EXCLUSIVE: This year’s MAG Gala featured a ‘Runway of Hope’ which saw courageous domestic abuse and human trafficking survivors walk the catwalk in a touching display of solidarity and strength.
The Mi Amor Graciousness (MAG) Gala made its dazzling debut at The Plaza, New York City this month in a spectacular show of fashion, girl-power and kindness.
The Luiza Diaz Foundation, which promotes the message that “kindness is cool,” hosted the important event with the aim of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking.
The stylish gala, held on Thursday, May 18, featured an impressive fashion show with survivors walking the catwalk, dressed by designers Jovani, Anne Fontaine and Chiara Boni.
“The walk on the ‘Runway of Hope’ signifies the transition from a place of darkness to one of hope and light,” the event organizers state.
Luisa Diaz, CEO of the foundation, hosted the event alongside Emmy award-winning anchor, Ernie Anastos.
The gala, which is in its ninth year, was every bit glamorous and fun while also highlighting the harsh realities of domestic abuse that many women face.
Throughout the night, women took to the stage to share their stories while on the road to rebuilding their lives.
This year’s celebration also included an official proclamation from New York City declaring May 18, 2023, as “Kindness is Cool Day” from that day forth.
“The MAG Gala has been possible because of a snowball of kindness since the first gala with everyone that came together to make this event happen,” said Luisa Diaz, founder of the Luisa Diaz Foundation.
The Luisa Diaz Foundation, founded in 2020, supports organizations and individuals who are making a direct impact in helping people and their communities through acts of kindness.
Diaz founded the organization in honor of her beloved grandmother – who had herself been a victim of domestic abuse in her marriage.
Luisa Diaz Brown has been helping people and communities since her early days in North Carolina as the host of Luisa Su Voz Latina, the first Spanish language talk show on the local ABC Network affiliate.
During the night, the group of survivors, dressed in glitzy ballgowns, walked the runway before joining Diaz and others on the stage.
The three-course dinner was followed by the ceremony in the grand ballroom attended by some of New York City’s finest including Johnny Drinks, Seth Herzog, Jean Shafiroff, and Deborah Hung.
As well as the beautiful dresses are worn by the domestic abuse survivors, Brazilian artist, fashion designer, and hairstylist Tony Matta also showcased three looks from his recycled fashion collection.
Speaking to guests, Ms Diaz said: “My ball is here and it’s a celebration of kindness, because people are forgetting to be kind.
“We are living in a society that glorifies negativity. There are so many people doing great things for the community but we’re not talking enough about it; I believe in kindness and humanity. We cannot forget to be kind to ourselves and others.”
Designer Chiara Boni, who dressed the women, said: “I’ve always worked with the aim of making women self-confident and comfortable.
“I believe that the female universe has infinite power and being able to support all those who have suffered profound abuse but have managed not only to survive but also to win, makes me happy and proud.”
Funds from the event benefited three charities – Safe Passage Heals, Hope’s Door and Team TLC NYC and raised awareness of the importance of the work of the Luisa Diaz Foundation.