Exclusive | Entertainement News
On April 22nd, SpeakOut will host the second annual “I AM” Awards, featuring a black-tie fundraising gala and awards program that celebrates the accomplishments of Black LGBTQ people who have significantly contributed to enhancing the quality of life of the minority LGBTQ community and who have demonstrated a commitment to social change. SpeakOut plans to usher in a new conversation and future for Same Gender Loving (SGL) people.
This year the 'I AM Awards” will be held in the heart of the district, Washington D.C. on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at 6 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt. This coveted evening will be hosted by actor Nicco Annan and international ballroom icon Jack Mizrahi.
Founded by Antonio Driver, Speak Out is a nonprofit community engagement organization representing more than 6,000 same-gender-loving (SGL) men and women of color. Since 2017, Speak Out has served as a safe space for creating meaningful connections across the LGBTQ+ community.
"The 'I Am' Awards is all about acknowledging the work that we do and celebrating each other," SpeakOut Founder Antonio Driver exclusively tells Gaye Magazine.
"As a community, we're always fighting but we don't celebrate the work we do enough. So if we don't do it, who else is going to do it? This is our piece to the puzzle to acknowledge the people and celebrate the people who represent us."
The mission of Speak Out is to educate, support and connect the LGBTQ+ community of color through social media engagement, mentorship, personal empowerment and health awareness.
Speak Out has designed its programs to provide gay, bisexual, and trans people of color with a space to safely process thoughts, feelings, and emotions in order to strengthen their psychological and emotional fitness.
International Ballroom icon Jack Mizrahi tells Gaye that he is excited to see the growth that the I AM Awards is experiencing. Last year, Gaye covered the I AM Awards' inaugural event hosted by Vivica A. Fox and Los Angeles-based TV personality, J’Lamar.
"Today's I AM Awards is in its second inception. When it gets into its 25th anniversary and its 15th anniversary, it would have already built on such a legacy and such a name value that past recipients and past presenters will always come back and give back to help build it up to the level that we value any other award system, and I believe in that," Jack Mizrahi tells us.
The 2nd Annual I AM Awards has a coveted guest and honorees list. This year, the awards ceremony will seemingly create a reunion by honoring the legendary cast of Noah's Arc and its creator Patrik-Ian Polk. The 2005 drama series centered on the lives of four African-American gay friends who share personal and professional experiences while living in Los Angeles. The show became a cultural landmark within the queer community, specifically the Black LGBTQ+ community for representation on tv and in film. Polk will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The confirmed list of hosts, honorees, presenters and attendees are:
● Antonio Driver - SpeakOut, Inc
● Patrik-Ian Polk - Director/Writer
● Darryl Stephens, Cast of Noah’s Arc
● Christopher Vincent, Cast of Noah’s Arc
● Jensen Atwood, Cast of Noah’s Arc
● Rodney Chester, Cast of Noah’s Arc
● Obio Jones, Social Media Influencer
● Philaye, Social Media Influencer
● Jack Mizrahi, Actor and Producer
● Cam Anthony, The Voice Winner | Season 21
● Terrell Carter, Actor and Singer
● Nicco Annan, Actor P-Valley
● Emery Lavell, Actor
● Shi-Queeta Lee, Celebrity Impersonator
● Dominque Morgan, Author, Activist and Musician
● George M Johnson, New York Times Best Selling author
● Twiggy Garcon, Producer, Creator
● Greg Mathis Jr. and Elliott Cooper, Mathis Family Matters
● Monroe Alise, Trans Activist and Actress
● Hope Giselle, Advocate and Social Media Influencer
● Bishop O.C. Allen, Presiding Bishop (Vision Cathedral of Atlanta)
● Darwin Thompson, Gilead Sciences
● Rashad Burgess, Gilead Sciences
● PJ Moton-Poole, ViiV Healthcare