Community Leadership Awards Series | Brooklyn Community Pride Center

Brooklyn Community Pride Center’s Community Leadership Awards recognize people and organizations who have made significant contributions to the LGBTQ+ community of Brooklyn.

This year, in response to the pandemic, our 2020 awardees are being celebrated through a series of in-person (and socially-distanced) videos that highlight the impact our wonderful award recipients have had on Brooklyn’s LGBTQ+ community.

This year’s esteemed honorees are:

Cecilia Gentili

Founder and Principal, Transgender Equity Consulting

Cecilia Gentili 2020 Honoree of a Brooklyn Community Pride Center Community Leadership AwardCecilia Gentili started Transgender Equity Consulting at the beginning of 2019 after serving as the Director of Policy at GMHC, the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and advocacy from 2016 to 2019.

Originally from Argentina, Cecilia came to the United States for a safer life as a transgender woman and lived in the country undocumented for 10 years. During this time, Cecilia gained her living through sex work, which came with drug use – for which she was continually targeted for policing.  After multiple arrests and an immigration detention, she accessed recovery services and, with more control over her life, fought and won asylum.

Her experience surviving this time in her life impassions her desire to ensure that all people living on the margins are provided with access to the dignity and respect deserved in all spaces.

Cecilia’s first role within community services was when she started working as an intern at The LGBT Center in New York City. From 2012 to 2016, she was brought into Apicha Community Health Center to develop the transgender health services into a stand-alone program where she managed a team of three Patients Navigators and 6 Health Home Outreach Workers. Cecilia’s involvement was instrumental in expanding the program from 27 patients in 2012 to over 500 in 2016.

Seeing so many clients affected by institutional discrimination and widespread lack of access, Cecilia decided to move from direct services into policy work at GMHC from 2016 to 2019. There she became the Managing Director of Policy and was one of the hardest fighters for the passage of GENDA (Gender Non-Discrimination Act).

Her policy successes inspired her to found Decrim NY, a coalition working towards the decriminalization, decarceration, and destigmatization of people in the sex trade. Cecilia was instrumental in developing two statewide bills to provide survivors of trafficking with record relief and end the criminalization of ‘loitering’ — a charge overwhelmingly leveled against transgender women, regardless of their involvement in the sex trade.

Cecilia started working independently with Trans Equity Consulting in 2019 and has already collaborated extensively with organizations including the AIDS Institute, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Funders for LGBTQ Issues, Borealis Foundation and Cicatelli Associates Inc. Her reputation amongst these organizations and many more is reflective of the deep personal commitment she brings to the work and her unique insight which enables a deeper connection with queer and trans communities.

Tiq Milan

Writer, Speaker, Advocate and Consultant

Tiq Milan 2020 Honoree of a Brooklyn Community Pride Center Community Leadership AwardPublic Speaker and Thought Leader.

Tiq shares his story of being transgender and how that informs his views on masculinity, race, and gender. He travels throughout North America, leading discussions on healthy modes of masculinity, inclusive leadership, and creating cultures of consent. He has lectured at several universities, including Harvard, Stanford, and Brown, on the importance of inclusion as a tool of innovation and outlines concrete strategies for productive engagement.

Inclusive Media Consultant and Host.

He is a sought-after host and strategic media consultant. He’s moderated conversations about LGBT representation in media for HBO’s Newfest Film Festival, The Toronto Film Festival, LOGO, and MTV. He’s hosted authors in conversation at The Schomburg Center for Research, NYU, and Princeton. This spring, he will be hosting an evening at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.
As a media consultant, he guides organizations and companies in creating detailed media campaigns that engage diverse audiences in inclusive and authentic ways. He’s worked with HBO, NBC News, and various film and television producers on the rollout of several projects, including the documentaries HBO’s Suited and Netflix’s The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson. Tiq also served as the Senior Media Strategist and National Spokesperson for GLAAD using data-driven strategies to engage various media in appropriate and honest LGBTQ representation and creative direction.

Cultural Influencer and Writer.

Tiq writes about pop culture, inclusive leadership, transgender rights, and equity. A journalist for over a decade, his work has appeared on MIC, Buzzfeed, NBC, and CNN, among others. His 2016 TED Talk A Queer Vision of Love and Marriage alongside his wife, Kim Katrin Milan, has been viewed over 3 million times and continues to inform and inspire people worldwide.

Wendy Stark

Executive Director, Callen-Lorde

Wendy Stark 2020 Honoree of a Brooklyn Community Pride Center Community Leadership AwardAfter starting her career in reproductive health, Wendy Stark joined the staff of Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in 1994 as a front desk clerk and held multiple positions over the years. She was first appointed Executive Director by the Board of Directors in 2007. Under her leadership, the organization increased its patient care capacity by over 30%, opened a full-service onsite pharmacy, started a research and education department, began patient navigation programs, and achieved Patient-Centered Medical Home designation. She left Callen-Lorde in July 2012 to join Lutheran Family Health Centers (now Family Health Centers at NYU), where for three years she served as Senior Vice President for Special Populations & Administration.

In 2015 the Board of Directors recruited Wendy back to Callen-Lorde as Executive Director for her second tenure. She returned to a much larger organization, providing care to nearly 18,000 patients who made 100,000 visits per year at two clinical sites in Chelsea. Under her tenure, Callen-Lorde has opened two additional clinical sites, one in the South Bronx in 2016, and one in Downtown Brooklyn in 2020. She has increased the organization’s capacity for policy/advocacy work and knowledge building about LGBTQ health, with a vision of expanding health equity and justice to communities locally, nationally, and around the world. With an annual budget of over $95 million and a staff of over 350 employees, Callen-Lorde is one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ organizations.

Wendy holds a Bachelor’s degree from Pomona College in Claremont, CA, and an MBA in health care administration from Baruch College/Mount Sinai School of Medicine.  She currently serves on the Board of the Community Health Center Association of New York State and has served on the Boards of numerous organizations, including the National Association for LGBT Health and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.

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