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Stories of Inspiration & Accomplishment Lift Hearts & Raise Paddles to Support Kids and Families at Children’s Rights 2022 Benefit

NEW YORK – On Thursday, October 27, Children’s Rights, a leading national organization focused on the rights of children, hosted its annual Benefit & Inspiration Awards event in New York City.

Under the banner Childhood Is Our First Right, hundreds of the city’s most committed advocates for children came together to celebrate Children’s Rights, which for over 25 years has been holding governments accountable for protecting children and keeping families together.

The event honored four individuals who have put their commitment to the rights of children into bold action:

“Working with Children’s Rights has opened my eyes to the harms done to LGBTQ+ kids in government systems. LGBTQ+ children are overrepresented in foster care, often because they have been rejected by their families, and they suffer from consistent abuse and harassment. Children’s Rights is leading a movement to ensure that child welfare systems have explicit protections for LGBTQ+ foster youth and foster parents and I am proud to be a part of that movement,” said Louganis. “I am proud to be honored by an organization whose work touches on issues I care deeply about: LGBTQ+ rights, mental health, and foster care. And I know our nation and its children are lucky to have Children’s Rights working hard every day for them.”

To show, not tell, the impact of Children’s Rights, Executive Director Sandy Santana shared a powerful clip from an NBC Today Show report on the dramatic reforms made to Connecticut’s foster care system as a result of a lawsuit filed by Children’s Rights. The state has achieved success for children across a range of measures, including keeping families together by prioritizing community supports and addressing racial inequities. Since 2019 Connecticut has reduced its foster care population by a third and reunified 2,400 families

The event also featured moving video tributes and remembrances from Rosario Dawson, Rosie Perez, and Children’s Rights board member Kasseem ‘Swizz Beatz’ Dean.

Past honorees and presenters at the annual Children’s Rights event have included Cyndi Lauper, Padma Lakshmi, Nick Cannon, Harvey Fierstein, Natalie Morales, and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels.

For additional information or photos, please visit childrensrights.org/a-long-awaited-night or contact Kristina Chenault.