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Nicco Annan & Ballroom Icon Jack Mizrahi to Host Second Annual 'I Am Awards' Black-Tie Gala

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



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