20th Annual Community Health Awards

Now in its 20th year, the Community Health Awards was first held in November 2001 to honor individuals who made positive contributions to the health and wellness of LGBTQ+ communities. Past honorees include leaders, activists, and changemakers including Chase StrangioLinda Villarosa, Tony KushnerCecilia Gentili, and Jenna Wortham.

This year, we are thrilled to continue the tradition and bestow honors upon Black transgender activist and writer Raquel Willis; primary care physician, public health advocate, and HIV specialist Oni Blackstock MD, MHS; and Brooklyn-based art collective Papi Juice!

Meet our 20th annual Community Health Award honorees below, and tune in Thursday, November 5th for a virtual gala hosted by the one and only Peppermint!

Click below to register or text CHA 2020 to 76278.


Raquel Willis is a Black transgender activist, award-winning writer, and media strategist dedicated to elevating the dignity of marginalized people, particularly Black transgender people. She is the Director of Communications for the Ms. Foundation, former executive editor of Out magazine and a former national organizer for the Transgender Law Center. In January 2017, she was a speaker at the National Women’s March in Washington, D.C. and discussed the necessary inclusion of women and people on the margins in social justice movements. During her time at Out, she published the Trans Obituaries Project to highlight the epidemic of violence against trans women of color and developed a community-sourced 13-point framework to end the epidemic. This project won a GLAAD Media Award.

Oni Blackstock, MD, MHS is a primary care physician, HIV specialist, public health advocate, and former assistant commissioner for the Bureau of HIV for the New York City Department of Health. Her work focuses on the social determinants of health and the intersections of sexuality, race, gender and gender identity pertaining to disproportionate rates of HIV and other chronic health conditions among LGBTQ+ communities and communities of color. Most recently, Dr. Blackstock has been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response in New York which she coined “a pandemic of inequality.” Her research has helped illuminate health outcomes as a direct result of structural racism, sexism and oppression, while advocating for policies to dismantle these systems.

Papi Juice is an art collective that aims to affirm and celebrate the lives or queer and trans people of color through art, music, and nightlife. Since Papi Juice’s inception in 2013, the collective has been changing the face of nightlife in New York City and beyond with intentional platforms for artists of color including panels, workshops, artist residencies, performances, and, fabled DJ sets at all night parties, centering joy as an act of resistance. Founders Mohammed Fayaz, Adam R., and Oscar Nñ (L-R) bring their backgrounds as audio and visual artists to uplift the voices and stories of LGBTQ+ people and people of color, most recently through the Brooklyn Liberation Rally, an action for Black Trans Lives.