By: Gloria Smith, Associate Editor for World Liberty TV
Safe Horizon proudly hosts its 26th annual Champion Awards on Tuesday, May 10th at the world-renowned Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. The event is being held in-person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
This year’s honorees include New York Times best-selling author, three-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, and Co-Host of the View, Sunny Hostin, and Joe Falencki, Global Head of Talent Acquisition at Morgan Stanley. Board member, television host and Real Housewives of New York Season 13 cast member Eboni K. Williams, will also participate in the evening.
Since March 2020 when New York City began lockdown at the start of the pandemic, Safe Horizon, the nation’s largest non-profit victim services agency, has kept its doors open, continuing to provide life-saving services for survivors 24-hours, 7-days per week, both in-person and remotely. Supporting nearly 400,000 survivors of violence and abuse throughout this crucial time, Safe Horizon’s advocates went #Beyond TheCall to make sure survivors could access safety and critical resources.
These are the stories of perseverance that will be highlighted at this year’s award ceremony. The Champion Awards Showcases Safe Horizon’s achievements, raises critically needed funds, and honors individuals who are making a difference for so many of our most vulnerable neighbors.
Sunny Hostin, a New York Times Best-Seller, three-time Emmy Award-winner and Safe Horizon board member since 2017, has been a dedicated champion for Safe Horizon’s advocacy for survivors of violence and abuse.
Hostin supported Safe Horizon in its fight for the successful passage of the New York State Child Victims Act in 2019, which makes it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice as adults. The former U.S. federal prosecutor was also awarded the Special Achievement Award by Attorney General Janet Reno for her prosecution of child sexual predators.
Joe Falencki, a Safe Horizon board member since 2016, serves as Chair of the Investment Committee for Safe Horizon and formerly served as a Council to Foreign Relations Corporate Leader. His years of service to Safe Horizon have helped the organization provide necessary resources for survivors, prioritizing their needs for safety and healing above all else.
“The COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges for our organization that we could never have imagined. We had to think quickly and creatively to make sure the needs of survivors were met without interruption. We could not have done that without the resilience and commitment of Safe Horizon’s staff, who remained available to support survivors 24/7,” said Liz Roberts, CEO, Safe Horizon. “We are excited to reunite with our supporters, staff, survivors and honorees in-person this year to celebrate the accomplishments of Sunny Hostin and Joe Falencki, as well as our staff who went Beyond the Call countless times during the pandemic.”
“I am extremely humbled and honored to receive this award from Safe Horizon,” Hostin said. “I have dedicated my life to fighting for justice and healing. I have seen the dedication and selflessness of the staff at Safe Horizon and know we have that in common. The work of this agency is critical for survivors of abuse and violence, and I am grateful to be a part of it.”
“I’m honored to be recognized by Safe Horizon. The important work this organization does to help survivors find safety, support hope and healing is truly inspiring. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to witness the dedication of the advocates at Safe Horizon and to have the chance to support this organization’s important mission,” said Falencki.
The Champion Awards will begin at 6:30 pm (reception at 5:30 pm) and will include a special performance by the platinum-selling and three-time GRAMMY®-nominated R&B artist, KEM. The singing sensation overcame drug addiction and homelessness to release five albums and sell nearly 3 million copies combined worldwide.
Attendees will also enjoy a poignant dance performance of “Saa Magni (death is terrible)” by the world-renowned, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Established in 1958 by dancer, Alvin Ailey, the African-American dance troupe tours the globe performing over 235 inspirational dance works by more than 90 choreographers. The troupe continues Ailey’s mission since his passing in 1989 to expose the world to the performing arts and the talents of African-American dancers.
About Safe Horizon: Established in 1978, Safe Horizon is the largest non-profit victim services agency in the United States. It touches the lives of more than 250,000 children, adults, and families affected by crime and abuse throughout New York City each year. Safe Horizon envisions a society free of family and community violence, leading the way by empowering victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, and human trafficking to move from crisis to confidence. Safe Horizon’s mission is to provide support, prevent violence and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse, their families, and communities.