SAVE, a prominent South Florida LGBT organization, is honoring young activists at an awards show in Coral Gables next week.
Five individuals, who SAVE terms “young guardians,” are being presented with luminary awards. The five are: Benjamin “Brotha Ben” Evans, Justin Flippen, L.J. Woolston, Jason King and Lutze Segu.
The fourth annual awards ceremony will be held rooftop at the Bacardi headquarters building (2701 S. Lejeune Road), Thursday, Aug. 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $50.
“These are people who have dedicated their lives to making equality a reality,” said Tony Lima, SAVE Executive Director. “They are young people working hard to champion equality for all.”
Evans is a Baptist minister and motivational speaker in the black community, Flippen is a Wilton Manors Commissioner who has fought against conversion therapy, Woolston is a trans-pan-queer advocate and homeless service liaison, King serves as legislative affairs manager for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Southern Bureau and Segu developed a comprehensive sex education campaign for the Miami-Dade County public schools.
“I am flattered to be thought of as a luminary,” King said. “It shows that we’re making inroads in the community and making lives healthier.”
Health care priorities in South Florida, King said, are ensuring sex education is taught in public schools, patients are allowed to choose their own doctor and the eventual eradication of AIDS.
A keen observer of the political environment, King said President Barack Obama’s signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act, must remain in place. On the contrary, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump has repeatedly called for a repeal of the law.
“That’s not a good idea,” King said of Trump’s plan. “You can fix the holes in the law, but not get rid of it. I personally know many people who have been helped by Obamacare. It’s a step in the right direction and a total repeal would cause too many people to lose coverage, interrupt therapies and miss medications.”
Lima said King’s commitment is true and steadfast.
“Jason is dedicated to finding solutions and making HIV something of the past,” Lima said.
The Young Guardians Society is a young professional network with an emphasis on equality, social justice advocacy and philanthropic giving.
“They all bring sometime special,” Lima said of this year’s luminaries. “They all shine a light on a different aspect of our community.”
According to its website, SAVE is recognized as South Florida’s leading organization dedicated to protecting people who are LGBT against discrimination. SAVE stands for Saveguarding American Values for Everyone.
For more information, visit SAVE.lgbt