Event News

Announcing the recipients of the 9th Annual Dorothy Awards

The Dorothy Awards, now in its 9th year, has a history of honoring people in our community making a difference, and this year is no exception.  The Pride Center is proud to announce this year’s recipients:


Pedro Segarra


pedro-segarra-webYou could say Pedro E. Segarra was destined for a life in public service. Working from a young age to help support his family and later contributing to the betterment of his community as a social worker and lawyer, or now as Hartford’s 66th Mayor, Mr. Segarra has always valued hard work and a sense of responsibility and understood the importance of improving a family’s quality of life.


Mayor Segarra was sworn into office on June 25, 2010. He is providing leadership to Connecticut’s Capital City at a crucial moment in Hartford’s history. In these extraordinarily difficult financial times, he is working tirelessly to look at all options and generate new ideas to take Hartford to new heights. With an emphasis on creating jobs, pursing academic excellence in our schools, promoting economic development with an focus on small business, and reducing crime by providing positive alternatives for our youth while also taking an aggressive approach to law enforcement, Mayor Segarra’s priorities are inclusiveness and inspiration so that more people are encouraged to participate in their community and in their government.


Born on April 28, 1959, at the age of seven, his family moved from the small rural town of Maricao, Puerto Rico to the Bronx, New York in search of a better life. Segarra is one of six children and was raised by his mother under conditions of extreme poverty. When he was 15, he fled the threat of gangs and arrived in Hartford— in search of the hope and opportunity that our Dutch Founders promised— and he has been a resident ever since.


After graduating from what was then called the Greater Hartford Community College (now Capital Community College), where he was a founding member of the Latino Student Organization, Segarra earned a full scholarship to the University of Hartford where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science. He was then admitted to the University Of Connecticut Graduate School Of Social Work where he received his Masters Degree of Social Work. In 1985, he graduated from UCONN Law School and passed the Connecticut bar the very same year. While in law school, Segarra was a founding member of the Latino Law Student Organization and served as its first President. He is currently admitted to the Connecticut state and federal bars (1986) and the Bar of the State of Florida (2000).


Segarra is uniquely qualified to be Mayor through his legal, community, and government experience. In 1991, he was appointed Corporation Counsel for the City of Hartford— the youngest person ever selected for the position at the time and was appointed for three consecutive terms. He was appointed to City Council in 2006, elected in his own right in 2007, and became Council President in January of 2010. Up until ascending to the Office of Mayor, he was the managing partner of the Hartford Law Office of Segarra and Associates.


His compassion for the community dates back decades. He was also a founding member of Hogar Crea, The Hispanic Health Council, and CLARO.


Mayor Segarra resides in the West End of Hartford with his partner, Charlie who will volunteer to undertake beautification efforts in our City.


Diana M. Richter, Ph.D.


diana-richter-webDiana Richter’s hometown is Fishkill, New York. Diana was extremely active in High School athletics, both regionally & nationally, honored as Most Athletic Senior and inducted into the school district’s Sports Hall of Fall in 1980. Diana’s higher education includes a BS in Health & Physical Education, MS in Sport Studies, and a Ph.D. in Sport Sociology, emphasis on sociological theory. While in college she was a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, a member of national championship lacrosse & field hockey teams and participated in AAU Volleyball. A physical education teacher for 30 years, Dr. Richter has taught at the High School, Independent School and University level, most recently at the University of Iowa.  In addition, Diana coached NCAA Div. I Women’s Track & Field and Volleyball at UConn-Storrs & Northern Illinois University. Active for many years in the 1990’s in NYC as a volunteer in the LGBT community, Diana has served over 8 years on the Board of Directors for a lesbian educational & outreach group. During this time period she obtained her experience and love for event planning and fundraising. Additionally, she presented at conferences at Columbia University, Hunter College, NYU, UCONN, Yale University, NIU, Wesleyan, and University of Iowa.


