Vienna, January 10th, 2023 – It’s time to say “Thank You”: on International Thank You Day – January 11, 2023, Vienna-based NPO, One Life, announces the launch of the Vienna International Pride Awards, a new annual campaign and event to thank and recognize the vital world of LGBTIQ+ equality heroes around the world. In partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and ILGA-World (the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association), this year’s awardees will be announced during a live-streamed event in Vienna planned for early June 2023.
Awardees will be chosen by a highly experienced and diverse committee of LGBTIQ+ rights experts, chaired by Jeffrey O’Malley, Senior Advisor, LGBTI Inclusion, Africa for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The public, around the world, will be encouraged to nominate equality heroes who are making a big difference to the advancement of LGBTIQ+ equality. Details of this process will be announced shortly.
Separately, from 11 January and leading up to the Awards there will be a social media campaign where individuals are encouraged to post online and say “Thank You” to someone who has made a difference to their own LGBTIQ+ journey in life, under the hashtag #ThankYou. These highly personal and emotive posts will set the tone for the Awards.
Equality for all people is a fundamental right, however, hundreds of millions of LGTBIQ+ people worldwide continue to face inequality, rejection, poverty, violence, torture and even death. The Vienna International Pride Awards shines a light on those who are doing incredible work around the world for the advancement of LGBTIQ+ equality, inclusion, and rights. In doing so, the aim is to motivate and inspire more people to take personal action and support progress towards universal LGBTIQ+ equality.
The idea for the International Pride Awards came from Tony Gregory, an award-winning television director. He describes the guiding vision of the Vienna International Pride Awards as: “A world where the rainbow of differences and preferences of LGBTIQ+ people are not only tolerated, but deeply and universally accepted and cherished”.
Highlight: The event is planned for early June, 2023
The event will take place for the first time in Vienna in June, 2023 and will be broadcast internationally via livestream. There will be a range of Awards that recognize highly visible individuals and unsung heroes across a range of categories that include political champions, grass roots activists and storytellers. Award winners do not have to be LGBTIQ+, but must have shown exceptional vision, courage, selfless commitment, or determination to advance LGBTIQ+ equality.
The project’s mission is designed to motivate and inspire everyone to share, talk about, and participate in the pursuit of equality – whether through heroic efforts or everyday acts. In addition, any surplus funds from the project will be donated to ILGA World to support their global network of more almost 2000 member organizations from 169 countries campaigning for LGBTIQ+ rights.
John Amaechi, one of the most high profile gay athletes and an Ambassador for the Vienna International Pride Awards, commented,
“I am delighted to support the Vienna International Pride Awards. It can be tempting to believe that equity for LGBTIQ+ people is a done deal. Still, across the world, from the United States to Ghana and beyond, we are seeing legal and societal advancements we might have thought permanent being challenged and overturned. It’s never been more important to celebrate the global achievements of LGBTIQ+ people and inspire all of us to continue to be proactive in seeking positive change across the world.“
About the Vienna International Pride Awards
The Vienna International Pride Awards is a project from One Life, a non-profit organization based in Vienna. One Life was founded in May 2020, with support from the City of Vienna, to develop and support projects and campaigns for global equality and anti-discrimination. The Vienna International Pride Awards is a new global campaign and event to recognize the exceptional work of people around the world who are making significant contributions to LGBTIQ+ equality. The first awards will be announced in Vienna in early June, 2023. The awardees will be selected by an experienced, independent committee of international sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression equality and human rights experts. The committee is chaired by Jeffrey O‘Malley, senior advisor for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Initiators of the campaign are award-winning director and board member of One Life, Tony Gregory, Niclas Schmiedmaier, founder of One Life and former CFO of the Life Ball. Official campaign mission partners are the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and ILGA-World (the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association).
More information about the Vienna International Pride Awards can be found here: vip-awards.org
Manisha Joshi, MA
Business Director | Head of DEI – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Tel.: +43664 80869- 118
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to jointly promote the elimination of inequality in society. “The United Nations system has been calling for decriminalization and acceptance of LGBTIQ+ people for decades. The Vienna International Pride Awards were created to honour all those who have driven progress, but also those who are still fighting for their rights under difficult circumstances. We are proud to be a part of it,“ says Jeffrey O’Malley, Senior Advisor at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Jeffrey O’Malley also chairs the independent award committee, which is made up of an experienced and diverse group of international experts in the field of LGBTI+ human rights. As Senior Advisor to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Africa, he is one of the world’s most experienced strategic advisors on LGBTIQ+, inclusion and HIV.
MTV Staying Alive Foundation, whose mission is to change the lives of young people through storytelling. “The Vienna International Pride Awards are rich in stories, emotions and actions – all qualities that we at MTV Staying Alive appreciate as we strive to help young people make informed decisions about their relationships, their rights and their lives. We look forward to joining the Vienna International Pride Awards in recognizing those who risk their lives to help others become who they want to be,” said Georgia Arnold, Executive Director of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation.
ILGA World, the global federation of more than 1,800 organizations from more than 160 countries and territories, has been advocating for the human rights of people with different sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and gender characteristics since 1978. “The Vienna International Pride Awards are a much-needed global project to put the spotlight on those who are selflessly committed to the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people around the world. This work is more important than ever, at a time when there are many crises and the risk of paying a higher price for those who are already discriminated against in their daily lives,” says Julia Ehrt, Executive Director of ILGA World.
Founder Vienna International Pride Awards
Copyright: Tony Gregory
Niclas Schmiedmaier, Founder One Life
Copyright: Ketchum GmbH