Attic Youth Leader Giana Graves presented with DVLF Youth Heroes Award

4/12/2017 1:12pm

During its 11th-annual HEROES brunch on April 9, 2017,  DVLF honred three individuals and two organizations:

Lifetime Legacy Award: Heshie Zinman
Adult HERO Award: Sergio Morales-Garcia
Youth HERO Award: Giana Graves
Nonprofit Organization HERO Award: Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus
Business HERO Award: PHL Diversity

Each honoree was nominated by community members, and DVLF’s Outreach & Grantmaking Committee made the final decision with approval from the board of directors.

About Giana Graves (pictured above,2nd from right):

Giana Graves, age 22, is an incredibly dedicated youth activist and advocate. Giana started her activist work in The Bryson Institute, the education and training department of The Attic Youth Center, as a Youth Panelist.  In this role, she shared her experience as an a queer, transgender women of color navigating various social service systems. She helped train numerous housing and social services providers across Philadelphia on how to best work with the LGBTQ youth in their care.

In 2016, through demonstrating an outstanding commitment to social justice, Giana was selected to be a member of The Attic’s Justice League internship, a social justice internship program for LGBTQ youth of color. Since starting as an Attic intern, Giana had co-developed a curriculum that addresses the intersections of racism, sexist, cisexism, and heterosexism as it relates to LGBTQ youth of color. The goal of the program is to use the curriculum to train youth serving agencies across the region. Giana and her colleagues have presented the curriculum at The Creating Change Conference, The International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies Conference and will soon present at the Northeast Queer and Trans People of Color Conference. In addition to that work, Giana spoke at the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission Hearing on Racism in the Gayborhood, where she talked about her experience as a trans woman of color within Philadelphia's LGBTQ community.

In her work, Giana has educated over 500 youth and adults on LGBTQ identity, systems of oppression, and intersecting barriers faced by LGBTQ youth of color. Her fiercely analytical wisdom cuts to the core of any issue; she uses this along with her natural ability to command respect and attention to raise visibility on issues impacting her communities. Time and time again, we have seen Giana put the needs of her community over herself demanding justice not just for herself but for those who haven’t been given a platform. Giana has demonstrated a fiercely loving, steadfast commitment to demanding justice not just for herself but for all marginalized and oppressed people.

Photo Credit: SSM Photography

Read more about DVLF's 2017 Heroes award recipients here: