Festival scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019 with new components, including international human rights symposium
Miami, FL – Organizers of the Gay8 (GayOcho) Festival will gather with hosts and sponsors to celebrate the 2019 Gay8 Festival Kick-off on Thursday, Nov. 8, 6 PM at Casa Juancho in Little Havana. The festival will return for its 4th consecutive year on Sunday, February 17, 2019 during President’s Day weekend. The largest of it’s kind in the U.S., attendance for 2019 is slated to surpass the 60,000 that turned out in 2018. Revelers will again enjoy a one-of-kind experience that welcomes all in the LGBTQ community, their allies, and the rich, vibrant Hispanic and Latino communities in South Florida and beyond.
“We originally set out to create an event that brought the different South Florida communities together and the results speak for themselves,” said festival co-founder Damian Pardo. “Gay8 Festival is now the undisputed largest Hispanic LGBTQ event in the U.S.”
Gay8 Festival will continue to feature a number of events surrounding the street festival – including dance parties, food tastings, free film showcase, cigar tastings, a doggie village and roaming performers – while also adding an LGBTQ international human rights symposium at the University of Miami. “Given the current climate faced by the LGBTQ community in some parts of the Americas, we felt it was important to provide a forum for leading human rights activist from South Florida, Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada to convene, share experiences and organize,” explained symposium organizer Lynare Robbins.
Leading up to the festival, the 4Ward Gala will be take place on Feb. 13 at the Bacardi headquarters in Coral Gables. The event will be the setting for the 2019 Pa’Lante Awards Ceremony, where pioneers who have demonstrated outstanding civic engagement will be honored.
New at this year’s festival is a historic collaboration between Stonewall National Museum & Archives and the National Museum of the Cuban Diaspora, where both will explore the plight of the LGBTQ community in Cuba and in exile.
For more information and tickets visit www.gay8festival.com.
Who: 4Ward Miami and Gay8Festival What: 2019 Gay8 Festival Kick-off
When: Thursday, November 8, 2018, 6 PM
Where: Casa Juancho, 2436 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135
Why: Gay8 Festival aims to promote civic engagement Miami’s diverse communities while blending all of South Florida’s delights into one gigantic block party. By connecting South Floridians, Gay8 Festival looks to ignite opportunities by bringing people together through food, music, art and fun.
To download logos and photos visit: http://tinyurl.com/Gay8-Festival-Media-Kit
Steve Rothaus’ LGBTQ South Florida
• Gay8 Festival
• Gay8 Festival
Miami New Times
• Gay8 Festival 2018 Celebrates Hispanic Queer Culture on Calle Ocho
Miami’s businesses, community leaders, and the community at large will come together on February 16, 2018 for the third annual Pa’Lante Awards presented by Gay8 Festival. Gay8 (GayOcho!) is the first Latino LGBT art, music and food street festival in Miami’s historic Little Havana. Pa’Lante Awards represent a recognition and celebration of people that have helped move the South Florida community forward. Individuals are selected based on the impact of their effort as well as the length of their service. “Pa’Lante” is Spanish slang, short for “para adelante,” to push or move forward.
“This year’s Pa’Lante Awards recipients represent our community champions on the front lines of immigration activism” said organizer Damian Pardo. “We hope that by highlighting the efforts of these heroes we can add to the power of their voices and celebrate the Gay8 values of diversity and working together”.
This year’s Pa’Lante awards recipients are:
- Carlos J. Martinez – From working at an Exxon on Calle Ocho to becoming the Public Defender for Miami-Dade County, Carlos J. Martinez is a home-grown success story and a champion for immigrant rights.
- Juan Carlos Carabantes – As DACA champion and participant, Juan Carlos Carabantes understands that community knows no borders. His activism stretches from immigration to LGBT rights, and from his home in South Dade to the inside of a jail cell while pressing congress to pass a clean DREAM act.
- Christina Ponthieux – Ronyde Christina Ponthieux isn’t your ordinary 10-year-old – she’s a Miami Shores Elementary student AND a TPS activist fighting for protection for vulnerable communities. She recently took to the stage during a Miami concert of Arcade Fire in front of thousands to advocate for the extension of temporary protected status for Haitian immigrants.
- WeCount! – Defending worker and immigrant rights in the Homestead area, WeCount! has worked to build the power of the immigrant community through leadership development, community education, coalition building and campaigns for social change.
The awards will be presented by other prominent community activists, such as Marleine Bastien, Francesca Menes, and Cheryl Little, Esq. Attendees will enjoy a fun-filled night of live music, light bites, and cocktails. Tickets are $100 and are available on the Gay8 Festival website.
For complete information including the full Gay8 Festival schedule of events and sponsorships, visit the Gay8 Festival website here.
WHO: Local businesses and community leaders
WHAT: Pa’Lante Awards presented by Gay8 Festival (GayOcho Festival)
WHERE: CubaOcho Museum & Performing Arts Center (1465 SW 8th St #106, Miami, FL 33135)
WHEN: Friday, February 16, 2018 from 7 PM to 10 PM
WHY: Pa’Lante Awards represent a recognition and celebration of people that have helped move the South Florida community forward. Individuals are selected based on the impact of their effort as well as the length of their service. “Pa’Lante” is Spanish slang, short for “para adelante,” to push or move forward.
By connecting Miamians, Gay8 Festival ignites opportunities by bringing people together through food, music and fun.
WeCount! was initiated as a program of a social service coalition, WeCare of South Dade, in 2002. In 2006, it became an independent organization with individual memberships.
During the WeCare years, community action teams worked on school and immigration issues. In 2003 and 2004, parent-community teams inspected local schools and won improvements in the physical state of five schools. In 2005, parents organized through WeCount! prevented the principal of West Homestead Elementary School from retaining the test results of one controversial reading test of around 500 students. That year, the immigration action team successfully convinced the Miami-Dade County Commission to pass a resolution supporting driver licenses for undocumented immigrants and organized a community forum with Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart at which he committed to providing leadership in the fight for legalization of undocumented workers and students.
Since 2006, WeCount! has worked to build the power of the immigrant community in the Homestead area through leadership development, community education, coalition building and campaigns for social change. In 2007, it began working with youth from immigrant families. Over the years, it developed a clear focus on defense of immigrant and worker rights.
Ronyde Christina Ponthieux is a 10-year-old Miami Shores Elementary student and young leader in the Haitian Women of Miami and is now a TPS activist fighting for protection for vulnerable communities. She recorded her own video address to a President Donald Trump not to tear her family apart. She recently took to the stage during a Miami concert of Arcade Fire to advocate for the extension of temporary protected status for Haitian immigrants.
Marleine Bastien, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is the Executive Director of FANM, responsible for oversight of the agency. She has championed the cause of women, children and Haitian families through her dedicated advocacy in the areas of immigration and human rights, HIV/AIDS, breast cancer and domestic violence. Ms. Bastien serves as not only the voice of Haitian women, but as the unofficial spokesperson for the Haitian community at large. She is often quoted in local, national and international media such as the Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and others.
Juan Carlos Carabantes was born in the central state of Michoacan, Mexico on February of 1995. He came to the United States at just 4 years old through the southern border with his mom and four other siblings. Since then he has lived in Homestead, Florida a town known for its strong immigrant community. He is an undocumented immigrant who benefited from the DACA program that was announced in 2012.
Before that Juan Carlos felt tremendously lonely, without finding other undocumented youth especially those that identify as LGBT, but in 2013 he found he wasn’t alone. Since then Juan Carlos has been organizing to continue awareness about undocumented immigrants, especially those who benefited from the DACA program. For the following 3 years he supported undocumented leadership and organized the community. He participated in a few campaigns to make sure undocumented immigrants and their stories stayed a priority of the national debate; he trained communities on their constitutional rights, raised awareness on undocumented queer youth, disrupted Jeb Bush’s presidential candidate announcement, strategized against the 2016 Trump campaign, took over the New York streets when DACA was repealed on Sept. 5, and participated in a jail strike this December where he spent 6 days in jail on hunger strike to pressure congress to pass a clean DREAM act. Now he is an organizer with The Seed Project, a non-violent organization focused on obtaining dignity, respect, and permanent protection for undocumented youth and paving a path to protect all immigrants in the country. Coming from a family of farmworkers, Juan Carlos’s sacrifice has been rooted in honoring the sacrifice of his parents with the goal of winning permanent protection for his family and his Florida community.
Francesca is from Miami’s Little Haiti community. As part of Florida Immigrant Coalition, she has coordinated the Florida Wage Theft Task Force, coordinated a national network campaigning for Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, successfully led the statewide campaign “We Are Florida’s Future” to pass in-state tuition for undocumented students in 2014, developed and implemented a 2014 Voter Engagement Program in 2 counties and 5 cities knocking on over 45,000 doors. She is the Florida Immigrant Coalition representative to various national organizations, including the Black Immigration Network, she also is the co-coordinator of #Rights4ALLinDR. Francesca has received numerous honors and recognitions, including being name one of the 20 under 40 Emerging Leaders in South Florida by the Miami Herald.