No minority-rights movement can succeed in a vaccuum. Along with the disenfranchised, achieving social and civil change requires commitments from friends, family, and other concerned community members willing to stand up for what’s right. When we are able to step outside ourselves and empathize with another person – especially when that person has experienced the sting of discrimination, hatred and inequality – it engages something deep in our humanity, and we begin to relate to those not like ourselves. And by doing so, we learn, we teach, we grow, and together, we change the world.
It’s with respect to that truth that I am thrilled to support One Colorado’s signature fundraising event, The Ally Awards. Honoring those straight community members who have made substantive differences in the lives of LGBT Coloradans, The Ally Awards will feature prominent local politicians – including Gov. John Hickenlooper and First Lady Helen Thorpe, and both Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet – businesspeople, community members and activists who have proved crucial straight allies to those of us fighting for LGBT equality in Colorado.
The Ally Awards will take place at the Denver Botanic Gardens on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 6 – 9 pm. A very limited number of tickets, starting at $75, are still available on One Colorado’s site, and cover admission, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and an open bar. The silent auction begins at 6 pm, with dessert and awards starting at 7 pm. The night promises to be a friendly, equality-minded evening garden party – no black ties or VIP invites here, though if you’re wondering what to wear, Brad and Jess can help you out in this week’s One Colorado video chat.
While The Ally Awards serve as a thank you to all of our LGBT allies here in Colorado, the evening will specifically honor four key straight individuals who have made a difference in the queer community in this state. Those honorees are:
- Veronica Barela, President/CEO of NEWSED
- Bruce DeBoskey, founder of The DeBoskey Group and former Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Mountain States Office
- Jean Hodges, National PFLAG Vice-President and Chair of the Regional Directors Council
Wilma Webb, former Colorado State Representative of House District 8 and former First Lady of Denver
If you won’t be able to attend the Awards, be sure to follow my Twitter account @sunnivie, as I’ll be covering the event live, posting updates and photos of the event all night long!