In 2003, Dr. Richter became the Executive Director of The Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK). Diana switched gears from teaching and coaching to running a non-profit providing basic needs programs for the food insecure of the Greater New Haven community. As Executive Director, Dr. Richter, aka “D”, has rebranded and overhauled the entire operations and programs of DESK.  In addition, Diana has been a big proponent in serving nutritionally healthy, fresh cooked foods daily and expanding direct food service programs, including initiating a daily bag lunch for the working poor & school age children and a pet food pantry. Under Diana’s tutelage DESK has begun and maintained active recycling, food rescue programs and has fostered numerous community partnerships integral to DESK’s survival. All of DESK’s direct food service programs have increased in output to meet increasing demand, serving a record number of meals and food in 2011.


Diana is also a member of the City of New Haven’s Food Policy Council, Board member of the New Haven Crypt Association and member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Lodge #25, New Haven. Diana has also been an active member of the Emergency Food Council of Greater New Haven and The Cook & Care Committee.


Diana believes as LGBT folks we are all part of many communities, we daily understand marginal or being disenfranchised, different. For this reason we must share and integrate our communities and build a greater community capable of compassion and love to all its citizens.


Robin Banks

robin-banks-web-2The Elm City has much to boast about: an Ivy League University, the invention of the hamburger, the longest elected mayor, and now its latest impresario – the talented Ms. Robin Banks – and you can bet that time spent with her is anything but a drag.


Robin is the brain child of a child trained thespian and entrepreneur Shawn Bodey. Shawn claims that Robin was conceived from a delirious one night stand between a Carnival Barker and a Lucille Ball impersonator. Robin’s personality was larger than life for her theater camp in Arizona – she knew the east coast beckoned. Since her arrival here, Ms. Banks has strategically become the highest profile female impersonator in the New Haven area due in part to her affiliations with local businesses and nonprofit organizations throughout the Constitution State.


As the hostess of New Haven’s #1 rated drag show, “The All New Robin Banks Show”, she consistently brings a new sense of excitement, awareness and humor to such worthwhile organizations as the New Haven Pride Center and the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen. Mr. Bodey’s entrepreneurial acumen was fashioned from performances in Hollywood, New York City and Guam. His business background, Toastmasters training and involvement with the Imperial Sovereign Court of all Connecticut avail him the opportunity to take this role seriously and develop the market niche as an advocate and commercial sponsor to local businesses.


For further information on her hilarious hi-jinx in high heels check out her calendar of events on Facebook.


Out Film CT


out-film-ct-webOut Film CT is a nonprofit cultural organization that presents outstanding LGBT cinema throughout the year, culminating in the nine-day Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, the state’s longest-running film festival. In 2012 the festival will celebrate its 25th season. What started in 1988 as a modest undertaking has been transformed over 25 years into a blockbuster cultural event that brings together people from throughout the state and beyond to watch a distinctive mix of the very best dramas, comedies, documentaries and short films that capture the essence of the LGBT experience.


Films shown at the festival not only entertain and enchant, they also educate and shed light on important topics such as bullying, AIDS, queer history, the struggles of gay athletes and the challenges facing older LGBT men and women. The films originate not only from the U.S., but also from Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas, demonstrating that the LGBT experience is not only unique and personal but also universal.


Each year the film festival committee goes to great lengths to ensure that the lineup appeals to many tastes and a wide range of people, reflecting a diversity of gender, ethnicities, orientations and identities. The festival enables our community and its allies to watch films that otherwise would not be shown in the state and creates a forum for lively discussions about stories, characters, issues and events. In addition, the festival provides a unique opportunity for audiences to interact with film directors, actors and other members of the filmmaking community through post-screening Q & A sessions and at the popular reception events.


The 25th Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Film Festival will take place June 1 through June 9, 2012, at Cinestudio, on the campus of Trinity College in Hartford.  The 14th annual EROS Film Festival, organized by Out Film CT for Trinity’s gay/straight student alliance, will take place in November 2012.  For more information or to volunteer, call 860-586-1136, or visit www.OutFilmCT.org.

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