The Rev. Al Sharpton presented the GLAAD Excellence in Media Award to pioneering hip-hop producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Russell Simmons, who has repeatedly spoken out on issues of concern to the LGBT community, urging Americans to support full equality. The Excellence in Media Award is presented to individuals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community in the media. Read the full press release here. See more photos from the GLAAD Media Awards NY here.
When introducing Simmons, Rev. Sharpton quoted Simmons as saying “You can’t fight for human rights for some, without fighting for the human rights and the civil rights of all.”
“It’s a great honor and I’m truly appreciative of the GLAAD Media Awards including me in this special night,” Simmons said in his acceptance speech. “I’m humbled by having one of my mentors and heroes Rev. Sharpton giving me this award. It’s no secret that faith-based communities, in some cases, have been difficult, and I think that for all of us who step outside of our comfort zone and fight for the rights of others, we are blessed. And Rev. Sharpton [has] stood up in so many ways and has been very special. And to the gay and lesbian community he’s a true blessing. I’m honored and appreciative and I just want to thank everybody. Thank you.”