We were honored to host the Run For Something (RFS) Second annual Alumni Awards Charity Event, recognizing some badass women and dedicated community advocates, who spoke on the importance of amplifying the voices of diverse communities. The best part about these believers of change is that they are not just talking about the problems they face, they are actively making change happen!
THIS is the energy we love to see! The night was filled with pop ups from members of the audience who appeared on stage to present awards to these “good trouble” making women!
After Brandon Turner, Senior Regional Director of RFS, kicked off the night he welcomed the surprise guest! Entering the Looped stage from his green room suite, current co-host of Pod Save America, former Communications Director to President Obama, and author, Dan Pfeiffer! Dan happens to be quite familiar with the commitment it takes to create change, and joined the stage to drop gems for the audience on the importance of working from the ground up.
Next up, RFS founder's Amanda Litman and Ross Morales Rocetto joined us on stage and gave intros to the first award presenter (and RFS Alumni) Sara Innamorato, State Representative of District 21 in PA. She suddenly appeared and we are taken on a virtual journey to the moment she presented the Getting it Done Award to Oliva Bennett in person, sooo beautiful!
In an instant Olivia appears on stage to accept her award, “Organizations like Run for Something are setting an intention to help elect people that are actually going to listen and work with THE PEOPLE and not make unilateral decisions, and it is my honor to do so!”
Congratulations to the winner of the Getting it Done Award, Olivia Bennet! Olivia represents Distrcit 13 of Allegheny County Council in PA and is continually fighting for equality; whether it be allocation of resources in times of Covid-19 or sponsoring legislation to ban hair discrimination, this woman in putting in work!
RFS Co-Founder Amanda Litman joins us back on stage to introduce video footage of Judge Elaissia Sears from the West Mesa Justice Court AZ presenting the I Am History Award to Gabriella Cazares- Kelly, in person. COMPLETE full circle, because Judge Elaissa was the first winner of this award for her dedication to leveling out disparities in education, combating food insecurity and sooo much more but I’d have you here forever if I told you all of her accomplishments!
Suddenly we join Gabriella in her office where she shares the importance of this work, “When we focus on the communities that have been made to be the most marginalized it helps everybody win, and I know that the only way we can accomplish that is by having people from those communities in positions of power to listen!”
Let's give an applause to the winner of the I Am History Award, Gabriella Cázares-Kelly! Gabriella is the first Native American to hold a county wide seat in Nema County Arizona, and the third Native American to hold a county wide seat in Arizona. She has increased access to voter registration, early voting, and document recording for her community!
Amanda emerges on stage to present our next presentation, and YES...it’s yet another tough professional and RFS Alumna! We join Florida State Representative, Anna Eskamani, in her car after a busy day of putting in that MUCH NEEDED WORK advocating for better public transportation, environmental protection, and reproductive rights to name a few! She introduces her friend in battle, Fentrice Driskell and presents her the Meeting Of The Moment Award!
Fentrice joins us in her Run for Something merch and speaks to why she knew it was imperative to serve the people, “George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Abary, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin. We talk about meeting the moment and we think about the times that we are in right now, but if we are being very honest, America has been at this moment for a long time...a time of quest for equality for black people to have their lives matter, to have the same rights that are guaranteed to ALL American citizens under the constitution… and that is why we are pushing for REAL reform and change!”
Congratulations to the winner of the Meeting Of The Moment Award, Fentrice Driskell! Fentrice is the first black representative of District 63 in Florida and she is a ranking democratic member of the judiciary committee, who is making moves like helping police departments weed out those not following protocol with screening of new hires and increased de-escalation tactics.
RFS Co-Founder, Ross Morales Rocketto, pops back up from his co- viewing suite to introduce a video that takes us on the final journey of the evening! City Councilmember of District 7 in Texas and RFS Alumni presents the Champion of Change Award to Jasmine Crockett!
Suddenly we join Jasmine in the parking garage of an airport because of course this SHERO is on the move! She gives a word on what inspired her to do this essential work, ”We are pushing and fighting for voter rights instead of these voter suppression laws that are going through our State as well as the rest of these United States, along with these anti abortion bills that we see being introduced all over the country, NO THANKS to the state of Texas!”
Last but certainly not least, let's salute the winner of the Champion of Change Award, Jasmine Crockett! Jasmine is an attorney serving as a representative of District 100 in Texas, and is in the fight to end voter suppression and protect women's reproductive rights.
This was an informative and entertaining event that reiterated the importance of local elections! We look forward to continuing to highlight the work of community advocates!
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