Mayor Eric Adams will declare May 18, 2023, as “Kindness is Cool” Day in New York City in honor of the Mi Amor Graciousness Gala, which supports survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking. The annual event from the Luisa Diaz Foundation will host its ninth-anniversary benefit at The Plaza Hotel and offer an evening of compassion-meets-fashion, including the crowd favorite “Runway of Hope.” Funds from the event will benefit three charities: Safe Passage Heals, Hope’s Door and Team TLC NYC.
Survivors of domestic violence who have completed the foundation’s program to break the vicious cycle of domestic abuse will walk in the gala’s empowerment fashion show. Adorned by designers Jovani, Anne Fontaine and Chiara Boni, the walk signifies the transition from a place of darkness to one of hope and light.
“For the past nine years, Jovani has had the honor to dress survivors for the Gala,” says Felicia Garay-Stanton, PR & Marketing Director, Jovani. “Being a part of this event has not just been about the glamour, but about seeing these strong and resilient women shine and blossom above and beyond their traumas.”
Designer Chiara Boni says, “I believe that the female universe has infinite power. Being able to support those who have suffered profound abuse but have managed not only to survive but also to win makes me proud.”
Adds designer Anne Fontaine: “It is more important than ever to raise awareness about the global issues of abuse and trafficking—not only to be involved in solutions but to provide hope and courage to anyone who is a survivor to look to a better, safer future.”
Hall of Fame broadcaster, WABC radio and Positively America host Ernie Anastos will serve as the evening’s host. Mega-influencer Johnny Drinks, widely considered the father of TikTok and social media, will be live streaming at the gala and serving the “Kindness is Cool” martini. Seth Herzog, resident comedian and sketch performer with The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, will preside over a live auction. The evening’s entertainment will include an electrifying performance by Sarina the Violin Diva and music by Dj Show N Tell.
Executive director and former Ms. Venezuela International Luisa Diaz founded the Luisa Diaz Foundation in honor of her beloved grandmother and to raise funds and awareness for individuals and organizations who support survivors of domestic violence and their families.
“The gala’s ‘Kindness is Cool’ award is given out to individuals and organizations that show kindness in the community. This year’s award goes to Ilze Thielmann from Team TLC NYC, and Hope’s Door,” she shares. “We will also debut the first ‘Legacy Sponsor Award’ to Active International, who has been a loyal believer and supporter of the impact we are making in the community.”