and The Pride Center at Equality Park, exclusively hosted by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, will take center stage again, on Saturday, April 1, at 7pm to recognize those who are transforming lives by living authentically and advancing inclusiveness. This year, the foundation will honor Commissioner Nicole M. Ramirez with the prestigious Harvey Milk Medal; Carol Moran with The Pride Center at Equality Park Alan Schubert Award and Stoli Group’s Global CEO Damian McKinney with the 2023 Global Business Leadership Award. Additional honorees for this year’s event include Florida State Senator Shevrin “Shev” Jones, Drag TV Star and Entrepreneur Latrice Royale, South Florida Symphony Orchestra’s (SFSO) President and CEO Jacqueline Lorber and Music Director Sebrina María Alfonso and the Bears of South Florida.
The party includes an open bar, a poolside dinner, and live entertainment by Vibe City Music, the gravity defying AirOtic, a sexy acrobatic circus show, Lips’ glam drag queen hostess Velvet Lenore, and roaming themed performers.
“Once again, we are honored to be back with our wonderful event partners at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, supporting two world-class organizations and celebrating extraordinary LGBTQ+ leaders and allies who have lifted our spirits, strengthened our communities, and pushed us towards progress,” said Miriam Richter, Harvey Milk Foundation director. “In addition to our outstanding local honorees, we are privileged to be recognizing one of the trailblazing leaders of the LGBTQ+ movement, Nicole Murray Ramirez, as well as a trailblazer of the global business community, Damian McKinney.”
“It is a privilege for Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood to present, produce and celebrate Diversity Honors,” said Susan Renneisen, vice president of community affairs and special events for Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. “We are humbled by the growing support for this initiative, a sold-out event every year, that fosters tolerance, acceptance and leadership for change to ensure equality, inclusiveness and a higher quality of life for LGBT+ communities across the globe.”
On a personal note, this year two people that have been friends for over 20 years, Latrice and Jacqueline, are being honored. I asked them what this honor means to them, and they responded:
Latrice Royale – What an absolute joy it is to be recognized at this year’s Diversity Honors! Who would’ve thought that 30 years ago, when I stepped onto The Copa stage, that I would be at this place in my career? Through all my travel and success, South Florida has always been my home. I grew up in this community, and I’ve learned valuable lessons. I am still striving for excellence, while fighting the good fight for ALL of my community. I am truly humbled.”
Jacqueline Lorber – “Sebrina and I are humbled and grateful to be recognized by Diversity Honors for our work and commitment to supporting and empowering South Florida’s vibrant LGBTQ community. With attacks on the LGBTQ community and other marginalized communities proliferating in recent years, standing united with our community is more important than ever. We believe that music has a wonderful ability to heal and to unite. As one of South Florida’s leading arts organizations, which happens to be led by two gay women, uniting and healing our community is exactly what we intend to do.”
I then had another good friend, Michael Goodman, from the fabulous Goodman PR, reach out for me to Stoli Group’s Global CEO Damian McKinney to see how he feels about receiving the Global Business Leadership Award, and he said: ““It is humbling to receive such a distinctive award from an organization whose work for global equality and justice is so important and impactful. The legacy of Harvey Milk, and our partnership with the Harvey Milk Foundation, have provided inspiration to Stoli Group’s initiatives for LGBTQ+ support and visibility for many years, including the Stoli Harvey Milk Limited Edition series. Our recent work to support Ukraine as they face the horrors of war draws hope from these efforts, and with the 2023 Global Business Leadership Award at Diversity Honors we remain more boldly committed than ever to stay at the forefront in the fight for peace and acceptance for all people of this world”.
The event is a collaborative effort that will continue to keep South Florida on the international stage of LGBT+ 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 and has since gone on to become an icon and beacon of light for the global LGBTQ+ community. This year marks the 45th anniversary of Harvey Milk’s historic election.
Over the years, Diversity Honors has paid tribute to an impressive roster of honorees including TV personality, political blogger and best-selling author Meghan McCain, civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, president and founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America with Cesar Chavez, Judy and Dennis Shepard, Bollywood star Celina Jaitly, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Gay-Straight Alliance, transgender YouTube viral inspiration Ryland Whittington, transgender teen activist Jazz Jennings, singer/actress Deborah Cox, Judge Rand Hoch, Phill Wilson, founder of the Black AIDS Institute, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Congressman Ted Deutch, and Mayor Dean Trantalis, among others.
Diversity Honors is exclusively hosted by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, with Platinum Sponsor DMK – Danne Montague-King, Diamond Sponsors Stoli Vodka, Hotspots/Happening Out Television Network, International Court System, and Seminole Coconut Creek Casino, and supporting sponsors GPR | Goodman Public Relations and Ludwig Framemakers.
Tickets are $250 per person for the cocktail chic event which includes an open bar, poolside dining and live entertainment. To reserve tickets, please visit www.DiversityHonors.org.