FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Big Freedia, Leiomy Maldonado, and Ts Madison headlining the Hetrick-Martin Institute Emery Awards Ball
The LGBTQIA+ Youth Organization to Raise Money to Meet High Demand for Mental Health Services
NEW YORK, November 8, 2022 – Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) announced today their annual Emery Awards ceremony, to be held on November 16, 2022, is moving to a new and larger venue, Terminal 5 in New York City. On the heels of a well-received and successful fundraiser last November, HMI is keeping with its new “Kiki ballroom” format introduced last year and aptly coined “Emery Awards Ball”. The format, intended to be more inclusive, was driven at a time when mental health and societal issues had become increasingly heightened, especially within the queer and Black communities. While the format has changed, the purpose remains the same—honoring individuals and corporations that have made a positive impact in the LGBTQIA+ community.
This year HMI will be honoring vogue dancer, choreographer, and actress Leiomy Maldonado, a judge on the HBOMax show, Legendary and former HMI youth member, plus television personality, actress and author, Ts Madison, who was named one of the top 100 influential LGBT people by OUT magazine in 2019. HMI has named Nike, Inc. as this year’s corporate honoree for their unwavering support of the LGBTQIA+ community and for bringing visibility to the ballroom community through their incredible work.
2021 Emery Award Nominee, Dominique Jackson, who played Elektra Abundance in the FX Network Series, Pose, is returning as a special guest, and nationally recognized hip-hop artist, Big Freedia, the Queen Diva, will be the headline performance of the evening. Big Freedia commented on her upcoming live performance at Terminal 5, “I’m looking forward to performing at HMI’s Emery Awards Ball, especially if it means raising money and awareness to support queer youth in the Black community. I was asked at the start of the pandemic almost two years ago to perform a video segment for their virtual Youth Pride Fest, as part of their annual fundraiser. I was happy to help so they could remain open to provide services to LGBTQIA+ young people, who were most vulnerable, at a time when the country was in lockdown.”
Other notables expected to attend include television personality and host of Sirius XM’s Bevelations, Bevy Smith, catwalk runway virtuoso, Miss J. Alexander, coach and judge on America’s Next Top Model, and New York City Councilmembers Carlina Rivera and Crystal Hudson. RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 5 Runner Up, Miz Cracker and 2021 Emery Award Honoree, Aisha Diori (aka Glitteratie) will be co-hosting this year’s purple carpet, interviewing celebrity guests and influencers in attendance. WQHT Hot 97 Radio Producer, DJ Jazzy Joyce, is an Emery Awards Ball Ambassador and will a special guest DJ.
HMI Chief Executive Officer, Joe Pressley, said, “I could not be prouder of last year’s re-imagination of the Emery Awards Ball. At a moment when society is turning inward and culture is polarizing, HMI’s Emery Awards Ball serves as a beacon of equity, inclusion, and entertainment. Not only did HMI achieve its fundraising goal along with diverse attendance and tremendous acclaim within the community, but last year’s Emery Awards Ball reconfirmed our organization’s passionate and long-standing commitment to the Kiki community. We’re looking forward to producing another spectacular event, where we recognize this year’s worthy honorees, and raise funds to allow us to continue our work in helping LGBTQIA+ youth become their fully realized and authentic selves.”
HMI is expecting this year’s attendance to almost double in size because of the increased interest generated from the previous year. The 2022 Emery Awards Ball will be livestreamed on HMI’s YouTube channel. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit emeryawards.com and follow the event on social media at #Emerys2022.
ABOUT HETRICK-MARTIN INSTITUTE
Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) is proud to be the nation’s oldest and largest organization helping gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) youth between the ages of 13 and 24 to reach their full potential. Through a comprehensive package of direct services and referrals, the organization fosters healthy youth development. HMI’s staff promotes excellence in the delivery of youth services and uses its expertise to create innovative programs that other organizations may use as models. HMI serves a diverse community, the vast majority of whom identify as Black or people of color. The youth organization is dedicated to building its approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels, throughout its operations and functions.