Hetrick Martin Institute Honoring George Takei At 2016 Emery Awards

HMI is the nation's oldest and largest organization dedicated to LGBT youth.

New York’s Hetrick Martin Institute, the nation’s oldest and largest organization committed to serving LGBT youth, is honoring actor-activist George Takei at the 30th annual Emery Wards on December 7.

Retail specialist Rob Smith will receive an award at the gala, being held at Cipriani’s Wall Street in Downtown Manhattan.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10:  Brad Takei and George Takei attends tje KYBOE! fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 10, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Kyboe!)
Anna Webber/Getty Images for Kyboe

The theme of this year’s awards, “Help Me Imagine,” recognizes the bravery of the youth who come to HMI to seek a better future for themselves, as well as the limitless potential of what’s next for the LGBT community.

“All children should have the right to healthcare, education, supportive adults, and a community that understands and embraces them,” says Takei, whose 2015 Broadway musical Allegiance will screen in theaters later this year.

“I am thrilled and honored to help bring light to the important and timely work of Hetrick-Martin Institute.”

Social Star Awards Day-1

Throughout his life, the Star Trek icon has faced racism and homophobia with grace, compassion and determination. His journey parallels that of many youth at HMI, who face multiple barriers to stability and success.

Smith, who has helped grow major brands like Victoria’s Secret and Macy’s, has raised more than $10 million dollars for HMI’s lifesaving services

Rob Smith
Rob Smith

“The incredible resilience of HMI youth never ceases to inspire me,” says Smith, an Emery Awards co-chair. “They help me imagine what the world could be if more people showed their determination and integrity.”

HMI director Thomas Krever praises both this year’s honorees, adding that “the way George Takei has helped to inspire an entire generation of change, Rob Smith has helped to empower an entire generation of HMI youth in New York and beyond.”

hetric martin spirit day LGBT youth

Each year, the Emery Awards recognize those who demonstrate outstanding leadership within the LGBT community, and who work to address the most critical issues affecting HMI youth, including HIV/AIDS, homelessness, education and health and wellness.

For Emery Awards ticket and event information visit the HMI website

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery