Join us on October 26th from 8pm - 10pm at the Young Guardians Society Luminary Awards. We will honor four outstanding young community leaders for their contributions to LGBT equality and social justice.
This is the VIP pre-Halloween Ball reception. Your VIP ticket includes admission to the Luminary Awards and the Halloween Ball. Food will be served, and we will feature a premium open bar.
Tori Bertran is a South Florida native who has volunteered for several community service organizations, including Hands on Miami, Pridelines Youth Services, SunServe and the Aqua Foundation for Women.
Tori is energized by working with LGBTQ youth, watching them grow and develop qualities that will help them become leaders. An IT professional, Tori is looking forward to helping LBT women in South Florida in any way she can.
For the past eight years, Victor Diaz-Herman has served Pridelines Youth Services, first as a volunteer assisting the staff and board with their major fundraising efforts, and shortly after as a member of the board of directors where he served as Secretary, Vice Chair, Co-Chair and Chair. His most recent and significant role with the agency was his appointment as Executive Director—a role he has held since April 2010.
As Executive Director, Victor works with his board and staff to increase the number of programs provided by the organization and to increase the number of youth served while eliminating the organization's debts and securing the largest operating budget in their 31-year history.
Since 2004, Victor has also volunteered for the Winter Party Festival. During the past five years he’s served in a Chair capacity working to ensure the success of the event in an effort to increase the revenues that are donated back to the local community through The Miami Foundation's GLBT Community Projects Fund.
Due to his involvement with the Winter Party Festival, Victor was invited to join the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s National Action Council (NAC). As a member of the NAC, Victor serves as an Ambassador for The Task Force to ensure the progress of the LGBTQ community on a national level.
Nastassja Schmiedt was born in Florence, Italy to an Italian father and African American mother but soon moved to Miami, where she was raised. In high school at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart Nastassja was a nationally competitive debater winning 6 national titles, the president and founder of the Black Student Union, and won several awards for excellence in writing and mathematics.
Nastassja's activism gained national media attention when she and other members of #RealTalk Dartmouth (a student group Nastassja and a handful of peers founded to protest the college's attempts to cover up rape, harassment and hate crimes) began receiving death and corrective rape threats from fellow students.
Nastassja then became the lead complainant in a federal complaint to the Department of Education against Dartmouth. As a result of this activism and the media coverage, the Office of Civil Rights decided to investigate the college. Nastassja is now working with students at universities across the country to file federal complaints and create intersectional movements on their campuses.
At Dartmouth she is a Mellon Mays Fellow and a Fellow in the Gender Research Institute. She has presented at both Dartmouth and Yale on the topics of racism and appropriation within LGBT communities, activism and studies, as well as the intersections of race and sexuality in masculine presenting black women. She is also currently working with SAVE Dade to produce Florida's first Trans* Discrimination Survey.
Hansel Tookes IIIHansel Tookes is currently a fourth year medical student at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He plans to complete a residency in Internal Medicine and focus on public health policy and underserved populations. His research interests are HIV prevention, LGBT health, and minority health. He led a high impact study on injection drug use in Miami that was published in 2012 and highlighted on the front pages of the Miami Herald and Huffington Post Miami.
He currently is advocating for passage of a bill in the Florida Legislature that would legalize Needle Exchange Programs in the State of Florida. Aside from his research and policy interests, Hansel served as Vice President of MedicOUT and is a member of the Student National Medical Association, the Florida Medical Association, and the Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society.
Before medical school Hansel graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology in 2003. At Yale he was chair of the Freshman Class Council, a Science, Technology and Research Scholar, and a volunteer at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Hansel completed his Master’s of Public Health at the University of Miami in 2009.