Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried will be the recipient of the Equality Florida’s Voice of Equality Award at the organization’s 17th Annual Broward Gala Saturday, Nov. 9. 

The Voice for Equality Award goes to individuals helping to move the community closer to full equality. Past Voice of Equality recipients include Congressman Ted Deutch, transgender youth advocate, Jazz Jennings and sports legends Greg Louganis and Martina Navratilova.

Fried is Florida’s only statewide elected democrat. While new in office, Fried immediately proved herself an ally to the LGBT community, by revising The Department of Agriculture’s workplace policy, adding protections from discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender identity. She also appointed Nik Harris as the agriculture department’s first LGBT consumer advocate. 

“Fried has sent a strong message that Florida is open to all – that every consumer, resident, and visitor should be treated fairly, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith, in a prepared statement. “We are thrilled to present Commissioner Fried with our highest honor at Equality Florida’s Broward Gala.”

Smith will present the annual State of the State address. Roxanne Vargas of NBC 6 is the evening’s emcee. There will also be a live auction featuring a 14-day China River cruise, dancing with DJ Karin Ward, and musical entertainment by jazz artist Ashley Pezzotti. 

The Gala takes place on Saturday, Nov. 9, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Las Olas Ballroom at The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, 321 Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. Tickets are $175 in advance and $200 at the door. They are available at EqualityfFlorida.org/BrowardGala.