Gloria Casarez to Be Honored at the Lift Every Voice Awards and Black Tie Gala

Tonight, the I Am Human Campaign is hosting its first-ever Lift Every Voice Awards and Black Tie Gala, an event done in collaboration with Bebashi‘s LGBT-focused SOULS of BEBASHI initiative.

The I Am Human Campaign is a project that aims to bring together people from different communities, backgrounds and cultures in the hopes of encouraging individuals from all walks of life to fight discrimination. With that in mind, the Lift Every Voice Awards and Gala is an evening to not only celebrate the season, but to highlight those who are advocating for the rights of Philly’s LGBT community, “to honor the exemplary achievements of leadership who are pushing for mainstream acceptance and equality.”

It goes without being said, then, that they’ve chosen to honor Gloria Casarez, the recently deceased first director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, with one of their first awards.

Bebashi Prevention Education Specialist Richard LaBoy tells me Casarez will be presented the Governmental Liaison Award, the first award she will receive posthumously—and one that touches him personally. “I worked at GALAEI for five years while she was the executive director. She is part of the reason why I do this work and has been a mentor of mine since the age of 17.”

Other honorees for the evening will be Assistant District Attorney Helen Nellie Fitzpatrick and Deputy Commissioner Kevin Bethel. They were chosen because of their work to establish Directive 152, a new policy that educates Philadelphia police on how to interact with the transgender community.

The gala takes place tonight, Friday, December 12th, at 9 p.m. at the Ukrainian League of Philadelphia (800 North 23rd Street). Tickets range in price from $20 to $120, and can be purchased here. Proceeds will benefit the work of both the I Am Human Campaign and Bebashi. Good causes all around, folks!

UPDATE [12/12/2014, 10:53 a.m.]: In an original post I mentioned that this was the first award presented to Gloria Casarez posthumously. That, apparently, was in err. I am told the Diabolique Foundation gave Gloria Casarez their Lifetime Service Award at the Diabolique Ball last month. I apologize for the mistake.