Atlanta, GA (October 16, 2016) – On Saturday, October 15th, The Gentlemen’s Foundation brought the Harlem Renaissance to the city of Atlanta for the 5th Annual Gentlemen’s Ball. The Atlanta Marriott Marquis ballroom was filled with influential LGBTQ community leaders, politicians, allies, entertainers, entrepreneurs, and tastemakers alike as the soulful sounds of the roaring 20s and unlimited cocktails flowed. Community activist Darnell L. Moore and television personality Miss Lawrence (Real Housewives of Atlanta and Empire) served as hosts for the evening. Guests will also enjoy complimentary gifts from allied sponsors, casino tables, live performances from R&B Diva’s Monifah and The Dingalogues, and more.
Originating in 2011, the black-tie gala and awards program celebrates the accomplishments of gay and transgendered men who have demonstrated a commitment to social change through the enhancement of the quality of life within the minority LGBTQ community. Partnering with the cause of justice and equality for all, the honorees boldly embody what The Gentlemen’s Foundation, Inc. (TGF) idea of a “true gentleman” – one who is confident in himself, generous in his giving and proud to stand tall in his truth. They include Founder of FTM Fitness World Neo Sandja (Gentleman of Service), Senator Vincent Fort (Gentleman of Alliance), Political Strategist Devin Barrington Ward (Gentleman of Promise), and Award-winning Journalist Darian Aaron (Gentleman of Excellence). Bishop OC Allen of the Vision Church of Atlanta took home the Gentlemen of the Year as Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood’s Milan Christopher earned the Gentlemen of Artistry award. A special tribute to the victims of Orlando’s PULSE Club shooting was held as survivor Joshua Lewis sang an original selection in honor of those 49 individuals killed during the hate crime.
Ariane Davis (Love & Hip Hop Atlanta)
Bishop OC Allen (Vision Church of Atlanta)
Carlos King (Producer)
Derek J (Celebrity Hair Stylist)
DAVID BARRINGTON- GENTLEMEN OF PROMISE AWARD
JUAN AND GEE SMALLS
Milan Christopher (Love & Hip Hop LA
In recognition of the impactful work that the foundation has done both locally and nationally, UPS served as the official corporate sponsor for this year’s ball. Husbands Juan and Gee Smalls founded The Gentlemen’s Foundation with the intentions of eradicating the ‘gay stigma’ perpetuated by societal norms. “I know we all think about money when it comes to giving but we believe that you need to be giving of yourself first in order to see the rewards manifested in your life”, says the couple. “Whether it’s compassion, understanding, forgiveness, acceptance, or love, we need to be giving to others.” The non-profit organization hosts an array of programs geared towards youth initiatives along with boot camps that focus on providing resources for those dealing with depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and other mental illnesses. For more information about the Gentlemen’s Foundation, visit www.thegentlemensfoundation.org.
A Special Thank You to Sponsors & Partners: UPS, Gilead, AARP, LAMDBA Legal, Absolute Care, Nordstrom, GROOM, J.R. Revelry, Atlanta Marriot Marquis, Mojo Wings, The Bailey Agency, NDLE Group, Fenuxe Magazine, G-List Society, RonaldMatters.com, Project Briggs, Big Boy Pride, Thee SupaMan, XscapePR, Tyrone & Johnnell, The Dingalogues, GA Voice, For The Kid In All of Us, BH Productions, 4US Sports, and WhosWhoAtl
About the Gentlemen’s Foundation
The Gentlemen’s Foundation, Inc.’s (TGF) mission is to promote the holistic development of Gay, Bisexual and Transgender men of color by celebrating positive, diverse images of the aforementioned gentlemen and by encouraging healthy dialogue on issues that contribute to individual wellness and growth, thereby having a residual positive impact on our communities.
Since 2014, The Gentlemen’s Foundation has been committed to social change, encouraging individual and collective empowerment as well public service, leadership, and networking for the community it serves.
TGF accomplishes its mission through various channels including a holistic mentorship initiative, it’s signature fundraiser, The Gentlemen’s Ball, and other educational, cultural, and social programs and events. TGF also provides support and charitable giving to other organizations who share similar missions, objectives or programming.
About Juan and Gee Smalls
Husbands Juan and Gee Smalls are the founders of The Gentlemen’s Foundation, Inc. Juan & Gee has been recognized by various organizations for their work within the community, receiving awards such as: The Vision Community Foundation’s Community Award, The Good Life Power Couple Award and the The G-List Society’s 50 Most Influential & Inspirational Black LGBT Personalities of 2012, 2013 & 2014. They were also awarded with the Pink Samaritan Awards at the April Love’s 6th Annual Pink In December for their significant contributions in the areas of activism and philanthropy. Their life mission emphasizes equality, solidarity, love, and inclusion for the advancement of the LGBTQ community.