After a couple of months of collecting nominations, the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland announced their 2021 Heritage Day nominees as a part of their annual Heritage Day Awards celebration.
On the second Saturday of October, the city of Cleveland celebrates LGBTQ+ Heritage Day in recognition of LGBTQ+ History Month. Awardees are recognized in the areas of advocacy and activism, health and wellness, public service, the arts and culture, workplace inclusion, and a rising leader award for an individual age 24 and under.
“Heritage Day for us has become an extension of our Pride celebration and there is an immense civic pride that we share in giving out these awards,” said Denise Astorino, community engagement coordinator at the Center. “We are essentially acknowledging the great work being done to advance our NE Ohio LGBTQ+ community in these various fields of recognition and because Cleveland is such a tight knit community we already have a great working relationship with them.”
The annual awards ceremony is typically held in-person, but due to health guidelines the nominees were announced online.
“Our awardees have been entrenched as valued community partners with the Center in our efforts to elevate Cleveland’s queer community,” Astorino said. “We are so excited as always to present these awards to our friends in the community who do so much to give back and help make Cleveland one of the more diverse and inclusive cities of the Midwest.“
The Heritage Day Awardees are:
Public Service: Tony Corea, B.Riley Sober House
Health and Wellness: Laura Mintz, MetroHealth Pride Clinic, Internal Medicine/Pediatrics
Legacy Award: Erin Nash, Margie’s Hope
Rising Star: Roman Sardo-Longo
Activism and Advocacy: Ken Schneck, The Buckeye Flame
Arts and Culture: Bella Sin, Cleveland Burlesque LLC
Workplace Inclusion: Michelle Tomallo, FIT Technologies