Date(s) - Saturday, April 1, 2023
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
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 7 p.m. 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.
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.
Commissioner Nicole M. Ramirez (Queen Mother of the International Court System) has been a Latino/LGBTQ+ activist for over 50 years. A past state chair of Equality California, he has also advised and served a dozen mayors from Los Angeles to San Diego. Ramirez has served as chairman of the boards of the Gay Rights National Lobby, Human Rights Campaign, and the National LGBTQ Task Force. He is the titular head of one of the oldest LGBT organizations in the US, the International Imperial Courts which was founded in 1965 and now has over 70 city chapters in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. He worked with Cesar Chavez and was presented with the Cesar Chavez Social Justice Award presented by his widow Helen Chavez. He was one of the nation’s first non-binary activists and drag queens to be appointed to city and state public office. He is also the founder of the National LGBTQ Wall of Honor at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Ramirez is currently serves as a city and county commissioner and as chair of the National LGBTQ Civil Rights Network USA.
Carol Moran has a long history as a philanthropist, LGBTQ advocate and successful female entrepreneur. After losing her brother to AIDS at age 38, she dedicated herself to raising awareness for HIV and women’s health, advocating for women to obtain free mammograms. As a veteran hospitality professional and corporate restauranteur for many years, she has committed to helping various local organizations and causes that impact our community including Broward House, Trevor Project, Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center, American Veterans for Equal Rights, Poverello and numerous PRIDE initiatives. She founded the Iron Ladies golf tournament which raised thousands of dollars for SMART Ride, the Red Dress program and the Mobile Mammogram unit. She was instrumental in launching the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida (now The Pride Center at Equality Park) capital campaign to find its first home and served as the campaign’s board president. As the current co-owner of Apt. 9F restaurant, she remains a visible force who advocates on the right side of history. She has been recognized as one of the top 100 movers and shakers in the state’s LGBTQ community.
Under the leadership of Damian McKinney, Stoli Group’s global CEO, the spirits brand has flourished and is unwavering in its support of worldwide LGBTQ initiatives and innovative activations. McKinney served for 18 years with the UK Royal Marine Commandos, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel at 35, and received a number of awards, including MBE and Mention in Despatches for active-duty operations, before entering the private sector. In 1999, he founded the company McKinney Rogers and over the next 20 years, built a global organization with offices on every subcontinent and dedicated to delivering tangible and sustainable results for organizations ranging from Walmart to Diageo and Pfizer to Thomson Reuters. He was acquired by GP Strategies in January 2017, where he remained through September 2020. In October of 2020, McKinney took on his current role where he is focused on rapidly transforming this iconic company into one of the most ‘powerful’ ultra-premium companies in the industry. He is the author of two books – “Commando Way” and “Commando Entrepreneur,” which describe his successful approach to delivering extraordinary financial results from building his own global company from startup and turning around other global brands and companies. He currently serves on the British American Business Council Advisory Board and is chairman and owner of Woodland Radicle.
Florida State Senator Shevrin “Shev” Jones is an educator, public servant, and consensus builder who gets results on the issues facing Florida families. Growing up in Carol City, Jones’ parents instilled in him and his brothers the values of education, faith, and service to the community. He recognized from a young age the power of education as the great equalizer. After teaching A.P. Chemistry in Broward County at Florida Atlantic University High, Jones’ firsthand look at the inequities in education and society at large propelled him to enter public service. In 2012, he was elected to the Florida House, championing meaningful bipartisan legislation, including two consecutive bills to secure dignity for incarcerated women; statewide expansion of a clean syringe exchange program; safety and oversight for athletic coaches for youth athletic teams; and ensuring transparency and accountability via police body cameras. Today, Jones proudly serves Florida’s 34th Senate District, which includes Northeast Miami-Dade County. Senator Jones served on President Barack Obama’s College Promise Task Force and is an active member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Jones was also recently appointed to President Biden’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
One of the most influential and well-known stars of the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” TV franchise, Latrice Royale has used her voice to raise awareness, support equality and advocate for social change. With more than 20 years’ experience working as a drag queen in South Florida, Latrice continues to take pride in her beliefs and commitment to personal and societal growth. Raised Timothy Wilcots in Compton, California, Royale was born on a Halloween night dressed as Wanda from “In Living Color” at the Copa in Fort Lauderdale. Royale made her mark in TV history by becoming the first drag queen to appear in drag on QVC – starring in a promotional ad campaign entitled “Latrice Royale for Ruby Royale” for the Squirrel Brand snack mix. In 2004, Latrice won Miss Pride South Florida; and, in 2012, she purchased the Miss Pride South Florida Pageant under her own talent management company and has successfully hosted the event at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center as well as Club Boom and Hunters in Fort Lauderdale. A champion for body-positivity and defying gender roles, Latrice and partner, Christopher Hamblin, are constantly challenging the assumptions and misconceptions found in society.
Jacqueline Lorber, president and CEO of South Florida Symphony Orchestra, and Sebrina María Alfonso, founder and music director of South Florida Symphony Orchestra, are an award-winning entrepreneurial and creative LGBT duo who helm the region’s largest symphony. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Wilton Manors-based SFSO is dedicated to providing enriching cultural music experiences to residents and visitors in Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Guided by the belief that music is pivotal to thriving communities, SFSO brings vibrancy and engagement with the arts via innovative programming and transformative educational initiatives. A pioneer in its commitment to symphonic music for underserved communities, its Symphony in the Schools program has touched the lives of 100,000 students since its inception in 1997. SFSO was recently named the first Partner in the Arts for The Parker by the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and has been recognized by the Broward County Cultural Division as a “Major Cultural Institution,” one of only a handful of organizations to be so honored. In this milestone year, the growing symphony also announced its new Miami home at the Michael Tilson Thomas Performance Hall at the New World Center. The power couple champions musical creativity and innovation through a strong commitment to diversity. They intentionally feature female composers and promote equality among the members of the orchestra, as well as within the structure of the SFSO, and throughout the musical community-at-large.
Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Bears of South Florida is a nonprofit social volunteer organization dedicated to raising funds for other LGBT organizations in need. Begun in 2003 as a grassroots movement to provide a safe space for Bears and their admirers to gather and have fun, the organization (affectionately known then as the “Pool Party Guys”) is now recognized as a community leader that has awarded more than $150K in grants. Recipients of their generosity include The Naples Pride Center, The Pride Center at Equality Park, SunServe, South Florida Pride Wind Ensemble, Poverello, Deliver The Dream, Broward House, Florida AIDS Walk, SAGE, Stonewall Library, Tuesday’s Angels, and Sanctuary House. Last year, the Bears of South Florida joined forces with the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida to hold an annual Teddy Bear drive with a record-breaking 1009 Teddy Bears donated to Broward Health. SFGN has honored the Bears of South Florida as the “Best Social Group” for six years running.
Diversity Honors is exclusively hosted by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, with Platinum Sponsor DMK – Danne Montague-King, Diamond Sponsors Stoli Vodka, International Court System, and Seminole Coconut Creek Casino, and supporting sponsors GPR | Goodman Public Relations and Ludwig Framemakers.