Sarasota Magazine's 11th Annual Unity Awards Ceremony
This year's event will be hosted on Facebook Live and YouTube.
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You may view the awards on either Facebook or YouTube (links below) and we encourage you to share the links with friends, family and colleagues. Registration is not required to view. You will be able to comment on both platforms during the entire program. Let our winners know you are there! We have also created a digital program with more detailed information about the program, winners, and sponsors.
2021 UNITY AWARDS PRESENTATION LIVE STREAM
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And the winners are...
Every year, Sarasota Magazine celebrates champions of diversity in an editorial contest judged by an independent panel of previous Unity Awards winners. This year’s Unity Awards are proudly presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Read the full articles here.
MEET THIS YEAR’S HONOREES
Trevor Harvey, president of the Sarasota Chapter of the NAACP, has been driven to improve the lives of people in Newtown and “give voice to the voiceless.” He holds executive positions on boards, from Children First to Booker High School’s Foundation to the City of Sarasota’s 2020 census committee. Still, most people know him as the go-to NAACP president. Harvey was pivotal in forging a relationship with the Sarasota Police Department, creating the Newtown Community Response Team made up of law enforcement, pastors and community members.
Joe and Mary Kay Henson
When Joe and Mary Kay Henson learned that a majority of Sarasota County elementary school-aged children live in poverty, they decided to do something about it. The Eagle Academy they founded in 2013—and funded—provides free, two-generation summertime learning opportunities at Alta Vista Elementary School and has now expanded to 11 Sarasota County Title 1 elementary schools. When the pandemic hit, the couple began to support hard-hit Hispanic families and also donated $500,000 to All Faiths Food Bank.
New College of Florida associate professor Sarah Hernandez mentors low-income, first-generation Latino students through the UnidosNow Future Leaders Academy, preparing them for the college application process and making them aware of scholarship possibilities. She also works with the recently formed Sarasota Anti-Racism Working Group and the local Quaker congregation, which addresses the needs of homeless people and supports environmental causes.
Michael Kinsey, Jim Minor Jr. and Dwight Josey
Last summer, Jim Minor Jr., Michael Kinsey and Dwight Josey launched the Facebook group “Support Sarasota-Manatee Black-Owned Businesses.” In a few short months, there were more than 11,000 members. Vendors include Black-owned bakeries, coffee roasters, clothiers, hairstylists, auto detailers, and even a mannequin maker. The group is now a community of businesses and consumers sharing resources, with dollars being reinvested into a part of the local business community that historically has been underrepresented.
Dr. Randall Morgan
Dr. Randall C. Morgan Jr. was Sarasota’s first Black orthopedic surgeon when he moved here in 2005. But his life has been a series of firsts: the first Black student in his graduating class at Grinnell College; the first Black chief resident at Northwestern University; and a founder and CEO of The Cobb Institute, a national health disparities think tank. Morgan is working nationally with pharmaceutical companies for equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and with the Sarasota-Manatee Gulf Coast Medical Society to engage Black physicians. He also sits on the board of Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe.
E. Scott Osborne
After an international career working with schools, development agencies and nonprofits, E. Scott Osborne came to Sarasota nearly 20 years ago. She is now the president of the board of the Gulf Coast Chapter of UN Women USA and leads seminars on gender equality and speaks to young people in the area. She’s also raised the profile of Through Women’s Eyes film festival, an annual event that screens films by women directors from around the world.
In 1996, Philip Tavill found his home of the past 24 years at Children First. During his tenure, the agency has been designated a Head Start Program of Excellence, ranking in the top 1 percent of more than 1,800 programs nationwide, and has expanded to serve 900 children and their families at 15 locations throughout Sarasota County. He and Children First have formed partnerships with entities such as the Sarasota Housing Authority, Catholic Charities and the Sarasota County school board, all aimed at meeting the needs of infants, toddlers and their families through childcare and education.
Queen Zabriskie, an associate professor of sociology and performance studies at New College of Florida, is intent on communicating Black history and doing outreach to the larger community. She leads Black History Month events at New College, brings in local high school students, and has enhanced the college’s Black history program by including Black literature readings, discussion forums, film screenings and talks from Black artists, scientists, writers and entrepreneurs. She also works with Sarasota’s Peace Education and Action Center and Sarasota’s Multicultural Health Institute.