We are very excited to announce the first ever OUTspoken Leaders Awards Ceremony! Our original plan was to have a large in-person event, but for the safety of everyone involved in the midst of a global pandemic we have changed the plan slightly. You will be able to join the event either in person or virtually! This awards ceremony idea has been on our minds since the formation of OUTspoken Leaders. Our mission is to serve, empower and amplify the voices of all LGBTQ+ youth, young adults, and future leaders. As we’ve grown as an organization and as a community, we saw LGBTQ+ people coming out of the woodwork who have already been emulating qualities of an OUTspoken Leader. We want to highlight examples of how to be a leader within your community.
To highlight leaders in our community, we will be giving out two different awards. The first award is called the OUTspoken Leader Award. This person is someone who has shown exemplary leadership and perseverance throughout their life. With leadership comes a lot of responsibility and can also be extremely challenging. The recipient of the OUTspoken Leader Award is someone who has shown that overcoming obstacles makes you stronger and can help gain respect from the people around you.
The second award being given is the OUTspoken Business Award. This award will go to a business that has unapologetically supported not only the LGBTQ+ community but any marginalized community here in Wheaton. It takes bravery as a business to take a bold stance on issues that can be polarizing. But the support of businesses to marginalized groups helps create a community of acceptance, support, and love. We want to thank the recipient of the OUTspoken Business Award for fearlessly taking a stand for the better of the community and making Wheaton a safe place for all.
These last few months have been tough. It may seem strange to hold an awards ceremony in the midst of a global pandemic. But as a recent trending hashtag stated, #COVIDCan
’tStopGood. Now more than ever people are rising up during these unprecedented times and proving that we can make it through this, and we are going to use our voices to fight for what we believe in.
For this to happen, we need your help! Buying a ticket to the ceremony is the most impactful way you can support us. There will be 30 in-person event tickets being sold and up to 100 virtual tickets being sold at a discounted price! If you cannot buy a ticket, we encourage you to donate. Any donation received between August 1st and October 5th will be featured in our program as a sponsor of the OUTspoken Leader Awards. No donation is too small, every little bit helps us on our journey to making Wheaton a more accepting and affirming community. The last way you can support us is to tell people about us! Some businesses even have programs in place where employees can submit non-profits they are passionate about and companies will either match donations or make a donation on the employee’s behalf. Spread the word – any act of sharing our mission can significantly help us reach our goals and help the LGBTQ+ community we are serving. Tax-deductible donations can be made Here or by contacting us directly.
Thank you so much for your continued love and support. It is hard to believe that last October (right around the tenth), the idea for OUTspoken Leaders was born. That first meeting was crazy, and I remember thinking to myself, “There is no way this is going to happen.” Look how far we have come. I know none of that would be possible without you. So even if you cannot support this time, thank you for everything you have done; it means so much to us!